I think that, past a certain age, most of us run out of f**ks to give when it comes to spending time with people we genuinely don’t like. We don’t have the energy anymore to pretend they feel differently, and also, we kind of start to realize there’s not much of a point.
That said, there are certainly times in our lives where we need to pretend – at work, with spouses or friends of friends, perhaps people at church – but it can be tough to do convincingly.
If you’re wondering how you could do it better, here’s some advice from trained professionals.
#1. Pretend they’re someone else.
Broadway actress Kate Chapman suggests pretending the person you’re talking to is someone else – preferably someone you actually like.
If nothing else, she says the exercise itself will make the time go faster.
#2. Ask (appropriate) questions.
If you know the other person likes talking about themselves, actor Gino Gilorio says asking a few good questions can mean you don’t have to actively engage.
“I’m trying to give this person the impression that I actually give a damn about their day-to-day existence.”
#3. Find something you do like about them and focus on that.
There has to be something you like about the other person, or at least something you can appreciate as being a strength, right?
Television actor Anthony Bradford says you can find that one thing, but if you can’t, “sometimes those we may not get along with can be great teachers in terms of patience, focus, and communication.”
Well, there you have it – these might seem obvious, but also I think they could be super helpful to commit to memory.
How do you pretend to like people who really grate on your nerves? If you’ve got more tips, leave them in the comments!