What your best friend won't tell you

Created on Sunday, 11 January 2009

I like these paragraphs written by Les Giblin of the book "How To Have Confidence And Power In Dealing With People". I know I have a habit to fall into this and I also see many do the same. His point is What your best friend won't tell you, under Chapter 8 (How you can develop skill in using words)

    If you want to be popular through your conversation, try to overcome the temptation to kid, to tease, or to be sarcastic.

    Most of us kid other people because we think they will like it. Husbands tease their wives in public out of the mistaken notion that it is a cute way to show affection. We make sarcastic remarks, hoping that the other fellow will recognize our cleverness, see the humor in the sarcasm, and not take personal offense.

    However, teasing and kidding are both aimed at the self-esteem of the other person. And anything that threatens self-esteem is dangerous business, even it's done in fun. Sarcasm always has a cruel element about it, and is always calculated to make the other person feel small.

    Research polls have shown that people do not like to be kidded, even by their close friends. However, we do not like our friends to know we dislike kidding, for fear they will think us a poor sport. So even your best friend won't tell you that he doesn't like it.

    Only in very rare instances, and between very close friends, is kidding ever taken a good grace, and then only if it is on some minor matter, and not pursued too long. If the other person has known you long enough, likes you well enough, and you do not overdo it, you may get by with kidding. But the odds are so great against it that it is much safer not to try.