How Long is Your List

Ed Thomas Coaching

posted on Wednesday, November 7, 2018

How Long Is Your List?

During a college class many years ago, we were asked to make a list of all the people we really did not like. Immediately, some students began listing the name of every person they did not like. A smaller number of students wrote just a few names, while the smallest number of students sat uncomfortably, looking like they didn’t know what to do.

After a few minutes, the instructor shared the purpose of this lesson. He revealed that if we wrote a long list of people that we didn’t like, there very well might be a long list of people that don’t like us either. That lesson stuck with me, and it took less than 5 minutes to do. It was one of those lessons that became a mirror to look into.

I can’t tell you if this lesson is scientifically valid and reliable. It mainly caused us to think differently about the way we look at others. What could we do better? All the solutions we came up with were common sense– things we are supposed to know but are easily forgotten.  

Things like:

  1. Look for the good in others.
  2. Focus on similarities, not differences.
  3. Avoid the formula, Similar = Good, Different = Bad.
  4. The Golden Rule
  5. Have you ever met someone you did not like until you got to know them better?  

Certainly, as we mature, one of the things we must deal with in life is the fact that not everybody will like us. It’s good to be reminded of common sense practices for interacting with others. Remembering these things will most likely make us feel better about ourselves, liked or not.

The following quote can also be and helpful.

"Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing."    1 Peter 3:9     


Your Challenge

When interacting with people on a daily basis:       

  1. Look for the good in others.
  2. Do not speak ill of others, no matter your differences.         

Al Kerns & the Ed Thomas Family Foundation    

This post is written by Al Kerns, a long-time friend of Ed Thomas and a team member with the Ed Thomas Family Foundation. Al coached with Ed for 30+ years at Aplington-Parkersburg.