What is your number one “ick” about people?

March 22, 2024

What is your number one “ick” about people?

I’m not a big fan of slang, but I like “ick”. Ick is that feeling of dislike you get about a person because of something they said or did that turned you off. While you think of your “ick”, I’ll tell you mine.

You’re having coffee with someone, and you kick off the conversation with, “How have you been?” Your friend begins to unload their life. You ask a follow-up question, and they talk more about themselves. It gets quiet so you ask yet another follow-up question and they keep sharing. This repeats many times. Suddenly it’s time to depart. You say goodbye and walk away realizing that not once in that entire hour did they ask you a question about you, let alone a follow-up.

Ick. Social ignorance. I sure hope nobody will ever have a reason to accuse me of being that guy.

Maybe the reason this is on my mind is because of a book I just picked up about The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen. That’s the subtitle of How to Know a Person by David Brooks. I’m a third of the way through and I’m impressed.

Brooks lays out the big idea of the book with “I’ve come to believe that the quality of our lives, and the health of our society depends, to a large degree, on how well we treat each other in the minute interactions of daily life.” He suggests we need to learn a “foundational skill: the ability to understand what another person is going through, to accurately know another person, to let them feel valued, heard, and understood.” And, of course, that skill is forged as we deliberately pay attention to one another in the mundane moments of sharing lunch or a cup pf coffee.

There are big reasons why this little skill of attentiveness is more necessary than ever. First, Brooks warns that “we are living in an age of creeping dehumanization. No crueler punishment can be devised than to not see someone, to render them unimportant, or invisible. To say you don’t matter. You don’t exist.”

Second, narcissism is having a moment. Brooks calls it, “The lesser minds problem: I see myself as much more complicated than you, deeper, more interesting, more high-minded.” Then there’s our crippling chronic anxiety: “…so much noise in our own heads, how am I coming across? I don’t think they like me. I’m afraid.” I’ll add my own deep concern that social ignorance and lack of attentiveness to others is aggravating the worst threat to our well-being…our plummeting self-worth. I wrote about our declining self-esteem earlier this year.

David Brooks wants to know, will we choose to become “Diminishers” or “Illuminators”? It seems like a lot is riding on that answer.

More to come as I digest this enlightening book.

That’s my “ick”. What’s yours?

P.S. – At Destinyworks, we have a sure-fire way to pay so much attention to you that you end up discovering the very reason why you are on this planet! It’s called the Calling Quilt. Why not hit “reply” to this email or jump to our contact page and let’s talk about you!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Discover Your Why to Live For!

If you’re serious about your destiny, you can’t do it alone.

Get my free video and guide to build your mentoring team


Let's Go!
Get my guide 4 Signs That You are at a Crossroads in Your Life…and What to do About It and get ahead of the game!
At some point in your life you’ll face a huge moment of decision.