How much does a person’s appearance matter when it comes to friendship? We all like to think we’re much more evolved and appearance in meaningless but there will always be those few friends who exist in our lives for purely superficial reasons. It’s not always a conscious choice and you might not realize how much visual appearance can impact how you feel about someone. In case you’re skeptical, I devised a game to help clear up how genuine your feelings are. It’s pretty simple, think of someone in your life and think of 5 Nice Things to say about them that have nothing to do with their appearance. Although the exercise is simple it can’t be a very powerful tool. Listing negative traits is easy. If you had to list the reasons why you hated your enemies you could probably produce 5 reasons in 5 seconds. But if you had to list 5 good things about your husband or best friend it might take a little longer. The exercise helps you remember why you love someone in the first place.
This all started last year at a party when my friends were all discussing one of their mutual acquaintance. For our purposes I’ll call him Sheldon. I had never met him but had heard a lot of stories. From these stories I came to two conclusion. First it was clear that Sheldon was an incredibly irritating person. Second it was just as clear that everyone found him incredibly attractive. So much so that they overlooked all his annoying habits. I was curious to get the groups consensus to see how accurate my assumptions were. Everyone had nothing but positive things to say and everyone liked him as a friend. Thumbs up for Sheldon. However as everyone talked I noticed that all the positive things being said were mainly concentrated on the physical. No one was mentioning any of negative traits I had heard so much about in the past. That prompted me to give them the simple challenge: “Say 5 nice things about him that have nothing to do with the way he looks.” Everyone went silent. Obviously it’s hard to think of these things when put on the spot so I gave them a very generous amount of time. Many could only think of one or two attributes that fit the criteria. Even to this day I’ll bring this question up to the same group to see if they’ve thought of any more traits. After more than a year still no one has thought of anything new.
As I said this can also remind us why we love the important people in our lives. Take my boyfriend for example. Many people know him for his wonderfully adorable face but there is a lot more that I also love about him.
The 5 things I love about Russ that have nothing to do with his looks are:
1. His sense of humor
2. His strong work ethic
3. The fact that he has a good relationship with and loves his family
4. His outgoing personality and ability to talk to anyone
5. His love of music, musicals, and kittens