Answer by Xu Beixi:
Peter, I realize you’re asking for two different things here; how to deal with difficult individuals, and how to deal with your own feelings about them.
I see most of my fellow posters are asking you to reconsider the relationship, cut them loose, or ignore them, but I’ll assume these are people whom you truly want to befriend, for whatever reason.
To tackle the first:
That would be my advice to you; from reading your answers, you are clearly well-spoken, excellent at presentation, and quite frankly, good at delighting and convincing others in equal parts. Particularly women.
It’s the same with your male friends. Charm them.
The thing with people who are “fun to be around” and “great” is that they know they’re in high demand, and act accordingly. When you’ve been given a great deal in the game of life, there’s a tendency to gain a sense of entitlement of sorts. You feel that people are obligated to you, somehow, and you feel that your time is more important than their’s. It’s a terrible habit, but of course, there are also those who are terrible organizers and leave things to the last minute, and those who have legitimate excuses. I’ll assume you’re dealing with the first group.
Charm is such a rare and beautiful thing we’re willing to be ensnared in its pleasures- if you can provide such an experience for such people, they will wish to be near you. As to the how, I’m sure you’ve read books like Robert Greene’s Seduction. In fact, you probably consider that weighty tome downright amateurish.
For those who break promises- as you already know- shaming them and humiliating them will not solve a thing unless you’re certain their character allows for that. This, you truly need to decide if they’re truly worth the effort a real friendship requires. You may also wish to consider if it’s a personality trait of their’s, or if they’re only like that around you.
On a personal note, my boyfriend was like that at the beginning of our relationship. Permanently late. We were acquaintances in 2012, so I didn’t think much of it. Until last December, when I ended up waiting 2 hours. Two. Hours. Back then, I frequently thought of giving him a tight slap (to the cheeks on his face, I mean, not the other set); I earnestly wanted to say a permanent goodbye to his impertinent ass. However, there is simply no one quite like him, despite all the men I’ve met. His biting wit, sharp mind, and his allure were so intoxicating, I simply couldn’t bring myself to say goodbye. This ties in with the point about charm- by giving someone your full presence, your best self, it earnestly does tip the balance.
You can also see it as a Cost-Benefit-Analysis. If you make it worth their while, they will come. The trick is in deciphering which cost to them is heavy, and what basket of benefits you can provide them.
Anyway, the frustration with my darling dwindled over time:
Over time, he stopped being late altogether. I think it’s because I became important to him, too. What we deem important we don’t find time for, we make time for.
- I understood his patterns better- I don’t think your friends do it out of malice. It’s simply carelessness and selfishness.
- He knew full well I was upset- instead of confronting him head-on, I joked. Humour makes a point without drawing blood- I’d laugh about it and teasingly ask him if I should give him a half-hour curve each time we met.
- Reaching a compromise- consider it an exercise in negotiation.
- Empathy and optimism- I weighed that he was taking time and effort to see me as well, and as they say, better late than never. I decided that the past cannot be changed- might as well make the most of what I have now.
- I was stubbornly determined to not let this affect me- I always have pen and paper with me, a book, notes, flowers and leaves. There are always ways to make use of time. As an introvert, I can disappear into my own head. I wander and daydream and draw. You can do an infinite number of things while waiting for them. Rather than put it under the mental accounting bracket labelled: ‘time I spent waiting’, I converted it to: ‘time I spent fruitfully’. This is one rare case where pig-headedness pays.
- Knowing him better. I initially thought of him as a complete dickbasket. But when I got to know him better, I realized he could be warm and kind, and likely has a good heart. A very good heart. So sometimes, it’s a matter of looking deeper.
There’s also the consideration of the degree of intimacy. The more intimate you are with someone, the more… bluntly honest you can afford to be. The degree of freedom and amount of leeway is the unknown variable here, the tricky bit.
As for your anger and frustration:
- Keep in mind that they’re not deliberately being a prima donna (unless they actually hate your guts). They’re not acting out of malicious intent. They probably don’t want to piss you off.
- Do your own thing. Don’t care. Focus on what you can accomplish with that energy. Why should their no-show spoil your enjoyment?
- Remind yourself that your energy is limited and precious- and deserve a better outlet than impotent frustration.
- As the graffiti says, we should build bridges, rather than walls.
- What you let affect you determines the type of man you are.
- And from our Jewish friends, “the only true obstacle is a lack of ideas”. I find this to be a powerful, mind-altering idea. It’s true. And it’s a useful thought to keep in mind.
Thank you, and good luck. :)
Answer by Garrick Saito:
First, be brave. Yes, I’m talking to you. Abandon the notion that poor English skills are a legitimate reason not to participate on Quora. There’s 1.3 billion of you and only ten Chinese participants. I’m only joking, but it’s a little disappointing to see so few. I understand many Chinese are hesitant to participate because they feel their English skills are poor. But the fact remains, everybody has good ideas to share, you included. I would much rather hear a great idea or story in imperfect English than none at all. Please don’t be shy. Share what you know, even if it’s uncomfortable for you to write. Step out of your “box” or comfort zone. That’s your first step.
Write more answers. We improve by doing something, over and over again. Generally speaking, the more you do, the better you’ll become.
Read more answers. Examine how others have phrased their sentences. Now practice writing how you would have written the same thing. Notice the differences, so you can determine and correct your inaccuracies. Not everyone writes perfectly (on Quora or anywhere else), but you’ll find a better-than-average writing here.
Accept the help of others and learn from them. You’ve just written this question not capitalizing Quora (a proper noun). It’s since been edited, but learn from those types of errors, making a mental note for the next time.
Take clues from your browser. I’m not sure what browser you’re using, but mine (Chrome) always tells me when it thinks I’ve misspelt a word. Look up the correct spelling and make a mental note for next time.
Run your answer through a grammar check. MS Word has one. It’s not perfect by any means, but it can suggest how to correct both spelling and grammatical errors. There may be other browser add ons, which perform the same function. A simple search, should lead you in the right direction.
Answer by Jane Chin:
It’s not that I’m not used to the transitions, even major ones. I’d, finished , transplanted 3000 miles from the East coast to the West coast, became a … Maybe big changes keep me young.
But the past 2 years have been emotionally tough.
A friend who hasn’t seen me in two years phones me after meeting for dinner. I don’t answer. She leaves a long message telling me she worries, that I seem depressed.Meanwhile, I answer about on Quora: since I’m here, might as well make use of the moment.
I decide to do and block or cut out people whose mindsets don’t add to my quality of life no matter how nice they seem. There are billions of people in the world: I get to choose whom I allow into my life and around my family. I decide not to play victim or martyr.
My husband sends me a video of a guy dancing in a way I’ve never seen before ( ). I am completely fascinated by the style. I tell my husband that if I get to have one thing on my bucket list, I’d want to learn how to dance dubstep.
Doesn’t that sound so stupid? I say.
That’s an awesome item for a bucket list, my husband says.
By chance, I see this Quora answer from . I go public with my bucket list item (my to Karen’s answer).
Karen contacts me about this new project she’s doing. You commit to doing something for 100 days and upload a 10 second video every day of you doing what you have committed to. I have to upload a public video of myself looking ridiculous? Every day? Sure, where do I sign up //sarcastic
I sign up.
I write about my commitment to learning dubstep dancing on blog. I don’t videotape every single day but I practice almost every day. I sprain my back and shoulders almost immediately when I practice “popping” (quick flexes of muscles to create a “pop” effect). Painful reminder that I’m 41 years old.
People my age should be running marathons.
Or buying Tesla cars.
Not learning to dance dubstep.
My dance videos mess up my neatly-manicured social media “presence” of my looking poised and confident, what with my flailing awkwardly about with my body.
But the world does not end! Life goes on. is almost always the first person to up-vote my new video posts and offers words of encouragement. I notice that people are noticing, and supporting me.
For once in a very long time, my body feels happy. I feel happy.
I resume attending local club meetings. I have interesting speech topics now, like learning to dance dubstep. My buddy Danny nags me about upcoming Humorous and Table Topics speech contests.
I never enter these categories! I don’t think I’m funny! And I am anti-spontaneity-girl! Still…
I’m 41 and learning dubstep dancing, for goodness sake. Why not try. See what happens.
I register to compete in these speech contests.
Karen and her cofounder Finbarr’s has people doing different things for 100 days. Some of the projects are entertaining, some creative, some simply awe-inspiring (see Cynthia’s story below).
https://youtu.be/FHSMUq0bDLgAbove video source for Cynthia’s inspiring story: Give It 100 website.
I keep practicing dubstep drills and focus on one technique I can probably do: dimestops.
My husband suggests I start rock climbing.
I think you’d be really good at it, he says.
Sure, I say, thinking this will strengthen my core and therefore, improve my dubstep.
In the rock climbing gym I remember I am scared of heights.
I’m 41, aren’t I too old to be rock climbing? Plus my fear of heights, I say to my husband.
People of all ages do rock climbing, what better way to deal with fear, says my husband. (I’ve yet to meet an 80 year old climbing boulders at this gym.)
I get panic attacks, mid-way up the rock walls, on every climb! I fail many climbs and complete many climbs. Still…
I keep rock climbing.
I win 1st Place in both the humorous speech and table topics contests at the club level. Then I win 1st Place in the table topics speech contest at the area level.
I improve enough to see a difference in my dubstep! Exhilaration!
I win 1st Place at the Division-level table topics contest! I’m in the “finals”, or District-level competition, this Saturday November 16.
I complete my first 100 days of learning to dance dubstep! I uploaded my 1 minute Day 100 video onto my . 100 down, 265 more days to go.
I get better at climbing! I still get mid-air panic attacks. I learn to focus on the next boulder instead of “what if”.
I am the same person — but I no longer feel the same.
I go through feelings of empowerment, fear, courage, exhilaration — sometimes in the same moment.
I Feel Alive.
All because I wanted to dance dubstep and
and promised to do it for 100 days.
P.S. Thanks to for sharing this one with me!
Answer by Elin Grimes:
People get confused but it’s really very simple…Got it? Good we can move on then! I’ll just address some misconceptions about the UK.
We have a reputation for being monolingual. Not true, we have several languages in the UK, including:
English, Welsh, Scots, Scots Gaelic, Irish Gaelic, Cornish, and BSL (British Sign Language).
Yn ni’n gallu siarad myw na un iaith, t’mod. ;) (Welsh for “We can speak more than one language, you know”). Unfortunately languages are not taught well in the UK, so our reputation is not entirely unfounded…
…also has a terrible reputation, but in fact we have loads of delicious food, and our strength is our openness to other cuisines. We love all world cuisines and adopt many aspects into our own cooking. Almost all British households regularly cook curries, stir-fries, and pastas (particularly Spaghetti Bolognese), as well as more traditional British cooking. Did you know the Balti was created in the UK? We don’t see British food as something static but very dynamic.
We got a bad reputation thanks to rationing during the war where Brits had to do their best with powdered egg and spam, but really…it’s time to move on guys. Our specialities include:
Pies of all kinds, including Cornish pasties and Melton Mowbray pork pies
Sausages - every town has its own type and they’re all awesome
Cheeses - including Cheddar, Wensleydale, and Stilton
Beer / Real Ale - almost infinite numbers of awesome beers (Badger Brewery is my favourite)
Mead and yes, we have good wines too (some of our land is on a level with wine growing regions in France)
Fish and Chips (yeah, every country thinks they do these best…I know!)
Full English Breakfast
Cream teas: tea with scones, Cornish cream and home-made jam:
And so on. We also invented almost all the classic biscuits. We are a little bit biscuit obsessed. Why? Why else? They go great with Tea!(They’re also incredibly cheap over here)
Enough! We have a duck race to get to.
In short, we have them.
What to do this weekend…race a rubber duck?
Join in with a Pancake race that dates back to 1445?
Wang a welly?
Or just chase a cheese down a hill.
I suppose you think that looks easy. Just remember that this is the hill:
(I wonder if that house at the bottom has insurance against cheese-related damage?)
Safer to stick to a morris dance.
The most common misconception of all though is that all of the UK is London.
The UK is Not Just London
London is cool, but the UK has so much more, especially regarding scenery. People think of us as a crowded little island with a metropolitan feel. We have some amazing historic towns and cool cities, but our beautiful landscape is underrated by other countries who think we don’t have any.
You might know already how breathtaking Scotland is:
But did you know about Northern Ireland?(Did you know that we have about 1,000 stone circles and 80 stone henges in Britain and Ireland?)
And what about the mountains, valleys, castles and music of Wales? The Welsh for Wales is Cymru:
And of course, from the moors, dales and lakes to the beaches, forests and flatlands, England:
Still think we’re all just London? :)
I could go on, but it’s time for tea…