Three Secrets to Keeping People

Onyx Contributor:  Johnny Silvercloud (@JohnnySilverclo)

I can get any man!  I can get any woman!

Well Casanova, can you keep one?

While this pertains to relationships, I’m about to tell you a secret that not only applies to relationships with a significant other, but to people in general.  This can apply to anyone.  This can apply across the full spectrum of society, in fact.  From relationships, associates, politics to race relations. This principle applies to people as a whole.  Keep in mind that this is not me saying you have to be infinitely nice; the “genuinely” nice guy that everyone avoids.  Friendship, allies and relationships don’t just happen; we choose these things.  And either consciously or subconsciously, we chose these relationships with people based on a specific need.  Nice guy Bill may be the nicest, sweetest guy you ever met, but if he doesn’t provide some sort of sociological food for your cookout chances are you’re never going to choose him to be on your team.  In fact, his ridiculous niceness may make you feel guilty or inferior.  Good, is not necessarily nice.


We all hunger for acceptance.  We all wish to be accepted as we are.  We all want someone we can relax with, let our guards down.  In fact, very view of us are brave enough to be ourselves completely when dealing with the world.  But we like to have someone we can be ourselves with, someone we can afford to be ourselves with because we know we will be accepted.

A hyper-critical, fault finding person who always points out a flaw or short comings isn’t going to embody this principle.  In fact, the opposing force to this principle is rejection.  In addition, let’s make it a point to accept people AS THEY ARE, not as you want them to be.  In race relations, the “colorblind” concept is a perfect example of this sociological error.  A colorblind person while perhaps noble in intent, wishes to remove ethnic or historical context from a person before accepting them.  This is not true acceptance of people.  To accept someone, you accept them as they are, not pretend certain aspects of them are not there.

So with this principle in mind, don’t set up rigid personal standards of how you think a person is supposed to be.  Give that person the right to be themselves.  Ironically, people who accept people as they are have the most influence in making suggestions in changing people’s behavior.  No one has the power to change someone, but accepting them as they are you empower them to change themselves.  If you can listen to a person who is speaking of their vulnerabilities without surprise, horror or moral judgement, you have mastered this sociological concept.  If you want to keep people, you must first accept them — as they are, that is.

Keep in mind that acceptance can be flawed in its make.  Gangs and hate groups exist because of a lack of acceptance in one place created a flawed quest for acceptance somewhere else.  Everyone has an urge to enjoy personal significance and a sense of belonging, so make sure that those you love are accepted by you before they stray on a wrong path.  Acceptance supplies a healthy dose of self-confidence and security in people, so never forget that.

Photo Credit: Johnny Silvercloud

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