So, remember Hugo Chávez? The former dictator of Venezuela who died last year?
He, you know, sort of hated the U.S. I realize this is a big generalization, but you know what I mean. In general, he was not a friend of my country.
Well, I had a hard time hating Hugo Chávez because I thought he had a friendly face.
When smiling, he looked like a nice, happy guy. Every time I saw him on TV, I felt conflicted about the fact that as an American, I could’t bring myself to hate/strongly dislike him. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I felt the same about former Iranian president Ahmadinejad and Henry Kissinger.
There are lots of times I see someone and think they have a friendly face. I realize this is a meaningless distinction, but I wonder what’s going on in my head? What is it that makes someone look “friendly”? In the cases of Chávez and Kissinger, I think it may be that their looks remind me of someone else in my life that I care about.
Susan Cain, author of Quiet, has said that introverts are always looking for “kindred spirits“. When I meet someone, I’m hoping to find a hint of something about them that could make them a kindred spirit. Perhaps they make a comment that really resonates with me, or reveal a kernel of their personality that shows they are considerate and genuine. Or maybe they have a friendly face.
Do you ever see someone–maybe a celebrity or political figure–and instantly feel like they have a “friendly face”?
[Note: This post is not meant to be a political statement or to “take a stand” on anything politically.]
Kelly, thanks for pointing out this dichotomy; it’s a part of everyone! We have been conditioned to think of people and situations as good or bad (this is called dualistic thinking.) But we all have a light and a dark side: our greatest qualities (Like a friendly face or generosity) And our undesirable qualities (like cruelty or greed).
I commend you for your great quality of ACCEPTANCE; for many, it is a lifelong challenge.
I’ve often wondered if some people learn to have a friendly face in childhood to appeal to a dominant figure in their lives. Or they found ways to get things they want with certain “looks” like puppy dog eyes. Perhaps subtle changes that people subconsciously pick up. I think people who are considered “charming” do this with several characteristics.
I think of Lindsey Lohan in some of her films. She is sweet and adorable…
I know there have been several times that I knew someone was awful or even trying to be manipulative and for some reason I still “like” them. I had a guy that worked for me who took off a lot of time from work to be with his sick child at John’s Hopkins. This went on for about a month and with full pay. He came in every Friday for his check and then back to the hospital. He was so emotional. One day his wife called and asked to speak to him. I said he was at the hospital… and she said ‘Is he OK? What happened? And I said he was fine he was their with their child at the hospital. She started screaming ‘What’s wrong? What hospital?’
He still came in to get his check that Friday. He became violently argumentative when I refused. Even after all of that, I still “liked” him and at the same time I disliked him greatly. He was a fun person to be around. (He said he was a Navy Seal on his resume, I probably should have checked that out. I completely misjudged him)
Just musings on the subject. No depth of thought. I enjoyed the post and thought I would chime in.
Hi Tom, thanks so much for sharing & glad you liked the post! It sounds like the man you are talking about had some issues with lying! Reading your post reminded me of a long-ago relationship with someone who turned out to have lied about almost everything. It took me a long time to finally realize and accept it, because I was blinded by what I thought was “love”. Then I felt really dumb afterwards!!
I think that happens to almost everyone… where do these people come from?
One thing I thought of… I have done sales quite a bit and sometimes people who bought something would say I remind them of their son/brother/nephew. I wonder if we assign personality traits of people we know to those that remind us of them.
By the way… how do HSP do in sales? I am 99 on the Myers Briggs introvert scale. For me doing sales is very difficult. I had one person ask if I was OK because my neck was blotched. Another time I walked up to the store owner and couldn’t speak properly. I apologized and walked out. I am a nervous wreck doing sales. I can only maintain accounts now. I had to gives sales up. I just couldn’t make myself do it anymore. It was like self-abuse.
Oh my goodness, I despise sales! I remember in elementary school when they made us sell candy door-to-door, or in high school when I worked on the Yearbook and they wanted me to cold-call businesses to try to sell ads for the yearbook. I said–No Way! I think sales bothers me because I’m very honest and a terrible liar, and being good at sales means… well, sometimes omitting or candy-coating the truth. This is an interesting topic, Tom! I may have to further explore this. 🙂
Wow, what kind of a HSP thinks they need to hate someone simply because that person supposedly hates their country? Are you your country and do you support all the senseless and completely unjustified wars and evils your country routinely unleashes on the innocent around the world? I guess US HSPs are a different breed…..smh
Shame. I used to be so good at intuition and the like when I was younger. Looks and false personality didn’t faze me really, and I could see through it all. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been trained into giving people “chances” even though I *know* it’s not a wise thing to do.
Maybe it’s because I didn’t have the emotional empathy as a child as to not feel the personal effects from the feelings and looks of others…or I’ve learned to be too good at it and feel it to the extent that it gets in the way of my intuition? Tough thing to balance, something I would modify if I could!