Life skills
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Life skills

How To Bond With Your Enemies

The Pride Interest Connection

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

We battled back and forth for months. I cringed every time I had a meeting with this guy. Have you ever had a nemesis in business? Everything you say angers or insults them for some incomprehensible reason. It’s not that you say anything mean, your personalities seem to clash. Everyone has one or two of those relationships.

I had another meeting with this guy yesterday. The meeting wasn’t until 4:00 PM, so I had all day to think about it. That’s the worst. The time comes and I put on my proverbial boxing gloves, ready for battle. I get there early and a bunch of us start talking. My nemesis mentions he’ll be playing bridge this weekend.

“Bridge? Wow. You must be really smart. I could never figure out that game.” I said.

He beamed a look of pride as though I had just crowned him the champion of whatever.

I continued. “How’d you get so good at it? No, how’d you learn in the first place?”

He traced his bridge experience from his earlier days but had to stop at the start of the scheduled meeting. After, he pulled me aside and continued his bridge timeline. He was like a kid bragging to his parents he got an A on a test. We shook hands when he left. That was the first time we shook hands since we met.

Later, he emailed me resources on where I can learn to play myself if I so chose. He included an offer to call him for any tips, pointers or strategy discussions.

I think I can say he’s no longer my nemesis. Will we become friends? Maybe. Maybe not.

The point is this. When you show sincere interest in something your counterpart takes great pride in, it’s hard for him not to like you.

The Pride Interest Connection

The pride and interest connection is one of the most potent ways to bond with another individual. I had known this long before meeting this guy, but you don’t think about it during the daily grind of life.

Try this exercise.

Think of someone who you struggle to get along with. What does she take great pride in doing? Is it cooking, fishing, fixing a leaky faucet? Keep your antenna tuned to the hints. Is there something they keep referencing. Do they display pictures that give it away? Is it something they wear or post on social media? The answers are there if you look for them.

Next, show sincere interest in that subject. Ask this person to help you. Let’s pretend your nemesis takes great pride in his knowledge of Greek mythology. What books does she recommend for a beginner? How did she get into it? What’s a popular misconception?

Of course, your interest must be sincere. Most of us can smell insincerity a mile away. It takes time, effort and patience to discover the inner pride of your nemesis. It’s worth the effort.

Before You Go…

I write about marketing, creativity and writing. I’m giving away guides on creativity, bullet writing and more. Click here to get yours. Connect with me on Twitter or linkedIn. P.S. — Click “clap” below. It helps others find this story.

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