Finding a Person’s Idiosyncrasies Charming

A friend, in an email about idiosyncrasies, writes to me:

You get stressed out about not sleeping enough and give me secondhand anxiety. You always try to fit in just one more email before leaving for a meeting. You get hungry at the oddest times and must eat immediately. But I also weirdly like these things about you.

Amy Batchelor once told me something very wise about relationships: the key to liking someone over the long run is loving and appreciating their quirks. What someone else may find annoying, you must find endearing.

A good litmus test for when a relationship is coming un-done is when you start to be annoyed by the other person’s long-running idiosyncrasies.

2 Responses to Finding a Person’s Idiosyncrasies Charming

  1. So very true! Just yesterday, a friend was apologizing for a trait that is quirky but so lovable to me. It can be so hard for us to believe that someone loves us for the things we dislike or even hate about ourselves.

  2. Very true. I also find it hard to trust people whose idiosyncrasies are not somewhat visible; as if they’re covering something up. Idiosyncrasies enable us to “forgive” the other person for being weird, which increases our emotional investment in them.

    That’s not to say that high-maintenance shrieking neurotic train wrecks are charming for very long. :)

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