Whoa. Lots of lines have gotten blurred these days, causing heaps of misunderstandings. Is it even possible to view some things from his point of view? You don’t agree one iota with her way of thinking? Take a deep breath and stay courteous and considerate, even if you can’t stay charming. Make a choice to get along with others – and practice, practice, practice.

Are you creating a culture of kindness in your life? When was the last time you complimented someone? Go ahead: Hand them out like candy. Everyone loves a pat on the back. Need some ideas? “I only feel comfortable when I’m around you. You’re like the sweatpants of my life.” Awww.  “I know it’s cheesy, but I think you’re grate.”

Lift people up whenever you can. After all, your friends are really your chosen family. Perhaps you were at a pivotal point in your life and recall being inspired by that single word of encouragement he gave you.  Treat everyone you meet in life as someone valuable and worthy.

Don’t forget that there is a difference between debating and fighting. Discuss; don’t argue. Let him finish his sentence, please. How to get her to listen to every word without interrupting? Talk in your sleep. But seriously, hold your tongue and free up your ears to listen attentively.

It’s okay to exchange views, and even bat back and forth the issues at hand. But do not become sullen, snappy, or rude if she happens to have a point of view that you do not agree with. Your mood should not dictate your manners.

Social connection is one of the greatest human needs. Do not let outside forces destroy yours at this time. We need it to enrich our physical as well as emotional health. Sharing and support offers us comfort during challenging times. If you can’t limit your challenges, then challenge your limits.

Pause and ponder why you are having such a hard time getting along with her. You don’t have to approve of her behavior or way of thinking in order to have a rapport with her. Perhaps a family member has a different idea of humor than you. Work on getting through the holidays without upsetting Mom. Careful: Mothers of teens know why some animals eat their young. No, that is not compromising yourself. We all find some character traits particularly challenging. Look inside, sweet friends. What can that teach you about yourself?

Ever meet some people and feel bad for their dog? What type of person do you find the most difficult to get along with? Miss Know-it all? Mr. Complainer? Miss Negative or Mr. Indecisive? What is it about that person that you find so utterly taxing, annoying, or draining? While you’re at it, try a bit of self-reflection, hard as it may seem. Do you play a role in how well you get on with your friends or family? What are your strengths or weaknesses in maintaining healthy relationships? You know what they say: Health is a lot like money – you never have a true idea of its value until you lose it.

One word of caution: If you start compromising yourself or your morals for the people around you, it’s probably time to change the people around you. Remember to brighten a room and the space you occupy. Two negatives do not always make a positive. And who doesn’t want to be around an enthusiastic, effervescent sort? Be the attitude you want to be around.

Be genuine with people. Say what you mean and mean what you say.  Sprinkle everything with a heavy dose of sincerity. Always have a unique character, like salt. Its presence isn’t felt. But its absence makes all things tasteless. Then again, you can always head to the beach, where salt actually lowers your blood pressure.

Perfect has seven letters and so does “meeeeee.” Coincidence? I think not. Uh, oh. It’s okay to be vulnerable, share a struggle or mistakes you have made with those you trust. A perfect person doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t cry, doesn’t fail, and doesn’t exist. Remind yourself of this, sweet friends: Perfect people are not real and real people are not perfect.

And for mercy’s sake, please listen to his perspective and her experiences with an open mind. If you never change your mind, why have one? You know what they say: Sometimes you change your mind; sometimes your mind changes you. Speaking of which, your mind needs exercise just as much as your body does. That’s why I think of jogging every day.

Ask her what is important to her and what she values and why. Always aim to understand. Look for common ground. Sometimes you can only find it by moving to a higher ground. Then again, food is always a universal experience. What’s that? You only serve three meals? Frozen, microwave, or takeout? “Things worth having are worth waiting for: me, preheating the oven.” A famous chef once said: “Your body is not a temple; it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.” Did you know that the center of a doughnut is 100 percent fat-free? Sometimes the people who give you their food, give you their heart. Food truly nourishes your body and soul and brings people together. Enjoy your loved ones. Some of the best memories are made around the table.

I once heard that you will never have a completely bad day if you show kindness at least once. Let’s be honest. Kindness is not overrated; it’s underused. Compassion and kind-heartedness are never wasted, sweet friends. They always make a difference.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Healing.