Have Personal Worth. It does not matter if it is character, money, effort, advice, experience or humor; please bring something to the table. The true parasites of our world today, are those that either offer nothing, or think they have nothing to offer. To avoid being one of these social vampires, find some self-worth within yourself and offer it to those around you. Ultimately, those around you will be the judge as to whether you are an addition to society, but it must begin with the belief that you are worth something and have something to offer. Offer your own challenges and listen while others work towards a solution. Listen carefully, and ask questions when you need clarification. Walk away from every conversation knowing more than when you entered it. You may not always be happy with what you have learned, but the education will always be worth your time.
Be kind often. It is much more challenging to be polite than disagreeable. Step up to this challenge. When offering an opinion to those around you, state the opinion to yourself silently before sharing it. If it sounds offensive to you, it will most likely be offensive to those around you. Continue to rephrase any opinion in your own mind, until you feel that it can be received openly, and then and only then, open your mouth to share. If it can not be phrased so as not to offend, keep it to yourself.
When Kind does not work, be Frank. If you have tried to be non-offensive and offered a kind comment that fell upon deaf ears, try frankness. Just know that with frankness comes the view that you are being judgemental. Be prepared to back-up any advice that you are giving, and answer for any hypocrisy you may be delving in to. For example;
You should not lie about where you were last night. I have lied about where I was and what I was doing in the past, and have found that the truth is quite often discovered at an inopportune moment. In the future, just be where you say you are, and there will not be a need to address this situation.
When Frank does not work, little is to be gained. If you are speaking directly and frankly in a conversation, and you are being attacked by the other party, you are most likely wasting someone’s time. Recognize what you hope to accomplish in this conversation, and whether or not it can be accomplished. If you are speaking only to make yourself feel better, or to belittle the other person, end the conversation. When conversations are elevated to the point of anger, things may be said that could cause regret. Agree to disagree, and leave the conversation for another place or time. This works for any relationship, love, family, work or friends.
The Bottom Line: Be kind but not at the expense of your sanity.