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Smokers have a skill that we should all learn from them

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Life is made up of relationships: with colleagues, with parents, with partners, with drug traffickers. They are rarely simple, but mostly exciting. In her column “Among others”, Julia Beil deals once a week with everything that is interpersonal. Do you have suggestions for a topic? Then send an email to [email protected] or contact the author via Instagram (_julianita).

group of smokers

Have you ever seen what happens when two millennials find out they are both smokers? No? So you missed touching scenes. It goes something like this: the smoker says something like, “What? I wish Never I thought that you smoke too! How wonderful!” Raucher Zwei is very moved, because moments like this have become rare. He is lonely nowadays as a young smoker, very few members of my health conscious generation still tar their lungs voluntarily. “Wow…I…great…” Smoker Two stutters happily. And the two happily go out together to light a cigarette.

Sympathy is based on similarities.

I know this type of situation very well. I’ve been in the role of smoker one and also smoker two. The amount and regularity of my tobacco consumption qualify me as an occasional smoker, some also describe me as a party smoker (which is not entirely correct semantically, because occasionally, but not only smoking at parties). I’m not addicted, in fact smoking sometimes makes me nauseous. But I really can’t help it, because there’s something about smoking that I love. And it’s not the nicotine. To understand what I mean, you need to know something, namely: whether we humans like someone else depends largely on how similar that person is to us. Wow, did you go to the same university as me? Did you grow up in the same state? Do you always cut the edges of the bread? Class! Also read: Study: An enormously simple trick makes others like you Each of us looks for similarities in others. Through them, we immediately feel closer to our counterpart. Now there are harmless similarities like universities, federal states and aversions to the shores of bread. And there are troubling similarities like the love of cigarettes. Because smoking is undeniably bad. Even very bad. It’s unhealthy, expensive and stinks. Yes, smoking harms your body. But, and this is completely separate from that, they do have one skill that they have over most people: they generally have a positive attitude towards each other. They like each other. I myself have experienced this attitude in a wide variety of situations, at parties, at college seminars, at new jobs. Smokers manage to engage each other with a cigarette in front of the door without prejudice. I am also a much more relaxed conversation partner when my counterpart and I have a cigarette in our hands.

We don’t need cigarettes to talk.

In everyday life without cigarettes, all too often we are left with only prejudice and skepticism when we meet someone. This new colleague keeps getting closer to me, does he want to take away my area of ​​responsibility? And why is the new boss so nice? Does he want to suck it up and then give me more work to do? Most of us have these thoughts every day. But smokers don’t mind such things when they meet. They just enjoy each other’s company and pass the lighter. To be clear, under no circumstances am I here to encourage anyone to smoke. But unfortunately it is the case that there is no similar activity that brings people together so well. We are happy when someone comes from the same region as us or likes the same unusual food. But would we walk out the door and chat with someone just because we realized we were both cutting off the crusts? Probably not, but maybe that wouldn’t be so bad. After all, community is community, isn’t it? And we have a good number of them among colleagues. We work for the same company, with similar goals, on similar or even the same projects. We have similar fears of missing our deadlines or failing in our next salary negotiation. We have enough to talk about. We don’t need cigarettes to talk to each other.

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This article originally appeared on Business Insider in November 2019. It has now been reviewed and updated.

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