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Describe a time you were friendly to someone you didn’t like - IELTS cue card

Updated on 28 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

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Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you had to be friendly to someone you didn't particularly like? Well, in the IELTS Speaking section, you might encounter a cue card task that asks you to describe just that! It's an opportunity to share a personal experience where you had to put aside your differences and treat someone with kindness and respect. You can discuss the person you didn't like, the reasons behind your feelings, how you approached the situation with a friendly attitude, and the impact it had on you and the overall environment. Get ready to reflect on a challenging but transformative encounter that taught you valuable lessons about professionalism, empathy, and conflict resolution.

Describe a time you were friendly to someone you didn’t like

You should say:

  • Who the person was
  • Why you didn't like them
  • What you did to be friendly
  • How you felt about the experience

 

 

 

And here's a sample answer you can use as a reference:

Model Answer 1:

A time I can recall when I was friendly to someone I didn't like was during my high school years. There was a classmate named Alex who had a habit of being arrogant and belittling others, including myself. His condescending attitude and constant need to show off his achievements made it difficult for me to warm up to him.

However, one day, our teacher assigned us to work together on a group project. Initially, I was apprehensive and frustrated about having to collaborate with Alex. But I realized that this was an opportunity to rise above my personal feelings and handle the situation maturely.

To be friendly, I decided to approach Alex with an open mind and engage him in constructive conversations. I made a conscious effort to focus on our shared goal for the project rather than dwelling on my dislike for him. I actively listened to his ideas, provided constructive feedback, and sought common ground to ensure effective collaboration.

Throughout the project, I maintained a polite and professional demeanor, treating Alex with respect despite my initial reservations. I encouraged his contributions and acknowledged his strengths. By fostering a positive and inclusive atmosphere, I aimed to create an environment where everyone felt valued and motivated to work together.

Reflecting on the experience, I realized that my decision to be friendly to someone I didn't like was a valuable lesson in empathy and personal growth. It taught me the importance of rising above personal biases and focusing on common objectives. Despite my initial dislike for Alex, I discovered that by being friendly, I not only improved our working relationship but also created a more positive and productive environment for the entire group.

In conclusion, the experience of being friendly to someone I didn't like challenged me to put aside my personal feelings and approach the situation with maturity and respect. It taught me the importance of empathy, effective communication, and the potential for personal growth through positive interactions.

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Model Answer 2:

A memorable instance when I had to be friendly to someone I didn't particularly like happened during my time at a previous workplace. There was a colleague named Sarah with whom I had frequent clashes due to our contrasting work styles and conflicting opinions. Her tendency to micromanage and impose her ideas often made it challenging for me to collaborate with her.

However, a critical project came up that required us to work closely together. Realizing the importance of setting aside personal differences for the sake of professional success, I made a conscious decision to approach the situation with a friendly and open mindset.

To be friendly, I started by acknowledging Sarah's expertise and strengths, even though they differed from mine. I made an effort to actively listen to her ideas and opinions, giving them fair consideration. I also initiated regular communication to ensure we were on the same page and to address any potential conflicts proactively.

In addition, I sought common ground and areas of collaboration. I recognized that despite our differences, we both shared a common goal of delivering a successful project. I proposed compromises and offered to work together on certain aspects where our skills could complement each other.

Throughout the project, I maintained a friendly and professional demeanor, refraining from personal criticisms or negative remarks. I made an effort to praise Sarah's contributions when warranted and express gratitude for her efforts. By treating her with kindness and respect, I hoped to foster a more positive and productive working relationship.

Reflecting on the experience, I realized that being friendly to someone I didn't like required a considerable amount of patience, understanding, and maturity. It taught me the importance of focusing on shared objectives and finding common ground, even with individuals whose personalities or working styles clash with mine. I also learned that by being friendly, I was able to diffuse tension and create a more harmonious work environment, which ultimately benefited the entire team.

In conclusion, the experience of being friendly to someone I didn't like taught me valuable lessons in professionalism, empathy, and conflict resolution. It highlighted the significance of setting aside personal differences for the sake of teamwork and achieving common goals. Despite the initial challenges, the effort I invested in being friendly ultimately led to a more positive and collaborative working dynamic with Sarah.

Describe a time you were friendly to someone you didn’t like Follow Up Question

Q1. How did your decision to be friendly to someone you didn't like impact your overall work environment?
A1. My decision to be friendly to someone I didn't like had a positive impact on the overall work environment. By setting aside personal differences and maintaining a friendly approach, I was able to foster a more harmonious atmosphere. This improved communication and collaboration not only between myself and the person I didn't like but also among the entire team. It created a sense of unity and contributed to a more productive and pleasant work environment.

Q2. Can you explain any specific strategies or techniques you used to maintain a friendly and professional demeanor during your interactions with the person you didn't like?
A2. To maintain a friendly and professional demeanor, I consciously practiced active listening and empathy. I made an effort to understand the perspective of the person I didn't like, even if I didn't agree with it. This helped me respond in a respectful and constructive manner. I also focused on finding common ground and areas of collaboration to build a positive rapport. Additionally, I practiced self-control to avoid engaging in personal conflicts or negative remarks.

Q3. What were some of the challenges you faced when trying to be friendly to someone you didn't like? How did you overcome them?
A3. One of the main challenges I faced was managing my own emotions and biases towards the person I didn't like. It required constant self-awareness and self-regulation to prevent my negative feelings from influencing my behavior. Additionally, there were instances when the person's behavior or attitude tested my patience. To overcome these challenges, I reminded myself of the bigger picture and the importance of maintaining a professional approach. I focused on the shared goals and the potential positive outcomes of working together effectively.

Q4. Did your experience of being friendly to someone you didn't like change your perspective on workplace relationships or conflicts? If so, how?
A4. Yes, my experience of being friendly to someone I didn't like definitely changed my perspective on workplace relationships and conflicts. It taught me the power of empathy and the potential for personal growth through positive interactions. I realized that maintaining a friendly approach, even in challenging situations, can lead to more productive and harmonious work dynamics. It made me more open-minded and willing to consider different perspectives, and it highlighted the importance of focusing on common goals rather than personal animosity.

Q5. In retrospect, do you think it was worth the effort to be friendly to someone you didn't like? Why or why not?
A5. In retrospect, I believe it was definitely worth the effort to be friendly to someone I didn't like. While it required patience and self-control, the positive outcomes surpassed the initial challenges. Not only did it improve the working relationship with the person in question, but it also positively influenced the overall work environment. The experience taught me valuable lessons in professionalism, empathy, and conflict resolution that I have carried with me in subsequent professional interactions.

Q6. Have you noticed any changes in the person you didn't like as a result of your friendly approach? If so, what were they?
A6. Yes, I did notice some changes in the person I didn't like as a result of my friendly approach. Initially, they seemed surprised by my willingness to collaborate and engage in a positive manner. Over time, they became more receptive and open in their communication. They also started to acknowledge and appreciate my contributions, which created a more balanced and respectful working dynamic between us. While their overall behavior didn't undergo a complete transformation, there was a noticeable improvement in our interactions.

Important IELTS Exam Resources

IELTS Exam Overview

IELTS is required to be taken by international students and workers who wish to study or work in a country where English is the primary language of communication. Know the complete details.

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IELTS Exam Syllabus

With the right knowledge of the IELTS exam syllabus and pattern, cracking the popular English test won’t be difficult.

IELTS Syllabus

IELTS Exam Pattern

The IELTS exam pattern encompasses four major sections, i.e. listening, speaking, writing, and reading.

IELTS Exam Pattern

In conclusion, describing a time when you were friendly to someone you didn't like opens up a fascinating discussion about personal growth and navigating complex relationships. It's a chance to showcase your ability to rise above personal biases and handle challenging situations with grace. By sharing your experience, you not only highlight the importance of empathy and professionalism but also demonstrate your adaptability and interpersonal skills. Remember, it's not just about the person you didn't like, but also the valuable lessons you learned and the positive impact your friendly approach had on yourself and the overall dynamics. So get ready to captivate your examiner with an engaging story of turning a challenging situation into an opportunity for personal and professional development.

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Mrinal Mandal is a study abroad expert with a passion for guiding students towards their international education goals. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, earned in 2018. Since 2021, Mrinal has been working with upGrad Abroad, where he assists aspiring students in realizing their dreams of studying abroad. With his expertise and dedication, he empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of international education, making their aspirations a reality.

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.