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Yes -- indirectly.

I think it matters if you *trust* your dentist/hairstylist/mechanic. (d/h/m, for short.) If you trust your d/h/m, it's fairly likely to like them as a result -- you tend to like folks you trust. If you don't like your d/h/m, it's unlikely that you trust them. (You *may*, however like them for other reasons, even though you don't trust them -- it's possible to get a false positive in this test!)


Dentist: Not especially. Hairstylist: No. (I've had my most reliable and consistent haircuts from barbers I didn't particularly like--generally ones somewhat to the right of the current administration.) Mechanic... it seems to follow that that, also, would be "no," but for some reason I think it's not the same, and I can't put my finger on why. I think it might be that I feel better about my own technical competence if I can speak to my mechanic in familiar terms?

Michael J.

Given equal talents, I would always choose a strong human connection over a simple transaction.

The world needs more warmth, beauty, love, and connection. What better way to contribute on an everyday basis than to support people with whom you feel an affinity? This is a variation of "vote with your dollars" with the determinant being your Values. You will have better conversation, you will feel engaged and considered, you will experience their perspective of life. It's just way better to be human with humans.

Everyone can connect with someone; if you're not connecting with someone, move on and create space for someone else to connect with them, and with you.


I'm in agreement with Twitch. I've had barbers that I never really thought anything about. Dentists require a lot of trust. If you don't like them, it is hard to develop/maintain that trust.


I give dentists a complete pass on being likeable. I just want them to be very, very good and a certain lack of social skill may very well go with the territory. I like to dish insanely with my hairdresser, and considering that the stuff I do to my hair takes a ridiculous amount of time, I HAVE to be able to stomach talking to him/her for hours, or feel comfortable just being quiet with her/him if I don't feel like talking. So the hairdresser I do have to genuinely have a good feeling about, and even an affinity with. I have in the past, however, put up with insufferable bores for a spectacular haircut (but you pulled that variable out of the mix).

As for the mechanic, I have yet to have one that I didn't have a connection with. My Dad is a mechanic, and until recently I drove a classic chevy. You pull into the garage in that car, and the guys practically punch each other getting in line to fix it. Plus I talk the talk. Basically, I've never had to worry about liking the mechanic because they were all so nice to me. Course, I do often have to put up with long discourses on their beloved short-block that is sitting on (you guessed it) cinder blocks in the yard. It's kinda cute, though. They aren't used to seeing a girl who knows what they heck they are talking about.


The fact that I want my dentist to have my babies makes it much easier when she's torturing me.


Oh garsh, I've been seeing my dentist for over 12 years and he and my ex used to golf together all the time. Thankfully, I got to keep him in the divorce. I do genuinely like him, sometimes we laugh and chat so much it's hard to get the tooth thing done.

My hairdresser used to work for me when I managed an office and she was going to school. She does my hair at my house for barter (I make her dinner with enough to take home and freeze a couple meals). We are both very fond of each other.

As for liking my mechanic? My husband went to school with his son, I've known the father for years and years, he's a great guy.

I really have lived in this town too long.


I would want to think that d/h/m were good people in these sense that I could trust them, but I feel no need to like them as more than bare acquaintances. I would be distressed to have regular and somewhat intimate interactions with people I disliked, but I feel neutrally toward so many people that it's difficult to push me into dislike. I was troubled by the guy who pulled my wisdom teeth, though, and solely because when I woke up from the anesthetic, I could hear Christian contemporary music playing. It annoyed me that I theoretically could have died with that crap on. (He at least could have asked me to bring some slokas if he likes religious music on during surgery.)

Isaac Laquedem

The difference between my dentist and his hygienist and my barber (on the one hand) and my mechanic (on the other hand) is that my dentist and my barber need me to sit in a chair and be submissive while they do their work. My mechanic doesn't. I don't care whether my mechanic is a nice person. I care that my car runs well when I pick it up.

I do want my dental hygienist to have a pleasant personality, because I'm a captive audience for 45 minutes. Also I want my barber to have a pleasant personality, for the same reason. I went to a barber who is technically very good -- maybe the best I've ever patronized -- but I gave him up because he would harangue me for 45 minutes on everything that has gone wrong in his life since I last saw him. I now go to a hairstylist who is not as technically proficient but who acts as if her life has been made complete by my coming into her shop.


I think it is always better to have someone who is both a good and likeable person, as well as being technically competent at their job. If given a choice, I would prefer to have a likeable person, given equal competence. If one is clearly more competent, then a lack of personality would be acceptable, but not preferable.

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