Let’s face it we all want to be liked, we all crave for that acceptance, that feeling inside ourselves that make us feel giddy when someone likes us. And I’m not just talking about romantic interests; we want to be liked by friends, co-workers, acquaintances, family, friends of the family, or the families of our friends. And every times someone doesn’t like us, there’s always that feeling of “But Why?” in our heart. As much as we all put on a brave face and say “I don’t care”, a lot of us still go home and wish things were different.
But instead of putting on a mask, let’s see what we can actually do to deal with those feelings instead of just shoving them down and pretending they don’t exist – since pretending feelings don’t exist only makes them erupt stronger when push comes to shove.
- Have you actually done something wrong? Before getting all defensive when someone doesn’t like you, just as we all tend to do, just take a minute to ask yourself this question. Sometimes people don’t like us because we did something “not so nice” to them, maybe on purpose, maybe without even realizing it. If that’s the case, then it’s up to us to fix it. Sometimes a simple apology or acknowledgment can mend everything and make things better on both sides.
- Is it really about you? Sometimes people project their own insecurities on you just because it’s hard to deal with them on their own. Don’t be alarmed, it happens to the best of us. As hard as it can be, try to be kind to them. They already have their own stuff to deal with and once you’ve determined that whatever their reason for not liking you is not about you, all you can do is have compassion for what there are going through. At the end of it they may realize their dislike was never about you or they may not. But that will be on them.
- Can you learn something from it? Sometimes disguised in the “I don’t like you” general statement, you can discover ways to actually improve yourself. Maybe you didn’t realize that certain actions you did or certain things you said were perceived the wrong way, maybe your words sometimes come about too harsh even though you mean them well, maybe, just maybe there’s something there that can help you become a better you.
- Does it really matter? How close is that person to you? How important is it for you to be liked by them? If you’re a people pleaser then you will feel it whether we’re talking about a random acquaintance or someone close. But really, going beyond the little people pleaser inside of you, is this person important enough in your life to make the “not liking” matter.
- Can you live with it? We all have different personalities and characters, we all have different preferences and we resonate to different things. Can you let go of the defensiveness, let go of the ego and the insecurities that always ask for reassurance from everyone no matter what their place is in their lives? Can you allow yourself to not be liked by certain people in order to preserve your sense of integrity?
Being liked and accepted is an important thing to all of us. For the Neanderthal man it was a matter of survival, for the modern man it’s a matter of ego, feeling secure, feeling accepted and loved.
If you’re usually a people pleaser, can you stand to not be liked and keep your integrity? If you’re the kind of person who dismisses everything they don’t like and puts up a shield, can you look inside yourself and see the opportunity for improvement?