One lesson life has served me on a very sizeable plate as I’ve got older is that sometimes you will not be everyone’s cup of tea. As hard as you may try, you just won’t be liked and it takes a real sense of self-confidence and self-assurance to be ok with this. Being liked is a good thing as it plays an integral role in the connections we have with those who are near and dear to us. Likability has many benefits such as forming relationships, building a career, finding a partner and so on. If/when you do encounter someone who has made it very clear that they aren’t your biggest fan, naturally your first thought would be to confront them about their actions and demand an explanation. However, you can and should choose to take the higher road and just accept that being disliked is a part of life:
Reflect – Self-care isn’t about treating yourself to spa days or taking yourself out to lunch. Sometimes, it involves taking a look within and identifying whether you may be doing yourself a disservice. We all have character flaws but if yours are interfering with your relationships with others, then the likelihood is that you have some work to do. Think about the interactions you have with others: I will use myself as an example. I am an INFJ which is basically an introvert. I do find it hard to build relationships with others and this has resulted in me opting to have a very close knit circle of friends. At my birthday dinner a few months ago, this was confirmed when a close friend of mine told my cousin how distant I was when she attempted to have a conversation with me on the way home from training (this was over 10 years ago but I laughed because I’m still that person. I can’t and won’t open up to everyone). So if distance is one of your issues, then challenge yourself to be more social, try to have conversations with others and if they don’t respond, then at least you know that you have tried to make an effort.
To add, ignoring any destructive traits you may have may seem like the easy thing to do but it isn’t. If this is hard, then alternatively, ask a close friend or family member to honestly analyse your character. Be prepared to hear some things that you won’t be entirely happy with.
Let go – As humans we have this habit of holding onto things that we shouldn’t be. Give yourself permission to be you. It can be so disheartening when you feel like you are being yourself, but it doesn’t appear to be enough for others. Your mind can become crippled with doubts and uncertainty, which is perfectly normal. Don’t let the people who dislike you get you down: for every person out there who happens to dislike you, there is someone out there who does. A big part of letting go is allowing yourself to feel. The younger generation in particular have this habit of self condemnation whenever something goes wrong: ‘I shouldn’t be angry’, ‘Get over it’ or perhaps ‘Why are you so emotional?’ The reality is that anyone else in your shoes would be all of those things and they’d be OK with it, so what makes you any different. Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions you are experiencing and when you are done, think about how you intend to move forward.
Think – Think about the people who do like you. Think about the friends you’ve made, the experiences you have shared, the connections you have made. This may be an unpopular opinion but I’m going to share it anyway: this social media age we will live has helped to minimise the significance of real-life connections and sadly, things will only get worse.
Protect – Protect your energy. If you have to come face to face with a person who isn’t crazy about you on a regular basis, ensure that your interactions are kept at a minimum. Negative people are hell bent on one thing and that’s bringing you down to their level. As far as they are concerned, the minute you react or snap, their pride and satisfaction levels are bound to reach an all time high. Your energy is one of THE most important components of your being. Learn how to redirect conversations that are headed in a negative direction. Dealing with a challenging or negative person can be draining so refocus your energy. Focus on yourself and ask yourself whether this person’s judgement of you will have an impact on your life. Rise above because as long you are doing what you have to do (grinding, hustling, whatever it is), then rest assured that you are doing just fine.
Forgive – This word has got to be one of the toughest in the English vocabulary. Sometimes, even hearing the word ‘forgive’ is enough to send our minds into a tailspin, especially when it’s the last thing we are thinking about. Being the bigger person is one of the most effective ways to challenge adversity. Forgiveness will take time but it’s a lot more productive than overthinking and jumping to conclusions. Not everything is worth your time and attention.
Remember – Never forget how awesome you are. Something I always say is ‘when people have a problem with you, most of the time it says a lot more about them than it does about you’. The worst thing you can do is allow a miserable person to dim the light that shines so brightly inside of you. It’s not worth it and they’re not worth it. Seeing the bigger picture at first is hard but you’ve got to keep pressing on, knowing that there are no limits to your happiness and your success.
Express – The worst thing anyone could possibly do in this kind of setting is bottle everything up. Even people who are amazing at finding solutions to their own problems need counsel sometimes. By expressing yourself, you will be able to release whatever emotions you are experiencing. Talk to someone you trust about what has happened. Ultimately, you may have to disengage and that’s power in a whole other form. If you find yourself feeling down about the situation for longer than you should, do something to help take your mind off the situation.
All of us care whether people like us, no matter what we say or how many walls we put up. Feelings of love, affection and belonging are fundamental to our levels of consciousness and wisdom, but what we mustn’t do is force relationships and connections that just aren’t meant to be. As long as you are being yourself and doing your best, worrying about people disliking you is a waste of your precious time and energy.
How have you learned to be OK with not being liked? What advice would you give to Kelle’s Space readers who are struggling with this issue?
Don’t forget to like and subscribe so that you’ll be first to know whenever there is a brand new post on the blog xo