There is a lot of pressure in this world to get along with others. When you are raising children, you try to teach them to be nice to others, to share their toys, to think compassionately toward other people and above all – to make friends. Kids are a candid example of the fact that human beings are not infinitely designed to automatically and simply like everyone they meet. In fact, a good way to gauge a persons worth is to put a 4-month-old baby in their arms – or introduce them to your dog, both of whom will make quick and likely accurate judgments of what kind of person someone is based on the long forgotten ACT of intuition.
Intuition. We all have it. It warns of us danger. It makes us feel uncomfortable, or comfortable depending on the circumstances. And it also plays a part in how we feel about other people. Sometimes, you meet someone new and right away, you feel a connection – you know that the two of you share something that could bud into a friendship. Other times, well – you meet someone and you immediately know that you do not like him or her. It’s nothing personal really; they haven’t done anything specific – the two of you just don’t jive.
Unfortunately, instead of just accepting this fact, and the realization that there is no way possible that you will like everyone or that everyone will like you, manners and political correctedness edged into our moral upbringing encourage us to pretend otherwise. We are taught and guilted and pressured to like everyone. When we admit out loud that we don’t like someone, and yet have nothing specific to pin to that person to explain our dislike, we worry that others will think we are being judgmental or crass.
The thing is, not liking someone is not a crime. Simply because you don’t like another person, doesn’t mean that the karma bus is going to crash into your house and bring with it lots of pain and suffering. Not liking someone is not the same as bullying someone, or gossiping about someone, and in no way hurts another person. It is just an honest feeling that comes from your most innate place of who you are. Your intuition.
Sometimes, rather than pretending and being fake, it is better to just admit the obvious. You don’t have to come to terms with it, or make an agreement with the other person that the two of you are not going to be friends or get along. In fact, nothing formal has to take place at all. You can (and do) co-exist with people that you don’t like every single day of your life. But pretending to be something you are not, being one way to their face and then turning into a negative naggy Nelly behind their back only hurts you, and fills YOU with negativity. It gives a lot of your power to a person in your life that you don’t like. What is the point of that?
Certainly social graces, manners, being accepting of other people and being able to make friends are important qualities that each of us must have in order to be successful in this world. But that does not mean that we have to give off the pretense that we automatically like everyone that we see. Just as some people eat mustard on their French fries and despise ketchup, there are also those who eat their fries with mayonnaise. The world is such a big place for a reason – and offers each of us ample opportunity to secure relationships that we have commonalities with.
The real key to not liking someone, is twofold. Firstly, if you have to co-exist then you must do so peacefully. When you don’t like someone, then you shouldn’t be upset by them or anything they do. Secondly, you have to learn to dislike peacefully. Barraging another person with insults, gossiping about them, being mean or trying to hurt another person is wrong, regardless of your personal feelings. You can ignore someone without being rude. You cannot like another person – yet exchange the cordialness expected from adults. And then you simply move on.
There is a massive lack of honesty in the world we live in today. Far too often, we are taught to ignore our personal feelings and to dismiss our intuition. We are reminded to “be nice,” and to “make friends.” This mental programming that no doubt starts in adolescence causes us to doubt ourselves and judge ourselves when we have an immediate response of not liking another person. Then, we feel bad about ourselves and embark on a journey of trying to validate why we don’t like another person and yet have no real reason aside from one that we are trained out of trusting. Our gut.
At the end of the day – and at some point in your life, you will realize that life is really too short to be worrying about what others think of you, how many Facebook friends show up on your profile, and fitting in. You are who you are. Others are who they are. Sometimes, you and another person may go together as poorly as oil and water. When that happens, rather than try to force yourself to feel something you don’t, or be fake – simply accept it. And when someone does not like you even though you have given him or her no real reason not to, just move on. Let it be. It is what it is. Resign to the fact that it’s nothing personal, you just don’t like the other person.