What do I do when others don’t like me?

to40 Questions We’re Afraid to Ask – #33

when others don't like meWhat do I do when others don’t like me?

Does not the answer to the question of my reaction when others don’t like me say more about me than it does about those who, for whatever reason, have decided they don’t like me or accept me for who I am?

Do I get depressed?

Do I sulk and have a pity party?

Do I get angry?

Do I say, “Oh well, I don’t give a damn”?

Do I just take another puff on my cigarette and say, “That’s their problem not mine”?

Do I go drink myself into oblivion?

Do I do something to tick them off?

Do I go out and party as a way of trying to ignore it when I really can’t?

Do I try to figure out what it is I need to change so they will like me?

Do I love them anyway?

Your opinion of me is none of my business.

That has become one of my favorite personal mantras. One could say I’m being rather self-righteous or snobbish, but actually that is far from the truth. Really and truly, your opinion of me — or anyone else’s for that matter — is none of my business, any more than my opinion of you is yours.

Liking me isn't your job. It's mine.The only one whose opinion of me is really important is my own. Again, that may sound self-righteous and egotistical, but my top priority is to learn to have a positive, loving opinion of myself.  It’s not a matter of ego. It’s a matter of loving self-acceptance.

If something I have done has made you upset or has angered you, then perhaps we can come together and work it out, in which case it is the responsibility of whichever one of us recognizes that fact to come to the other person and try to create a dialogue.

If, on the other hand, you have made the decision not to like me, then it’s because something about who I am or what I have done, whether or not I am conscious of it, has triggered something inside you that you likely don’t like about yourself or a particular prejudice that you hold. In that case, there’s not much I can do about it.

If I don’t love and accept myself, then your opinion of me is not going to make much difference.  You may like me, but if I don’t like me, I’m not going to see that, and it’s not necessarily going to make a whole lot of difference.

If I do truly love and accept myself for who I am,
then, again, your opinion of me
is not going to make much difference.

Of course I want positive relationships with others, but there will always be others who don’t like me for one reason or another.  Chances are, they don’t like themselves or something about themselves, and no matter what I do in order to gain their approval is not necessarily going to change that.

Liking or not liking someone — or some thing — is a matter of choice.  The choice of whether or not to like me is yours, not mine.  I can’t make that choice for you, any more than you can make the choice for me to like or dislike you.

All I can do is love and like and accept myself for who I am.  All you can do is love and like and accept yourself.  Hopefully the two will come together and we will build a wonderful and lasting relationship.  If not, that is a choice each of us has made, and each of us has that right.  If I don’t like and love and accept myself, then does anything else really matter?  If I do love and accept myself, then does anything else or the fact that somebody else does not really matter?

If I simply allow you to not like me and focus, instead, on liking and accepting myself, does that not set us both free?

Steve Vernon photo

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