DISLIKE: I DON'T LIKE YOU Some people will not like us. It’s their prerogative
We long for acceptance and appreciation. This longing is deeply engraved. Desires for acceptance impact social relations—sometimes for the better; sometimes for the worse. We need connections. It’s healthy. The notion we should do whatever we feel without consideration of others dismisses staples of healthy relationships—empathy and compromise. If we can’t navigate the nuances of relationship interactions, which includes two peoples wants, needs and hopes, we will never form the secure bonds of trust and intimacy. Conversely We damage self-respect when we exclusively seeking acceptance and appreciation from others. The narcissist dwells on one side and the people-pleaser on the other. We all lean to one pole of influence or the other. Balance. We must develop the self without ignoring others.
Developing core values, such as kindness, patience, and compassion, will not guarantee universal acceptance. For whatever reason, some people will not like us. It’s their prerogative. We may find we naturally drift towards some people and away from others. We can’t allow being disliked to motivate behavior. Creativity and individuality ultimately make the self salient enough to be liked or disliked. Without prominence of character, we become a dull grey—neither liked or disliked.
There will also be people not receptive to our individual personality. It’s human nature to have preferences. In some cases, they are overly judgmental. Jealousy, misperceptions or unsubstantiated biases may sabotage closeness. And this is okay. Being universally accepted isn’t a prerequisite of healthy living. A person isn’t bad because they don’t like certain people—even if that includes not liking us. Certain personalities bother some people and not others. Understanding the preference differences invites acceptance of not being accepted. It’s not a personal indictment of us—or them.
We’ll never please everyone without losing a sense of self. When continual acceptance is sought, we lose a defining anchor, relationships are shallow. On the other hand, being rejected isn’t a badge of honor. Sometimes excessive rejection signals unattractive characteristics that limit connections. Initial assessments need a second look, identifying personal flaws or accepting the rejection as a natural reaction to opposing preferences. Maybe those not appreciating our greatness have persona issues but then again, maybe we are not as great as we think, and our rudeness, abrasiveness or selfishness is rightfully repelling them.