No matter how much you might want to avoid acknowledging it, there are people who don’t like you.
There are people that think you suck, that you don’t know what you are doing, that you are incompetent, and that just plain don’t like you.
There are people who talk behind your back and make fun of things about you. There are people who twist your words to make you look bad, and people who can make you look bad without twisting your words because you made a mistake or spoke poorly.
There are people judging you without you knowing, wanting you to fail, and speaking ill of you.
These things all happen at one point or another, no matter how hard you might try to avoid them.
If you try to do anything at all, people will find reasons to criticize you.
If you try to avoid criticism by not doing anything at all, people will criticize you.
If you try to shoot for the middle and think you can hide in mediocrity, people will criticize you for that.
Accept it now: no matter what you do, you will have people criticize you, you will fall out with people and someone, somewhere is not going to like you for no reason other than they don’t like you.
When we talk about dividing things up into the categories of things we can control and things we cannot control, other people always always always belong in the latter group. You can never, no matter how hard you try or how badly you want to, control another person. You cannot control what they do, how they feel or what they think.
So what do we do when someone doesn’t like us?
If they believe you have wronged them, consider what they have to say and see if you owe them an apology or amends, but do this with the understanding that it might change nothing. They may still dislike you, and there is still nothing you can do about it.
If they simply don’t like you, what can you really do? Are you going to try to change who you are for one person? Is it really that important that you be liked by everybody?
None of this is to say that we are always right or that we shouldn’t be open to making changes as people. I maintain intentional relationships with people I trust in order to have outside opinions on the things I may be missing in how I live, and I make changes according to what they tell me.
Look at the people who don’t like you or criticize you.
What does their opinion really tell you about yourself?
What does it tell you about them?
Are there things you need to change?
Are you invested in changing something that is not within your power?
Where will that get you?
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I write, podcast and make videos about living in freedom through mindfulness, intentionality, compassion, and equanimity.
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