Not everyone is going to like you, sounds relatively obvious and yet we expect others to like us. Why is that? Well it’s a few reasons, the main reason is the need to know that we are liked by everyone or we belong somewhere. Which these are natural and reasonable conclusions about wanting to have that broad inner circle.
This is because we cannot handle knowing we are not liked because it causes a visceral reactions within us. That’s why we distance ourselves from those who do not like us to eliminate the feeling and keeping ourselves safe. Another reason is for safety, the idea is the more people we have around us the safer we are.
However, that is not the case unless they are like minded individuals and let’s face it! That is not very likely, unless you are a doctor making friends with ONLY doctors or a single parent making friends with ONLY other single parents, and so on.
Don’t get me wrong we do need people in our lives, however if they are unhealthy, forced, or anything in between then they are doomed. Now having a natural connection fosters our growth, challenges our beliefs, and helps balance our thoughts.
Now stop and think about it, do you think more about the ones who don’t like you compared to those who do?
Once you give it a little thought you will be surprised how easy it is to forget about those who do not like you. Like many of us we don’t only have like minded people in our inner circle but instead a variety individual who challenge us, drives us crazy but who are always there, support us in hard times, and overall give us a sense of belonging.
These individuals nurture and foster our growth as we do theirs in both a conscious and subconscious way. These are people we trust, understand, and help in their time of need.
Here is an exercise, when you meet or think about someone that does not like you, 1st identify your feelings in the moment, 2nd identify the environment; is it high stress or pretty mellow? 3rd Identify a role in your inner circle that they would be good for. Most likely you’re not going to find one and that’s okay. When you recognize they don’t fit within your inner circle take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, and remove them from your mind as you exhale.
When you remove someone from your mind, they no longer have control over you body. This helps minimize your anxiety, stress levels, and/or recurrence of those thoughts. Now if you actively think of that person and their rejection of a friendship those feelings will cause a visceral reaction to come back. If it does, then do the breathing exercise to help remove them again from your mind.
By repeating the exercise, you are training your mind to overcome or ignore that negative thought so if it is triggered your mind will know what to do. This is under the Pavlov’s theory that you can train something to react in a more desirable way. Also keep in mind when you are going to meet someone new that it is possible, they might not respond in a hopeful way. This preparation is a good way to ready yourself for those possible responses.
Remember their thoughts and feelings doesn’t correlate to what kind of person you are. This is a good way to prepare yourself versus being caught off guard especially if you are a very sensitive person that takes how others react personally. Now, having that said this is not some kind of I’ll get you before you get me response and it’s defiantly NOT, I’m better than you. Instead this is a Pavlovian practice to help put YOU in a better headspace.
This way you don’t struggle with lingering thoughts of other people who don’t like you. Let that be with them and remember too there’s a reason why they are not meant to be in your life and that’s okay. Remember we don’t have control of others we only have control over ourselves. Don’t respond to negativity you have better things to do.
I hope this helps!
Tracy L. Limón