PODCAST EPISODE 18: When Someone Doesn’t Like You
Welcome, welcome! So good to be hanging out with my people! Before I get started today I just wanted to make sure you all knew about my incredibly awesome freebie on my website. There’s several Freebies you can grab on there but the one I want to tell you all about today is my Ultimate guide to creating LOVE AT HOME freebie.
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Okay…I’ve got a good one for you today! We’re talking about when someone doesn’t like you.
We interact with people all throughout our lives. We’re around people all the time. We work with people, we sit with people each Sunday in church, we serve people, we’re standing next to them at the store, at the park, in our classes. We are constantly around people and the odds are there are going to be some that just don’t like us and when that happens it can shake us up a bit. We start acting weird and different around them. We stew about it and think about it a lot and we experience a whole slew of emotions when that happens no matter what age you are. So let’s dive in and talk about why we need to be liked in the first place, What we make it mean when others don’t like us, and how we can be okay with letting others be themselves – even if that means not liking us.
Why do we need to be liked?
Michael Formica talks about this, He says:
It turns out that the motivation for this need (to be liked and fit in) runs, in large measure, much deeper than we might expect. It is a survival mechanism wired into our primal core and, in part, drives our need for community and striving for connection.
The social imperatives of our Stone Age brethren were fairly simple — food, water, shelter… These elements were fundamental to both personal survival and the perpetuation of the species… – don’t get killed. So, what might be the best way not to get killed? The most obvious answer would appear to be belonging to a group — live in a group, sleep in a group, travel in a group, hunt in a group – stay alive.
Our modern need for community and striving for connection runs in a straight line right back to this survival strategy. If we are part of “the group” — if we are loved and not rejected — we will survive. This premise holds even if that “group” to which we want to be connected is a single individual. If we are left out or feel rejected by “the group”, then we will not survive. No wonder we work so hard to stay “in” at both the group and the individual level.”
We’re hardwired to connect with others and even if we have a group of people we are already connected with having just one person not like us threatens in our minds our survival. It makes sense in this light that each rejection we subconsciously perceive as a threat to surviving. We equate it with death.
Think about it for a moment and remember a time that you weren’t liked, a time when someone obviously didn’t like you. What did you think? How did you feel? What did you do?
I had a client once that felt really stuck in this one relationship with a co-worker. This co-worker was just plain mean. She went out of her way to say things and do things to try and get arise out of my client and each day was just miserable.
She didn’t understand. Why was this person being so mean? Why didn’t she like her? What did she ever do to her?
She invested a ton of time thinking about this co-worker. She wracked her brain trying to remember and recall every single interaction they had ever had trying to find something that would explain why this person didn’t like her. Had she offended her at some point? Did she do something that this lady found offensive and now she was retaliating? So over and over again she’d analyze every conversation, every action, every minute detail trying to look for some sort of answers that could make some sense as to this lady’s actions but each time she’d come up short.
It didn’t make sense. She didn’t understand. And she hated going to work each day because of this one person.
My client was well-respected by her other peers. She had many other friends that thought she was amazing. And while she appreciated that, she couldn’t look passed this one person. She couldn’t stop asking herself, WHY? Why doesn’t she like me?
According to Psychology Today, “The fear of rejection is one of our deepest human fears. Biologically wired with a longing to belong, we fear being seen in a critical way.”
It makes sense why we spend so much time thinking about that one person that doesn’t like us. We subconsciously fear any kind of rejection. In our subconscious mind, it’s way more than just a rejection, it’s perceived as a very real threat and so fear kicks it in to high gear and we start utilizing our energy and focusing our thoughts on finding the threat and dispelling it so we can feel better.
My clients experience isn’t all too uncommon.
We read news articles of bullying and contention daily. All throughout our lives we experience something somewhat similar – in that there are people that don’t like us sometimes.
Have you ever been in a position like this? Can you relate at least in some level with my clients experience? All of us at some point will encounter someone or more that seem to not like us and when that happens I want you to be able to find peace, acceptance, and the ability to keep pressing forward instead of getting stuck and spiraling downward.
James Altucher once said,
“When we are not chosen (or liked), we feel bad. When we are chosen — even by idiots — we feel good. We need to unlearn this imprisonment. Not dissect and analyze it. Just completely unlearn it.”
I love that. We need to stop trying to dissect it or over analyzing it. What we need to do instead of spending our limited energy in that capacity, we need to just unlearn it entirely.
Unlearning it doesn’t mean that we ignore it. It doesn’t mean that we just don’t care. It doesn’t mean that we sweep it under the rug or become calloused to others around us, putting up walls and not letting people in. It means that we need to first become aware of what’s happening inside us, inside our minds. We need to locate the source of pain for us to treat it, to examine it, to rewire the neural pathways and unlearn it.
Here’s what I mean, when someone doesn’t like us we make it mean all kinds of things. It’s these things that cause pain for us, not the actions or words, or intents of others. If you’ve been with me for any length of time you’ll know that I’m 100% clear that others CANNOT hurt you emotionally. They CANNOT hurt your feelings or offend you. They don’t have that much power. They simply can’t access your emotional bucket to dump it. But here’s what does hurt, here’s what empties out your emotional bucket, your thoughts. You hurt your feelings by what you make their words, actions, and intents mean.
How do you know that they don’t like you?
A client of mine was really upset because she got wind that another person was talking about her. She was saying unkind things to what seemed like anyone that would listen. What made it worse is that they used to be close friends. In fact, she still thought they were friends until this person started using her as the topic of conversation. Needless to say, my client was upset, deeply hurt, and confused why this other person would do such things.
She believed this other person “HURT” her feelings. She believed she had power over her. She believed she was powerless to the circumstance.
Please know that I’m not condoning this behavior in any way. I don’t condone bullying in any aspect nor at any age – and unfortunately it doesn’t apply just to school ages – I’ve worked with many people that feel bullied even into mature ages.
My client needed to recognize that the other girl and what she did and said is a CIRCUMSTANCE. Which basically means that we can’t control what she says or does and what she says or does is neutral – it has no meaning until we place a meaning on it. Until you decide if it’s good or bad.
This other girl did not hurt my clients feelings. My client hurt her own feelings by what she made it mean. Listen to this again, it’s really important to hear and digest – no one can hurt you emotionally – no matter what they say – it’s what you interpret their words to mean – what YOU make it mean – that causes the pain.
Richard Bach said, “If it’s never our fault, we can’t take responsibility for it. If we can’t take responsibility for it, we’ll always be it’s victim.”
You have to recognize that you’re the one that hold the power to hurt or heal yourself. People can trigger your thoughts. There are people that offer me lots to think about and require a bit more mental energy than others but they can’t hurt my feelings.
If someone came up to you and started bashing your unicorn horn, would you be upset? Would you be hurt and offended? I hope not, since I’ve yet to meet anyone with a unicorn horn. You’d be like, “Whhhhaaaat? okay…that was weird.” But it won’t hurt because it’s not true. You don’t have one. In this case you’d make it mean that they’re a little crazy and that was just odd. But when they say something else, something that you choose to believe – then it hurts because you’re believing it.
One of our favorite Christmas movies is, Elf with Will Farrell. I’m sure you’ve seen it. He’s pretty funny in it. In one of the scenes he barges into his father’s meeting with a prestigious author, Miles Finch – remember this scene? He takes one look at Miles who is vertically impaired and Will Farrell, or Buddy, the Elf gets so excited because he thinks Miles is an elf from the north pole. Miles, takes offense to this and starts threatening and saying hostile things to Buddy to get him to stop, but I’m sure you know this scene, Buddy doesn’t stop. He thinks Miles is cute and he’s excited to see a fellow north-polian – So the exchange continues with Buddy tossing aside Miles remarks and attempts to threaten and offer hostile words until Miles hops out of his seat and now physically attacks him.
Granted, this is a highly fictional movie but what’s funny is that he didn’t make it mean anything offensive. He chose to think a different way and because of that he himself wasn’t hurt or offended. I know this is a movie but it is possible to think differently. You don’t have to interpret their words as offensive. They CANNOT hurt you. I want to be very clear, YOU HURT YOU by what you make their words and actions mean.
This is a very important question that you need to ask yourself when you start feeling hurt, offended, or pain in response to someone else words or actions. When you believe they don’t like you, ask yourself this:
WHAT AM I MAKING THIS MEAN?
This question is so enlightening. There’s a lot of power in this question. There’s a lot of relief in it too.
See, there are three parts to unlearning this kind of behavior and habit: Awareness, Recognizing who holds the power, and deciding what you WANT to think instead.
Part one: awareness – why is this a problem for you in the first place. There is no problem when there’s no awareness, right?
Think about this, have you ever had a friend come tell you that someone else was talking about you or said something about you? I have, not fun. Up until that point though, I was fine. I had no knowledge of what was going on. I didn’t know that others were talking about me. I wasn’t affected by it in any way because I didn’t have a thought about it. It wasn’t until my friend shared that knowledge with me that I felt hurt – and it wasn’t because they shared it with me that made me feel hurt. It was because after she told me, I had a thought -several actually – but my thoughts like, “They shouldn’t be talking about me.” – “Why would they say mean things?” – “Why don’t they like me?”- “What did I do to them?” Etc – it was those thoughts that generated the hurt, that created the feelings of being offended and sad.
Notice thought, up until that moment I was fine. People could be talking about me right now on the other side of the world and I’m not hurt. I’m not offended. You could be saying things about me right now and about my podcast and I’m not hurt or offended. Same with you – people could be saying all kinds of things about you in another part of the world and because you’re not aware of it – you’re not bothered by it.
Awareness is first. You have to be aware of what you’re thinking – what triggered the thoughts in the first place – like, that friend that thinks they’re being a friend by telling you what others are saying about you. In my personal opinion, I’d rather not know. I know some people think they’d like to know- but I find there’s no upside to knowing. What others’ think is none of my business and I’d rather be my authentic self – even if they don’t like me then be bombarded with those thoughts. But that’s up to you. Just notice that it was the awareness to the circumstance and your thoughts about it that caused you pain.You weren’t in pain until you had a thought about it.
They could have been talking about you for months and you weren’t in pain until you had a thought about it. THEY can’t hurt you. You’re thoughts about their actions, their words, is what hurts you.
This is huge because once you’re aware that YOU are the one causing your pain, you can find out why. Why does it bother you at all? Who cares what they say? Really…why do YOU care?
Ask yourself that question, What are you making this mean?
That question will uncover amazing stuff about yourself that you had no idea was even there.
These circumstances are a great way to learn things about yourself. Don’t push this opportunity aside. Any time there’s pain, inquire more. Dig deeper within yourself and find our why. Find the root cause of that pain – what are you thinking about yourself.
It’s only when you get to the root of it all that you can really create healing and lasting change. So don’t be afraid to dig deeper. Like we learned in the beginning. It stems back to a primal fear that if we’re not connected, it’s a threat to our survival and we could die.
So once you locate that pain you can examine it more closely and realize, you’re not in danger. This person that doesn’t like you, isn’t a threat to your survival. There aren’t any tigers outside of the cave about to pounce. You don’t have to be afraid.
Recognize who holds the power. This is step two. After you uncover the source of pain – which is always a thought in YOUR MIND. You’ll realize that you have all the power. You have the power to believe what you want to believe. It’s your thoughts about the circumstance that causes you pain.
Byron Katie says,
“Hurt feelings or discomfort of any kind cannot be caused by another person. No one outside you can hurt you. That’s not possible. Only when you believe a story about them can you be hurt. So you’re the one who’s hurting yourself. This is very good news, because it means that you don’t have to get someone else to stop hurting you or to change in any way. You’re the one who can stop hurting you. You’re the only one.”
You hold all the power. This is step two – realizing who holds the power. It’s a big job – because you hold the power to hurt yourself and the power to heal and empower yourself. It just depends on what story you’re going to tell yourself. What kind of story are you going to spin?
You have to own and take full responsibility for your experience.You experience the world through your thoughts, your lens, your perspective. So here’s the third part: What do you WANT to think instead?
If I already know that thinking that other way isn’t helping, it’s not propelling me forward. In fact, it’s just keeping me stuck, what do I want to think instead?
What if I chose to believe that what she says has nothing to do with me? How differently would things be?
Wayne Dyer says,
“What other people think of me is none of my business.”
They get to think whatever they want to think. It’s their right as a child of God, just like it’s ours to have agency to think, feel, and do what we choose to, what we feel is going to serve and help us best and I don’t think people are always asking themselves that question- that’s kind of the problem. If we all asked ourselves that all the time, we’d have a very different world. Most people are operating from their default – from their subconscious fears and thoughts. They’re probably talking about you, acting out towards you because they subconsciously perceive you as a threat in someone and what feels good albeit temporarily good is to try to put you down in some way so they can feel like they’re elevated. Which is crazy because even that is nothing more than a thought. But really…it’s not about you.
We have to be careful not to believe everything we hear. Just because someone said something about us doesn’t make it true. Even if several people agree, it still doesn’t make it true. You get to choose what you want to believe.
Don Miguel Ruiz says,
“Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality… When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”
When we can separate our thoughts and feelings from theirs, we can find relief. We don’t have to mirror their opinions or feelings. We don’t have to buy into their story. We can choose to believe what we want to believe. We can respect their agency to choose how they want to think and feel too.
What other people think of you really has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. What do you WANT to think about you and what do you want to think about them?
What’s the upside to thinking that sentence? Is there one? Think about that. The thoughts you think generate a feeling within you. Do you like what you are creating for yourself?
Work on those three parts to unlearning those habits of needing people to like you or to not feel bad when they don’t – is awareness – you have to aware of what you’re thinking to be able to do anything about it, then once you’re aware of it you need to recognize who holds the power – you do – all you, great and powerful you. Then choose what you want to think instead – you don’t have to think what others think. You get to choose. You don’t have to be offended or mad or in pain. It’s all up to you.
Okay, So how do you let them be them? How we can be okay with letting others be themselves – even if that means not liking us.
One of the best gifts we can give to ourselves and others is the gift of letting them be wrong about you. I say “let them” but really their going to think or do whatever they want anyway but this way I’m not resisting it. I’m not showing up defensive and trying to make them see my point of view. I’m not trying to change their opinions of me. I’m just respecting their agency to create their world – even if it is dark and dreary.
It’s a bummer they don’t see the real you. It’s a bummer that they’re missing such an incredible experience to know the real you. You’re pretty amazing, and that’s sad they’re missing it.
This really is a gift because when you let them be wrong about you, it releases the tension. There’s no friction, there’s no drama.
I know this is hard to do at first. It takes practice. Sometimes we’re so well versed in jumping to being upset or offended that it’s hard to just let them be wrong about you. So you think judgmental thoughts back about them only adding more negativity onto the already perceived negative situation.
So practice this. Practice letting others be wrong about you. Practice letting your family members be wrong about you. Instead of jumping in to defend yourself and elevate the tension, practice letting them be wrong about you and defusing the situation. There is no fight without two people. If you choose not to engage, there isn’t a battle.
These two things will help you immensely: Remember, that what they say, what they think, what they do – all of it is not about you. It has nothing to do with you. It’s about them and their experiences, their thoughts, what their day is like, it’s their perception. It’s not about you.
When you realize this then it’s much easier to let them be wrong about you. Give that beautiful gift to the both of you.
It’s bound to happen. People have different preferences in life – personalities they mesh with better. Likeminded humor. Just like we have preferences about taste – I don’t like spicy things at all but my husband loves it. I don’t make it mean that anything is wrong. It’s a matter of preference and it’s totally okay. There’s nothing wrong with the food. It’s perfect at being food. I just don’t prefer to eat that.
When others don’t like me – I recognize that it’s not about me. I’m perfect at being me.
They just have different preferences and that’s totally okay. It’s really not about you. It’s all about them and their preferences.
Let them be wrong about you. Let them have their own tastes and preferences just like you have yours. It’s not about you.
What’s the most important is what YOU think about you. What do you want to think about you? Who do you want to be? What kind of person do you want to show up as? These are the questions and thoughts you need to be thinking and pondering, not thinking about others thoughts and opinions. Their’s are irrelevant.
You do you the best way that you can and let them be them…even if that means, letting them be wrong about you.
There is so much freedom in this. I promise you that!
Okay, have a fantastic week! Talk to you next time!
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