Do you Know Why You Don’t Like Someone?

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Do you know why you don’t like someone?

The last few years of my life have been dedicated mainly to self-reflection. Trying to understand why we feel certain emotions when we do, why we behave the way we do. Understanding these things is the most direct way to learn about ourselves. I think this is important, because we can’t love something we don’t know. So self-love begins with this process; self-reflection in order to know ourselves.

There isn’t a person alive that is liked by everyone. Even Jesus faced this problem. This blog isn’t about accepting this part of life, but about the other side of it. If no one is liked by everyone then it means that we also won’t like everyone. Often, we don’t like people for good reasons – they’re awful, abusive, don’t share our values.

But sometimes, I think, we dislike people without actually reflecting on why this is. Our brains tell us not to like them, and we accept this conclusion without consideration. And this is a short-sighted, if not lazy, approach.

Because sometimes we dislike someone, not because of anything in them, but because of insecurities in ourselves.

I’ve fallen victim to this myself. I’ve found myself resenting someone because they highlighted some insecurity in myself. They were successful and I was not. They had something I wanted. Jealousy, essentially. But rather than doing the (hard) work and understanding where this resentment was coming from, I wrote off the person as ‘bad’. The problem was with them, not with me.

I think this is quite a common happening. It’s common because it’s the easier course of action. We find it far easier to believe that a person is bad than it is to look upon our own flaws. It’s easier to point outward than inward. So we dislike people, not because they’re unlikeable, but because they have made up feel bad about ourselves by simply existing.

And this is a bad way to operate. It’s bad because it means w are not reflecting on how we feel. We are feeling, and simply accepting those feelings. And this may be a hot take but not all feelings are appropriate or correct. Sometimes we get it wrong. Our brains are trying to protect us, and it’s safer to throw someone else under the bus than it is consider that we are at fault.

It’s totally fine to not like someone, but for good reasons. So, the next time I find myself disliking someone new, I’ll consider all of this. Are they actually unlikeable, or am I just insecure and projecting that feeling onto them.

If it’s the latter, then I’ll need to take a good look in the mirror and get over myself.

I’ve also started a Substack to talk about things outside of mental health and psychology. If you feeling joining that party, you can do so here

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