I was recently asked this question through the “Ask Kay” coaching feature of this site:
There are people in my life that I know don’t like me, should I deal with them? What should I do? Here was my response:
If there are people you know that don’t like you, how to deal with them is a choice you’ll need to make. But you have options.
First off, if you don’t come in contact with them on a regular basis, I suggest you avoid or remove them from your life.
Making this choice is fine. Sometimes it’s necessary. There are many people in this world that are negative and unwilling to do the work on themselves to make changes or to be aware of their behavior and how it impacts others.
And, there will always be people that don’t like you for no good reason, no matter how incredible you are. And maybe because you are incredible. So, if you don’t need to be around them, remove the negativity from your life.
But if they are in close proximity to you on a regular basis – for instance, you work with them or have the same friends or you live close to one another – it’s helpful to be on good terms with one another.
In this case, it really is in your best interest to deal with the situation head on. If you can be amicable, you won’t have to be bothered by them or be annoyed whenever they are around you. You’ll also spare other people the frustration of dealing with you both when you are near one another.
How to deal with people that don’t like you
1. Create relatedness.
The simplest and most effective way to shift someone’s negative opinions about you and have them like and appreciate you is to create a connection with them. It’s easy to hate people we don’t see as like us. So, when you transcend the hatred by connecting over a shared experience it can change everything.
For instance, if you hate a coworker but you know you’re both mothers, you could share about an experience you’ve had struggling with your kid. This could prompt the other person to share. It may bring you closer to one another since you now understand each other more.
Building relatedness has the other person see you as a person or someone who is more like them versus “an idiot they can’t tolerate”.
2. Find out why they don’t like you and be open to learning something about yourself that may lead to your own personal growth.
The person may have a valid reason not to like you. In which case, you might want to consider it. You may want to learn how to transform a quality about yourself to be more enjoyable to be around. It will help you create better connections in the future.
3. Send them love every day.
Negative people are usually people who have been hurt by others in the past or are dealing with a lot of pain in their own lives or internal world (they talk negatively to themselves in their head).
Choose to spend little time with these people. When you come in contact with them, however, be exceptional with them. Be kind. Be generous. Choose to be an awesome human being with them. Every morning take a moment to think about them and silently send them some love and wish for the best for them.
It’s a way to shift your own frustrations about this person’s dislike of you and learn to be more empathetic.
In the end, remember that no matter who you are not everyone will always like you. It’s a reality of life. So stay grounded in your own awesomeness. Remind yourself of how great you are when these people pop into your life.