We want our friends, our colleagues and even the unknown man who spoke to us on the bus to like us. Being liked is something good. It is, therefore, a human trait to long for this, you can build friendships from this, start a career and who knows maybe even to hook a good love. But what if someone doesn’t like you? No matter how hard you try, it doesn’t work, it is sometimes difficult to deal with.
Imagine it for a moment. There is a woman at work, or in your circle of friends, who clearly does not have it for you. She doesn’t talk to you, ignores your questions during lunch, and if she makes a comment, it’s not exactly positive. Why doesn’t she like you? There is no explainable reason. It’s just her subjective opinion.
Her contempt for you actually has no great effect on your life, but still. The thought that she doesn’t like you squeeze herself in your head and gives you a nasty knot in your stomach. But why do we care so hard about that? Life coach Nadia Rafique explains that being liked is one of the six human needs. “Man is a social being. We inherit this trait from our ancestors: if we were not liked, we were expelled. Fortunately, times have changed, but our brains still attach great importance to how important it is that someone likes you.”
What did you do wrong?
“If you misread something that makes that person not like you now, think about why you are so sorry,” says Rafique. Do you mind that person doesn’t like you or are you not happy with your own behavior? “If you can’t handle how you have behaved, this may be the reason why you feel bad now. We often find our own behavior shameful.”
Does the person really not like you?
“We quickly think that someone doesn’t like us when they don’t have the same opinion as we do. But try to remain objective in this case. Have they really said anything that shows that they don’t like you or can it just be that they don’t agree with you in this case?” We often assume that people don’t like us when they don’t like our opinion. Try not to make conclusions too quickly.
Why do you want this person to like you?
“If someone makes it clear that he or she doesn’t have it for you, think about how you feel about it. You are not going to die from this, and that one opinion is not going to change your life either,” emphasizes Rafique. “Usually that person doesn’t have much to add to your life anyway.”
Why do we want everyone to like us?
“If you meet someone whose opinion goes against yours or behaves in ways that you don’t understand, then ask yourself: why do you even want to spend time with someone you don’t like.” It can be very frustrating to make an effort for someone whose opinion is not going to change.