We have all come across people who rub us the wrong way. While some of us accept them for who they are and move on with our lives, others remain irritated with and fixated on how much and why they dislike them. In any event, by the time we have concluded we do not like someone, a number of our buttons have been pushed and a host of unconscious meanings and associations made. I posit that when we find ourselves not liking someone, we really don’t like something about ourselves.
There is a saying, “The thing that we dislike in others is often the thing we dislike in ourselves.” Now, some of you will be adamant that you do not engage in any of the behaviors that you find irritating, but chances are that you probably do – in one way or another. And, if you really do not engage in the behaviors you find off-putting, I bet there are some serious unprocessed personal reasons that can explain why you are irritated.
Our dislike for certain types of people and behaviors stem from a number of sources however, they are primarily found in our childhood (aw, come on … you knew it was coming). We can often thank our parents, siblings, and friends/bullies; this should give you something to fodder when you are selecting their next birthday or holiday present. In any event, the reasons behind your dislike will probably fall in to one or more of the following categories:
You grew up witnessing someone behave a certain way and vowed that you would NEVER do that when you grew up or were in similar circumstances. What is important to note here is that chances are you HAD to put up with it because you were powerless to change it.
- While you believe certain behavior is bad, it is alright when you do it because you are the exception to the rule and know how to turn the negative behavior into something positive (the word of the day here is – hypocrite).
- You are oblivious to your actual behavior. When people try to give you feedback, you may be dismissive, feel they are completely off-base or just plain crazy.
- You may know what bothers you consciously but have a hard time talking about it in an open and honest way. “Talking” is easier said than done and is one of THE most difficult things to do. If you are successful, you will be able to move beyond it and find that the behavior no longer bothers you.
So what should you do when you find yourself not liking someone or something they are doing? Well, try the following:
Stop and ask, “Why does this really bother me?”
- Think about what you have done that may be similar to what is being done now.
- Ask yourself when was the first time you can remember getting upset about something like this.
- If you get stuck, schedule an appointment with your therapist. Don’t have one? Give me a call or shoot me an email. I am more than happy to help!
So, where do you fall when it comes to disliking someone or their behavior? Do tell!