I recently interacted with someone who obviously did not like me. I couldn’t smile enough. Tell enough jokes. Or, be as humble as I needed to be. It was abundantly clear I was simply disliked.
If you’ve ever been in the presence of someone who has an
obvious distaste for you, it makes you feel vulnerable. It’s a bit disarming.
Because your first instinct (at least in my case) is to try to convince that
person otherwise. It just has a way of putting you on edge. Making you feel
helpless. But you can’t change their dislike. You just have to live
with it, as uncomfortable as it feels to sit with that knowledge.
I thought a
lot about this person. About why they probably don’t like me and why I really
It’s not my job to make people like me. Because the world is
full of people who have already made up their minds. People who let their own
misery cloud their judgment. Who won’t (or don’t) like you because it’s about
them, not about you.
Your job isn’t to change everyone else; it’s to be exactly
who you are. Without apology. I’ve spent most of my life tirelessly trying to make
everyone like me. It’s exhausting. In order to please the rest of
the world, you give up part of yourself in the process. Sacrifice what you are
in favor of who you think you should be and you’ll never really know exactly
who you are. It’s easy to find yourself completely lost in the process.
But what I didn’t see back then was this: it takes guts to
be you. It’s walking around naked all day, flaws and all. Exposing yourself to
everyone and not caring what they have to say about you. This is a frightening
proposition, being the person you are called to be—not the one the world wishes
you to be.
This isn’t to say that I’m without flaws or that I’m right
and everyone else is either wrong or ignorant. It’s about being authentic and understanding that the world is a broken place inhabited by broken people.
We’re all broken, each in our own way. Most of us find ways to cover the cracks,
but they’re still there. Being your perfectly broken self opens up a world you
probably haven’t taken the time to see—one where we’re all a bit wounded and
trying to compensate for our faults. We’ve all got a different way of filling
the cracks in our foundation; it’s just that some of us are more skilled
contractors than others.
The next time you realize someone dislikes you, be brave enough to let your cracks show. Years from now you won't be bothered that someone hates you; you'll be pissed you cared too much about their opinion.
“When you are truly
genuine, there will invariably be people who do not accept you. And in that
case, you must be your own badass self, without apology.” –Katie Goodman