They don’t really hate YOU!

It’s strange how one person’s dislike for us can invade our mind.
We can even become obsessed with the supposed hate we feel from someone else.
Frantically looking for reasons and signs, we start seeing ourselves as an object of negative attention, picking out the bad over the good. Our internal narrative changes.
But is it really us they dislike?

We are what we think of others.

Let’s assume our instincts are correct and they do dislike us.
This will always ultimately be a reflection of their personal experiences and preferences.
But the very fact that we are thinking about it, trying to rationalise it:
It means that our mental dialogue welcomes the distraction of being disliked.
Our self-image is so fragile that someone’s opinion can leave a lasting impression.
How would we ever survive if we got unjustly cancelled or were famous?

Can we overcome loneliness and fear or rejection by working on our friendship muscles?

I’ve felt a dislike from one of the girls in my extended friend group for years now.
Yesterday, they expressed an intrinsic dislike for people of my hereditary background.
They have their own reason, but it felt like a revelation to me. All this time I thought it was me!
I had spend years trying to impress them, trying to get them to like me.
Instead of all this effort, I should have disconnected myself from my need to be liked universally.

Expecting the worst chronically will just break your own heart.

So rarely do people actually hate YOU.
They might dislike you for an action and the consequences it has had on them.
They might dislike what you remind them of.
They might even dislike what you stand for.
But more important than all of these is why you care.
How do you react? Do you resent them for their feelings? Do you retaliate?
How do we stop this cycle of hate?

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