People Don't Like You

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It’s true. It happens and it’s something we need to deal with. “Poor, poor pitiful me…” as Warren Zevon once sang. Well, believe it or not, this is a good thing! If you have people who are negative towards you or don’t like you it’s probably a good sign (No, really. I’m serious). First, trying to please everybody is a recipe for disaster. Second, if you’re annoying somebody or someone feels negative towards you, in my opinion, you’re doing something right. It means you’re being genuine, that you stand for something and have a focused opinion. You don’t waver. HIGH FIVE! That will almost always guarantee someone won’t like you and, in this age of digital anonymity, they’ll likely tell you.

 The biggest obstacle for a lot of us, myself included, is that we focus more on negative opinions and less on positive ones. We could have 20 great emails of support and one mega negative one and it will stick in our brain forever. When you’re eating breakfast, when you’re riding your bike, when you’re talking to a friend. That hurtful e-mail will haunt you.

 Recently I’ve had this happen. I received a rather toxic and poisonous message. It felt like I had been sucker punched in the gut. I lost my breath. It took me a day to get over the initial shock.

I then reached out to a fellow author. She said “Congratulations! You’ve made it!” When you trigger someone to write to you in anger, then it means that you’ve hit a nerve. That’s a good thing.

 I don’t know about you but I’m guilty of asking for too many opinions. It has stalled projects, made me grumpy and built my monster. Opinions are useful. They can help you move forward or give you another perspective on a situation that you may be stuck in. But, like with all good things, too much is bad for you. When we can’t stop asking, searching for overwhelming support, agreement and “likes”, we ALWAYS end up disappointed. There is never total agreement. Not everyone will support your thought, effort or even restaurant suggestion (go figure!).

 Imagine a Frankenstein monster with all of its different pieces stitched together. Each stitched piece is an opinion. You’ve grown to accept them all – the good and the bad. You haven’t discarded the ridiculous, the hurtful or the one from someone who was clearly not paying attention. We need to filter. Analyze. Breathe. Evaluate the comment. Is it constructive? Is there a lesson to be learned? Is it an opportunity to grow?

 So, for every negative piece of feedback you receive, think of it as cod liver oil. It doesn’t taste good and will make you wince, but in the end, it’s good for you!

Photo: Universal Studios

Robert SmithComment