I like pretty much everyone. Even when there is someone that I don’t seem to sit well with, I find it hard to say anything bad about anyone. It usually goes like this:
Well they’re kind of a horrible human being but they definitely made a really good quiche.
Ultimately I make the assumption that if I don’t like someone, it’s probably because I just don’t know them well enough yet.
There is this special category of person, though, where you know them too well and that knowledge develops into a dislike. Sometimes you still even like them as a friend, and consider them a friend, but that friendship is wrapped in a hard candy coating of utter loathing.
Then suddenly every single thing they do pisses you off.
Did you see the look she gave me?
Her quiche is really dry, totally dry, I bet she didn’t even use real eggs.
I heard she’s studying geology. Like, good for her I guess, but what is she going to do with geology? I bet it’s because she likes things that are hard.
God that is a really hideous color of pink.
This is such a weird subcategory of human interaction and I’ve struggled to find a name for it. What do you call it when you hate everything that someone does, just because they rubbed you the wrong way? Irritable? A [excuse me] cunt? Is it just some form of bias that you don’t have any control over?
What do you do when you start to look at someone through this tainted lens of they could do no right.
I realized another thing that really influences this phenomenon is what other people say about that person.
If there is someone I already have a hard time liking and someone tells me something negative about that person I am 10x more likely to believe it.
It’s just like them to do that thing. I mean, this one time, they looked at me funny, so, you know, it all makes sense.
Where am I going with this? I didn’t really have a goal when I started typing. To be perfectly honest, I just wanted to stretch my fingers out this morning, so I went with the first thing that came to mind. But I’m a look on the bright side kind of person.
If there’s any lesson to be learned, it’s that we’re susceptible to mind tricks. Jedi-voodoo psychology mumbo-jumbo. As a Psychology major, I can assure you, this mumbo-jumbo is real. There are a lot of reasons we might feel poorly about someone, and feeling poorly about someone can really influence how poorly we feel about them. Circular logic kicks in and we can get stuck on this treadmill of negative-feelings.
If you don’t like someone, or if you find yourself thinking bad things about someone, consider that those bad things have more to do with you than they do the other person.
People are, in general, good. And even when they’re bad sometimes, there’s usually a good reason for it. If someone gives you a weird look or says something that seems mildly offensive, give them another shot, if you can. Get to know them better. Ask them questions about themselves. Get yourself back to neutral. And then see if you have anything in common.
You might not find a lifelong friendship, forged from the heat of your discontentment. But you might find that you bring a little positivity back into your life, and into theirs.