It only took me fifty years to finally realize that not everyone will like me the way I expect them to. I could have come to this realization about twenty-two years earlier if only I had paid attention to the sitcom Mad About You back in the 90’s.
I remember one episode where Jamie Buchman (played by Helen Hunt) sat in the floor and bemoaned the fact that the new neighbors don’t like her. She asked her husband Paul (played by Paul Reiser), “How can someone not like me?” To which, he smiled and replied, “You’re asking the wrong guy.”
What I’d like to say to Jamie Buchman and anyone else who has been hurt by another person’s response to them is that sometimes it’s not about you. For whatever reasons, some people will just not like you. It’s their problem, not yours. That does not make you a bad person or even an ‘unlikable’ person. It simply means, for whatever reason, they aren’t willing to put in the effort necessary into building a relationship with you. This can be especially hurtful when the person you want to like you is a family member, but even blood doesn’t automatically guarantee you will be liked by everyone.
So, what do you do? Well, you have two choices. One, you actually try to “fix the problem” by being pushy and trying too hard to be liked, which results in a bigger gulf between you and the other person, making them really hate you. Two, you walk away, understanding it’s their loss. If the person is a family member, I might add a third choice, which is to extend the olive branch but don’t be pushy. They will come around when they’re ready, and if not, remember it’s their choice and their loss.
Whatever you do, remember to treat others the way you wish to be treated and show them love.
1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. (8) He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (NKJV)