It’s human nature to care what others think of us. We’d like to be liked by everyone. In High School we compete for “most popular.” Somewhere along the way we were told that we should be liked by others. But truthfully it’s not our place to be liked, it’s our place to walk in love. Interestingly enough, you can walk in love and still not be liked by others.
Check yourself first. Where are you operating from? Are you operating from insecurities? Are you operating from a bitter heart? Are you operating from frustration? Are you operating from brokenness? If you’re operating from the wrong place, you may not be liked by others. But if you know your heart is in the right place, you can’t worry about what others think.
From this day forward just be you. Operate from your heart. Be the person you know you are. You won’t like everyone but that doesn’t mean you have to disrespect anyone. Not everyone will like you but most likely that has nothing to do with you. Most people don’t like themselves so how do you expect them to like you? Growing up, folks would always say, “people hated Jesus and he was perfect so what makes you think they will like you?” That rings so true.
1. Many people don’t like themselves:
It’s normal for people to be unhappy with their position in life. Many people don’t like the way they look, feel, or anything else about themselves. The world we live in isn’t conducive to self-love. We are in a constant state of comparison at all times. The magazines and television are always forcing us to compare ourselves to the unrealistic lifestyles of others. That causes insecurities in many and they take those insecurities out on you.
2. Some envy your position:
We are all chasing a dream of some sort. Well, if your life looks like a dream in areas where theirs may look like a nightmare, they probably won’t like you. Some people will make themselves dislike you just because they don’t want to watch you thrive. You can’t be offended because others don’t want to watch your highlight reel.
3. Some want to believe a lie about you:
There will always be someone lying and gossiping about you. If you’re living and trying to do anything right in your life you can bet there will be someone lying on you. Some people are looking for a negative narrative about you so they can latch on and persuade themselves not to like you. Some people will spread those lies because your pursuit of excellence makes them feel mediocre. No human wants to feel less than another, and that’s how some people deal with that inadequate feeling. You can’t dim your light just because someone else says you’re shining too bright. Shine bright. Be big. Be who you are and don’t live small to appease their insecurities.
How to not be a hater?
There are so many haters in the world! I was once a hater but then I made a shift in my mindset and everything changed. Just like some others I was one of the three people I mentioned above. At some point, 99% of us have hated on someone else but maybe only 10% of us will admit it. I’m man enough to admit that I’ve been a hater.
Here’s how I stopped being a hater:
1. I stopped believing everything I saw:
I started to realize that people only show you what they want you to see. No one shows their pain and their problems unless it will benefit them. No one wants to show you their fumbles, failures, and mistakes unless that’s their purpose to help others. Everyone wants you to see their highlight reel. You can’t believe everything you see. I started to understand that and it gave me a different perspective.
2. I started to understand the human struggle:
If I saw a person acting a certain way I began to question what they’ve been through in life that drove them to that point. If you take the time to hear people’s story, you’d realize that most people have really been through some messed up stuff. When you seek to understand their struggle, you no longer can hate them for who they are or how they behave.
3. I started to realize we all have our time in the sun:
I would envy the position of others because I didn’t feel they deserved the spot they held. I felt more qualified than them. Then I realized that’s the same way many people feel about me. I couldn’t understand why some people would make themselves not like me when I’d never done anything wrong to them. Then I realized, a lot of them were mad at my position or “success,” and they didn’t feel that I deserved it. After I thought about how that made me feel it helped me shift my mindset. Now when I see someone doing big things I literally can smile about it because I know my moment in the sun will come. I don’t have to hate or be envious because I realize we all have our time, especially if we can be happy for others. Instead of saying, “they don’t deserve that.” Start staying, “I’m glad they are opening the door.” That mindset shift changed everything for me.
I hope this has helped. Stop worrying about who doesn’t like you, as long as you like you. Stop hating on others and change the way you look at it. Live your life and let them live theirs. All you can control is you. Do your job and what’s for you can’t be denied. If they don’t like you for being you, pray for them. That’s a problem with them, not with you.
Tony A. Gaskins Jr.