Do you ever meet someone, and you just don’t like them, or even hate them? You can’t put your finger on it, but there is just something about them that doesn’t sit well with you. (Credit for the lovely photo below goes to my fantastic friend Davina!)
I am a big believer in the fact that we are in charge or our own happiness, and that includes how we perceive the world, and our interactions with others. This is the same reason why I try not to let it bother me when someone treats me poorly, because it says way more about them than it does me. But guess what this means? If you meet someone and you don’t like them, it is very possible that it is on you.
Here are some reasons why you might be feeling negatively about someone you have just met!
Let’s start with a complex one. Traditionally, this is a word used to describe when an individual in therapy starts redirecting feelings they have with someone else to their therapist. (And for your own edification, counter-transference is when the therapist feels these complicated emotions towards a client) However, this isn’t an experience exclusively found in therapy. If unconsciously you associate a certain person who you have a complicated history with towards another individual, this can occur in daily life as well. They may look like them, sound like them, have similar mannerisms, or maybe the way the make you feel about yourself reminds you of that
If you find yourself disliking someone and you aren’t sure why, consider the possibility of transference. Is there someone in your life that you have complicated or negative feelings towards that reminds you of that individual? You could be experiencing transference. Once we recognize transference occurring in our lives, we can begin to work through it.
Your own mood
Are you tired? Are you hungry? If I am tired or hungry, EVERYONE is aggravating. An example of this in my own life, I was at a small conference in Boise last year, and I was very pregnant and very sick. I just wanted to go home, and one lady just kept talking and talking…and I was dying to go home and sleep in my bed and take a soak in my bathtub. (And go to the doctor because I was miserable).
This year I traveled to the same conference and I was dreading seeing that lady again. She was there again, and guess what? She was perfectly pleasant! I would even go so far to say she was charming. That was with me expecting her to be the most annoying person on the
planet. I went from dislike (hate seems like a strong word in this situation) to liking her as a person and respecting her as a professional. Our mood can influence our opinions drastically.
This one can be all over the map, including reasons as heavy as racism or gender, and as trivial as the type of car they drive or the color of their hair. These can be preconceived, or even from a bad experience with a person who possessed those characteristics.
Sometimes a person can give us a bad experience, or maybe you were taught a certain thing in childhood about a group of people, and were maybe even taught to hate them. Do all you can to recognize your prejudices, and check them at the door. (And don’t pick them back up on your way out!)
We all have them! Maybe it is people who chew loudly, or who don’t leave the room to take a phone call. But we can’t let them define our perceptions of those around us. It’s definitely not fair to formulate an entire opinion of someone based on one annoying habit. You might miss out on an amazing friendship!
Sometimes you can’t put your finger on it, and there isn’t an official reason that you just don’t feel right about someone. In your gut you feel uneasy, and uncomfortable. That is your intuition! There have been many times that my intuition has been spot on about someone, good and bad.
As a religious person, I refer to this feeling as the Holy Ghost. You may refer to it as your gut instinct, or any number of things. A few months ago, my husband and I both (separately) had a negative feeling about someone, and later it turned out we were dead on. They were bad news!
Truly, not everyone is going to like everybody. Not everyone has to love each other or be best friends. But let’s be adults about it, and if it is somebody that you see on a regular basis…it’s probably in your best interest to work through it so you don’t drive yourself insane. I also remind myself that it is not very Christlike behavior to dislike someone, and especially to hate someone.
What reasons do you usually find that you don’t like/hate someone? Have you had an experience where you initially disliked someone and your first impression was way off? Let me know in the comments below!