The other day, after school, one of my daughters was blah blah blah about some game she and her friends were playing at recess. I stopped her because the story was taking like 3 hours, and also because I wanted to ask her about a friend she hasn’t mentioned in awhile. She responded by saying “Oh, she doesn’t like me anymore. She only plays with Soenso now.”
“Why, what happened?”
“Nothing happened. She just has too many other friends now.”
“She can’t fit you in?”
“I guess not.”
“Do you care?”
“No, I have lots of friends.”
“What are you going to do if she wants to come back?”
“Let her back!”
That was easy.
My daughter’s friend doesn’t dislike my daughter; she’s just distracted by other kids right now. It’s very normal to be attracted to new people. Her friend will be back, eventually—and I think, on some level, my daughter knows that too.
I got lucky with an easy wrap-up on this one, but this isn’t the end. It’s just the beginning. There will be people along the way who don’t like my daughter—(both of my daughters–maybe even at the same time!)—just as there are people who don’t like their mommy.
That’s because not everybody is going to like you.
It’s just how it goes.
Sometimes familiarity breeds contempt. There will be some people who like you MORE the more they get to know you, and there will be some who wish they didn’t know you so well.
Sometimes it has nothing to do with you. There are people who won’t like you because you’re doing something they’re not doing, something they want to be doing, or something they think they can do better. That’s not on you. That’s on them. Do your thing, do it with kindness, and you will find the good ones will back you.
Sometimes it’s because they’re not getting what they want from you. Controlling people have a tendency to “check out” and not deal if they don’t get their way. It helps to be honest about what you can and can’t give from the very beginning—but for some, that still might not be enough. So, instead of accepting you for what you CAN give, they choose to not deal with you at all. Eh. What are you gonna do? You can only give what you can give, and you can only do what you can do. Do it all with a smile and let them deal with their “not dealing.”
Sometimes it’s because you left a bad taste with the first impression and they aren’t into second chances. Everybody deserves a second chance! No second chance? OK, bye.
Sometimes they don’t know if they like you or not because they never gave you a chance to begin with. These people are looking for something you’re not offering. By not giving you a chance to begin with, they did you a favor in the end.
Sometimes they’re just done. They’ve gone round and round and things aren’t changing or getting better, so they’re out. At some point, that’s to be expected. With friendship, everyone has a breaking point. Maybe you’re not the person you once were, maybe they’re not? Friendships don’t always grow and evolve at the same rate, but the good ones always find their way back sooner or later.
Sometimes they just hate. Nothing you can do about a good, old-fashioned HATER. Some haters hate large groups of people (usually people they don’t even know) and some just hate a select few. Either way, the hate is usually unfounded. They heard something negative from someone else, and they believe it. Is the info they’ve been given correct? Who knows!! Is the person they heard it from trustworthy? Who cares!! These people want to believe because it makes them feel better about themselves. Or they’re brainwashed, or stupid.
So how are you supposed to combat all of this yuckiness and negativity?
You surround yourself with good people. People who know you and love you. The ones you’re comfortable with. The ones who support you and want you to succeed. The ones who let you know (to your face) when they’re upset with you. The ones who support you when you’re thriving, and also when you’re spiraling.
Those are your people. Know your people and surround yourself with them, and that way, when you find out someone doesn’t like you, you will be OK with it —because you will understand it’s probably for one of the reasons above, and also because they’re not one of your people.
Thank you for being here!
The DS&D Crew