Last Updated on September 8, 2022 by Alexander Burgemeester
Humans are hardwired to want acceptance. In the past, being accepted as part of a group was the only way to survive. If we weren’t liked or valued, we’d be left to fend for ourselves.
These days, you don’t need a group of people to help you build a shelter or hunt for food, but that doesn’t seem to have diminished the need to be liked and accepted.
We all know it’s impossible to please everybody all of the time, but when someone hates you for no reason, it still hurts.
In our day-to-day lives, we have to get along with many different people, from friends and family to colleagues and bosses.
We’re inevitably going to run into someone who doesn’t like us at some stage, and that can be unsettling. When someone rejects us for no reason, we may feel hurt, angry, or confused.
There’s not a lot you can do to change someone’s mind once it’s made up, but there are ways of dealing with someone who doesn’t like you that will leave you feeling confident and in control of the situation.
- How Do You Deal with Someone Who Doesn’t Like You?
- Why Would a Person Not Like You For No Reason?
How Do You Deal with Someone Who Doesn’t Like You?
#1 Stay Positive
It plays on your mind when someone doesn’t like you for no reason.
You’re liable to focus on the things you dislike about yourself or scrutinize every interaction you’ve had with that person to try and figure out what went wrong.
These exhausting reactions leave you feeling worse about yourself and your other relationships.
Try to focus on how a person feels about you is more a reflection of themselves than a judgment of you.
Perhaps you trigger unhappy memories for them, or they’re jealous of how well you relate to your other co-workers.
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The things one dislikes in you will be the same that others adore.
Think of all the people that enjoy your company and remind yourself of the positive things about your personality.
#2 Ignore It
This may sound like a rather childish reaction, but according to Terry Bu, author of the self-help book, Diaries of My Older Sister: Depression and Suicide in Korea, Asia, and America, ignoring the problem is one of the best ways of dealing with it.
In his experience, the “super-achievers that I’ve met have such a laser-like focus that they don’t seem to be bothered by the haters.”
It’s not so much a question of burying your head in the sand as rising up and carrying on in the face of adversity.
If you engage with someone who actively dislikes you, you’re liable to fuel the fire even more. If you step away and carry on with your work, however, you let that person know that trying to rattle you is a waste of time and energy.
#3 Practice Empathy
Understanding the other person’s perspective can help you have a more objective perception of what’s going on.
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Each individual has their own life history and state of mind at any given moment.
Maybe the negative reactions you’re getting from an individual have very little to do with you, and everything to do with how they’re feeling about themselves.
They may have problems at home or be struggling to get on top of their workload.
Remind yourself that there are factors beyond your knowledge, and your control, that influence how a person behaves.
You’re not central to the lives of all the other people that come into your life, and believing that you are is narcissistic and counterproductive.
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Take a step back and consider what else might be influencing how a person reacts to you.
Realizing how insignificant you are to your co-worker will help you get past the fact that they don’t like you and get on with living your own life.
#4 Avoid Assumptions
Think about how you realized that a person didn’t like you. Did they tell you to your face or tell someone else behind your back?
Maybe it wasn’t as straightforward as that. Maybe they just walked away when you were talking to them at the water dispenser or interrupted you when you were speaking at a meeting.
It could be that the person you believe hates you is actually rather indifferent, and your own “cognitive distortions” have created the hostile situation.
According to clinical psychologist and author Roger Covin, a lot of what we perceive comes from our own thought processes.
Perhaps you’re suffering from low self-esteem and have a hard time believing that anyone would actively like you. Maybe you’re making the situation about you when it’s really about the other person.
Pay attention to how you think and feel after interacting with someone.
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Do you automatically assume they were negatively thinking about you? Do you constantly worry that you might have said something to upset them and berate yourself for doing so?
These problematic thought processes lead to you making negative assumptions about how others respond to you.
Becoming aware of them can help you get rid of those preconceived notions and create more positive thought processes in their place.
#5 Accept the Odds
When you think about how many people there are in the world and how each one is a unique individual, you can start accepting how unlikely it would be for them all to get along.
There are nearly 8 billion people in the world today. How many of them do you think would like you? 70%? That’s already around 2.4 billion haters in the world.
As a rule, people like those who are most like themselves. If you’re a 30-year-old career woman, the likelihood of a teenage pop star adoring you is fairly minimal.
It’s not your fault, nor is it a criticism – it’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
You can’t influence another person’s character or change their perspective, but you can change your own and simply accept that not everyone is going to like you.
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Psychologist Robert Leahy, Ph.D. believes “normalizing disapproval” helps alleviate some pressure of always needing to be liked. After all, what’s the likelihood of being adored by everyone you meet?
#6 Resolve the Conflict
Even if you firmly believe you’ve done nothing to provoke negative feelings in another person, they have their own side to the story.
You may have failed to greet them one morning because you were engrossed in work, and now they think you were ignoring them.
It’s unlikely that someone hates you for no reason at all, but you don’t need to understand them or agree with them to make amends.
Reflect on your interactions with that person in the past, looking for how they might have been offended by something you said or did.
You can even ask them outright if something is upsetting them or if you’ve done something to annoy them.
Even if you disagree with the answer, listen carefully and objectively. Once they’ve finished, ask them what you can do to forge a better relationship going forward.
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Not only will you feel better about yourself, but you’ve also drawn attention to your hater’s negative energy, making them more aware of how they behave in the future.
#7 Practise Self-Awareness
Have your friends mentioned that you talk too loudly or stand too close when having a conversation?
Maybe you have a few personality traits that others find difficult to deal with and that have triggered something in a specific individual.
Practicing self-awareness teaches us to observe how others react to us and be more sensitive in our approach.
This technique is complicated because you don’t want to lose sight of your true self and start pandering to the needs and expectations of others. There’s a fine line between self-awareness and approval-seeking.
When you develop a stronger sense of self, you become more aware of other people’s comfort zones. This enables you to tweak your own behavior to make them more comfortable.
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On the other hand, approval-seeking is doing everything in your power to be liked, even if it means going against your own principles.
#8 Refuse to Engage
If someone’s saying nasty things about you, it makes you angry, and you want to retaliate. You want to set the record straight, prove your point, and make your feelings known.
While this might be tempting, if you behave negatively in the face of criticism or rejection, it only validates that initial perspective.
If you need time to calm down, walk away from the situation and give the other person some space.
If not, kill them with kindness. Regardless of how unpleasant they are to you, rise above it and maintain your composure.
Make a point of proving how likable you are by forgiving them and continuing to work on the relationship, despite what they’ve said or done.
#9 Accept Your Differences
When someone dislikes you for no reason it could simply be because they’re very different from you. They have a different set of values that makes them react to situations in a different way to you.
You may not like their attitude or even understand it, but you can accept it and stop trying to make your perspectives coincide.
If you can put yourself in the other person’s shoes, you take some of the responsibility for their hatred off your own shoulders and place it at their feet.
Why Would a Person Not Like You For No Reason?
When someone doesn’t like you for no reason, it’s usually a reflection of their own world and has very little to do with you.
The real reason is hidden deep under layers of emotions and memories that are too painful to unpack, so they lash out instead.
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Although there are many reasons a person might hate you for no reason, some of the most common include:
#1 They’re Jealous of You
Maybe the person that’s taken a dislike to you secretly admires you. In fact, they so badly want your confidence, style, job, or sense of humor that it makes them feel negative towards you.
#2 You Trigger a Negative Memory
When someone doesn’t like you it could be that you remind them of a bad experience or behave like someone who treated them badly.
#3 You Intimidate Them
Throughout my life, I’ve been told I’m intimidating even though I can’t see it myself. I try to soften the way I speak and be less assertive, but it has little effect.
If a person’s afraid of you, they may dislike you for it, but the real problem is with them. Maybe they have a poor opinion of themselves or suffer from low self-esteem.
What are the Signs that Someone does not Like You?
When someone doesn’t like you, they’ll go out of their way to avoid you. They may ignore you, or withdraw from a conversation the instant you arrive. Perhaps they automatically distance themselves from you at meetings or refuse to make eye contact.
Some people are more demonstrative about their hatred than others. For example, they may talk over the top of you or disagree with everything you say. They may even criticize you openly or undermine you in meetings.
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More subtle signs that someone doesn’t like you is that they adopt closed body language around you. This could involve crossing their arms or legs, or turning their bodies away from you.
Try not to read too much into these signs or try too hard to make everyone like you. Instead, remind yourself that you’re just as good as anyone else and, if someone doesn’t like you, it’s their problem, not yours.
You can’t please all of the people all of the time. So at some point, you’re going to cross paths with someone that takes an instant dislike to you.
It’s crucial not to let their opinion of you affect your own sense of self-worth. Remind yourself that everyone’s entitled to their own views and that their dislike doesn’t mean you’re not a fabulous person.
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A person’s dislike doesn’t reflect you but indicates how their internal worlds are structured.
If you can find some common ground, use it. If not, give that person a bit of space and try to understand their perspective.
It takes practice to deal with another’s hatred of you but once you realize that their feelings are more about them than they are about you, you can move on and focus on your own experiences and self-improvement.