How To Deal With People Who Dislike You
by: Peter Murphy
When you read books on personal development and articles about making your life better the emphasis is generally on the positive.
You learn all about deciding what you want and how to get it. However you also need specific guidelines for dealing with situations when nothing seems to be working despite your best efforts.
One of the hardest things to deal with is the fact that some people will dislike you no matter how wonderful you are. The reasons why someone does not like you may be incorrect, unfair or unjust. Yet they still affect how that person deals with you.
I recommend a three step plan to deal with this challenge:
1. Penetrate The Peer Group
Find the peer group of the person who dislikes you and seek to make friends with people in this group. Build a positive reputation with these people one at a time and your public image will shift in the eyes of the person who you are having trouble with.
This is like doing your own P.R. campaign directly to the people who have the most influence over the opinions of the person who dislikes you. Peer group pressure is a powerful way to change the perceptions of a group member.
2. Find Reasons To Like The Person
When someone clearly dislikes you what usually happens next? You start to actively dislike that person in return!
It becomes a feeding frenzy that can spiral out of control very quickly. The other person sees your negative reaction to them and responds accordingly. You feel and see how much disdain they have for you and you respond with more hate. Like a game of tennis the negative feelings bounce back and forth.
You can break this cycle. How? By deciding to find ways to like the person. Here are two ways to get started:
1. Make a quick list of things you like or could like about this person.
Be creative. The more reasons the better.
2. List the ways the person is like you.
This may be an eye opener because we often have very strong reactions to people who display characteristics we dislike about ourselves.
The more reasons you come up with the easier it will be for you to feel positive towards the other person. This change in your non verbal communication will be noticeable and will help ease some of the tension in the air.
This is often when the dynamics of the relationship can shift unexpectedly for the better. Deciding to like the other person regardless of how they are behaving is the first step to making this happen.
At the very least you will feel better. And when you feel better it is a lot easier to find solutions to deal with these tricky situations.
3. Take Baby Steps Towards Greater Rapport
With someone who dislikes you the same rules of rapport still apply only you need to have more patience.
Aim to make slight gradual progress with the person in question and over time you can shift the relationship from negative to neutral and maybe even to positive.
And be kind to yourself if the whole situation still upsets you. It is perfectly natural to feel uncomfortable when someone dislikes you. However it is foolish to roll over and play dead.
Take charge of your communication with this person and aim to improve the situation. The little progress you make will boost your confidence and help you communicate even better with everyone else you ever meet.