Thursday, April 18, 2013

What Do You Do When People Don't Like You?

Everyone wants to be liked.  And there is nothing wrong with that.  We all have the basic need to feel as though we belong and are accepted.  It shows that we value people and interacting with them.

But we've all experienced times when someone in our life lets us know that they do not like us.  They  find us annoying or everything about us rubs them the wrong way.  Sometimes people may feel like we are too much of a burden on them or they may think we are bad people.  Some people may even push us out of their lives all of a sudden and we have no idea why.  All we know is we are no longer wanted.

These feelings can be devastating.  Even to those people with a "tough skin", the hurt and personal rejection can really shake their confidence.  If those feelings are allowed to run rampant, though, we run the risk of allowing ourselves to put the approval of others above God's approval and that gives Satan a foothold to fill our lives with everything from bitterness to self-hate.  So how do we train ourselves to begin approaching these situations in a healthy, God honoring way?

1.  Look for the signs of whether or not the other person has a healthy perspective to begin with.  This can be hard to judge, but there are certain behaviors to look for when considering how much you should worry about whether someone dislikes you.  First of all, if it is something big, like someone just wants you out of their life or to have nothing to do with you, are they willing to talk to you about it?  Are their reasons coherent and seem well thought out?  If the person is unwilling to sit face to face to talk about something or if they give you a flurry of illogical rambling, you may want to take the person's opinion of you with a grain of salt.  Is this person someone that gets mad at everyone?  Then it's not unusual that they would eventually get mad at you.  Are they rigid and judgmental?  That can be a tip off to the person's own insecurities.  How high is the person's level of emotion?  If they are overly bitter, angry, or offended, you may want to consider that something they carry inside of themselves is triggered by you and their dislike of you has more to do with the baggage they haven't worked through than anything you may or may not be.  Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared. -Proverbs 22:24-25

2.  Realize that everyone is unlikable, everyone is frustrating and everyone is obnoxious.  Sometimes when we are really bothered by someone not liking us, we attack ourselves and feel like something is wrong with us.  The truth is, something is wrong with us, and with everyone else.  If you focus on people's bad traits then everyone is unlikable for some reason, usually for a whole list of reasons.  The other person's immaturity may keep them from seeing that, but it's true of every one of us.  When people refuse to admit their own faults, they have a much harder time accepting others.  If they cannot come to the conclusion that they are just as screwed up as you are, then their not liking you has more to do with their own pride and insecurity than with anything you have done.  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God -Romans 3:23

3.  After things are in perspective, take a hard look at yourself.  After you can see how healthy the person's perspective on you is and realize they are every bit as unlikable as you are, then you need to take a hard look at yourself.  Even if the person has a screwed up perspective and is immature and self-righteous, is their any truth to what they said (hoping that they were willing to talk about it and able to actually give you some sort of reason)?  Even though 99% of what they said was their own craziness, there may be some little thing to learn from all of it.  If they are calm and can give you good reason why they don't like you, then humble yourself and take what they say to heart.  They still may not be correct or have all the information, but if they are able to give you good clear reasons why you are rubbing them the wrong way, ask yourself, "Is this sinful?", "Is this unloving?", and "Is this being a poor witness to the Lord?"  There definitely will be times when you simply have to agree to disagree with the person or just accept the fact that there isn't any chemistry between the two of you.  But most of the time, there is some reason that can be resolved with maturity and Christ-centeredness.  Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me,   and lead me in the way everlasting. -Psalm 139:23-24

So what do you do if you've gone through those steps, see that the person is screwed up and their not liking you has a lot more to do with their issues than anything that you have done, but you're still feeling hurt and rejected?  The answer is a simple one...keep your eyes on Jesus.  Make sure that Jesus is King above all else in your life and that His opinion of you matters more than anyone else's.  Then study the things that the Bible says about us and what wonderful, purposeful creations we are of God's.

Some are listed below:

Psalm 139:13-18
Ephesians 2:10
Genesis 1:27
John 15:14-15

Any other suggestions on Bible verses that people can use to remind themselves they are wonderful creations of God?

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