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“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Maya Angelou

I grew up wanting to like everyone. It was more than a want. It turned into an obsession that transpired from wanting to like my mom. She’s been gone for years, but I still struggle with those feelings of dislike. I wanted so badly to fix her and make her easy to be around. 

At a young age, I figured out a way to take care of myself around her and others like her. It worked for a while. I made up people to be who I wanted them to be the same as authors make up their characters. I got so good at it, I should have written novels instead of nonfiction. 

If the unlikable person lied, I imagined they were confused. If they argued, I said I appreciated hearing another viewpoint. If they complained, I overlooked it and doubled my efforts to be positive. If they spoke with great authority, I thanked them for straightening me out even when they were wrong. If they were all around unlikable, I befriended them. 

The past month brought up old feelings when I had to do business with two difficult people. I tried hard to overcome how I felt about them. I caught myself pretending they were likable and making excuses for their behavior. 

The truth is, I can love them, but I can’t like unlikable people. Trying to do so defies some law of nature just like falling up defies gravity. I’m grateful for seeing people in a positive light, but there are times to take off our rose-colored glasses and confront trouble and troublemakers. 

I want to trust myself to stop pretending everything’s okay and stop making excuses for other people. Be honest about how I feel if that’s appropriate. Stay away when it’s possible. Set boundaries when necessary. 

Mostly I want to be sure I don’t turn unlikable while dealing with someone else who is. 

How do you deal with unlikable people? How do you keep from joining in and being unlikable too? I love hearing from you. 

In This Together, 

I have something for you!


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