What do you do when you really dislike someone?


Katy Ratican

Katy Ratican
Freelance copywriter, blogger and social media manager. Check out her blog


Couple sat on a bench

It's a fact of life that no matter how much you try to project 'good vibes only' into the world, at some point you will clash with somebody you really, truly dislike.

We're talking a severely negative reaction to their presence; a feeling that you would struggle to explain to others and that sometimes doesn't have a rational explanation. For some, it's a social media nemesis; often somebody they have never met and yet feel compelled to track via Twitter. For others, it's a colleague at work who never fails to make a comment when you pitch in with an idea at a meeting.

Cruel Intentions eye roll

It's easy to allow our extreme negative feelings for a person to consume us and while these experiences are usually infrequent, dealing with this type of dislike can be difficult, especially if your emotions can't be easily explained. If you come across this type of situation, mindfulness can help. Here are some tips to help you manage your negative emotions in future:

Don't force yourself to like somebody

Recognise your feelings and pay attention to whether you are experiencing a knee-jerk reaction to somebody you have just met. If so, the chances are you're not being fair on the other person and you should give them another chance. However, if you find yourself trying to like somebody because the rest of your friends do, then stop. Of course you should be polite to that person, but there's no need to force yourself into liking them.

Go with your gut

Your body is a wonderful thing; it can tell you when something doesn't feel right. Time after time I have experienced an unexpected queasy feeling when things aren't right, so now I go with my gut. It's your body's way of warning you that there is a real issue, not something that your brain has invented. If you have a negative, physical reaction to another person, create some distance between the two of you.

Clean up your social media

Social media can be harmful if you allow it to take over your life. If your confidence is being damaged due to social media, tidy up your feeds. Remove anybody you feel jealous of and replace them with positive influences instead.

Don't rise to it

Do not engage in any negativity about THAT person; refuse point blank to get drawn into office politics, for example. If conversation takes a turn towards that person, change the subject or simply remove yourself from the conversation. It'll be a surprise to others at first, but you have to put your well-being ahead of other people’s expectations. It's a small change, but it will make a huge difference.

Is it your issue?

Take a moment to step back and consider what is happening, and why. If you dislike someone because you don't like their personality (but it is still socially-acceptable), then your dislike is your issue and you must try to work though it. If, for example, you don't like a new colleague at work, but you want the best for your team and company, then you might need to be more patient. If the person is proving detrimental to the team, then perhaps you need to distance yourself from them.

Giving greater focus to your personal goals will give you less time to dwell on your negative feelings of others. Rather than simply saying you dislike a person, it's important to pinpoint the root of that feeling. Could you have a more constructive response? Or can you simply not improve the relationship? Once you more mindfully understand the reaction, you can begin to find a more positive solution.

More from this author:

6 ways to boost your confidence through mindfulness

How to stop worrying (or at least worry less)


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