When you get on the bus or train, or walk into an office, the looks on people’s faces tell, more than words, that they do not like you.It is everywhere: on the road, on the bus, in the supermarket queue, at work, in the hospital, at the children’s playground, at the pub, at the church and even in our own family settings.
People are abound who do not like you. Such people do everything not to like you, even when you do everything you can for a better relationship. They may not like you for reasons of race, beliefs, gender and sexuality or several other reasons. But people can also dislike you for reasons that you cannot understand. Ironically, even if you ask them why they dislike you, they cannot come up with any tangible reason.
Look at the situation with Lucy Davies, for instance. Her boss was after her. There was nothing that Lucy could do right, as far as Sister Simpson was concerned. She followed Lucy everywhere, looking not only over her shoulders but also into her throat. Like Lucy, Dr Chuks suffered in the hands of his boss who saw nothing good about him. Dr Braver did everything to frustrate Dr Chuks despite the fact that he was a fantastic surgeon. Likewise, Sister Barnes was at Nurse Simmonds throat even when she tried to give her patient some hope.
We all encounter people who do not like us in our daily lives. But people do not have to like you. Likewise, you don’t have to like them. Sometimes we are stuck with such people at home and at work, and they challenge our lives. Of course, we feel bad if people do not like us. It is human to feel that way. After all, we human beings are social animals. We feel love and affection. It upsets us when someone shows the opposite. Moreover, we need each other to survive, and so we form friendships as we journey through schooling, childhood and throughout our professional careers.
But what do you do when someone does not like you? In certain situations, whether someone likes you or not doesn’t matter, and you should not let that stress you. This is the case, for instance, when someone gets up from the seat on the bus because you try to sit next to him, or pulls face when you stand next to him on the supermarket queue. Likewise, the guy who pulls his face just because you are different should not bother you. Those people don’t matter and you can choose to ignore them and let them live with the guilt.
What about in those situations when you are “stuck” with someone who does not like you? Such is the situation when you have to live with a difficult or unreasonable boss on whom your future largely depends. It’s easy to let a person with a challenging behaviour ruin your life unless you have effective ways for dealing with him. I have found the following strategies helpful in those difficult situations:
The first rule when dealing with a difficult person is to keep your cool. You can deal with most situations if you follow this golden rule. When a person does something bad towards us out of their dislike for us we feel angry or upset. During that charged moment it is pretty easy to overreact. The first rule in the face of an unreasonable person is to maintain your composure. When you feel angry or upset with someone, calm down lest you say or do something you may regret later. The less reactive you are, the more you can engage your faculty to better manage the situation.
Keep your distance
Some situations are not worth the fight. Don’t waste your valuable time tussling with unreasonable people. Unless there is much to lose, don’t try to change or convince such people. Keep your distance when you can, but when you have to interact with them, be diplomatic.
Show your ultimate diligence in whatever you do even when people do not show appreciation. This principle is a life skill and it will help to reduce your stress.
It is common in workplace for people to gossip about a difficult boss. Try not to take part in gossips. The same person who tells you something about your is the one who will pass what you have said to him. You will maintain your dignity and self regard by avoiding gossips.
Be proactive rather than reactive
It is very easy to make a wrong judgment about a person just because we believe that he does not to like us. When the person makes an honest criticism, we may see it as part of his dislike even when such criticisms are for our own good. You should view every situation with objectivity, minimise misinterpretation and channel your time and energy towards problem-solving. Avoid direct confrontation.
Try a bit of humour
When used appropriately, humour can be a powerful weapon to disarm a person with difficult or unreasonable behaviour. Dr Chuks, for instance, utilised this tool when he attended Dr Braver’s Christmas party. “What do you give your dogs in Africa?” Dr Braver asked, wanting to ridicule his African colleague as he devoured the pork shin. All the guests turned their attention at the African doctor. But before they could laugh to embarrass him, Dr Chuks replied, smiling, “Oh, we give them chocolate.” All the people burst into laughter. Even Dr Braver could not resist joining in, laughing and clapping.
Stand up to Bullies
As discussed above, you should pick our fights as not all situations are worth the fight. However, you should confront bullies when it is safe to do so. By so doing, you will reduce or eliminate their threatening behaviour, which will ultimately help to increase your confidence and give you peace of mind. Bullies tend to pick on weak ones. It is also to be noted that whilst bullies show an outward aggressiveness they are cowards on the inside. When someone they have perceived to be weak stand up to them they often back down.
Someone is always there
Finally, be encouraged that nothing lasts for ever, even your interaction with someone who does not like you. Sometimes all you have to do is to simply wait and someone else will fight your fight. Dr Chuks, for instance, was lucky to have Dr Saints taking on Dr Braver. Likewise, Samantha Guest had to fulfil her duty of candour to Lucy Davies and Angela Fletcher brought hope to Gail Simmonds.