Chapter5-2 : If you feel that you are disliked by someone, don’t bottle up your anxiety, but ask the
Human beings are emotional animals, and there are those we get along easily with and those we don’t.
There are always one or two people of whom we might think,
“That person dislikes me,” or, “He’s really tough on me.” We worry, “There’s always something troubling in the things he says,” or “She doesn’t seem to think at all well of me.”
Haven’t you sometimes felt like that? It’s all right if it’s an unimportant matter, but sometimes things worry us and cause us a lot of stress.
A woman in her thirties consulted me about a problem:
“There’s a person senior to me in the workplace who always seems cold, and only toward me.
‘She doesn’t like me,’ I conclude, and then everything she says and does seems directed against me.
I get so irritated that I can’t do my work properly.”
It all started from the time when the woman was moved to a section where the woman with more seniority was already working.
The woman found that her polite greetings to her senior were almost completely ignored, and this continued for some time.
Convinced that her senior was thinking badly of her, the woman would become irritated even by the sound of the other woman’s voice.
I asked a question: “Did your senior really dislike you, and take such a negative attitude toward you?”
“Well, she always speaks to me in a cold way. Why would she take that attitude if she didn’t dislike me?”
“I see. And is it only you she speaks to that way?”
“I’m not sure about that . . .” was her rather evasive answer.
“Well then, why don’t you try asking her if she dislikes you or not?”
“I can hardly come right out and ask her that, can I?”
“Probably not. But why not ask one of your friends in the workplace whether she thinks the senior in question dislikes you?” I suggested.
When she asked her friend that, the answer came back:
“Not just you. She’s that way to everyone!”
When she realized she was not the object of special dislike and that her senior was that way with everyone, she felt much better about the situation, as she told me in a thank you email.
The problem was with the other woman, who wasn’t good at dealing with other people in general.
When we start to think that someone may dislike us, we can become slightly paranoid, convinced that she really dislikes me.
But if we ask about the matter, it often turns out that that’s not the case.
If you can’t ask the person directly, try casually asking a friend’s opinion.
Sometimes it happens that one really is disliked, but even so one needn’t take it too much to heart.
If you can figure out why the person dislikes you, you can take care and deal with the issue.
If you worry yourself with all sorts of speculations, things will seem worse and worse.
That is not psychologically healthy.
If, instead of fretting by yourself, you ask the help of a third person, you may discover that the problem was only imaginary, or you may learn the cause or reason for the other party’s unfriendly attitude toward you.
Then you will be able to deal with the other person in a calmer, more reasonable way.