I’d like to introduce this post with an excerpt from Martin Luther King Jr’s speech titled “Love Your Enemies” on November 17, 1957.
Now, I’m aware of the fact that some people will not like you, not because of something you have done to them, but they just won’t like you. I’m quite aware of that. Some people aren’t going to like the way you walk; some people aren’t going to like the way you talk. Some people aren’t going to like you because you can do your job better than they can do theirs. Some people aren’t going to like you because other people like you, and because you’re popular, and because you’re well-liked, they aren’t going to like you. Some people aren’t going to like you because your hair is a little shorter than theirs or your hair is a little longer than theirs. Some people aren’t going to like you because your skin is a little brighter than theirs; and others aren’t going to like you because your skin is a little darker than theirs.
But after looking at these things and admitting these things, we must face the fact that an individual might dislike us because of something that we’ve done deep down in the past, some personality attribute that we possess, something that we’ve done deep down in the past and we’ve forgotten about it; but it was that something that aroused the hate response within the individual. That is why I say, begin with yourself. There might be something within you that arouses the tragic hate response in the other individual.
What do we do when we encounter someone who doesn’t like us?
There are 2 things we can do.
The first is to not worry about it. Life is too short to worry what someone else thinks of us. If they can’t like us for who we are then that’s their problem; not ours.
And the second, as Dr. King alludes to, is that perhaps there is something within us which has evoked the emotion of dislike from the other person. If that exists, explore that. If it doesn’t, then see scenario number 1 above.