How I Learned That You’re Not Going To Like Everyone–And That’s Okay. Just Don’t Be A B***h About It.
So the story goes something like this: You’re meeting the friend of a friend along with all of your girlfriends at a little barbecue hosted by a best friend. Her friends from years before you met her and after are there, many of them you’ve met, meshed with well, shared positive words with and more. However, there’s a new friend there. When you go up to her with your best friend to introduce yourself, you both flash a Cheshire cat grin and shake hands. Things seem to go well.
However, as the evening goes on she makes a series of random comments that rub you the wrong way (not necessarily to you, but about other people and things in general), laughs a hideous giggle and seems to beg for the most attention from your girlfriend–and goes silent when she’s not getting it. By the end of the night, you recount the good time you had, the people you shared laughs with, the people you met, and more. There’s just one thing you can’t help but notice:
You don’t like this new friend.
This of course is my story, and continues to be something that happens to me. I meet an associate or stranger that a girlfriend, co-worker, family member or boyfriend thinks I’ll hit it off great with, and to my dismay, whether it’s a comment, their voice, their energy (or lack thereof) or personality in general, I find myself repelling against them–not repulsed (that’s just mean), just repelled.
For me, this realization for some reason always made me feel kind of bad. Why? Well, because when I was in junior high, there was a girl who lived in my neighborhood who I played ball with, who smiled in my face, talked to me like a friend, and later went off to tell people we both knew that she didn’t like me. When I found out this news, I asked a friend why she said she didn’t like me, and she said the girl didn’t have a real reason–she just didn’t. I took this particularly hard at that time. I didn’t cry of course, I just was pretty heated, probably because I don’t like people mentioning me behind my back, and also because I thought I was pretty nice to everyone (there were far too many bullies in my school and I wasn’t down with that ish). So as an adult, when I would find myself wanting to exit the room at the sound of someone’s voice, or realize that I am making the stankest of faces after listening to the person I don’t like talk about nothing for five minutes, I found myself feeling kind of bad. In my mind, they never really did anything bad to me or to the people I care about, so I felt as though I didn’t have a real reason to feel any kind of way about them lower than indifference. How can you say you don’t like someone who you’ve never sat down and really tried to get to know?
But that was until last week. A person whose behavior and choice of comments about random s**t prompted me to get the real deal from a few of my coworkers. This individual, once again, had done nothing to me, but I for some reason couldn’t listen to he/she talk anymore, so I asked my colleagues if I was alone in this particular way of feeling, and if my feelings were unfair or normal:
Me: Do you ever find yourself not liking someone even though they didn’t do anything wrong to you?
Co-worker X: Oh yes, all the time!
Co-worker Y: Yeah, and there’s nothing wrong with you for that. Sometimes you just don’t mesh with people *continues to put fingers together as an example* The point is though, you just have to make sure you’re not a b***h about it.
And by being a b***h, she meant meeting someone, not meshing with them, and going on to tell mutual friends, “I don’t like that b***h.” This is exactly what happened to my co-worker sadly when she met a friend of a friend, and the same thing the bootleg “friend” from my junior high days did to me. These women felt the need to let everyone know how less than moved they were by us. I wish I would have told my friend to tell ‘ol girl that I said, “And…so what? That’s your loss!”
The truth really is that, as Jill Scott would say, “Everything ain’t for everybody.” And everyone isn’t for everybody either. You’re not always going to like someone just because your friends, co-workers, boyfriend or family likes them. They might make a comment or do something that just rubs you the wrong way, and while that might irk the hell out of you, there’s no need to announce your feelings as if you’re trying to find people who agree (so you can feel validated about these feelings), call that person out of their name (remember, you still don’t really know them like that), or just be outright mean. Though there are people I didn’t mesh with at first glance, I never talked to them crazy (I prefer to be cordial if we must talk occasionally), and sometimes, when I even gave them a chance, I actually found them to be cool people. Some people you have to just give a chance. But then again, some people you don’t. And that’s okay, but please, remember not to be nasty about it. Make a mental note to yourself (Homegirl X is not my cup of tea), and move on.
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