Is Being Disliked Bad or Good?

Warning: This article/blog might not be useful for or even upset people suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) or inflated ego that is a mental health condition in which they have an unreasonably/false high sense of their own importance.

Once someone asked me what is the greatest quality or trait that a person should have. And my answer was as spontaneous as it was simple and precise:

“Courage,” said I, without any iota of doubt in my mind and/or heart.

And this courage also includes, among others, the courage to be disliked.

No matter seemingly how attractive you look, how enlightened you think you are, how well you treat people, or how much (or not so much) you have in your bank account, someone will always hate you. Its inevitable. Keep in mind that like darkness and light, love and hate go together. All can not always be well. There will always be bitterness along with sweetness.

Another point is that as a lot of money is no guarantee that one will have a satisfied or meaningful life, the lot of attention and admiration is also not a guarantee for a happy and meaningful life nor necessarily a sign that you are a genius or have some extra-ordinary trait/value. One example is that of politicians who are often very popular in spite of being idiot. On the other hand, some psychologists are of the view that being rejected or disliked might also be healthy for you or your ego (if it has already been inflated too much) as will be explained later. Therefore, stop feeling fearful or insecure if you know or feel that you are an unwanted or undesirable person in the eyes of some people.

Many philosophers as well as sages think and some even believe it is an established truth that happiness lies in the hands of each human individual and does not depend on others people’s views (positive or negative) about an individual.

And as corollary to a quote about receiving less money and keep doing what you love, I would like to say that “It is better to receive less attention or liking and be satisfied and/or happy doing what you love than to receive or struggle to receive a lot of attention/admiration and keep doing silly things that you hate to do or that others want you to do.”

It is also impossible to please everyone, as according to Chloe Brotheridge, a hypnotherapist and anxiety expert, “You have your own unique personality which means some people will love and adore you, while others may not.” However, the problem is that being social creatures, most people, if not all, need approval from society rather than rejection, because “Historically it was essential for our survival,” as Brotheridge further explains. Thus approval of others has become one of our top social priorities dictating many of our actions and consequently we abhor/fear being disliked or rejected. Truth is that it happens to us all. Everybody dislikes somebody and nobody likes everybody. But taking it too seriously and investing ourselves too fully into how others perceive us can have terrible consequences. Sometimes it may also be shocking or even alarming to know that someone hates us deeply, even though we have (apparently) done nothing so serious to provoke them. However, to compensate for that feeling of rejection or dislike we can spend time with people that we know care about us and can boost our self-esteem as well as help us to feel more secure. Apparently it’s hard to get over the idea that everyone won’t like you, you must have to shake off that pressure by acknowledging that you are not a perfect human being.

Also remember that there are billions of people on earth (some recent estimates suggest that currently there are some eight billion) and not everyone is going to like you nor everyone will dislike you. There will be people who, no matter how good you do or how good you look, will point blank not like you. However, if you love yourself and know your own worth, then you don’t have to waste your time and energy to convince others of your worth or value as they won’t ever buy what you are selling. You might try to clear some confusion or misundrstanding/perception, if there is any, but should never go out of your way to win your rejector(s). And there will also always be people who, no matter how silly or wicked you are, will always love or try not to be unkind to you.

It is also a fact that all the people who hang around you and laugh with you are not necessarily your friends. People are usually great actors and skillful in the art of pretending. It sometimes takes grave situations to have fake friends/admirers exposed.

What this quote denotes is that an honest enemy who points out your real flaws is better than a fake friend who flatters or lavishes insincere praises or complements on us with the aim of furthering his own personal interests.

However, the gist of this article is that, as some pundits also point out, having one’s haters is not totally a bad thing. On the contrary, it might be a good thing for our mental health. For instance, when an adversary points towards our faults and thus forces us dig deep, try harder and gain great wisdom by keeping our ego in check, then it is a teacher — not an enemy. Thus believe it or not, when people come at you, it is meant for your own GOOD. Your enemies also teach you the lesson of forgiveness and love as, ultimately you have to forgive them and love them (sometimes even when they are not sorry) whether you want to or not. Otherwise you cannot progress in life and will keep living in the hell of your ego. That is why some pundits go to the point of suggesting that enemies are hidden helpers as they strengthen and sharpen us and keep us awake. A few even elevate the enemy to a savior.

It might also be a good thing or a positive indicator in the sense that you’re doing something that seems appealing or impressive and people have noticed this and thus are either jealous, afraid or in sheer awe of you. Or we can say they care about you. Otherwise why shall they feel jealous?

And finally, as well as indubitably, nobody is complete or perfect enough on this earth to be loved or liked by all. Even God (the perfect being) has haters or antagonists but He doesn’t give a damns and is never threatened by them.

So have courage, not only to accept the rejection but also to learn from and to forgive your antagonists, including your arch foes, and in the end even yourself. However, forgiving doesn’t mean being bitten twice or being like them. It means accepting them for who they are and where they are in life. Keep your distance but be ready to help.

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Aizaz Baqir

I am a freelance writer and translator based in Multan, Pakistan having interests in reading, writing, travelling and social services.