Romans 12:18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. (NRSV Catholic Edition)
Let’s face it, you’re not going to like everyone. Sometimes the feeling is mutual. We meet someone who just rubs us wrong. You’re instant rivals, right down to the barely suppressed sneer and curled lip.
Other times it’s not quite so dramatic. You might be making every effort to build a relationship, but they’re just not having it. Or there’s some previous history standing in the way of a relationship with someone.
Whatever the case, there comes a time to let dislike go. Holding onto animosity, even something so subtle as not wanting to be around a certain individual at work, only winds up hurting you in the end. In fact, you might be missing out on some hidden benefits by accepting someone you don’t like.
Intrigued? Read on to discover the why of it, and better yet, the how.
The benefits of accepting those you dislike are many:
• Reduces stress caused by the tension within the relationship.
• Cuts down anxiety regarding what the other person will say or do.
• Frees you from destructive thought patterns regarding this individual.
• Allows you to enjoy your relationships fully without worrying about how someone will or won’t react.
In order to get started, you only need to follow these three steps.
Address Any Fears
Frequently, when we dislike someone, it’s because they’re triggering us somehow. By looking deeper into the emotions being raised, and addressing them, you’ll be able to let go of a lot of the negativity you’re feeling toward them. This is especially true of fears, which have a way of looking like a lot of other things, such as dislike.
Let Go of the Anger
Much like fears, anger has a way of keeping up a pretense of hearty dislike. This is what happens when you let things fester, especially over something you’ve been holding onto for a while. Pro tip? Try forgiveness. Lay the past to rest between you and try accepting this individual now, in the moment.
Look for the Good in the Relationship
If you’re caught up in dislike, you might not have noticed there has been a positive impact on your relationship. Look for the things you’ve learned from the individual. Even harsh lessons have a way of guiding us onto new paths, benefiting us in the long run.
Sometimes we do ourselves a great disservice by hanging onto an immediate feeling of dislike for someone. As humans who grow and change, if we allow for it, relationships with those we don’t like can improve. Even if the connection never becomes stronger, accepting that the person is just the way they are will bring more peace into your life.