I am by nature a fairly friendly and outgoing person; known for her smile and welcoming nature. My goal is to be respectful to all living beings and to find something good in everyone. The downfall of this life goal was that somewhere along the line came the belief that I had to “like” everyone I met. Meeting someone who I did not want to spend time with somehow became a failure for me, according to the judge and jury in my mind.
We all know that there are people in life who we resonate with; sharing interests, dreams, common friends and similar goals. Those people are easy to warm up to. If they were a social media post, we’d happily check the blue box “LIKE” for these new friends. It’s fun to talk to these people about anything and everything. We would count them as new members of our team.
Then there are the “others”. These are the people who maybe rub us the wrong way with their seemingly contrary nature. Maybe they point out our mistakes, tease us about our shortcomings or just constantly take the position of Devil’s Advocate in every conversation. They serve a purpose in life, maybe to build our character, perhaps improve our patience and tolerance. At work, they might inspire us to research, do our homework to be prepared to shore up our gut instincts with facts, allowing for firm convictions the next time we meet. In our work environment, we may have no choice in these interactions, at least for a period of time. They offer us great life lessons. Maybe our world would be less interesting without them?
The struggle here is that even while knowing in my heart of hearts there is a higher purpose in these encounters, I still don’t want to click LIKE on them. I cannot in good faith. I don’t want to friend them or spend any additional time with them than necessary. Does that make me a bad person? If we are all sparks of one divine source or almighty power, don’t I have to “like” everyone equally? I definitely thought it did and spent a good deal of energy beating myself up about it.
A recent interaction changed my outlook and made me understand the answer to the question is definitely NO, I cannot be expected to like everyone. Even the best and most loving person in the world cannot actually resonate with every other person on the planet. It’s just not possible. The key here is not to dislike them.
In social media, there is no “dislike” button; life works the same way. I don’t have to agree with everyone and I don’t have to invite them to my house for a glass of wine either I can respect them for who they are in life and who they are to me, as long as I don’t dislike them with my actions. In life, as in social media, when I don’t like the topic or the opinion being expressed, I can just move on by. Resist the urge to troll the person by putting my contrary opinion on their page and don’t knowingly look for a fight. I can bless them and be grateful for the lesson they are teaching me… then move along with my life.
I am still a good person even though I don’t like everyone and so are you.