How to love someone you don’t particularly like…

by | 27th November, 2013 | love, thoughts on life, unconditional love

We’ve all come across people in our life who we may not particularly like. People who seem to push our buttons without even realising it, or people who we feel we have nothing in common with. Connecting with these people is often a struggle, however, I’ve come to realise that not connecting with them is even worse…

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I realise that the awkwardness I may feel around particular people is actually a measure of awkwardness that I feel about myself.

recordWe all want to feel a sense of connection with others – to feel wanted, to feel heard, to feel like we belong somehow. However, why bother making the effort to love someone that we really don’t like anyway? Isn’t it just easier to cut them out of our life and not waste our energy on them? The old me would have believed this was the best option. The old me was so uptight at times that eliminating the “baddies” was almost an act of self preservation.The new me now realises how flawed my thinking was…excluding the difficulties in life doesn’t make me “better”, it simply keeps me cocooned! A caterpillar doesn’t turn into a beautiful butterfly by remaining in their cocoon all their life…they have to be willing to grow and change. It’s the same for me. I have to change my attitude about the people I don’t particularly like and, quite ironically, allow myself to love them!

conditionalNow this doesn’t mean I intend on a group hug every time we meet, but rather I’m working on acceptance of who they are, and feeling gratitude for having them in my life. Here’s how I do this:-

  • I have to start from a place of feeling whole within myself. Once I love myself I can see the beauty in others without feeling threatened in any way. You can read more about this in an earlier post here.
  • If I am feeling uncomfortable around someone, I instantly check in with my own body, thoughts and feelings. Inevitably there is some self-doubt happenning and I will address it immediately.
  • People make the best choices available to them at any given time, even if those choices don’t sit well with me. There is very likely a reason (or history I am totally unaware of) that has them choosing certain behaviours. Once I appreciate that, it becomes easier for me to accept them without judgement.
  • People are not their behaviours. Behaviours are transient. We all know this because we all have bad days! This doesn’t necessarily make us a bad person.
  • I have to trust that the universe has placed this person in my life for a reason. What can I learn from them? Why are they in my life?
  • If I consider myself to love unconditionally, the very act of excluding some people over others means I have not yet reached that outcome. Yes, I might be more literal, or overt with some people (family and friends) however, beyond that my love is boundless. This is a tough one to truly embrace, but I’m trying!

Brene Brown talks of being selective when it comes to sharing our vulnerabilities. I think she has a point. However, we don’t need to be selective with our love, and often, the people who are the least likeable are the ones who need our love the most. As I’ve said so many times before, I am a work in progress and far from perfect. However, learning to simply love others unconditionally is quite liberating. It’s almost like the weight of judgement I carry around with me (ultimately about myself) has been removed and I can move more freely now. How about you?