How Do I Stop Feeling Like People Don’t Like Me?
Updated September 27, 2021
At some point in time, we all feel as though people don’t like us. Whether it’s a specific person or a group of people, it’s painful to feel that people dislike you or find out that someone dislikes you. If you’re wondering, “how do I stop feeling like people don’t like me?” know that you don’t need to stay stuck in that feeling. “Why don’t people like me?” is a broad question with an incredibly varied set of answers. It could be that the people around you very much love you but that you’re anxious about being disliked or have an inner dialogue that impacts the way you feel about yourself. It could also be that you have a toxic friendship or relationship that’s impacting your sense of self and making you feel as though people don’t like you. No matter what the case is, you can get to a place where you know you are both liked and loved by those around you.
Find The Origin Of The Feeling
The first step of getting to a place where you no longer feel as though people don’t like you is to pinpoint why you feel that way. When did it start? Did you start feeling like people don’t like you after a falling out with a friend? Was it after something specific that someone said to you, or has this been an ongoing issue in your life for as long as you can remember?
Once you find out the origin of this feeling, it will be easier to work through it. For example, if you notice that you started feeling as though people don’t like you after something that a friend said or feel as though you’re disliked only after you hang out with a specific person, you can look at them why that is. If the latter is the case, you may have a toxic friendship with someone making you feel bad about yourself. Does this “friend” put you down or say things that are critical even when you’re doing isn’t hurting anyone? If so, it might be time to reevaluate the relationship you have with this person. Some very selfish people may expect more than you can give. Selfish people will sometimes not consider your feelings and get angry if you don’t do what serves them. This is another time where you might consider reevaluating a friendship.
Alternatively, if you felt this way for a long period of time and there’s no real origin that you can find, but you do know that you’re nervous about people not liking you or often ask yourself, “why don’t people like me?”, it could be that you have anxiety. Anxiety can manifest in many different ways, and one of those ways is in worrying about what people think of you. If the thought of social contact with others makes you fearful or causes symptoms of anxiety, you may have social anxiety that’s causing you to worry that people don’t like you.
Another thing that could be going on is that there’s a trait of yours that you aren’t fond of. For example, you might struggle with anger and worry that people won’t like you because of your short temper or tendency toward frustration.
No matter what the case is, one thing is true; feeling as though you’re disliked doesn’t make it factual, and there are ways to break free from the feeling. Here are some things you can do.
Meet New People (And Give Them A Chance)
Positive social relationships are an integral part of our lives. If you feel that the people around you currently don’t like you, expand your horizons and make an effort to meet new people. When you introduce yourself to new people in the future, don’t let the feeling that people don’t like you seep in or influence your behavior. As you introduce yourself to others, repeat the mantra “I am liked” in your head. Smile and think to yourself, “I am liked. I am easygoing and kind. Making friends comes naturally to me.” If you’re shy, spending time with people might induce nervousness at first, but it will get easier as time goes on. Eventually, it will become second nature.
When you first meet someone new, don’t tell them that people don’t like you or won’t like you. Have you ever given someone a compliment that they rejected? If so, you know the uneasy feeling that comes when you hear someone put themselves down. Of course, it is different from confiding in someone about feeling as though people don’t like you so that you can work through it and vent. The problem comes when you identify with people not liking you, exude low self-esteem, and consider being unlikable or unconfident to be a fundamental personality trait of yours. When people feel that they are disliked, people tend to push others away. However, it would help if you gave people the chance to like you. Please don’t make assumptions or try to build other people’s opinions for them. Before you make assumptions, it’s also important to remember that just because one person doesn’t like you, it doesn’t need another person won’t. It’s okay if you’re not everyone’s cup of tea. Your people are out there; you have to look for them and continue giving people a chance until you find people you relate to.
Be Willing To Reflect On Your Own Actions
If you feel as though people don’t like you, it’s important to reflect on your own actions. When you feel like you rub people the wrong way, why is that? Are there common themes or scenarios that you find yourself in that make you feel like people don’t like you or as though you rub people the wrong way? For example, do you have angry outbursts or find that you’re often irritable? Are you highly critical of others? Do you tell offensive jokes and not listen when people tell you that it’s offensive to them and not okay to say?
Don’t be afraid of it being you; you can’t change the past, but you can modify any behaviors that are impeding your friendships. If you find a common theme impacting your ability to maintain friendships or relationships, you can work through it to impact these things in the future. Note that doing something wrong doesn’t mean that you are fundamentally unlikeable or eternally disliked. Research shows that change in personality and behavior is entirely possible. You can change your response if you’re doing something that hurts other people.
Be the kind of person you’d like to be friends with. Think about how you’d like a friend to treat you and what qualities you would appreciate in another person. If you can apply those qualities to yourself, it may be easier to feel internal that you are likable and give that vibe outwardly.
Often, feeling as though others dislike us is directly related to our sense of self and self-confidence rather than anyone else’s perception. There are many activities you can engage in that’ll help you increase your level of confidence. One of the most popular self-confidence building activities is to write a list of your positive attributes. You can do this on a loose-leaf piece of paper, a journal, or even a note on your phone. This is a confidence-building exercise where you can also practice combating self-doubt. Everyone has positive attributes, and you can find yours. If you’re struggling to do so, look at a list of potential positive attributes online, think about those you see in others and yourself, or ask a friend or family member to give you some traits that they understand that are positive within you.
Self-care is another confidence-booster. Self-care is not just bubble baths and beauty regimens. It also means taking care of yourself in whatever way is appropriate in that moment. Self-care could mean cleaning, sleeping, or doing something for yourself that you will appreciate later on, like knocking out a chore you’ve intended to take care of but haven’t gotten around to. When you do this kind of thing, it boosts your confidence because you show yourself that you’re able to take care of yourself; you’re teaching yourself that you have independence and rely on yourself. Of course, you don’t need to rely on yourself for everything, but knowing that you can rely on yourself for self-care in whatever way it’s accessible to you is powerful.
Another way to work through the feeling that people don’t like you is to go to therapy. In therapy, you can work through any issues related to your self-perception, interpersonal relationships, including friendships, familial relationships, and romantic partnerships, or any other roadblocks you’re facing. Counseling gives you an open seat to talk about anything you want to talk about to an objective third-party that will keep your thoughts and feelings confidential.
Online counseling or therapy is an excellent place to find quality mental health care. The licensed mental health providers at ReGain work both with individuals and couples, and they are here to listen about anything that’s on your mind. Search the network of providers to ReGain and find the best fit for you.
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