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 are experiencing 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.
“I don’t know what I would have done without Harry. I was in a super low place and I was not sure what my problems were or how to solve them, but he was able to help me get to the bottom of my problems and work through them. Today I am happy and feeling like myself again. He was so easy to talk to and worked with me whenever I needed him. Even on vacation he took time to call me and talk through whatever I was going through. I would highly recommend him.”
“Lakesha was absolutely amazing! She helped me find myself and realize my self worth in such a short period! I highly recommend her services she is FRESH and has amazing insight!”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you know when a person doesn’t like you?
There are a lot of reasons people may feel as though others don’t like them. As stated in the article above, it’s important to give people a chance. Remember that there are many reasons people might seem as though they don’t like you when this isn’t the case at all. For example, if someone is shy, they might come off as standoffish, or you might believe that they don’t like you. Another example is that, perhaps, you just met someone, and when you talk, things go well, but they don’t reply often. It could be that, again, they are shy, or it could be that they’re bad at time management and space out when they actually do mean to reply to you. Some people take time to warm up to others, so be kind and see where things go. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to them about your concerns. It might just be a breakthrough moment.
If someone tells you directly that they don’t like you, that’s another story. Don’t apply their feelings about you to yourself. Instead, work on being the best person you can be. There are a lot of reasons people don’t like other people. Sometimes, people don’t match up well, and that’s okay. Additionally, there are various reasons people might not like another person, and some of those reasons will have just as little to do with you. It may be reflective of their own self-esteem, or they may be jealous of you. Instead of thinking, “people don’t like me” and using “people don’t like me” as a blanket statement, focus on finding people you get along with. Spend time with those who love you, and don’t let the people who don’t like you stop you from working to achieve your goals.
If you struggle to make friends because the thought “people don’t like me” is a recurring thought that runs through your mind, Start going out of your way to challenge it. Some people don’t care if other people like them or not and can brush the people who don’t aside, but it can be difficult to stop caring if people like you or not if you aren’t one of those people. If you like yourself, are confident in yourself, and are good at engaging in self-reflection and making sure that you are the best person you can be, spend time working on simply being who you are and allowing people in your life based on whether or not they are a good match for you, whether that’s in terms of friendship or relationships. Even the most incredible people won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay.
What should I do if someone doesn’t like me?
The answer to this question depends heavily on the specifics of the situation. First, is this someone that you have to be around? Is it someone you want to be around? Second, is this person someone who has an opinion that you value? Why or why not? Has this person always treated you in a way that makes you feel as though they don’t like you? If they haven’t, is it possible to have a conversation with them to see what’s going on? There could’ve been a misunderstanding between the two of you, or they could be going through something difficult that has nothing to do with you. Taking the time to talk it out, even if it’s just for clarification, is particularly helpful if this is someone you’d like to keep in your life. If someone treats you poorly, remove yourself from the situation to the best of your ability. Use your best judgment, and try to stay grounded in who you are and what you like about yourself.
How do you get along with people who don’t like you?
If someone doesn’t like you and you have to be around them for whatever reason, the most mature and effective thing to do is generally to treat them with kindness and keep your interactions with them to a minimum. A common example of where this may occur is in the workplace. Let’s say that you have a co-worker that doesn’t like you for whatever reason. Be civil with them, work to achieve your goals, and complete your professional tasks to the best of your ability, and if things get serious or if the way this person treats you starts to get in the way of your performance at work, bring it to the human resources department or a trusted supervisor.
How do you know if someone hates you secretly?
First, it’s hard to know how other people feel. Many people struggle with feeling as though other people don’t like them when, in reality, it’s often not the case at all. Identify what is causing the suspicion that someone doesn’t like you. Do they make rude remarks or jokes at your expense? Are they quiet? Do they ignore you? If someone is simply quiet around you, they may struggle with social situations or making new friends, in which case, it likely has nothing to do with you. If someone is rude toward you, they may struggle with self-esteem themselves. This is also something that has nothing to do with you, but it is also something that you don’t have to put up with or stick around for. It’s important to be around people who make you feel valued. If you’re dealing with people who make you feel bad about yourself, standing up for yourself and seeking the healthy connections you deserve is something that may very well change your life.
If you struggle with the recurring thought, “people don’t like me” or “everyone hates me,” counseling is one way to help yourself understand why you’re having this thought and move forward toward healthy connections with mutual care and affection. Think about what could be making you feel this way. Are you comparing yourself to people on social media? Are you comparing yourself to people outside of social media? Are there past friendships or relationships that made you feel as though people don’t like you or value you as a person? Identifying the root of this thought and feeling is often a positive first step toward solving the problem. You don’t have to act as though you don’t mind or push it down. Instead, address it and work through it.
How do you know if a guy doesn’t care about you?
You’re dealing with someone who doesn’t value you as a caring friend or partner should. Of course, things happen to people that make them insecure, and sometimes, they take it out on other people. However, this is not an excuse to treat someone poorly. If you don’t feel cared about, the bottom line is that you deserve to seek out connections where you do feel cared about.