For many years I asked myself, "Why do people hate me?"
Recently, I realized the damage that I was doing to myself by the very fact that I was asking myself this question: I would come out of a wrong assumption point which was that people hated me. It's delusional and it's just not true! For people who come in contact with me for the first time, they have no reason to hate me. For them I'm a person like anyone else.
But this myth, the wrong assumption would have made people hate me in the end. Why? Because this wrong assumption would have dictated to me aggressive and defensive thoughts and behavior, which would have been harmful to me.
I changed radically my point of view, and noticed that if I assume the opposite, i.e. that people love me, here too this assumption dictates me correct thoughts and behavior, and causes most people to love me!
One moment! When I say that you should assume in advance that people love you, it does not mean that it is true: there are certainly people who hate you, and even in this case, it is advisable to treat them accordingly, for example to attack them back or ignore them. Far from me the naive thought that all people are beautiful and all people are good. I'm just talking about what assumption we should make at first.
But you know me. I do not like to use only abstract terms. Therefore, I will give some examples that illustrate what kind of behavior causes the assumption that people hate you or love you.
- Let's start with a simple example from everyday life. I was in the supermarket. At the checkout, I handed money to the cashier. When he returned the change to me, the coins immediately fell off me and fell to the floor. The cashier got upset and shouted, "Can't you pay attention to what you do?"
1) What happens when I assume that people hate me?
As I know myself from the past, my assumption was: This cashier perceived me as a clumsy person. (Thought) So either I would react nervously (behavior), or worse even: I would look down shyly. By doing so, I would annoy him even more. For my part, I would reinforce to myself the thoughts that I am a clumsy person and that they hate me.
2) What happens when I assume, I am loved?
I would conclude that this cashier is a little nervous after a hard day's work, and bothers him when he has to pick up coins that have fallen to the floor, for example. (Me or anyone else. It was not actually directed against me!) So, let's buy his heart: I smiled and said to him: "It is not so terrible!". His reaction was that he smiled back at me and even said to me, "Have a good day!"
1) It's good to make the right assumptions, but even better to check them out! Well, the next day when I saw him, I waved him and he answered me. When I got to the checkout, I asked him, "How do you do?". And even when I got the change from him, I dared to remind him, that the day before, the money had fallen out of my hands and I asked him if this time I was okay. He replied with a smile: "Yes!".
2) While there are psychologists who recommend this type of behavior, and give such advice: apologize sometimes, smile, call people by their first name, give them compliments, etc.
I agree and disagree with these tips. There are situations in life that command us to apologize and some that don't. Same with the other types of behavior I described. And, when you smile because you think you should smile, unless you are a professional actor, you do it artificially, and the man standing in front of you feels it well. Conversely, when you want to make someone a friend of you, you know when and how to behave. And you do it in a natural and compelling way. This is what I meant when I said that assuming people love you dictates the right behavior for you.
- Second example: How to react when you are laughed at?
Once in the Army, I was in the canteen. When I took out my wallet, a soldier said to me: "What kind of ridiculous wallet do you have!" I immediately got upset and angrily said to him, "What do you want from me!" Again, you can see I assumed people hated me, and that dictated me misconduct. Luckily, another nice soldier, who only wanted my best, said to me: This is not how you react! You should have answer him: "The main thing, there is money in it!" (Laugh at yourself along with the one who laughed at you). A few days after that, another soldier said to me, "What a ridiculous wallet you have!" I answered him: "The main thing, there is money in it!" The soldier' response was that he burst out laughing, and said back to me, "Right! The main thing is to have money in it, uh!"
- A third example that illustrates that sometimes you should not try to force people's affection when it finally becomes clear to you that they hate you:
I worked for a new company as a software engineer. There was a junior principal there, who from the first day I met her, treated me in a hostile manner.
Again, assuming people hate me, I acted shyly, trying to be nice and polite to her. Too polite! Do you think this helped? Not at all! She considered me as a weak person and treated me even worse!
So, what should have been my behavior in this case? First, I had to understand the situation: in this case, she was twenty years older than me, she did not have the formal education I had, and she felt jealous and especially that if my status in society increased, it would jeopardize her status. It was not actually against me! It was against all the young engineers who had recently enlisted. The healthy response of the other young engineers was that they totally ignored it. In doing so, this woman would not have hated me less, of course but at least she would have respected me, while she was not doing so with my excessive politeness.
I would like to hear your comments on the subject. And examples from your life.