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Published 10 September 2012 14:30, Updated 10 September 2012 15:20
Not everyone’s going to love you at work, but there are strategies you can employ to deal with being disliked.
What do you do when someone doesn’t like you? I know, it happens so seldom, it is hardly worth talking about.
For my part, I usually think they must have mistaken me for someone else. But still, you have to do something about it if it starts to affect your work.
And probably, their dislike is more about them than it is about you. After all, what’s not to like?
Everyone wants to be liked, no matter how well they feign indifference, says Marcia Reynolds, president of Covisioning, a global leadership development and coaching firm.
“To think you can realise your potential without the help of others is an illusion,” she says.
“The ability to let a show of dislike roll off your back is a learned skill. You have to consciously balance your need to be liked with understanding what is true about the current situation”.
I find that an astute use of flattery and the provision of cake helps turn the situation around, but Reynolds has some hints of her own:
1. Work out how it makes you feel. Catch yourself reacting defensively or shutting down. The first step is to identify what emotion has shown up in your body so you can choose what to do next.
2. Ask yourself what is true. What do you think the person meant to do to you? “Your brain works very hard to keep you safe, so it will judge a situation as threatening if there is any possibility of social harm. This is not a logical process.” You will feel better if you discover they meant no personal harm.
3. Is it you? If you decide they did mean it, work out if their target was you, personally, or your ideas. “When our brains sense a possible threat, we react as if we were personally attacked.”
4. Who cares? “Some people will like you. Others will not. Will the person’s judgment of you impact your work or life?” The more you accept others as they are and listen with patience and compassion, the more you can move forward with your goals - regardless if someone likes you or not.