If there is someone you know or work with that you just cannot stand the sight of, how can you change your negative perception of that person? How do you turn back time on someone you never liked in the first meeting?
First, let us address why it is important not to think ill of someone no matter how horrible or annoying they are to you.
For starters, because it is not healthy! Not for that person but for YOU! It is very unhealthy to have negative thoughts in you. Those thoughts will cause you undue stress.
Secondly, that person may have really good qualities in them, but because you have planted that seed of dislike, the longer you don’t weed it out, the deeper the roots will grow. So even if that person does something nice, there is no way you will be able to see it because you would have already been blinded by deep rooted dislike.
Take it as a personal growth test to like someone you already dislike. We could all choose to be critical or we could choose to be better. Here are some steps to liking the unlikeable:
Nitpicking on trivial matters like the way they match their clothes or the way they chew is just not worth your time. Nitpicking can drain a lot of energy from you. Before you even think about something bad, stop yourself. Tell yourself that you are the bigger person here and that trivial things are not going to ruin your day because they are not worth it.
Start by seeing something good in that person. Start very small. It may be tough at first but it will get easier. Even if that person looks like a toad, there must be something nice about them. Give that person a scan (when they are not looking of course) and see if you can find something you might get to like about that person. Perhaps it is how their eyes glow when they have an idea. Or how they always wear the funkiest earrings. When you are more comfortable, search deeper like how that person always tries their best at something. Or how they are actually great with kids. By seeing good in people, you turn negative vibes into positive energy.
Turn things around
Instead of being critical and judgmental, try the opposite. For example, Joan is a grouch at work. You can choose to see her that way or you could choose to see Joan as being very professional at her job. You can choose to see Steve as a pushover and a weakling with no bones in him, or you could see him as a really nice man that just needs to meet nicer people. Or see Alan as a perfectionist rather than obsessed and problematic. There are many ways to turn things around and start seeing the light in people. Start with something small.
Put yourself in that person’s shoes. To understand where someone comes from and why they act that way, all you need is a little empathy. Someone you know talks too much and you are beginning to hate the sound of her/his voice? Slip into their shoes and think why. Maybe they cannot share their stories at home, maybe they feel the need to be part of the group, maybe they have low self-esteem. If someone is constantly sarcastic, maybe he/she’s got personal growth issues or maybe they are going through a rough time, or unlike you, they have never been taught how to communicate. Yes, you are making assumptions about their life, and yes, these assumptions are probably not true, but it will ease your annoyance and you will find it easier to get along with that person. While some may call it making excuses for the person, the bottomline is that it is better to think well than think ill.
If you are able to turn all feelings of frustration, annoyance and utter dislike for another person into good, healthy, optimistic vibes, it’s a great start to your own personal growth. It will not be an easy task, but remember these tips and you might be able to make a friend out of an enemy.