Can’t stand you

Our reporter suggests ways of dealing with people who do not like you or you find irritating

Dipti Sherchan


When you don’t like someone it does not mean that there is psychologically something wrong with you. Nor is there anything wrong with the person who does not like you. Pushpa Prasad Sharma, consultant psychiatrist, Om Hospital and Research Centre, explains, “There is nothing psychologically wrong with the person who does not like you and also there is nothing psychologically wrong with you if you don’t like someone. These are natural human qualities but it depends on the circumstances and the ways the person acts to judge if s/he is psychologically wrong.”

If you don’t like someone should one let the person know about their feelings or should one act as if everything is fine and keep the person in the dark?

On the other hand, what do we do when we are aware that the other person does not like us? How do we deal with them?

Both the cases are related to human sentiments but the way it should be handled is totally a different issue.

What to doKathmandu-based clinical psychologist Asha Basnet feels, “If you don’t like any person you should try at least not keep him/her in the false notion that you feel otherwise. You should tell the person your opinion about him/her but without hurting their feelings. But in every case you should think first what effect it will have on others. And the effect should have positive outcome.”

How do you behave with the person you don’t like at all? Do you let them know by your action, do you show your dislike, do you use satire to make the person feel bad, do you make sure that you create scene in front of all the others, do you act smart (if you two are working together and have the same boss) to create a bad image of your opponent or do you start pretending that you like the person when s/he is around and when they are not, start back-biting? If you are doing all this then stop right away.

Sharma advises, “If you don’t like someone, the best possible way is to avoid them. You must let the person know that you don’t like him/her in a subtle way. If the person knows about this and asks you the reason you must give the reason as well. But never pretend that you like someone and try to give false notions.”

No one has the right to humiliate others even if one does not like them. If you are asked to work with the person you don’t like then make sure that you do not mix your personal and professional life. If your heart does not agree with that and you land up bad mouthing the person, even though you try your best to act normally then you back off from the work you two are doing. If you cannot, then start behaving. Don’t ever try to disgrace the other

person in front of another or in public places. Your attitude speaks of you and your way to degrade others might end up in disgracing yourself. If you do not like the person then never pretend that you like them when they are around but this does not mean that you start misbehaving and start spreading gossip.

At the receiving end Even if you are at the receiving end, do not behave the same way the other person is behaving with you. If you do, then there would be no difference between you two.

If you don’t like any person then ask yourself why you don’t like him/her. If the person had done something to hurt you and your ego then start thinking of the rights s/he has done. Notice the positive quality of people surrounding you instead of pondering on their negatives and trying to change them. Everyone has good and bad qualities. Judge a person on his/her good qualities rather than ranking them for his/her bad qualities.

It is odd to work with a person when you know that they detest you. The other might show this by their action or might say it directly or you even might hear of this from someone. What do you do now? The only solution is to talk to the person. This will be difficult but not impossible. Have the guts and speak out.

Sharma agrees and adds, “If ever you come to know that why the other person does not like

you then ask the person why?

If the person gives you a reason and if it is corrective then you should correct it and clear the misconception.”

Ask the person if you have done some wrongs to make the person feel bad. You may never know when unknowingly you might have done something to hurt the person feelings or they might have heard something from the other person what you had told about him/her. Clear the misconception and misunderstanding and this will for sure change the attitude.

Don’t give up

Dealing with difficult people takes practice, so don’t get discouraged. Although these strategies won’t change the difficult people, they will break their ability to interfere with your effectiveness. Most important, you’ll feel more confident and you’ll start to enjoy your workdays.