Hard to like

There are just some people in our lives that make it so hard for us to like them? We’ve probably all come across people where it doesn’t matter what we say, something that seems totally innate, will turn into a massive argument with us feeling more frustrated that we’re having to fight our corner and still don’t agree on things.

When a discussion turns, it’s usually got something to do with the other person and what they’re dealing with. How easy it is for us to go on the defensive, but that will never help when there are issues lurking below the emotional surface. Underlying pain on what we deal with, will always fuel outward behaviour towards others, even if those significant others are not directly the cause of our pain.

As a society, we look for validation on our experiences, even though we know the person we’re talking to isn’t actually to blame. When we don’t get validation from the person we’re talking to that’s when we will subconsciously begin to take our frustrations out on them. Our decision to be angry isn’t a conscious one, we’re talking to the person who is responsible for how we feel.

It is futile trying to change someone if they’re not ready or don’t want to change, particularly if they’re only looking for validation, so that they can be justified or vindicated on things that have happened weeks or even years ago.

Unfortunately, this behaviour is more prevalent amongst family than it is friends, because our history with friends is usually one of appreciation, something we don’t always have with family.


28 Feb, 2013

8 thoughts on “Hard to like

  1. I really can’t think of anyone that this has happened with at the moment, but I’m sure there is someone.

    I don’t have a lot of contact with people because I stay at home so much. I know what you mean though. The other person gets angry because we don’t agree or validate their feelings.

    I guess I usually just listen to people and then I will agree with them. I like to think I’m a very compassionate person and give others a shadow of a doubt as to what they are talking about.

    I’m more of a ‘yes’ person.

    1. Thanks Lisa. I think we all probably know of someone even if we don’t know of someone personally!

      If that person is looking for validation but we know that person well enough to know they don’t deserve to be validated then I wouldn’t validate them just because they want me to. I would have to agree for that to happen.

      Like you, I used to say yes to everyone but it didn’t make my relationships any better. Personally if I’m wrong I don’t look for validation. Sometimes we have to admit we’re wrong instead of wanting to validate ourselves all the time.

      Even if we think we’re right, others may not see us that way, so why would they have to validate us? Just a thought.

  2. Oh yes, I too have had family in my life that likes to give their point of view on things.

    My Mom for one gives me a lot of advice, her words ground me and make me see the error of my ways. A lot of times what she says usually brings to light the other side of the coin. I don’t usually see the other side of the coin until she brings it to my attention. She is very wise that way.

    She didn’t even go to high school, yet she is wise beyond imagination. I guess that it’s true, with age comes wisdom and with her life issues she has seen it all and has benefited from that.

    My brother on the other hand tends to always think he is right in every conversation. Very opinionated and very stubborn to see when he is wrong. Even harder still is for him to say that he is sorry and wrong in what he has done (funny thing is is that he is a Psychology major – but really what did he learn, not much!)

    It doesn’t always mean that because you are book smart you have all the tools to deal with life situations. I’m still waiting to have a heart to heart talk with him. He does owe me an apology for what he has said to me in the past. I’m not going to bet the farm that it will happen, he is so stubborn and hardly ever thinks he is wrong.

    Hopefully my mom will talk to him on my behalf (she is the peace keeper in the family) and she will tell him that I’m still hurt, then we can have a tete a tete and hopefully settle things that are harping on my mind.

    Nice topic Ilana. You always come up with some insight into our issues!

    1. Thanks Maria. I’m smiling, not on your last comment, but of your brother’s need to fight his corner and his constant need of validation, even though you know the opposite to be true.

      Of course there’s no trying to convince people their assumptions are wrong, because they will always see and believe they’re right, no matter what we say. It’s almost in their DNA brought about by their upbringing and their need to be right all the time. I have that too in my extended family!

      You are completely right in what you say about being book smart and being worldly smart. They are two different things which invariably don’t go together. Just because we study hard and have a degree doesn’t make us intuitive about life and the world we live in. In your brother’s case majoring in Psychology you would have thought he would have understood people a little better!

      I believe everything in life is based on our perceptions. If we use our perceptions intuitively I’m sure we’ll get more right than wrong. It is hard though, for other people to have to work with someone who always feels the need to be right and looks for validation all the time.

      From my own experience we either have to take a different approach or back off from that person altogether, otherwise we get to where you are still waiting on an apology that you may never get.

      Mothers do tend to be the peace makers in the family. I hope your mom manages to work her magic for you.

    1. I get where you’re coming from Randy, but in the longer term I am not sure how long being the peacemaker will really work for.

      It’s not always easy to listen to someone who constantly justifies themselves and looks for validation, particularly if it’s us they’re trying to convince all the time.

      It can be very stressful, particularly if we know that what the other person is saying isn’t how things really are. Unfortunately some people become so self righteous about their beliefs, that I’m not sure how long being the peacemaker will work for before we feel the need to speak out. That is my experience.

      I also believe emotionally we are taken in by what other people say. I don’t believe anyone is immune to that.

  3. I know a couple of family members who fit this description perfectly, but both for different reasons.

    I try hard to get on with both of them, but every now and again my resolve drops and I lose my patience which I know doesn’t help.

    1. I think you’re only human! It’s never easy to talk to someone who insists on justifying themselves all the time.

      You’re absolutely right, losing your patience of course doesn’t help, but sometimes it’s almost unavoidable in those circumstances.

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