How to Deal With People Who Don’t Like You

You may have people in your life with whom you don’t get along with. Whether it’s a co-worker, an acquaintance, or even a family member—there will always be someone who doesn’t like you for some reason.

Sometimes, this factor can make things really difficult when dealing with them on an everyday basis. Fortunately, there are ways to approach this situation. 

According to experts, the following are tips on how to deal with people who don’t like you:

Brenda Delmonte, LMHC

Brenda Delmonte

Licensed Mental Health Counselor, The Counseling Perch

Gauge what is happening during these interactions before deciding how to proceed

The first step is to reflect and ask yourself how you know this person does not like you. Can you confirm that this is really true and not just an anxious response?

For example:

  • Have they told you they don’t like you?
  • Are their behaviors different towards you than with other people? (i.e., being friendly, greeting others, and not doing the same with you).

This is important because you want to gauge first what is happening during these interactions and gather facts. This is needed in order to decide how you want to proceed.

On certain occasions, we can’t avoid dealing with people that don’t like us. You may be dealing with a difficult boss, coworker, family member, or a particular person that has joined your friend group.

Related: How to Deal With Coworkers Who Don’t Like You

You don’t want to give up your job, family, or friends, so you must find a way to manage this uncomfortable situation in the healthiest way possible for you.

Here are some tips to consider:

Continue to treat this person with respect and guard your own dignity

It really helps to remember that people are often caught up in their own minds. Their own problems. Their own world.

This means that their lack of kindness or ability to value you as a person is more about them than it is about you.

What to do:

Acknowledge that this person is caught up in something you may not be privy to. Rather than trying to avoid them or give them back a taste of their own medicine, continue to treat this person with respect and guard your own dignity.

In the end, this will lead you to preserve your peace of mind.

Protect your energy; avoid overextending yourself to accommodate their needs

Dealing with people that don’t like you can stir up feelings of:

  • insecurity,
  • anger,
  • resentment, or
  • anxiety.

Related: How to Overcome Bitterness and Resentment

Deep down, we all desire to be liked. It is human to want to be seen, heard, valued, and respected.

When this doesn’t happen, we can be consumed with overthinking and be burdened by having to deal with people that don’t care about us.

What to do:

Protect yourself from stress. Avoid trying to please them and overextending yourself to accommodate their needs or fall into their good graces.

Be honest with yourself about why this person is triggering you. Dealing with someone who doesn’t like you can be easier when you don’t put all the focus on them.

Instead, be polite and respectful toward this person as you would with anyone else.

However, refocus your energy on caring for yourself. Engaging in a positive or stress-relieving activity such as going for a walk, listening to music, or something else that helps re-energize you can help reduce the stress associated with dealing with this person.

Confront them using curiosity, kindness, and compassion

In some cases, you may want to approach this person and ask to have a conversation with them. Use this time to gently bring up how you are experiencing your interactions with them.

What to do:

Let them know you feel they don’t like you very much and are curious about how this happened. This may give you important information about how this person relates to and sees you.

It could be a misunderstanding rather than true dislike or disregarding you as a person.

In some cases, you may both discover a way to get along without experiencing tension and awkwardness when you see each other.

Dr. Nereida Gonzalez-Berrios, MD

Nereida Gonzalez-Berrios

Certified Psychiatrist, The Pleasant Mind

Accept the fact and move on

People may not like you for various reasons. Sometimes your opinion and point of view may vary from the other person. As a result, emotional distancing may occur.

You may also have done something undesirable, and your acceptance quotient decreased. The other person started disliking you.

Whatever the reason, you need to accept that getting along well with everyone you meet in your daily life is really not needed. There will always be one or two in your daily life who will dislike you.

Accept the fact and move on.

In this everyday chaos that we live in, it is good to accept our differences with each other and not care much about how others perceive you in reality. It is a fact that you cannot be everyone’s apple of the eye.

Refrain from being a people-pleaser

Even if people do not like you, refrain from being a people-pleaser because it is an unhealthy way to improve your social image and self-esteem.

There are certain tricks that you can actually use to deal with people who don’t like you.

Some of them are as follows:

Accept your differences with others

Accept your differences with others. Be who you are.

Related: How to Love and Accept Yourself as You Are

Communicate clearly with the person

Communicate clearly with the person. Let them give you a clear explanation about why he/she doesn’t like you.

Avoid being in a fight or squabbling over issues with the person

Avoid being in a fight or squabbling over issues with the person. Sometimes, avoidance works better than confrontation.

Accept the fact that you cannot please everyone

Accept the fact that you cannot please everyone. Some people will adore you, others not. It is not your job to make others happy all the time.

Set a good boundary with the person so that they know what is allowed and how much

Set a good boundary with the person so that they know what is allowed and how much. Never accept their verbal abuse or insults. In such a situation, you need to communicate that you will not tolerate everything they are saying or doing.

Avoid getting frustrated or angry with the person

Avoid getting frustrated or angry with the person. They might think that they were able to overwhelm you emotionally.

Never carry the burden of the other person’s whims and wishes

Never carry the burden of the other person’s whims and wishes. At times, a no-care attitude is good enough.

Avoid being defensive

Avoid being defensive. Instead, feel what you really want to feel about the situation. This gives you clarity about the situation and your response while dealing with the person.

Ask yourself whether it really matters to you

Ask yourself whether it really matters to you. If you think someone doesn’t like you, ask yourself whether it really matters to you. Are you really concerned about pleasing everyone and satisfying none?

Remember that you are a unique being with good and bad traits

If you feel judged, just remember that you are a unique being with good and bad traits. It doesn’t matter if some people don’t like you. Even if they don’t, you will remain the same person.

Learn to overlook their bad behavior, if possible

If things get too bad or they turn up to insult you, give a check and say ‘bye bye’ forever. In no way can you afford to accept emotional abuse and harsh behavior.

Disengage your connections completely if the person tries to harm or hurt you openly in public.

Talia Bombola

talia bombola 1

Certified Psychodynamic LMFT | Licensed Psychotherapist | Confidence and Assertiveness Specialist

Treat yourself with respect and honor your standards and boundaries

Everyone will have an opinion; it is up to you to determine whether or not you let other people’s opinions affect you at all, and if they do, by how much.

There will be people in the world you encounter who may not like you, for whatever reason. They may not have told you the reason, and they may not even know the reason consciously.

Instead of focusing on only how to deal with people who don’t like you, it’s important to focus on why it matters to you that people don’t like you.

Once you solve that at the core, it won’t matter how you deal with them because their opinion of you will be neutralized in terms of impact and not affect you.

In general, you would deal with people who don’t like you the same way you deal with people who do like you. Treat yourself with respect and honor your standards and boundaries, and use clear, effective communication.

If a person doesn’t like you and is treating you poorly (or in a way you don’t like) because of their aforementioned dislike of you, you have a few options:

  • Stop caring about what they think about you: If they like you or not.
  • Disconnect from the person and take space away from them.
  • Confront your perception/assumption that they dislike you with them directly.

Dr. Sierra Baird

Sierra Baird

Licensed Psychologist | Founder, Know Grow Flow

Slow down your reaction at the moment

We’re usually pretty good at noticing when others don’t like us. The signs can be subtle, and we will most likely feel it before we can actually put words to it. These interactions can be difficult because, at our core, we want to feel supported and cared about.

A healthy approach in these situations would be to slow down your reaction at the moment.

Notice that it’s uncomfortable, and be aware of your knee-jerk reactions;

  • Do you want to overcompensate and double down on your likability?
  • Do you want to put the other person in their place?

Both of these reactions would be normal but will actually get in the way of your potential for growth.

Instead of responding from an emotionally reactive place, ask yourself:

  • “What am I doing that could be adding to this person’s negative view of me?”
  • “Would it be appropriate to check in with them to see if I’m overlooking something important?”

Both of these questions take a good amount of courage to ask.

Through this process, we can learn valuable information about ourselves that we may otherwise overlook. And slowing down our reactions at the moment is worth the sacrifice in this case because we can deepen our level of self-awareness.

We may also learn that the person’s reaction to us has little to do with us. And engaging in the process of slowing our reactions will give us clarity and more self-confidence that we are acting in a respectful way.

Either of these outcomes has the genuine potential to grow our level of self-trust, which is well worth the momentary discomfort.

Ian Stockbridge

Ian Stockbridge

Founder and Lead Counsellor, Hope Therapy & Counselling Services

The first thing is, are we sure? The mind has a habit of filling in the gaps before knowing all the facts. So do we know someone doesn’t like us or simply believes it?

Should you care? Not everyone in life will like us, whoever we are. Even the most successful and popular people aren’t liked by everyone. So does it really matter if they like us or not? Sometimes it simply isn’t worth trying to build bridges.

Practice self-awareness

Take a good hard look at yourself and ask whether I made a mistake. If we can see that we said something wrong or did something which upset the other person, sometimes the easiest and best thing is to accept it and apologize.

Stop ruminating about it; break the cycle by talking to friends

Sometimes it is hard to simply step away from the feeling that we are a terrible person or that everything is our fault. Interrupting that rumination cycle can help give perspective.

It can help us stop cycling around the same old self-destructive thoughts without moving the situation forward. There really are so many ways of doing this.

You could speak to friends, focus on your breath, or the sensations of your feet pressing down on the ground. Anything to break the cycle.

It doesn’t make the person like you or the problem go away. Still, it can be beneficial in stepping away from our rumination and helping us see things differently.

Practice self-care; do something you enjoy

It can be really easy to get dragged into negative self-talk, which in turn can feed feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety, or low mood.

Instead, making a deliberate plan to do something we enjoy can help feed the positive in us. This can be as simple as seeing a friend, going for a walk, or watching a film.

Make a plan to repair the situation

Sometimes we want to repair a ruptured relationship or get on the good side of someone.

Firstly, you could simply ask why the other person doesn’t seem to like you. If you do this, listen to understand, not argue back.

This isn’t the time to create hostility. Instead, you are trying to see if there are ways of repairing the situation.

Avoid defensiveness; remove yourself from the situation and return when you feel calmer

When hearing negative things about ourselves, getting defensive can be really easy. If trying to repair a relationship or misunderstanding, snapping, antagonizing, or becoming unduly defensive rarely helps.

Instead, use this as an opportunity to understand what is needed. For example, suppose we are finding ourselves getting angry or frustrated. In that case, it is often better to remove ourselves from the situation and return when we feel calmer.

Try to keep the situation as emotionally neutral as possible through communication

If you have got to the point where you are talking, help the other person understand how you feel. They may not realize just how much this is impacting you. Try to keep the situation as emotionally neutral as possible.

The aim is not to fall out. An excellent way of doing this is to use I statements. This helps us convey a sense of ownership of the situation without the other person feeling attacked.

An example might be:

“I am really disappointed that we don’t seem to be getting on at the moment, and I’d like to understand what can be done about this.”

Don’t refuel the attack; be conciliatory

If someone really doesn’t like you, we don’t want to give them more ammunition with which to attack you.

The best approach is to be conciliatory but keep our cards close to our chest until we decide it’s right to say more. Sometimes whatever we say, the other person just isn’t going to like us.

Sometimes it’s better to detach from the other person

Sometimes however hard we try, the other person won’t like us for no good reason. In cases like that, we are better off simply disengaging from the other person.

This doesn’t mean we have to create additional conflict. Instead, merely step away if persevering serves no purpose.

Ray‌ ‌Sadoun

Ray Sadoun

Mental‌‌ ‌‌Health‌‌ ‌‌and‌‌ ‌‌Addiction‌‌ ‌‌Recovery‌‌ ‌‌Specialist | Medical Reviewer, OK Rehab

Accept yourself; you will care less about what others think of you

First, you must accept yourself if you don’t want to crumble under the weight of other people not liking you. If you embrace the person you are, you will care less about what others think of you as you won’t need them to validate you.

For example, if you already believe you are intelligent, someone thinking you aren’t won’t affect you as much as you are not relying on them to boost your ego by telling you you are intelligent.

There is no easy way to accept yourself – it is a journey that will have its ups and downs. However, there are some things you can do to make it easier.

Try to notice when you display positive behavior and use it to remind yourself of your good qualities, such as praising yourself for doing an act of service for someone or for listening to a friend who needed to be heard.

Another tip is to think of yourself as the child you once were, and when you are putting yourself down, imagine it’s the child version of you that you are criticizing.

This may help you to shift your perspective and see the innocence inside of you, helping you to be kinder to yourself.

Check your own behavior

It’s always important to check in with yourself before assuming the problem lies with other people. If nobody seems to like you, take notice of your behavior and see if you are doing anything to contribute to this.

This doesn’t have to be malicious. You may simply be a shy person, and other people interpret this as inhospitality, but if this is the case, it’s important that you realize this so that you can adapt your behavior.

In this situation, even if you don’t feel comfortable chatting at length to a large group of people, you could reach out to people by text or on a one-to-one basis to show them that you do care about them.

Find people who do like you

When you feel as though the people around you dislike you, it’s good to shift your focus onto the people who do like you, and if there aren’t many people, try to find them.

The truth is that nobody is liked by everyone, so it’s important that you simply find the people who are going to value you and your quirks.

The best way to do this is to join a club you are interested in and meet like-minded people; this could be a sports club, a music club, or anything else you are passionate about.

Distance yourself from them

Finally, if nothing else seems to be working, distance yourself from the people who don’t like you if it is possible for you to do so.

Spending too much time with them will only knock down your self-esteem, and you are worth more than that. Try to contact them less and less and eventually stop seeing them.

If you cannot do this—perhaps you work with them or they are a family member —see them as little as possible, and do not let them guilt trip you for this.

Rachel Ann Wahba-Dunkley

Rachel Ann Wahba-Dunkley

Certified Holistic Life Coach, Rachel Ann Coaching

Resist the urge to get them to like you

There will always be someone who doesn’t like you, but it hurts more for some people than others.

Typically, we want these types of people to like us:

  • friends,
  • family,
  • colleagues,
  • neighbors,
  • people of influence,
  • people we like, etc.

If it’s a random person who has no significance in your life, then I recommend accepting it and moving on—after all, there’s no pro or con to them liking you!

But, if you’re tempted to people-please or that you’re overly sad about them not liking you, then take time to process why:

  • Why do you care about them liking you so much?
  • Do they represent something of value to you? How would your life change if they did like you?

If it is someone who does have significance in your life, then it may sting a little more. Take time to process your thoughts and feelings, and grieve the relationship you wish you could have with them that is impossible. Be patient with yourself during this time.

Practice active listening

If you have the time and mental capacity, you can always reach out to that person to have an open, honest conversation to learn why they don’t like you.

If you lead from a place of wanting to learn, practice active listening and open to growing, then there’s a chance they’ll have the conversation with you. Leave the ball in their court to decide if they want to take you up on that offer or not.

Related: 50+ Reasons Why Listening Is Important

It’s important that you respect their decision – just because you may want to clear things up or improve the relationship in hopes of them liking you doesn’t mean they want to. And that’s their right!

Practice self-differentiation and setting boundaries

Resist the urge to get them to like you. Every person has the right to like or not like someone! Just because someone doesn’t like you and is cold towards you doesn’t mean you need to do the same to them.

You can practice self-differentiation by staying true to your values and character while also respecting that someone else has a different perspective; the two can exist at the same time.

People-pleasing never pays off

But, don’t be overly nice or accommodating to get them to like you—people-pleasing never pays off. It only exhausts you and makes you seem superficial.

Setting boundaries is helpful to prevent this so that you can maintain your energy and have realistic expectations when being around them.

Mair Hill

 Mair Hill

Owner, Mair Hill Consulting

Treat them with common courtesy and mutual respect

As a business owner, it never mattered to me whether someone liked me or not. What mattered to me was being respected, and I believe you must earn someone’s respect.

Everyone who knows me knows my personal credo is common courtesy and mutual respect. It’s how I treat people and how I expect to be treated. Whether they like me or not is on them.

As long as there is common courtesy and mutual respect to get the job done, I am willing to participate because I can separate personal from business.

Integrity triumphs over being disliked

I once worked with a woman named “Susie.” She was in management with one of our biggest vendors. She did not like me.

I always considered myself lucky to have been in business for 14 years before encountering someone so awful. She did everything in her power to undermine me at every step. I tried for an entire year to make it work.

Ultimately, I went over her head and invited her and her boss to a meeting with my team. When she boldly lied to my team in front of her boss, I knew the issue went up the chain. And we resigned.

It wasn’t about being liked or disliked; it was about integrity. It was about working toward a common goal. She clearly had a different agenda.

Related: How to Deal With a Coworker Who Undermines You

David Culpepper, MD

David Culpepper

Clinical Director, LifeMD

Double down on the people who like and care about you

Don’t waste your time on people who don’t like you. We tend to take for granted the people who like us and focus on the people who don’t we try to figure out what we may be able to do to get them to like us.

But the fact of the matter is that not everyone is going to like us, and that is okay.

It is better not to waste your time on the people who don’t like you and, instead, double down on the people who like and care about you.

If you are busy reaping the rewards of your positive relationships, you won’t even have the time to notice people who might not like you.

Think about anything else; nothing has less value to your life than someone’s dislike of you

If you’ve ever experienced a critique of your work, you are familiar with this pattern:

“Nine out of ten people might have had nothing but great things to say about your work, but the one that sticks with you the most is the one person who had some criticisms.”

It’s the same thing with people who don’t like us; we let them take up an inordinate amount of space in our minds, and they occupy that space rent-free.

They might have only had a glancing impression of us and moved on, but we continue to spend time thinking about what we might have done differently to make them like us more or what we might say to put them in their place.

It makes no sense to have these people taking up space in our brain when we could be using that space for something worthwhile.

Thinking about someone who doesn’t like you is just about the least productive thing to do with your time.

No amount of thinking is going to make them like you, and besides that, nothing has less value to your life than someone’s dislike of you. You’d be better off thinking about literally anything else.

Open yourself up to the rich new friendships available to you

You’d be much better off thinking about the people who do like you. No doubt you have friends and people who care about you, and you don’t want to neglect those people because you’re constantly worrying about the people who don’t like you.

And in addition to the friends you have, there are probably other people you meet who do like you and could add enrichment to your life.

Sometimes you might not even notice such people because you are only worried about the people who don’t seem to like you. Put those concerns aside and open yourself up to the rich new friendships available to you.

Praysha Spearman, LMFT

Praysha Spearman

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Renew Therapy, LLC

You may not need to change anything about your approach; instead, practice radical acceptance

“If they don’t like me, it’s their loss, not mine.”

If this is your attitude towards certain people who don’t like you, the best thing you can do is to maintain dignity for yourself and others by treating people with respect even when it seems they have not treated you with it.

People with some control/power/authority over your life

This could be a boss, parent, teacher, or some other person with a level of control or decision-making power in your life. When this person doesn’t like you, sometimes you are not able to immediately put distance between you and them due to the nature of your relationship.

It is important to examine whether or not you feel threatened by this person due to their position of power and to consider those feelings before interacting with them.

  • Do you want them to “like you” because you want to secure your job?
  • Do you want them to “like you” because you admire their work?

Understanding better why them not liking you is a problem for you may help you better handle any interactions you are forced to engage with.

People you admire/love

This category may be the most difficult to deal with emotionally because you’ve already developed a space in your mind for this person as someone special, even if they don’t know it.

They might be a crush, a love interest, a celebrity, or even a role model, but they may not return your interest or even know you exist!

Depending on the circumstances, it may be helpful to involve a trusted and unbiased third party to help you decide your next steps.

Similar to the movie “Hitch” with Will Smith, you could hire an image consultant, a mental health therapist, or another unbiased professional to help you make necessary changes.

Reasonable changes could get you noticed for who you are and for all the right reasons.

You could also choose someone who is not a professional, but you run the risk of that person not being fully honest with you, not having the experience you need, or being too biased to help you make the best decisions.

Alternatively, you may not need to change anything about your approach and should instead practice radical acceptance. Radically accepting all the painful realities about this person not being mutually interested in you will help you to move forward after a broken heart.

Instead of “Hitch,” think “He’s Just Not That Into You” vibes. Focus on your own best qualities and spend time enjoying/enhancing them to prevent depression and attract others with similar values, interests, and hobbies as you.

Even if your favorite thing to do is ironing your clothes on a Saturday, there are people who would love to connect with you around that similar interest! The opportunities are limitless!

Ciandra St. Kitts, LCSW

 Ciandra St. Kitts

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Choosing Therapy

The adage “killing a person with kindness” can be helpful

Dealing with people who do not like you can be difficult.

  • It can increase your nervousness and anxiety,
  • It can put you on the defensive, and
  • It can make you question yourself.

Be aware of your tone

When having interactions with the person, be aware of your tone. You do not want to antagonize or increase the discomfort of having communicated with the person.

You can do a check-in, asking the person directly, again in a non-confrontational manner, if there is a concern they would like to discuss with you.

Ignore or limit contact

Many may advise ignoring or limiting contact. If you can limit contact, do so; if not, be as neutral as you can. Ignoring has its hardships. You can only do it for a certain period of time. Everyone has a point where ignoring no longer works.

You can be gracious

You do not have to go out of your typical behavior, but you can still show kindness. We never know what is going on for the other person. It may not be you. They may be projecting on to you.

The adage “killing a person with kindness” can be helpful here.

Murielle Mobengo

Murielle Mobengo

Cultural Strategist | Co-founder, The Polymath Agency

How do you know people don’t like you? Well, you’ve had disagreeable interactions with them on a regular basis and felt hurt; we all hurt and hurt people sometimes, colleagues, strangers, and close ones.

Unless we lack empathy, most of us tend to apologize.

Assess your relationships and get clarity on your core values

Emotional pain wanes over time when trustful relationships are formed with common values.

If you notice people do not like you in private or in the workplace, this may be a sign you are trying to form a partnership with the “wrong” people, people who do not share your perception of life or vision.

Many of us sift through life without knowing our existential values and learn the hard way when painful conflicts arise. This doesn’t have to be that way.

  • Value mining is a skill that should be taught in schools and universities.
  • Self-clarity plays a major role in successful relationships, whether professional or personal.

Treat repetitive disagreeable interactions in the professional or personal sphere as an opportunity to assess your relationships and determine how they harmonize with what you value in life.

Do not tolerate unsatisfying relationships

End any relationship which frustrates you. The more you wait, the more these relationships can culminate into a crisis that will affect your energy on multiple levels: physical, mental, and financial.

Buddhist philosophy defines failure as “union with the undesired.” Why would you want that? We all want union with the desired.

The absence of harmony in relationships requires immediate attention as it can destabilize or endanger your life.

Check your levels of self-esteem and be assertive

While being agreeable and polite facilitates human exchanges and creates happier environments, wanting to be liked at all costs is a sign of low self-esteem and poor assertiveness.

People-pleasing can also be counterproductive as it will make you unreliable and confused about what you want in life.

Develop strong existential values and strong ethics, and be assertive instead.

Sameera Sullivan

Sameera Sullivan

Relationship Expert, Sameera Sullivan Matchmakers

I have learned over time that you can be the most liked person on this planet and still have people who don’t want you, but that’s still okay.

It makes you wonder about yourself, but it’s not always your fault. It is just how their world works. But despite that, if you have to deal with people who don’t like you daily, you can use specific tactics to make it a little easier.

Realize that some people are just not worth your time

The first thing you can do is decide not to care and realize that some people are just not worth your time, but this may not always work if you are a bit more emotionally sensitive.

Try to prioritize your mental well-being

Try to prioritize your mental well-being by focusing on the positives. Don’t fixate on the negativity.

Try to take the situation head-on and confront them

If a particular persona’s actions are getting too much, try to take the situation head-on and confront them. Ask them why they are that way, and maybe through that, you might even get to repair your relationship with them.

Don’t be defensive; hear them out

Don’t be defensive; hear them out. Maybe there is something that can genuinely be fixed but at the end of the day, remind yourself that you should not always seek everyone’s approval.

AJ Silberman-Moffitt

AJ Silberman-Moffitt

Senior Editor, Tandem

I have come across many people in my almost 50 years on the planet. They have been neighbors, schoolmates, coworkers, and others I have met during social gatherings.

Sometimes these people got along with me, while this wasn’t the case at other times. Though some people will adore you immediately, others might not feel the same way.

What can you do when a person doesn’t like you? How can you deal with them?

Try to understand them

If you can find out why the person doesn’t like you, you might be able to adjust your words or actions to better align with what they want to hear or see. If you don’t understand what they don’t like about you, you’ll have a hard time changing your behavior.

Of course, don’t change things about yourself merely because someone else wants you to change. Only make changes that are beneficial to you and your well-being.

Try to change their mind

You might believe someone doesn’t like you due to a misunderstanding, or maybe it’s something you did where you were wrong but that you can correct.

In cases like these, you can take the time to try and change someone’s mind. If you owe them an apology, give it to them. Just make sure your apology is sincere.

Don’t say something because you think it’s what someone wants to hear, but give a heartfelt apology that explains your actions.

Try to talk to them

Talking to someone and getting them to open up to you can help. It will let you understand them a little more, plus it may change their mind or their opinion about you.

Though they might be reluctant to talk to you, as you already know they don’t like you, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be the bigger person and make an effort so that the two of you can get along.

Ignoring them may be the best course of action

Former friends, your neighbors, or even family that don’t like you are probably a little easier to ignore than coworkers.

If you don’t have any obligations to the person, and you don’t have to work with them, then ignoring them may be the best course of action. Ignoring a person doesn’t mean acting as if they aren’t there, but rather not letting the way they feel about you upset you.

Accept that not everyone will like you

Being cordial and respectful to others is one of the most important things you can do in life. It’s okay to accept that not everyone is going to like you, but not liking someone does not mean that you aren’t able to get along.

Do your best to be calm and collected when dealing with a person that doesn’t like you. Hopefully, in time their opinion will change. If it doesn’t, at least you know you acted responsibly.

In an ideal world, everyone would love each other, and we would all live peacefully. Unfortunately, that’s much easier said than done. At least we can make an effort to have people like us, and if they don’t, consider it their loss.

Carol Gee

Carol Gee

Author, “Telling Stories, Sharing Confidences

Address it with the person to see why that is

If I learn (from others) or realize by their behavior that someone doesn’t like me, I might address it with the person to see why that is. When I was younger and realized someone didn’t like me, I asked the person why.

She indicated that she thought or heard that I didn’t like her, which I never said to anyone.

Another time it happened, the person said she thought that I was stuck up or standoffish. In truth, I am a people person but can be quiet until I feel comfortable with some people.

Try to stay away from them

Today, if I realize someone does not like me, I try to stay away from them. After all, I have a bunch of folks who do like me. I think when you get to my age (over seven decades young), if you learn people don’t like you, I say that’s on them and not me.

If they are someone that I have to deal with in business or socially, I may reach out to see if there might have been some misunderstanding or if I had done something to them that I didn’t realize.

I have always tried to be a nice person, try to stay away from ‘he said, she said’ and other negative vibes. If the person is someone unlike those mentioned above, I may or may not try to find out why they don’t like me.

As I have gotten older, I have stopped worrying about whether someone likes me or not. I just try to stay away from them.

Violet Rainwater

Violet Rainwater

Transformational Speaker and Sales Architect, The Rainmaker’s Way

Identify your triggers

Ever notice how some things bother you and some don’t? Or how a friend or co-worker might not care at all if someone doesn’t like them, but you might?

It’s because we all have triggers from our past. When you continually experience triggers, especially in the workplace, your nervous system can become dysregulated and render you incapable of actually rectifying the issue.

Once you’ve pinpointed why this is triggering you, ask yourself how might this be linked to your early development. What can you do to alleviate this trigger and heal your past?

When you acknowledge what triggers you and begin to work on a way to heal, you can prepare yourself to diffuse these situations in the future and, in doing so, repair your nervous system.

Make a plan when you are triggered

We can only control ourselves, so now that we know that “not being liked” triggers you, you can make a plan for how you’ll handle it when it happens.

At the end of the day, not everyone will like you, just like not everyone likes the same flavor.

Having the self-awareness to be able to identify this trigger is one thing, but being able to act accordingly and diffuse the situation prior to escalation is the ultimate goal.

So be aware of what’s happening around you when you get triggered:

  • Jot it down in a journal to keep track.
  • Figure out why this exactly causes you angst and get ahead of it.
  • Stop what you’re doing when these situations arise and take some deep breaths. If you’re able, take a minute to stand up and move your body, or even take a short walk.

Doing something as simple as disengaging from the situation can thwart those triggers and help regulate your nervous system.

Keresse Thompson, LCSW

Keresse Thompson

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Therapeutic Healing by Reese | Podcast, “Diary of An Empath” Host

Encourage a conversation if it’s not toxic to give the other person a chance

Some people are only meant to serve a chapter and not meant to stay for the whole book.

If you have a friend in your life who is not showing up for you, not respecting your boundaries, or if you just don’t feel happy around this person, it’s okay to keep your distance, and it’s okay to say you know what this is no longer a friendship that currently serves your path.

Related: 20+ Signs Your Friend Doesn’t Respect You

You have to do what’s best for you to protect your energy. If you feel that you want to break off a friendship, you can have a talk with them if you would like.

But if you feel that you have set boundaries, you have tried time and time again, and they still have not shown up for you, you don’t necessarily owe them an explanation.

At the end of the day, you have to do what’s best for you.

There may be some instances where you have to deal with people you don’t like and have no choice but to be around them, such as in a work setting.

In those cases, it’s best to:

  • keep boundaries,
  • keep your distance if you can, and
  • maintain professionalism.

I always told my clients that they should attempt to have a conversation with someone and let them know where their issues are, and set boundaries. If you don’t give someone a chance to let them know how you feel, they genuinely may not know.

However, if you have expressed your boundaries and the person has shown that they don’t respect them, or if it is a toxic and abusive situation, you do not need to have a conversation, and you can go ghost.

However, I always encourage a conversation to take place if it is not toxic or abusive to at least give the other person a chance to show up for you.

Mark Sadaka

Mark Sadaka

Founder, Sadaka Law

Ignore them; it’ll show them that whatever they say or do won’t have any effect on you

I believe that ignoring people who don’t like you is the best way to deal with them. This way, you won’t be giving them the satisfaction that their words or actions are getting to you. It’ll show them that whatever they say or do won’t have any effect on you.

What’s more, is that you really don’t need all that negativity in your life. Focusing on people who dislike you will only heighten your anxiety. So, it’s always best to let them go and concentrate on the positive things in you instead.

Trust me, you’ll feel way better if you adopt this practice on a daily basis.

Agree to disagree

Accepting your differences and agreeing to disagree is also a great way to deal with those who dislike you. This just proves to show that you are capable of maintaining your cool in any situation, even if it means being civil with your haters.

Recognizing the value of differing opinions is an excellent example of “Live and Let Live.” It will also have a positive impact on your mental health.

After all, you won’t be worrying about what people think of you and their different views. As a result, it’ll be like a huge burden thrown off your shoulders.

Laura Doyle

Laura Doyle

Relationship Coach | Author, The Empowered Wife

It is a basic truth that not everyone you admire will like you.

Personalities sometimes clash, and people don’t always get along. Accept this and move on. Remember to check your emotions when you are around this individual and remain cordial in social settings.

If it really bothers you that much, have an open and honest conversation with the other person to see if this is something that can be fixed. If not, don’t sweat it.

Avoid controversial subject matters you know the two of you don’t agree on

If it is impossible to avoid this person, keep the conversation to topics that are less likely to cause friction.

When was the last time you argued with someone about the weather? What about the insane traffic on the way home?

In general, small talk that most people agree on is safe.

Avoid controversial subject matters or discussing things you know the two of you don’t agree on. This opens the door to friction between you and awkwardness for those around you.

Don’t react defensively; simply ask for clarification

Sometimes you can’t avoid the person who clearly doesn’t like you – maybe they are a coworker, a family member, or a parent of your child’s best friend.

If you find yourself in situations where you are being publicly criticized or receiving sly remarks, don’t react defensively. Simply ask for clarification.

Specificity is your friend here. Have them explain exactly what they meant and keep following up with questions until the situation is neutralized.

Putting the spotlight on them will make them feel uncomfortable and, in the future, make a situation like this less likely to reoccur.

AmyK Hutchens

AmyK Hutchens

Speaker | Author | Coach | Master Communicator

Many of us have heard the expression, “You’re not my cup of tea.” We get it. We know what it means. However, when it’s directed at us, about us, our reaction is not so much to nod in understanding as it is to cross our arms and protect our heart and our hurt feelings.

We’re biologically wired to want to be accepted and included. It stings when we’re left out, rudely dissed, or dismissed

There are five things you can do to move forward with a confident mindset:

Shift your internal narrative

Sometimes you’re disliked for just being you. The way you dress. The tone of your laugh. You’ve done nothing, said nothing, but you’ve shown up. And that’s just too much for some people to handle.


  1. you’re a trigger for them, 
  2. perhaps you remind them of past negative experiences with someone they think is similar to you, or 
  3. you’re simply not an energetic match. 

Case closed.

Someone’s distaste for your ‘personality flavor profile’ is not a reflection of you – it’s a reflection of them.

You can’t control what they think, but you can control how you feel and how you write the narrative. Not being a match doesn’t make anyone bad or at fault; it simply makes you non-magnetic.

Use a mirror and your voice to reflect

Self-leadership requires self-awareness. 

It’s always good to look in the mirror and ask yourself:

How might I have hurt or offended this person?”

Before assuming that they don’t like you “for no good reason,” reflect on your words and actions and consider how you might have contributed to the situation. If you discover something, apologize. 

If you can’t find any evidence for their dislike, you can choose to use your voice and say any of the following:

“I have this story in my head that I may have said or done something that has caused you to dislike me. Is there any truth to my story?


“I have this story in my head that you’re uncomfortable around me. Is there any truth to my story?”

By using the magical phrase, “I have this story in my head … [insert story] … is there any truth to my story?” you’ve put the focus on having a story that the other person is welcome to edit or confirm. 

By inviting them to edit or confirm your story, you’ve made it easier to connect and discuss the dynamic. Based on their response, you can either apologize, clear the air, and help them to be more aware of their actions toward you.

Focus on those who do like you

When we sense that someone doesn’t like us, it’s understandable to want to: 

  • convert them 
  • win them over,
  • prove we’re likable. 

We want people to come play in our sandbox. 

When we focus our energy on convincing them to come “play” with us, we can, unfortunately, ignore those who were eagerly climbing into the sandbox the whole time.

Focusing on those who do like you does not mean you stop smiling at those who don’t. You’ll still be your best self with everyone. You’re just not going to waste your energy convincing anyone you’re amazing. 

You have nothing to prove, most especially to those who have already closed their hearts to you. 

You’ll still shine your light. You’ll still be gracious and open-hearted to all, and you’ll focus your energy on the people who are returning your smile.

Be civil; you don’t have to agree with someone to show up as your best self

Might we agree that we just don’t agree? Perhaps the person who doesn’t like you has a different perspective on a sensitive topic. Perhaps they see this world, this issue, this opinion of yours a little differently. 

Instead of focusing on the issue, they’re now focusing on you. And their focus is not kind. You don’t have to agree with someone else to still choose to show up as your best self. 

If they can’t be civil, smile and walk away.

Honor your reaction; choose your response

When we hear that someone doesn’t like us, we may be tempted to say, “I don’t care.” The truth is you do care. Caring is a normal first reaction. Give yourself the dignity of being human and having feelings. 

Ask yourself, “How do I feel?” Get specific. 

Go beyond the default sad and mad. Dig a little deeper into the spectrum of emotions and expand your emotional literacy. 

Depending on the context, you may perhaps feel a little uncomfortable, disappointed, angry, frustrated, misunderstood, prematurely judged, ostracized, snubbed, or ignored. 

Then ask yourself:

Are my feelings in direct response to this event, or is this person who dislikes me triggering a prior experience? 

Lean in to better understand your emotions so you can then choose a thoughtful response – a response that helps you take your power back. 

Do you need to use your external voice to stand up for yourself, or do you need to use your internal voice to remind yourself that their words or actions are far more about them than you?

When you honor your own worth, you’ll use your voice to remind yourself that the person who needs to like you the most is you.

Chaye McIntosh

Chaye McIntosh

Clinical Director, ChoicePoint

You will always meet someone who will not like you wherever you go. So, don’t take it personally; handle it like a mature adult.

Try to keep minimum contact with them

A person who doesn’t like you will definitely not want to meet you and vice versa, so you should try to keep minimum contact with the concerned person.

The lesser the connection between you and that person, the more comfortable both of you will feel.

Try to avoid an argument with that person

Sometimes there is a situation when it is impossible to avoid contact with that person.

In this situation, try not to indulge in an argument when your connection is an obvious thing, or at least it is inevitable. An argument between you both will be catastrophic for your mental health.

Ignore any bitter situation

If an argument is inevitable between a person who doesn’t like me and me, I’ll try not to create any bitter situation between us; it will even worsen the situation. Any bitterness or loud argument will add fuel to the fire in an already bad situation.

Try to keep your heart and mind free of prejudice

I’ll try my level best to keep my heart and mind free of any prejudice, hatred, or anger against that person. It will not only help normalize the situation but also keeps me calm.

It will help in maintaining my mental peace. It may also help rebuild the relationship between both of us.

Dyann Bridges

Life, Relationship, and Performance Coach, The Relaters Manual for Men

Remember, mature adults will still offer respect to others even though they may not like the person

One of the first things you can do is look at your own behavior when dealing with people who don’t like you.

  • Is there a reason why some people don’t like you?
  • Do you have a habit of, say, interrupting people?
  • Are you late or unprepared often?
  • Do you ask invasive or inappropriate questions a lot?

These types of behaviors will put people off.

If you can honestly say you don’t do anything that gives others a reason to dislike you, then think of it as an opportunity to like yourself more.

Sometimes life puts obstacles like this in our way to force us to go deeper into who we are.

So, maybe it’s them, not you.

If others are displaying their dislike for you with a variety of disrespectful behavior, like condescension or ignoring, they are the ones demonstrating reason not to be liked.

Remember, too, that mature adults will still offer respect to others even though they may not like the person. These are things to consider if people demonstrate their dislike for you.

Sara Macke, LCSW

Sara Macke

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

“If I don’t fit someone’s flavor profile, I move on”

It’s not actually my business: Today, everyone is involved in everything. There’s very little privacy, and information is kept to yourself. We share and overshare. We have platforms to help us feel connected and others to separate ourselves from those we’re not similar to.

But what happens if someone doesn’t like you in today’s world? How do we cope? Everyone has a different flavor profile of human; they will mesh better than others.

That’s the beauty of being a human, with so many variations and types of personalities. If I don’t fit someone’s flavor profile, I move on. But if it were that simple, we wouldn’t be struggling to find acceptance so regularly.

If my clients find themselves spending extra time and energy about someone who doesn’t like them, we explore this.

“What about the situation is causing you pain?”
“What is the hardest part of this situation to let go of?”

We process how to recognize our feelings related to the situation and what is going on behind this other person’s judgment.

I encourage them to be selfish in the sense of:

“What is going on with me right now? What is my trouble with this?”

Removing the other person from the equation can really assist in finding the deeper meaning. If a client needs a simple response, I’ll ask, “If they don’t like you, why does it matter?”

There are millions of people around; not everyone will like us. But if you’re feeling affected by it, there’s more to it. Reach out to a therapist and explore.

Stine Jorgensen

Stine Jorgensen

Director HR, HeatXperts

Stay calm and composed

When you come across people who do not like you, it’s important to maintain your composure to avoid any damage. If you let these people affect your mood, it will only harm your productivity and work quality.

Moreover, I would suggest investing your energy in self-care instead of indulging with negative people.

Practice rising above other people; be the bigger person

I advise all workers to ensure that they practice rising above other people in such situations because that would make them a bigger person. If a colleague dislikes you, instead of talking behind their back, learn to be mindful of your emotions and channel them positively.

Talk to the person directly to ensure that there is no miscommunication

While ignorance can be bliss, sometimes it is better to talk to the person directly. This would help avoid any work-level conflicts and awkward team meetings.

Moreover, if the person dislikes you due to a misunderstanding, talking to them would ensure that there is no miscommunication.

David Mason

David Mason

Interior designer and Owner, Knobs

Try to understand why and stand up for yourself if necessary

The best way to deal with people who don’t like you is to try to understand why they don’t like you.

It’s possible that you have done something to deserve their dislike, but it’s also possible that they’re just projecting their own issues onto you.

Related: How to Respond to Someone Who Is Projecting

Following are some tips on how to deal with people who don’t like you:

  1. Try to understand why they don’t like you.

The best way to deal with people who don’t like you is to try to understand why they don’t like you. You may have done something to deserve their dislike, but it’s also possible that they’re just projecting their own issues onto you.

  1. Don’t take it personally.

It’s important not to take it personally when someone doesn’t like you. Remember that their dislike of you says more about them than it does about you.

  1. Avoid them if possible.

If you can, avoid the person who doesn’t like you. There’s no reason to put yourself in a situation where you’re going to be subjected to their negativity.

  1. Stand up for yourself if necessary.

If the person who doesn’t like you is making your life difficult, you may need to stand up for yourself. For example, if they’re spreading rumors about you, you can confront them and set the record straight.

Eran Galperin 

Eran Galperin

Founder and CEO, Gymdesk

Consider whether you have said something that may have offended the person

I think the first question is, “Does it really matter? In what context are you involved with the person who does not like you?”

If it’s an acquaintance or someone in a work organization you seldom have contact with, move on—it’s not worth sweating the small stuff.

In a situation where it matters—like a colleague that you have to work closely with, a family relation, or even your best buddy’s girlfriend—you need to make an effort to resolve the issue.

We don’t like to believe that the problem may, in fact, lie with us. Before shrugging it off, consider whether you have said something that may have offended the person.

Ask a fellow colleague or friend if they can shed any light.

There may be no valid reason. In which case, remain polite and pleasant towards them, do not engage in conflict, and remove yourself from their company when possible.

In a situation where you work or socialize closely with the person, it can be worth some open and honest communication to clear the air. Even agreeing to disagree can defuse a tense atmosphere.

Of course, there may be times when despite your best efforts, the person is determined to dislike you. Don’t take it personally.

Sometimes people project things they don’t like about themselves onto others. It’s not your problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do some people not like me?

There can be many reasons why someone might not like you. Maybe they feel threatened by you or feel that you have wronged them somehow. Or maybe they just have different personality traits or values than you. Sometimes people just don’t like each other, and there isn’t necessarily anything you can do to change that.

What can I do to make someone like me?

It’s not really possible to control how someone feels about you, but there are things you can do to improve your relationship with him or her. Here are a few tips:

• Be polite and respectful, even if the other person is being difficult
• Try to find common ground or common interests
• Show empathy and try to see things from their perspective
• Avoid being defensive or confrontational
• Be willing to apologize if you have done something to upset the other person

Should I confront someone who doesn’t like me?

It depends on the situation. If the other person is openly hostile or causing you problems, it may be worth having a calm and respectful conversation to understand why they feel that way and to see if there is a way to resolve the issues. 

However, if the other person is just avoiding you or not interacting with you, it may be best to just give them space and focus on building positive relationships with others.

What if someone spreads rumors or talks about me behind my back?

This can be a difficult situation, but there are some things you can do to deal with it:

• Try to find out who is spreading the rumors and confront them directly if you feel comfortable doing so
• Don’t engage in gossip or negative talk about the other person
• Focus on building positive relationships with others and demonstrating your own positive qualities
• Consider asking a trusted friend, family member, or therapist for support

What if I just can’t get someone to like me no matter what I do?

It’s important to remember that you can’t control how other people feel or behave. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we just don’t get along with certain people. 

In such cases, it’s important that you focus on building positive relationships with others and not allow a person’s negative feelings to determine your self-worth. Remember that you’re valuable and deserve respect, even if not everyone sees it that way.

How can I deal with my own feelings when dealing with people who don’t like me?

It can be difficult to deal with rejection or negative feelings from others, but there are some things you can do to take care of yourself:

• Practice self-compassion and remember that everyone has flaws and imperfections.
• Seek support from friends, family members, or a therapist if you need to talk about your feelings.
• Focus on your own strengths and positive qualities, and don’t let one person’s negative opinion define you.
• Take breaks from situations or people that are causing you stress or anxiety, and engage in activities that make you feel good.

How can I avoid future conflicts with people who don’t like me?

While it’s impossible to avoid all conflict or negative interactions with others, there are some things you can do to minimize them:

• Be mindful of your own behavior and how others might perceive it
• Practice active listening and try to understand others’ points of view
• Avoid gossiping about others or spreading rumors
• Be open to feedback and constructive criticism and use it as an opportunity for growth and self-improvement

Is it ever okay to just cut ties with someone who doesn’t like me?

While it’s generally a good idea to maintain positive relationships with others, there may be instances when it’s necessary to cut ties with someone who is constantly causing you stress or attracting negative attention. 

If you’ve tried to address the situation and it doesn’t improve, or if the other person is taking advantage of or harming you, it may be necessary for your well-being to distance yourself. Just ensure you do so respectfully and maturely, and avoid burning bridges or causing unnecessary drama.

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