I wrote this blog post almost a year ago:
“There’s no reason not to like someone
I was a 21-year-old intern at a sports performance facility when my supervisor, someone I consider a mentor, said that. He was talking to two girls in high school. They were talking about a third girl they didn’t like.
I’ve been pondering the idea ever since.”
More and more I really do think there’s no reason not to like a person. This doesn’t mean that you can’t distrust or disagree with her, but that “dislike” is a completely different ballgame.
Once you decide you don’t like someone (“She was mean to me. I don’t like her.”) you start noticing more reasons not to like that person (“Her hair is ugly, she’s weak, she’s lazy, “). Suddenly you have a litany of reasons not to like her, most of them fictitious. It’s a downward spiral that leads to fear and disgust.
A much better strategy is to make the conscious decision to like that person instead. Then you start noticing all the reasons you like her (“She wasn’t being mean to me. She’s just having a bad day.”)
Giving her the benefit of the doubt, over and over again, is an upward spiral that leads to love and compassion.