My little girl, Katie, came home from school one day, with tears in her eyes. I asked her what happened at school to make her so sad. “Jessica doesn’t like me!”, she blurted out, and began to sniffle, tears slowly rolling down both cheeks. “I thought you didn’t like Jessica because she was mean to the other kids. You said that she made fun of Annie last week,” I reminded her as she plopped her backpack onto the floor. “She did make fun of her, and that’s why I don’t like her, but now she said she doesn’t like me!” I pulled her onto the couch beside me, took a tissue, and dried her eyes. “So let me get this right. You’re upset that a girl that you don’t like because she isn’t kind to others, doesn’t like you? Is that right?” “Yesssss!” her little body trembled as she buried her face into my sweater.
It was time for Essential Truth No. 1. Not every person will like you. I know it sounds harsh, and even for adults, this one is sometimes hard to take. There are some people with whom we just don’t connect. Maybe they love small talk, but you long for a deep, meaningful conversation. Perhaps they are sports fanatics, and you love the arts. The differences between two people may be just personality differences, or they could also be something deeper, like bullying behaviors that make a child not want to be friends with another. Don’t spend time trying to get those who don’t like you, to like you. Spend your time finding people you like who like you back.