“I hate everyone and they all hate me and that is the way I like it” These were the thoughts running through my head as I left office. I am 25 years old, quite personable, what you call a smart guy with a great job in computer programming. However, the mystery of the whole thing was that no one loved me and this irked me. Even my own parents could barely tolerate being around me, my siblings also could not bear to spend more than a couple of holidays every year, with me. I had few friends and there was no question of a girlfriend. While I kept mouthing these words, the thought that nobody loved me tended to get me down.
The one thing I realized as I walked back to the apartment I lived all by myself in, that it was all a vicious cycle. The more people avoided me, the more morose, moody I became, and when this happened, people tended to give me a wider berth than usual. Then what was the solution? As I racked my brains for a solution to this conundrum, I bumped into Ted the guy I shared a workspace with. There he was; arms around a blonde, surrounded by friends and on his way out for a night out. It was the weekend after all! And here I was alone, nothing but a lone dinner and television to look forward to. I could feel tears welling up as I opened the door to my home.
That night as I lay there tossing and turning, I knew something had to be done or I would end up with serious issues. The next morning, I decided to take things into my own hands, after all I was a smart guy wasn’t I? So armed with a coffee and a notepad and pen I walked up to my favorite park where I sat on the usual bench and started making a list. I first thought about why people did not like me. This was easier said than done, I could not think of a single thing that would put people off. When things came to this impasse, I decided to approach this whole thing from a different angle. I decided to make a list of things that I don’t like about others.
Here is want I came up with:
- I do not like it when people do not bother to listen to what I say.
- I hate it when people do not consider my feelings or opinion important
- I dislike people who step into my personal space without any consideration
- I hate it when people think that theirs’ is the only opinion that counts
- I detest people who judge me without knowing the complete story
- I loathe it when people comment on things they know nothing at all about
I looked at the list and felt vindicated; I was surrounded by jerks and that is why nobody loved me. Even as that thought popped into my mind, I knew that was not it. There has to be more to this than that, after all Ted worked in the same office and he seemed to have a nice social life going on. Moreover, there was the fact that even my family did not seem eager to spend time with me. I knew it was not as simple as that. So I decided to be more aware of things.
The next day I decided to pay my parents a visit. I called up my mother to inform her that I was on my way. She seemed pleased but not overly so. As soon as I reached my parents’ home, my mother opened the door and smiled. She looked at him with affection and said “Hey! Adam! How have you been? I wanted to talk to you about Abigail (our dog). She seems to be a little dull; do you think we need to take her to the vet?”
I walked in, looked around and said “Hey Ma! What is for lunch?” As soon as the words came out of my mouth, my mom seemed to shrink and her eyes became cold. At that moment I realized that I was doing exactly what I hated others to do to me; not listening to what they were saying. I shook my head, went to my mother, and said, “I am sorry, I was distracted. Do you want me to go with you to the vet?”
The smile on my mother’s face and the warmth in her eyes, I knew I had done the right thing. My mother shook her head and said, “I am sure she is going to be okay. Tell me all what is up with you.” I shook my head and simply hugged her and told her to tell me about hers. That evening as I left my parents’ place, I knew what was wrong with me.
That list, that I had made of things that I hate about others applied to me. I was actually guilty of all those things that I had jotted down as hating in others. It all became clear to me; I could remember the way I would put people down, the way I would act as if I knew it all, the way I would pass judgment, I also realized that I was a poor listener because of all these things. The one thing in my list that did not apply to me was that I never stepped into someone’s personal space. I was appalled at the way I have been behaving; no wonder people hated me. I would hate to be with a person like me!
It was not easy, but I started by making simple changes. I started listening to people even if I thought what they said was boring; it was after all important and interesting to them. I bit my tongue and thought twice before passing judgment or expressing an opinion. Soon people started spending time with me and I am sure that pretty soon I will even have a girlfriend. The key to being loved I realized was to behave the way you want others to behave with you. If you are thinking I really want to change my life but I really don’t know how to start, then this is the right step to take.