“It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and not everyone is going to like you”
Afew Sundays ago I was minding my own business at my local cafe, while my dog Banjo was strewn in the sun at my feet.
At the next table, the food arrived and the smell of eggs and bacon was more than Banjo could bear.
My perpetually starving, overfed, sweet-natured labrador launched himself at my neighbour’s brekkie. rekkie.
Now, I appreciate not everyone ryone loves a gorgeous blonde staring ing at their food. (Banjo, not me. I had my own eggs to stare at…) And nd I also promise you I wrangled d the dog well before he reached the man’s bacon.
But the guy was furious. (He was also South African and we’d beaten them in the rugby the night before so perhaps that had affected his mood.) He loudly yelled at Banjo, and then at me.
We both cowered a bit, I apologised profusely and said to Banjo, “Sit down. Not everyone will like you.” Then n I added, “And that’s OK.”
While I’m sure Banjo has given this not one second of thought, I couldn’t stop wondering why I was having such a profound conversation with a dog.
Then I realised, as usual, I was talking to myself. And then I answered myself, which is the most frightening bit of the whole story. We spend a lot of time trying to be someone’s cup of tea. Trying not to offend or upset. Trying to get people to “like” us, whether it be on Instagram, during breakfast at a cafe or hosting a breakfast show on national television. Deep down, we all love to be liked, needed, ado adored and approved of. And th that’s OK. In fact, it’s hardwire hardwired into us. Recen Recently the founding president of Facebook, Fac Sean Parker, finally adm admitted the company ex exploited a “vulnerability i in human psychology” by creating the idea of “likes” (and comments). It was strategically s set-up to be like “a do dopamine hit”. Dopamine is a chemical ch in the body associ associated with pleasure. Th Therefore our brains literally light up with happiness when we are “liked”. But it’s a big, bad, dogeateat-dog world (or dog-eatstra stranger’s-breakfast) out the there and not everyone is goi going to like you. I If you’re polite, respectful and considerate, what’s a girl (and he her starving labrador) to do? Seve Several years ago, a friend went th through a terrible divorce. As humans do, their private pain became everyone’s gossip. I remember her saying to me, “Never try to change people’s opinions of you. If they like you, they like you. If they don’t, they don’t.” She was pragmatic and she was right. She liked herself, knew her goals and now she leads a very happy fulfilled life.
If you don’t believe my remarried mate, listen to Winston Churchill: “You have enemies? Good. That means you stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
If people don’t like you, that’s their problem, not yours. Maybe they’re having a bad day. Maybe their footy team lost the night before. Maybe you remind them of some kid they went to school with who pushed them in the playground.
Don’t waste your precious time on people who simply do not like you, and put that energy towards people who do.
An exciting part of the ageing process is the bit where you start to care less about what people think of you.
Alternatively, if everyone doesn’t like you, perhaps you should think about getting yourself a dog.