“It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and not ev­ery­one is go­ing to like you”

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Front Page - Sa­man­tha co-hosts Sun­rise, 5.30am week­days, on the Seven Net­work.

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.

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