I know several people who seem to like everyone that they come across. I’m not one of those people. Far from it.
My emotional system reacts to toxicity. I tend not to tolerate hostile people, users, those filled with hate, and substance abusers. Stupidity combined with arrogance, in particular, makes me chafe. To quote the Desiderata, I tend to “avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit.”
And you know what? I’m tired of feeling guilty about it. I have a right not to like everyone. Heaven knows that not everyone likes me. That’s just a fact. My dislike of you doesn’t really matter in the overall scheme of things. I’m sure there are oodles of people out there who think you’re just peachy.
It’s also okay to stop liking someone that you used to like. People change. You change. Your friends change. You outgrow some people. You get new insights. Maybe that person is no longer healthy for you to be around. Some people are just more adept at recognizing end points than others.
Many religions say that you should love everyone, but the followers of those religions rarely do. I honestly think it would be a rather creepy world if everyone did. It would be a Stepford world. I prefer a little more nuance.
I’m not talking about going around and actively hating people. That is its own form of toxicity. But there’s nothing wrong with curating your friendships. Some people are only meant to be in your life for a season. Sometimes you need to move on. And it’s also perfectly okay if you never form a friendship with someone in the first place. Sure, give them the benefit of the doubt, but if you don’t mesh, you don’t mesh. It’s not the end of the world.
When I do warm up to someone, I’m a good friend to have. I have a lot of love that I freely give. But I reserve it for those whom I invite into my circle.
I believe that people who allow toxicity into their lives tend to get so used to it that they don’t even realize it’s there anymore. If you are abused, after a certain point you begin to think you deserve it. If you grew up next to the Love Canal, you probably wouldn’t realize that there’s clean water elsewhere. If you smoke long enough, hacking your lungs out in the morning seems like a normal part of your routine.
I kind of feel sorry for those who like everyone. They are not living in reality, for a start. They often get taken advantage of. Not everyone is going to have your best interests at heart.
I don’t have to like someone to hear what they have to say. It’s just that my time is getting more precious with each passing year, so I prefer to spend it with people I enjoy. Time is a commodity that you should dole out wisely.
People who claim to love everyone often say they don’t want to live in a bubble. They want all sorts of people in their lives. That sounds great, but every human being is different. If you have more than one person in your life, you have all sorts of people already. Mission accomplished.
I have all sorts of people in my life. Some don’t get along with others, so I share different parts of my life with each of them. Each person brings a different flavor to my feast of life. I’m not intolerant of differences. What I’m intolerant of is the lunatic fringe. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
People who say they love everyone do not seem genuine to me. So you do you. I’ll do me. Don’t try to force me to be you. It won’t work. Think of me as one of the many sorts of people you want in your life and leave it at that. Go off and kumbaya all you like. I’ll be over here when you’re done. In the real world.
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