Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

I try not to spend time with people I dislike (or who dislike me!)

(44 Posts)
Myrobalanna Mon 05-Dec-16 13:41:50

Some of the best advice I ever got was that "You don't have to like everybody and it's ok not to" - I absolutely stand by that. I don't mean that it's ok to snap-judge someone or to take out your own problems on well-meaning people, and I never do drama.

I just mean: if you have a friend who's more like an acquaintance and she actually irritates you - you don't necessarily have to spend time with her.

If your parents-in-law are kind of unfeeling and you get the impression they do you down: let your partner bear the brunt of visiting them with the kids. They are more his responsibility than yours.

If you're going away with a bunch of people and you dislike one of them intensely but can't say anything: finding a way not to go is not the worst thing in the world. Even if you lose money because you didn't realise what was going on until it was too late. White lies are fine and people can cope with an absence far better than they might let on.

One example I'm proud of is that in my industry there are a few old misogynists who I frankly refuse to work with (this is to their detriment btw, without giving anything away). People get themselves tied up in knots about this stuff. It's really very simple: if you are not treated with respect, do not go out of your way for people.

I'm not saying I lie my head off - I very, very rarely lie, in fact, but I cultivate a busy life and always have a lot of work on. I spend a lot of good time with my family and friends and my relationship with my in-laws has changed beyond recognition for the better.

This is a totally self-centred post grin - I just want to pass the advice on because I didn't get it until I was about 38 and it's changed my life!

Lottapianos Mon 05-Dec-16 13:46:13

I like your post a lot OP. Its a nice part of getting older - realising that you can't please everyone the time, and you don't have to, and not everyone will like you, and its ok. There is something to be said for pushing yourself out of your comfort zone from time to time, but its also important to give yourself permission to say no politely too. I feel much less guilt about this than I used to. If someone invited me to something that I really didn't want to go to, I used to feel almost sick with worry at the thought of forcing myself to do it. Now, I just smile and nod and file it quietly away under 'that will not be happening' in my head, and decline when the time comes. Life is much nicer smile

Myrobalanna Mon 05-Dec-16 13:50:01

Thank you Lottapianos smile

I do of course understand that it's really not that simple for everyone and that mental health plays a huge part too. Not a one-size-fits-all solution.

But it really works for a LOT of scenarios with people who kind of get on your tits!

Myrobalanna Mon 05-Dec-16 14:43:04

It really, really is a benefit of growing older.
I do wish someone had sat with me aged 15, 25, even 35 and talked me through it. Instead it's all 'be endlessly kind to people for you know not how they struggle'. And this is true - but people are also shits, even if they have problems too that aren't their fault, so it's useful to know that you don't have to engage, and you definitely don't have to be unkind about it.

SeaEagleFeather Mon 05-Dec-16 15:10:32

I do wish someone had sat with me aged 15, 25, even 35 and talked me through it. Instead it's all 'be endlessly kind to people for you know not how they struggle'. And this is true - but people are also shits, even if they have problems too that aren't their fault, so it's useful to know that you don't have to engage, and you definitely don't have to be unkind about it.

Oh Yes! beautifully put.

Lottapianos Mon 05-Dec-16 15:12:41

'And this is true - but people are also shits'

Nicely put and very true grin Very important to put yourself first, and not to feel that your only value is in how much of a martyr you are.

raisin Mon 05-Dec-16 15:19:03

I think I learnt this at a young age. There was a song played on the radio a lot, not sure of the title, but the line I remember is,

'if you don't happen to like me, pass me by'.

So I do with other people and don't take offence if they do it to me. smile You can't like everybody and they can't all like you.

FuckingHellz Mon 05-Dec-16 15:20:16

Completely with you on this OP and I've been living like this for just under a year. Part of the wisdom of growing older I think.
Life's too short to follow the sheeple.

JunosRevenge Mon 05-Dec-16 15:29:29

Totally agree, OP.

It took me far too long to arrive at this point in my own life. Realising that my own feelings are important and valid was a watershed moment for me. I've taught my DC that it's fine to say NO, and that you don't have to spend time with people you detest even if they are family members

GashleyCrumbTiny Mon 05-Dec-16 15:54:33

Can you explain this to my DH? He gets very upset when I resist wasting my precious, precious free time with people in our wider social circle who I don't like. It's no biggie. They're not awful people but they bore me and I'd just rather not - quietly and politely, I want to avoid their company.

mrssapphirebright Mon 05-Dec-16 16:59:57

This is me all over OP. I agree, this is one of the things that i enjoy about being older (and wiser). I have literally no time for anyone i do not like (my PIL for starters) or who dislike me. It really does cut out so much negativity and allows you to focus on the people who do make you happy and who do add value.

i find so many people frown on this approach though (especially on mumsnet). Seems that there are still some people put there who think the world is a better place if you pander to people you don't like. I just don't get it.

humanfemale Mon 05-Dec-16 19:17:47

Thank you so much for this post! It's 100% what I'm working on at the moment, after a lifetime of low self esteem, inadequacy, worrying about whether people like me, wondering what they really think of me, trying to please difficult people and getting upset about how people treat me.

All a massive, massive waste of time and energy when there are some awesome people in my life!

humanfemale Mon 05-Dec-16 19:21:06

Actually going to reread all your posts in bed tonight so I can properly absorb it all. Honestly even though it's so simple an idea it's been a revelation these past few weeks after having yet another weekend with my lovely family ruined worrying about a dickhead's snideyness smile

smurfette1818 Mon 05-Dec-16 20:01:31

Wonderful post OP. I wish someone told me this when I was 15. Life is short and superficial relationship is meaningless.

whirlygirly Mon 05-Dec-16 22:13:07

Yes to all of this, it's liberating to live this way. I was late 30s when it properly hit me. Pretty much everyone who doesn't like me is someone I wouldn't like either. It really doesn't matter.
After a lifetime of being a pleaser I now get a bit of perverse enjoyment out of being myself around people I know find me irritating (just for being cheerful in one case hmm)

This hit me in my mid thirties, I suddenly realised that the only way to be happy was to do what is best for me. I don't mean in a self centred way, I look after and do my best by my family and close friends, but I just don't engage with people or situations that make me anxious, sad or annoyed. The obvious example is work night out, I just don't like them. I like to keep work and home separate - I get on well with my colleagues in work but they are colleagues and not friends. I spent years making excuses, or going and clock watching, and I just don't now - I politely decline 😊

It's quite liberating, not trying to fit in and be everything to everyone.

Ananke Tue 06-Dec-16 02:39:31

Hear hear!

Atenco Tue 06-Dec-16 05:19:07

With you, OP. Another saying of my wise old MIL is that you are not a little gold coin for everyone to love you.

Oblomov16 Tue 06-Dec-16 05:31:21

I agree. But I don't think this can be taught earlier. I think it comes with experience and acceptance. Even if someone had told us this at 18 or 21, we couldn't have taken it on board, because it's only when you are .....35 or whatever, that you decide 'I'm not doing this anymore'.

KeyserSophie Tue 06-Dec-16 05:46:40

Agree. Another thing is that relationships and people do change and it's fine to step back from them and just let them drift for a bit if they're not working for you without "making it official" or massively falling out with the person. My best friend and I pretty much had a 5 year break from our friendship in our early thirties - we were just getting on each other's nerves due to shifts in priority/opinion etc. Barely saw each other for half a decade.Then we drifted back together. Same with my sister. She drove me nuts. It was mutual. We just maintained very light contact. We've both mellowed a bit now, get on better and there's no damage done.

Lottapianos Tue 06-Dec-16 07:47:56

Completely agree Keyser. There's enormous pressure on women in particular to have only one dimensional friendships, where you adore and support each other at all times and its never any more complicated than that. Well life just isn't that simple for most of us. I have backed off from a good friend of mine for various reasons - I am hopeful that we will get back on track in a few years but theres no point forcing it for now.

Bitofacow Tue 06-Dec-16 08:02:19

And if you don't like me please don't feel obliged to talk to me. Polite smile, good manners 'hello' then move on. I don't mind. Really, it's fine to walk on and not spend 20 mins of our lives chatting to each other.

Joysmum Tue 06-Dec-16 09:43:57

This is much better worded then those who tell people they allow others to treat them like shit.

Myrobalanna Tue 06-Dec-16 10:43:31

Well, I am glad not to have got a pasting, which is how I thought this might go (you can't possibly understand my life etc etc). It is SO simple, isn't it? I've been thinking about why I had not worked it out earlier.

I know that when younger, I used to say "I don't care what other people think, except the people I care about" - tbh I'm ashamed of that line because it feels so cruel and defensive. (And I did care! Otherwise I wouldn't have brought it up...)

How I feel nowadays is: I don't go around behaving badly, inviting people to feel negatively about me; if you do then I'll pay attention and maybe try to fix it, but bear in mind that I quite possibly don't have to deal with your thoughts and feelings at all.

(I mentioned it before, but I honestly found this a lifesaver with my in-laws.)

NavyandWhite Tue 06-Dec-16 10:45:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: