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Wellness

How To Stop Hanging Out With People You Don’t Like

It’s fun to hang out with people you like and it’s fun to hang out with people you like. But you need to decide whether you really like and admire those people or whether you want to spend the rest of your time with some other person you think is more fun.

I don’t always like it, but it’s not easy, especially when you’re a new teacher or mentor. But it’s worth it. Because as soon as you stop hanging out with just people you get along with, you begin to discover that “people you just like” are actually the people you enjoy the most. That’s probably not what you expected.

Here’s some examples of the kinds of people you just like (I have a whole document here on that topic that is also full of examples from my experience).

I like nice people: I can spend an hour or more with people I know are nice people, and they are not a problem if I want to get together and play a board game. I don’t want to get together and meet people I don’t feel like I can get along with (because it’s not fun or because I think I have to put up some kind of facade to get a lot of enjoyment out of it). 

I like people who want me to like them and want to make me happy, if not because I like the other person I’m with then because I like my self-esteem and I want to get to be happy. I don’t want my favorite person to be unhappy with me – in fact I don’t like making them stay unhappy with me – but I want them to enjoy themselves and know that they matter.

I like people who are very fun to have in my life (my hobbies are mostly friends and family, not business, family, or even friends who I see from time to time). 

I think people who I get along with well enough are the people I would stay friends with for a very long time. I like good people who just happen to have good opinions about me. I like people who have different interests and perspectives (i.e., people have personalities).

I prefer people I can get to know well enough to actually have a friendship with (although I don’t know many people in the first place). 

I prefer people with whom I can work and who make me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

So where does this all come from? Why do you like people? What makes you go out of your way to find and keep people you really like? Do you really like people just because you like being around them (I’m sure you do), or because, even if you’re not consciously aware of it, you feel a connection to them and they know it? Are you constantly being aware that you would like to spend some of your time with the people you know are friends with you? Are you constantly wondering why you have no friend? Or do you just do all the usual behaviors for friend-making (hang out, introduce, hug, tell stories)?

I don’t think we should be afraid of friendship

But to the most part we aren’t (see #1 above). People you like and admire are like any other person, and they aren’t to blame for putting up a facade or trying to impress you.

The only reason that you don’t try to befriend people you meet is because you’re trying to keep these people you know from you… But it’s time now to go on that extra mile and make those friendships a reality.