written by Amanda Mina
How self-doubt and a subtle hatred
of one’s own character can cause
a dislike of others with similar qualities.
Whether or not we care to admit it, there are people we encounter in life that we simply do not like. It’s in our nature and, although it’s not exactly healthy to dislike others, we can’t always help what we feel. One thing I’ve noticed, though, is that the people we dislike are often people very similar to us. I know that’s not always the case, as I have repeatedly seen two polar opposites dislike each other. However, in so many instances I have witnessed someone speaking negatively about another person for the way they act or who they are, when the traits that person is describing are an accurate description of himself or herself. The person speaking negatively of someone usually doesn’t have the slightest clue that he or she dislikes someone that is extremely similar to him or her. So, why is it that we don’t we like the people who are just like us? What makes those people unappealing in our eyes, and why don’t we see those traits in ourselves?
When we dislike others who have similar positive qualities to our own, perhaps we see those positive qualities as a threat. When someone has positive qualities such as talent, drive, and passion, we often see that person as a force to be reckoned with. We don’t realize that we are just as talented and tenacious as the person we dislike, so instead of admiring their similarly good qualities, we feel the need to compete with them. We are often so unsure of ourselves that once we see someone who has the good qualities we thought we had, we feel intimidated. Rather than feeling threatened by someone’s talent, we should have enough confidence in ourselves and our abilities to accept that person for the great person they are. If we are not confident in ourselves, we fear that others will not believe in what we are capable of. It is at this point we become filled with fear and doubt when we don’t have a reason to do so, but we still believe our intimidation is justified because we lack faith in ourselves.
When we dislike others who have similar negative qualities to our own, it shows that we aren’t fully satisfied with ourselves. We see negative qualities in others, and that reminds us of how much we dislike parts of ourselves. For example, you could be a very jealous person and see someone who is clearly also a jealous person. Seeing the jealousy that person possesses reminds you of the times you have been jealous of others, and since you disliked that side of yourself, you dislike the person who is currently behaving in that manner. Whether we are aware of it or not, we dislike the people who remind us of the parts of ourselves we choose to forget about. We don’t like to shed light on our negative qualities, so they get pushed aside. We try to overlook our poor character traits, but little do we realize that these qualities are apparent in the people we dislike. No matter how hard we try to ignore and forget about our own negative qualities, we see them clearly in others and dislike those people for their behavior.
Whether someone embodies everything great about us or reminds us of everything we dislike about ourselves, if we dislike that person, we are disapproving of ourselves in some way. We need to have the self-awareness and confidence to not feel threatened by other good people. We also need to have the courage to realize what we dislike about ourselves and become the people we wish to be, because having an aversion to our own character will only lead to self-hate and hatred towards others. It is only through introspection and the desire to improve ourselves that we will be able to treat those who are similar to us with admiration and respect.