I am choosy about who I want to be friends with, I don't often have issues with my co-workers or other acquaintances in my life, and I work hard to be pleasant when being introduced to a new person.
Which is why it was surprising when, about 6 months ago, I was introduced to a person in a community group, and right off the bat, she seemed to dislike me. And my kids.
The only reason I can think of as to why is because my kids were being rambunctious that day. Of course, we were at a park & they are little kids, so that goes with the territory. But I guess we just made a bad impression.
I have seen this lady at a number of events since that day. I've always tried to be friendly, and she always seemed cold. One night, we were both in the same group at the same event, and she was pretty friendly. Our one mutual friend told me that she is a nice person, but has had some run-ins with others, and just has a quieter personality.
So I figured that maybe I was just reading too much into it, and that maybe she didn't dislike me personally. I sent her a friend request on Facebook, not for any particular reason. I had sent a few other ladies in this group a request at the same time, so I figured why not send her one too?
My friend request was not accepted.
A few days after sending the request, I saw her at something, and she was downright icy. I said, "Hi! How are you doing?" and she said, "Fine." And that was that.
So now I know: she probably doesn't like me, specifically.
It's not a good feeling to realize that someone doesn't like you. Even though it was middle-schoolish, I thought, "Well! She's just antisocial and cold and mean and I don't like her either!"
That's an immature viewpoint, but there's a bit of truth to that. It's so easy to judge other mothers, and if this lady truly made a snap judgement of me or my kids, then that's not someone I would want to be friends with.
The good thing about life and groups and events is that we don't have to like each other. We don't have to be friends or talk or even say hi. In many ways, it's actually a lot better to have someone who doesn't know you at all dislike you than to have someone who you know well scorn you.
As for me, I will keep on saying hello, just because I think that's the right thing to do. But I might leave out the, "How are you?" It doesn't seem like she cares to answer.
And I will remind myself that, most likely, there will always, always be somebody out there who doesn't like you, your opinions, your family, how you look, how you speak, or whatever.
And in that case, when you haven't done anything to a person, just remember: their opinion says more about them that it does about you.