Why Does Nobody Like Me?

Reviewed by Dr Sheri Jacobson

Convinced nobody wants to really be around you, no matter how hard you try? And spend far too many hours wondering, ‘Why does nobody like me?'

Why does nobody like me?

An assumption is when we decide something is true without any proof or facts.

Most of us can’t read other people’s minds. So unless we’ve done something to clearly hurt and upset others? Or we've directly asked everyone we know if they like us, and they all said no? We are only assuming we are completely unliked.

Note that even if we did do something upsetting, it doesn't necessarily mean the other person doesn't like us. They can not like we did and need time to forgive, but still like who we are.

The real question

So the real question becomes, ‘Why do I feel like nobody likes me?”

1. You suffer from black and white thinking.

Depression tricks our mind into what are called 'cognitive distortions'. This is thinking that feels real but isn't.

Black and white thinking’ is a distortion where we can only see two options for every situation. They like us, they hate us. But life, and people, are rarely back and white. There are usually many possibilities.

So you might think someone doesn't like you, but they are simply having a bad day, or a bit annoyed at you, or actually upset about something else entirely. Or they are busy, and that's why they haven't called or talked to you.

2. You don’t like you.

If our thoughts are often about whether other people like us? We are seeking approval outside of ourselves.

And we seek approval from outside sources because we aren’t able to find it from inside ones. In other words, you don’t like yourself enough. And you are projecting it outward onto those around you.

Note that always needing others to like us is also a sign of codependency, where we somehow took on the message we only have worth if we please others.

3. You don’t know who you are.

Do you tend to change your personality depending on who you are with, or what sort of mood you are in?

If your sense of self is always shifting, people can struggle to like you as they simply can’t be sure of who they are or aren’t dealing with.

4. You’ve encouraged them not to like you.

Also note that when we don’t like ourselves, we often unconsciously encourage others to not like us.

We do things like:

  • making little comments putting ourselves down
  • treating ourselves poorly, giving the message we aren't worthwhile
  • overtly telling people what to think, pretending its’ a joke(“oh god you can’t like me I’m a boring loser").
  • acting stupid or crazy to push them away and turn them off.
Later we act surprised if the other person seems uninterested. When we literally manipulated them into not being so.

5. You don’t like them.

Invested in seeing yourself as a good, friendly person? Or raised to think you have to be nice to everyone?

You might be telling yourself and everyone else that the other person doesn’t like you as deep down you don’t like them. But you aren’t comfortable admitting it to yourself.

It’s okay not to like everyone. We aren’t all here to be friends and we don’t all share values.

6. Your brain sees the world differently than other people’s.

You might have a brain difference that means that other people struggle to understand you, and you struggle to understand them.

For example, you might be on the autism spectrum. This can translate into finding other people too emotional or touchy feely. They in turn don’t know how to act around you, and leave you feeling ignored or unappreciated.

Or you might have a personalty disorder, which means you see yourself and the world in a different way than the norm. You might be pushing people away simply as you don’t realise your ways of relating aren’t typical.

7. You are surrounded by people who don't share your values.

We can think that what connects us to other people is things like a shared taste in music or style. But these things are only the surface.

The real attraction between people is shared values. If all the people around you don't share your values, they aren't your tribe. They won't like you, and you won't like them.

For example, if you deep down value charity and equality, but are working in banking for a corrupt corporation? You will be ill at ease. People will sense the difference and not be attracted. If you then quit and take a job with an NGO, you might get along with all your colleagues without even trying.

How can I make people like me?

The more comfortable you are with yourself, the more others will be comfortable with you. So what can help here is:

  • learning who you are by listening to your thoughts and feelings
  • developing self-compassion and an appreciation for what you offer others
  • recognising your personal values and making choices to create a life that reflects them
  • learning healthy relating skills and applying them
  • facing up to and healing any past traumas and upsets lowering our self-worth.

Need help in knowing who you are, what you value, and how to create sustainable, supportive relationships? Use our easy search tool to find your perfect therapist now and talk your way forward.

Andrea M. Darcy is a popular health writer and therapy coach. She knows what it is like to be a sensitive soul and encourage you to hang on in there and seek the support you need!

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