We all judge people. Even when we try not to judge, that judgment creeps in, and we always feel really guilty about negatively judging people. After all, it’s not our business to judge others; we’re not perfect, far from it!
I’ve learned it’s only our business to accept or reject people from entering our lives and our thoughts. We do this through an internal process of either liking or not liking someone we first meet.
Some would call this a judgment process. I do not see it that way; I see it as a self-protection tool. When we first meet a person, we lack the necessary experience with that person to make a full-blown judgment. Making the decision, the choice, to like or dislike someone we first meet is a gut reaction (not a judgement) and one we should not ignore.
When was the last time you met someone and you felt indifferent towards him/her? I cant recall ever feeling that way. It’s natural for our gut to have a reaction. We either like or dislike someone we first meet. It’s instinctual.
Most of us liked the sociopath when we first met him/her, right? And most of us would claim we were stupid for doing so.
Well, we weren’t stupid. We were simply presented with a charming facade that fooled us initially. Over a very short period of time, the sociopath gradually and very openly revealed to us his/her unlikable nature. But we chose to remember our initial gut instinct to like the sociopath rather than allow our gut to evolve, change and respond appropriately to the true malevolent nature unfolding before us.
Let’s not beat ourselves up for being duped in the past. Who wanted to believe sociopaths really existed (outside of the serial killer variety) before one struck us?
We didn’t. Actually, we couldn’t. Our minds just could not take us there or fathom such a beast could exist beside us.
Moving forward, we are armed with our experience and awareness, which provides us with an advantage we didn’t have before: the clarity and confidence to change our mind and dislike the unlikable without needing to answer to anyone but ourselves.
I don’t like sociopaths. More precisely, I abhor sociopathic behavior.
If a person I meet demonstrates more pathological behavior than not, I begin to distance myself from him/her and limit my engagement as much as possible.
And I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it.
Even if one day my choice to dislike a person is proven wrong, why take the chance TODAY by going against my gut, liking someone who isn’t likable and in the process, opening myself up to becoming a vulnerable target yet again?
I’m sorry. But paying me a million dollars wouldn’t be a provocative enough offer to have me willfully enter hell again. So, no, I won’t like someone if my gut initially tells me I should keep moving forward without that person in my life.
But our guts won’t always be alerted initially, and there is always the chance another piece of trash sociopath will infiltrate our lives. Being open to this possibility is necessary.
Even if our gut misses the mark in the beginning, and we end up liking a sociopath, just keep in mind that sociopaths give us lots of early indications that they are people we really shouldn’t be associating:
< They constantly talk negatively about family and friends.
< They try to get you to agree with their negative assessments of people you have never even met!!
< They smugly and proudly talk about occasions in which they one-upped others.
< They repeatedly refer to themselves as "special" and "different" and use superlatives when describing even their shittiest behaviors.
< They have perfected the art of "splitting" and describe people in terms of them being "all bad" or "all good." There is no grey area, no forgiveness in the way a sociopath describes another's not-so-perfect traits.
< They cause the hair on the back of your neck to stand up at attention…often!
Sociopaths just aren't likable, and we eventually figure it out.
Some may say, "Oh, everyone deserves a chance!"
I say, "Yes, everyone deserves a chance, but why waste my life giving an unlikable person infinite chances to one day be likable?"
Isn't that an exercise in futility?
Of course it is! Sociopaths do not change. They may demonstrate temporary changes in behavior but nothing sustainable or measurable over time. (And I'm talking about years, not just a few days or a couple of months.)
So don't feel guilty about first liking someone and then changing your mind and not liking someone who has given you zero reason or proof that they are likable.
The real harm comes from dismissing your gut when it tells you, "That person sucks!! Do not trust her. She's going to use you, abuse your honesty and eventually discard you."
Oh, and don't confuse the pity you feel for an unlikable person as a need to like that person. You can dislike people you pity. Disliking that person you pity allows their drama to remain outside of your life. Essentially, follow your nature and feel free to pity them but resist the need to empathize with the sociopath. Once we empathize with a person, we naturally take on their burdens. Why would you want to take on the burdens of a sociopath again!?
I dislike sociopaths. I'm perfectly okay with disliking the unlikable. 🙂
© 2013 Paula Carrasquillo and Paula’s Pontifications.