What to Learn From People We Don’t Like

It is to never become like them.

I’ve been hesitating to write this, but finally decided give it a shot.

As you may already know, I started Humans Unite together with some friends in hopes of spreading message about love, peace, and unity.

My belief is that, for humans to achieve peace and harmony, we must all unite. Yes that’s a big mission. However, I can’t change the fact that no matter what I do, there’ll always be two categories of people: good and bad.

I can only unite good people and encourage them to be responsible human beings and become better versions of themselves.

Bad folks have their own agenda. Of course I still hope they’ll change. But that’s beyond my control.

The Good and Bad: Which One?

It can be hard to distinguish good from bad people.

The fact that most people change over time makes it even harder. You may first know your friend as a good friend, but after a few years, he or she turned bad. No way.

And although good or bad may seem subjective, I’m confident everyone can agree that anything we do harmful to a fellow human being is considered morally bad.

In other words, bad people are those who intentionally hurt others (or the environment).

You agree with that?

That’s basic morality.

By the way, I’m not saying that I’m an exception, that I don’t do bad stuff from time to time. We’re all imperfect individuals. Sometimes we do bad things unintentionally.

But just because we’re imperfect doesn’t mean we’re free to harm others. It’s always our responsibility — and it’s a choice — to respect or care for others (if necessary).

It’s a daily job.

People Who Do Bad Stuff

When people keep doing bad things, we start to hate them. We distant ourselves.

And this is when we start labeling “people we don’t like”.

What are these bad things I’m saying?

  • Badmouthing others.
  • Hurting others physically and emotionally.
  • Cheating.
  • Deceiving.
  • Being disrespectful.
  • Being arrogant and selfish.
  • Violence

Anything you think unethical.

We’ve all witnessed these behaviors one way or another. Perhaps, once victimized — and when it’s too much, it’s no surprise we seek revenge. Of course we’re humans.

Should We Seek Revenge?

It’s normal that we get pissed when somebody harms us or our loved ones. Right?

And it seems normal, too, to seek revenge, defend ourselves, and condemn that person to death. Right?

Yes. It’s everyone’s choice by default.

But the great stoic Marcus Aurelius had a different take on this. In “Meditations”, he writes:

“The person who does wrong, does wrong to themselves. The unjust person is unjust to themselves — making themselves evil.”

When somebody hurts you, it’s not only you being harmed, but themselves. Therefore, there’s no need to freak out and respond through aggressive means. Revenge is pointless. They already are inflicted.

Now it’s clear you don’t like those people who hurt you and revenge is a waste of time. What are we going to do next?

From Marcus Aurelius again:

“The best way to avenge yourself is to not be like that.”

In other words…

If you really don’t like what they did to you, the best way to avenge yourself is not be like them.

That’s it. Don’t be like them.

What if they continue harming you? Ignore. Distant yourself (if possible).

You don’t control other people’s actions. You can only control your reaction. Don’t allow anger to take over.

PS: Just because you don’t like their behaviors doesn’t mean you are superior. We’re all flawed individuals. We make awful mistakes. And sometimes we behave badly.

You may be right and they’re wrong. Or maybe it could be the other way. Don’t waste your time proving you’re right. Always seek to understand.