No, I Don’t Hate You.

I just bought Ro James’ new album ELDORADO and it is FIRE. If you’re into soulful vocals and R&B with substance, get your fix ASAP (current favourites are The Ride, Burn Slow, GA$, New Religion, and Holy Water).

A line that always mystifies me when I’m talking to people (as they breathe a sigh of relief) is “I’m so glad we’re speaking to each other because I’m not too sure if you hate me or not.” Yo, and you’re asking me this 15 minutes into a conversation?

Real talk, ever since I was very little I have never been good at hiding my facial expressions. If something is bad, my face will show it. Same with if it’s funny, or cringeworthy, you get the point. Needless to say, any lie I have gotten away with is nothing short of miraculous.

I don’t hate anyone. If I have given you a cold look or looked sad, impatient and/or tired, chances are that’s just my face or I’m thinking about something that makes me feel that way. Combine that with my Arab/Indian features and you get a whole bunch of people asking me in several different (and creative) ways if my default mood is anger.

My question is: What does it matter if someone likes you?

I’m the first to admit that I take it really personally when someone tries to make it obvious that they hate me. But for real, what the heck does it actually matter?

When someone doesn’t like you, it’s the ultimate opportunity for you to show kindness in the face of adversity. They will stand there fuming away, consuming their time and energy just to try to make you feel small. And you will do what? Own it. You’ll speak to them with respect as if nothing is wrong, you won’t cower at their every word. You’ll walk away from the conversation feeling the “I just set something on fire and I’m walking away from it in slow-mo” type of mood because you just respected yourself. Boy, even I’m getting hyped just typing this.

I find that people fear those who don’t like them because it mirrors back something they don’t like about themselves. When someone is able to get to you on that level where you can physically feel their words hurt you, it’s because they’ve touched on a problem you have with yourself. In some ways it’s a blessing because you will know what you need to work on, but in other ways it’s just plain rude.

So let me be clear, I don’t hate anyone. But it shouldn’t be that important to you, truth be told. Chances are, you are more amazing than you give yourself credit for. When you do that inner work (and that could mean just becoming aware of one of your biggest insecurities) the next time someone tries to make you feel unliked because of it, you’ll understand that they’re also struggling internally, and you have no part in that.

#StayWoke #MuchLove



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