Do you find that you like or dislike most people? Why do you think that is?
September 9, 2004 2:13 PM   Subscribe

Do you find that you like or dislike most people? Why do you think that is?
posted by dame to Human Relations (50 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I like most people. Probably, because I really, really want everyone to like me. (Not saying that this is right, just offering an answer)
posted by seanyboy at 2:19 PM on September 9, 2004


I like individuals but am disgusted by the aggregate. I would say my first inclination is usually to like somebody, and it is philosophy which tells me, later, that they are awful.
posted by Hildago at 2:25 PM on September 9, 2004


I used to strongly dislike most people. I thought they were cattle, wondering through their pointless lives mingling about, acting completely stupid, and getting in my way.

Since i'm taking medication though, I'm doing a little better. This kind of cattle behavior can still be seen with the power goes out and nobody remembers to stop at a redlight. Or how some people speed up when it starts raining. hmm, actually I guess I'm about the same really. Just more social. and less mood swings.

But anyway, to answer your question, there are a lot of stupid people out there and unfortunately they they ruin it for everyone else.

Also, I used to have a big inferiority complex, so if I met anyone that was a nice guy or attractive or successful I fucking hated them.
posted by bob sarabia at 2:26 PM on September 9, 2004


I tend to like people until someone tells me otherwise. I seem to be good atsubconsciously determining how much of a distance I should keep people at to avoid getting hurt, and to let me not have to spend the energy hating people.

In real life the only person who's ever managed to really make me angry is my sister, and vice versa.

I do think a lot of pepole are kind of empty-headed, but if that's their secret to happiness I don't let it bug me too much.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:31 PM on September 9, 2004


Dislike. Because they are stupid and annoy me. Especially when driving.

I know there are smart, likeable people out there (I have many friends and acquaintances who are), but the vast majority of people who draw attention to themselves are the stupid and obnoxious ones, which has caused me to develop some pretty serious contempt towards people in general.

[on preview: seanyboy - I am nice to most people because I really want them to like me, but that really doesn't mean that I like them. In fact, I often don't even care that much if they like me, I just want them to treat me civilly. Do unto others, etc. I guess. ]
posted by rorycberger at 2:35 PM on September 9, 2004


I try to like people at first, but I end up disliking most people over the long run. It's partly because I'm a big nerd, and I don't usually have much in common to talk about with people. It's also because I've noticed that a lot of people just don't seem to be passionate about anything - there's nothing that fascinates them intellectually or emotionally. I find this unnatural and off-putting, to the point where I can't really deal with people like that. I have a couple of friends that I'm very close to, though.
posted by vorfeed at 2:43 PM on September 9, 2004 [1 favorite]


soylent people are made of green.
posted by Kwantsar at 2:44 PM on September 9, 2004


What Hildago said.
posted by SpecialK at 2:46 PM on September 9, 2004


I start out liking most people/persons, but lack of refinement and education quickly makes me want to avoid many, perhaps most, very quickly. Someone smokes cigarettes? GET AWAY. Drugs? Get away! Has a cell phone that plays music, or headphones I can hear in the subway? Get away! Speaks with a Long Island accent? Get me out of here!

I try to keep on open mind, but I actually tend to keep too open a mind, not trust my feelings, and doing things like marrying the wrong woman (once, at least)....
posted by ParisParamus at 2:56 PM on September 9, 2004


I don't think I'm predisposed to liking or disliking. I neither crave meeting people or have an aversion to it.

Though I do like this Charles Bukowski quote: I don't hate people. I just feel better when they're not around.
posted by dobbs at 3:03 PM on September 9, 2004 [1 favorite]


I like most people, but generally the more I'm drawn to a person, the more I back off because I don't deserve to associate with someone that nice/smart/funny/etc. It takes me years to cultivate a friendship, though I find admirable traits in nearly everyone.
posted by Hypharse at 3:09 PM on September 9, 2004


I tend to hate people more on the internet than in real life.
posted by SpaceCadet at 3:11 PM on September 9, 2004


i love the glorious potential of humanity
but i hate people

actually, it's all up to my mood as to whether they are the stinking masses or like denizen of my current planet as to whether i'm hosty or ghosty
or beating people with a stick

most people i get to know are bright and shiny until that "btw i'm in the KKK/ have you accepted jesus christ as your personal savior" moment.
posted by ethylene at 3:15 PM on September 9, 2004


Aloof people creep me out. I just can't trust 'em.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:34 PM on September 9, 2004


The Dalai Lama says that on entering a room, he assumes everybody there is his friend. Then, if they do something shitty to him, he does something shitty back. Otherwise, smiles all around.
This works for me, as well.
Unless I'm in a grumpy/sour/to cool for school mood, in which case I just glare at everybody.
posted by signal at 3:55 PM on September 9, 2004


I like most people, although I'm very selective about who I'll spend much time with. I'm very forgiving also.
posted by callmejay at 3:59 PM on September 9, 2004


I like to be friendly and I like to have people like me, or at the least, be civil to me. Public rudeness or nastiness, or trashy behavior, really bothers me. So I'm predisposed to like most people initially, unless they prove they are not worth being friendly towards (by being jerks), then I avoid them.

If they're just not my cup of tea, I'm still friendly; but it's pretty hard for me to not find at least some topic to converse on or some angle to relate with them. I find people that judge you not worthy/hold themselves aloof/can't be arsed to smile back if you say "hello", etc. to be unnerving. Or people that think basic social interaction with random people is beneath them somehow.

I prefer to interact with people in person rather than online; more chance of them maintaining a certain standard of politeness - although unfortunately less so these days.

Humanity in general I can't stand.
posted by Melinika at 4:01 PM on September 9, 2004


I like people, and very rarely feel distaste for anyone. I'm pretty easy going. I don't think you can be an extrovert and yet tend to dislike others.

However I have low expectations of people en masse.

Why? I have no idea.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 4:04 PM on September 9, 2004


What kind of shitty things would the Dalai Lama do to somebody?
posted by Hildago at 4:21 PM on September 9, 2004


I get along with people. They're my species.
posted by holloway at 4:25 PM on September 9, 2004


he's the second cutest lama and quite the wit. honestly, deflecting someone in his presence would be harsh enough.
question is how could someone piss him off?
posted by ethylene at 4:27 PM on September 9, 2004


I dislike people. They're my species.
posted by DaShiv at 4:28 PM on September 9, 2004


I find that there's something interesting in pretty much everyone, even if there's not always something likable in them. So, I can spend time with anybody, even if I'm mostly just being fascinated with how horrid they are. I have a job working with the public, so this stance is pretty much necessary [though some of my other colleagues could stand to learn it]. When I'm at home I basically don't need to interact in a face to face way with people at all outside of my immediate housemates, so I often don't. My basic feeling is that I like people okay, I can take or leave most of them, but the few that I know that are really super-special make meeting and greeting all the rest of them worthwhile.
posted by jessamyn at 4:39 PM on September 9, 2004


Interesting. I love meeting new people and find I like everybody at first, but the more time I spend with them the less I like them with only a few precious exceptions. I wish I could accept and enjoy all the people I meet and simply discount their flaws as eccentricities.

Recent disappointments:
A fifty-something year old woman whose life revolved around her parents and their cats.
A 47yo man who drank the 24 pack of beer he brought with him to a dinner party, another 12 or so beers I had here, a bottle of wine, and the gas from a whipping cream dispenser. I haven't given up on him, but he does scare me.
My SO's sister who cannot back-up any of her opinions. She just parrots things her pastor says and then tells me all the answers are in the Bible. Meanwhile have I seen Daddy Day Care (insert the latest piece-of-crap offering from Hollywood) It is the best movie, ever!

Oh I could go on. Am I too judgemental? This is the question that keeps me up at night.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:41 PM on September 9, 2004


ooh, if it's story trading time i gots thirty minute conversations in the check out line ended with " wow! you speak great english!" to strange run ins with georgia's chatham county grand dragon.
not even talking about pet schizophrenics--

between common decency and friendship
it's not a right, it's a privilege
i've found as life fills up you have to be more judgemental; not being so drags a lot of enabled dead weight.
kind of kind how i have limited phone # slots in my head, one has to go for a new one
posted by ethylene at 4:55 PM on September 9, 2004


A 47yo man who drank the 24 pack of beer he brought with him to a dinner party, another 12 or so beers I had here, a bottle of wine, and the gas from a whipping cream dispenser. I haven't given up on him...

OK, there's such a thing as too much tolerance. Get out while the getting is good -- alcoholics are no fun over the long run. Trust me on this.

Me, I tend to like most people and find that they seem to like me. Furthermore, I observe that people who expect other people to be unlikable seem to bring out the unlikable traits in others. Don't know what the causation is here, but I suspect that our views of humanity and our tendency to like or dislike the generic other has a lot more to do with our own nature than with other people.
posted by languagehat at 4:57 PM on September 9, 2004


I like most people until they become my customers or they start talking about computers a-la-I-just-read-PC-Magazine! style.

To put it simply, I keep a mental list of people who I need to get revenge on rather than a mental list of people I actually like.

Generally, I want to accept most people's faults, but there's somethings that will instantly put you on my bad side: "Angsty Teenager" syndrome being #1 on my list. "Hippie" syndome being (just barely) #2. "Slow Driver" syndrome being #3. #4 is being a snooty bastard.

Apart from that, if you don't speak with me I assume you're a decent person.
posted by shepd at 5:00 PM on September 9, 2004


those syndromes covers me pretty much, but sometimes i don't knowe why i have a severe adverse reaction to someone. if they aren't a total @sshole (i can deal with asshats pretty well if i want to) i suspect it some lizard brain scent thing.
otherwise, i find you can pretty much win over anyone who isn't completely alienated if you want to. just need a reason to want to
posted by ethylene at 5:06 PM on September 9, 2004


I keep my mind open - I'm very aware that city life is more pleasant if everyone takes a tolerant attitude toward each other. I'm aware most people won't have a lot to say to me beyond small talk, and vice versa, so I'd have to say I don't like most people. But that has nothing to do with treating everyone with civility and consideration.
posted by zadcat at 5:30 PM on September 9, 2004


Do you find that you like or dislike most people?

Both. Because people will often be terrifc in certain ways and awful in others. I'll find out that the person will horrible taste in music and movies is incredibly nice to old people and children. Or I find out that the guy with the great sense of humor and style is a prick to servicepeople. This goes for just about everybody, including myself. This ties me in knots. But that's life, I guess.
posted by jonmc at 5:33 PM on September 9, 2004


I have a high opinion of people I don't know, and I'm scared of them. When I get to know them to the point where I'm not scared of them, I'm terribly disappointed.
posted by furiousthought at 5:45 PM on September 9, 2004


I tend to dislike most people that I meet nowadays. But I also think that's becuase I have some screwed up social anxiety type fobia that I still have yet to deal with on a professional level.
posted by punkrockrat at 6:16 PM on September 9, 2004


People built phones, and tunnels, and bridges, and rocketships. That's pretty smart. I like people.
posted by holloway at 6:26 PM on September 9, 2004


I get tired of a lot of people, and many things they do, but I try not to dislike them. I try to separate like-dislike of the person from actions/words/attitudes that I don't like. Sometimes I try to change how I treat them and see if that helps me like them. Or at least see the good side. Changing the tint of my lenses. Something about the halo effect.

That said, it doesn't work in all cases.
>Why do you think that is?
I work with an ingratiating gossipy fellow. I find all of his small talk and all of his work talk very negative and his verbal head games (gossiping to me about someone right after gossiping to that person about someone else) transparent. I've been stubborn enough to defiantly spin everything into neutral or positive light. I think he sees me as a naive idealistic child. I think he's not as smart as he thinks he is.
posted by philfromhavelock at 6:31 PM on September 9, 2004


I don't understand why I sometimes love people and sometimes hate them.

One day I was driving near work, and saw a very old, shabbily dressed man walking down an alley. He had a comic book rolled up and tucked into his back pocket. For some reason, I suddenly LOVED that man with his little comic book. I think I actually cried.

Then there's a woman I work with who, maybe 70% of the time, is quite friendly to me, and we have nice conversations. Sometimes she's very snotty, though. I almost always, even when we're chatting pleasantly, quietly despise her.

I think being an only child screwed up something in how I relate to people. I also don't care for them in groups, but one-on-one, I seem to find something to like about almost everyone.
posted by icetaco at 7:31 PM on September 9, 2004


I tend to assume the best of people until they prove themselves otherwise.

I tend to like most individuals in the sorts of passing encounters one tends to have with most people. I tend to dislike humanity as a whole: we seem hellbent on self-destruction and outright stupidity.

I have very few people I consider friends, a good number of people I consider acquaintances, and many people I "just know."

I have been known to go to the ends of the earth for my friends. I give endless support to friends, in every way I can. I'm generally helpful and supportive of aquaintances, but I will say "no" if being so is going to be inconvenient or cost me (time, money, labour, sanity, whatever) too much. Everyone else can fuck right off.

There are no more than a dozen people I've ever actively disliked so much that I've made a point of not associating with them in any way. There have been only a couple people I have loathed with passion; these have been people who acted so unethically, so immorally, so destructively that I simply can't stand being in the same species as them.

I have really enjoyed participating in threads with a few of the MeFi folk, quite admire a few others, and hold a few in quite a bit of respect. There are a few that I completely disrespect, and the single common factor with them is that their beliefs and attitudes are harmful to peace and prosperity for all.

I should probably mention that I'm always surprised when people appear to quite like having me around. My surprise is probably because there are only a couple people I like having around for any length of time, and I could quite happily never see everyone else again. Which is to say while I like a lot of people, I don't actually care to be with many people.

I hope this was interesting to you.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:31 PM on September 9, 2004


Everyone else can fuck right off.

Er, I lie. Come to think of it, I often help strangers if I see they need a hand: open a door, carry a heavy package, that sort of shit. No skin off my ass to be nice to people.

I figure what goes around comes around. I have little conversations with cashiers, but don't hang around chatting; I open doors for others when entering/exiting a building; I smile when passing a stranger who's also out for a walk; I'll give people a break in rush-hour traffic.

It's all piddly stuff, but I honestly believe it makes a difference. There's a general "temperature" in various societies: some run hot, some run cold, some are friendly, some are selfish. I like friendly, selfless, happy societies, so I try to act as such.

But I don't hold much with not-friends who ask me to put myself out for their sake. No, I am not going to politely listen to your telemarketing spiel; no, I am not going to let you Witness to me; no, I am not going to support your charity on a whim; and, no, dammit, I am not going to let you be rude, cheat, or lie to me.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:40 PM on September 9, 2004


Depends where I am. Some locations inspire general goodwill and rabbits toward all, and some (like 326__) induce festering rage that I have to coexist with the rest of humanity. As stated previously, it's much easier to like people once they're dissociated from the background. There's only one person I have ever known face-to-face and actively loathed, and I plan to turn her into a low-grade comedy routine.
posted by casarkos at 8:04 PM on September 9, 2004


I like people a lot, except my neighbor (who I've arbitrarily decided to dislike to have someone to channel my negative emotions at) and probably half of the drivers with whom I share any given road.

In my life, I've been the recipient of random acts of kindness at vital moments. Lost and injured while backpacking alone while backpacking 100-miles from the nearest town in Northern Maine, two strangers who lived in a remote unwired cabin found me, fed me and drove me to a town. After missing a plane to go home for Chirstmas when I was 17, strangers went to great lengths to help me get to see my parents. Being the recipient of the best of human nature inspires me to want to be part of it, and I try to help people in need when I have the opportunity.

I think my job has also contributed to my appreciation of most people. I used to think most people were stupid. But in my line of work, I try to talk to people from all walks of life--educated people, drop outs, liberals, conservativces, the disaffected. I've come to realize that, while a lot of people are ignorant and uneducated, most can be quite smart when they're thinking about things that matter to them. I believe widespread ignorance and disaffection are a failure of our system, not of the people who are part of it. I also no longer think of measurable IQ levels as quite so critical in determining human value as I once did.

Community in the abstract sense is really important to me. When I think about voting, I think about all the people who come together to participate in an idealistic form of government (even if it doesn't always work). When drivers pull over to let a fire truck or ambulance get by, sometimes I tear up thinking about how little choices we individually make can collectively save lives.

That said, I'm still an introvert. I have a small number of friends that I know very well. Everyone else I like at a distance.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 9:19 PM on September 9, 2004


I like persons, as much as I can, but I don't like people. I can't stand, and I'm no good at, small talk. (Intellectually, I understand its value as a social tool, but it just doesn't come naturally to me to make use of it, either giving or receiving.)
posted by Guy Smiley at 9:58 PM on September 9, 2004


I'm with Guy Smiley (brought to you by the letter 3): I like people if I can have a real conversation with them, and be myself with them. If they want to play nicey-nice small-talk fake games, I find it really hard work, and I'm so bad at it it soon becomes painfully obvious that I'm trying desperately to think of something else to say about the weather. I generally like individuals until I have a reason not to, but I frequently dislike "people". I would do anything for my friends, and just about anything for a person in need, regardless of who they were, even my worst enemy, but that's not about liking or disliking, it's about doing the right thing.
posted by biscotti at 10:16 PM on September 9, 2004


The trick with small talk is to avoid all situations in which small talk happens, ie. group gatherings.

Individually, people are generally great to converse with. In groups, it sucks.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:18 PM on September 9, 2004


I generally like people. It's fairly rare that I don't find some point of sympatico with an individual, and I'm pretty much as popular as I want to be. I think people like me because I'm usually genuinely interested in them, and I make them feel calm because I'm not trying to wring some sort of reaction out of them. People who want you to like them, or admire something about them (their intelligence/beauty/money/skill/etc.) are repeatedly making tiny assaults on one's psyche, which is why a fairly large proportion of the population is walking around in a state of near-constant irritation. This is also why we find a haven in our friends, who are past the point of trying to make an impression, and who are usually much more forthright about what they want from us.

I try to be kind of "zen" about those little ego-driven gnat-attacks, and I'm usually successful in steering people into a more relaxed attitude, wherein they become a lot more fun and interesting. There are two common types, however, that I cannot bring myself to expend even the tiniest bit of energy on: dedicated gossips, and a very particular brand of blustery, arrogant male. For some reason, I can't dredge up a sliver of a motive for dealing with these people.

At any rate, my normal response to people, which is, let's say, more often like reading than scanning, is a bit exhausting. So, for me, a little society goes a long way.
posted by taz at 11:37 PM on September 9, 2004


I have low expectations of people, so I am often surprised. But that is partly about how much I know about an individual. Too often I like someone 'til they reveal something I find intolerable.

Like some others here, I don't tend to like people in groups. I don't like leaders/authorities, especially of the self-appointed variety. But I am a leader-type personality, and tend to work against anyone of who's lead I dissapprove. I will wrest control from someone in order to create a lack of control, in situations I find that more appropriate (most!).
posted by Goofyy at 2:52 AM on September 10, 2004


Bllody hell, there are so many reasons to like and dislike people. There would seem to be a huge gulf between people I just dislike from what they do in non-social situations, (eg stand outside my window at 4am singing 'Swing Low Sweet Chariot'), and those I like/dislike in active social meetings. To be actively disliked they would have to be arseholes (quite a rare categorisation), to be really liked we'd probably have to get on pretty well others are just others. One interesting reflection of this question would be how do you think people like or dislike you? What do you think the links are between you likin/disliking them and them liking/disliking you? (I hope this isn't sterring things off topic, seanyboy seems to veer this way in his [MI] anyway.

This thread makes me want to start a pissing competition with the Dalai Lama.
posted by biffa at 3:45 AM on September 10, 2004


I don't like most people, but love and trust that gut instinct that tells me WHAM! What a great person! Those folks stick around and I treasure them. I also have the hatred of small talk. . .I guess I have limited psychic reserves for other people and only can use it on people I really like. Perhaps this is an introvert/extrovert thing? I'm an introvert, therefore, I don't like/have time for most people. More people are extroverts, extroverts like people because you never know what you'll find in someone, etc - that seems to bear out in the comments.
posted by rainbaby at 5:24 AM on September 10, 2004


It's not that I dislike most people, it's that I occupy a minority demographic (even though I'm a white guy) so I just can't relate to most of the people in my neighborhood. I'm a liberal Mormon academic, and so I'm hated and feared by the conservative suburban neighbors and not fully trusted by the academics either. Fortunately, I have tv to watch.

Also, how much I hate the world generally depends on my current stress levels.
posted by mecran01 at 8:31 AM on September 10, 2004


Both. Because people will often be terrifc in certain ways and awful in others. I'll find out that the person will horrible taste in music and movies is incredibly nice to old people and children. Or I find out that the guy with the great sense of humor and style is a prick to servicepeople. This goes for just about everybody, including myself. This ties me in knots. But that's life, I guess.
posted by jonmc at 5:33 PM PST on September 9


jonmc has it right. Everyone has something to offer.

I like people until proven otherwise. An even then, I try to separate the behavior from the person. I used to be really judgmental and was always looking for ways to prove myself better than someone (to myself, not to them). Now I've realized how much happier life is when you work with people instead of against them.

Interesting question - and revealing answers.
posted by widdershins at 9:03 AM on September 10, 2004


Perhaps this is an introvert/extrovert thing? I'm an introvert, therefore, I don't like/have time for most people. More people are extroverts, extroverts like people because you never know what you'll find in someone, etc - that seems to bear out in the comments.

There may be a correlation, but it's certainly not universal. Croutonsupafreak's comment ("That said, I'm still an introvert. I have a small number of friends that I know very well. Everyone else I like at a distance.") goes for me as well.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:52 AM on September 10, 2004


I'm neutral about people until they prove themselves one way or another. Why? Because it's safest.
posted by deborah at 11:32 AM on September 10, 2004


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