I didn’t get to attend the Justin Bieber concert in SLC last month like my big sister did (mainly because I live in Massachusetts and she’s a college student in Provo). But when we are together we sing along with Justin whenever his song “My Mama don’t Like You” comes on the radio and giggle away. The joke in our family is that our Mom really does like everyone and it would indeed be the worst criticism EVER if my Mom actually didn’t like you for some reason.
Because there are actually very few people that my Mom doesn’t like she has taught me to look for the good in everyone I meet. So I try to always give people the benefit of the doubt. For example, sometimes someone who seems aloof or stuck-up is really just shy. Often someone who gossips is just insecure and simply needs a good, non-judgmental example of a friend who won’t participate in gossip. I’ve learned that someone who appears hardened has perhaps just had a difficult life. And most people can use a kind word, a good friend and a little soft love.
But let’s be honest, even when we try our hardest and make every effort, some people make it difficult to like them. And for this situation my Mom has taught me that after ‘killing them with kindness’ I don’t have to allow toxic relationships into my life. Without malice or meanness, I can prevent negative friendships and even family relationships from being part of my life and draining my happiness and light.
So Justin Beiber’s playful tag line: “My Mama don’t like you and she likes everyone” always reminds me to be nice, give others the benefit of the doubt and that most people will respond to consistent kindness, but not everyone may belong in my life and I don’t have to allow critical, negative influences into the inner circle of my heart, my life or my family.
How do you deal with difficult people? What’s worked for you to turn someone into a ‘friend’ even when it’s difficult? Have you ever had to put distance between you and someone who brings too much negativity into your life?