No matter how much we deny it, deep down, we all just want to be liked and loved. And nothing can make you feel more devastated when you start asking yourself, “Why does nobody like me?”
It is a question that has no purpose but to dig more into our wounds, and honestly, nobody wants to hear the answer to this question itself. And sometimes, there aren’t any answers but a bunch of assumptions and interpretations we make in our heads.
But what everybody should know is why they keep having this thought and how much of it has to do with them. Why? It can really push you to the emotional edge and cause mental health problems like anxiety and depression.
So today, we will discuss all the possible reasons behind why you might think nobody likes you and how to deal with it.
First, Understand Your Critical Inner Voice
Before we go straight into the reasons why you might think that nobody likes you, we first need to understand what puts that thought in our heads. Meaning who is the culprit.
Surprisingly, in most cases, our critical inner voice is the villain, which makes us feel that way.
Now, what is a critical inner voice?
It is a voice that every one of us has within us that constantly criticizes everything we do and reminds us that we aren’t good enough. It is the same voice that forces us to run behind the illusion of perfection and prevents us from being satisfied with what we are.
The critical inner voice can be louder and meaner for some of us compared to others, and it tends to pick on different points of our lives. So yes, to feel that nobody likes you, you need to encounter a trigger.
What Triggers The Thought That Nobody Likes You?
There can be a lot of incidents that can make you ask, “Why does nobody like me.” But it isn’t necessary that you need to experience all of them to think this way.
For some, only one interaction with a close one is enough to make them feel that way. While for others, it can be a compilation of experiences they had encountered throughout their life. So, let’s take a look at them all so you can judge for yourself.
Having a Hard time Connecting with People
If you are not an outgoing person and it takes time for you to open up and connect with people, it can get difficult for you to make new friends. As a result, you might start thinking that you are unlikable, which is why you have very few friends.
However, the reality is far from it, and all you need to do is work on your socializing and communication skills.
Getting Rejected by Someone Close
It is a strange human nature, but we can often ignore all the love and affection we receive in the world and focus on the rejection we get from someone we deeply admire.
That person can differ from other people. For some, it can be their parents, while for others, it can be their partner.
Getting rejected by that one person can hurt you so much that you start believing you are not enough and nobody likes you. But why do we do that?
The answer is simple. It is a coping mechanism. In our heads, we start justifying their actions to make the situation more reasonable.
Also, sometimes we can get hurt so bad that we would do anything never to experience the same again. So, the thought of not being likeable holds us back from getting our hopes high again.
Being told by Someone that Nobody Likes you
Some people can be very sensitive by nature, and they really take it to heart. And what they need to understand is that not everybody around them is like them.
So if someone straight up tells them that nobody likes you, they’ll consider it as a fact and not as the opinion of that person only.
Especially if you got bullied in your school, these memories and thoughts can get embedded in your head and distort the reality for you.
Making up Thoughts on your Own
Negative thoughts like these don’t pop up out of nowhere. If none of the above reasons were valid for you, the problem can be a little deeper.
If you are struggling with poor mental health and have been diagnosed with conditions like depression, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), or social anxiety, getting the feeling of being unlikable can be a side effect of it.
Or if you have other chronic health issues that you have been dealing with for a long time, you can get distorted thoughts that nobody likes you.
How To Overcome The Thought That Nobody Likes Me?
The only way you can overcome the fear of not being likeable enough is by separating your critical thoughts from reality. Once you realize what you are thinking is not the absolute truth, it becomes easier for you to understand the situation better.
Here are some practices you can do to get over the feeling faster.
Understand that Not EVERYBODY has to Like you
If you ever ask yourself why NOBODY likes you, you are more likely to be a person with the thought “all-or-nothing.”
So, for you, the first step to getting over this idea would be to accept the fact that not everybody has to like you. While some people may not like you, there will definitely be others who do like you.
Of course, it is easier said than done, and we all want to be liked by everybody. But the reality is that this perception will never allow you to live your life to the fullest. You will keep trying to please everyone you meet. So be your best self to everyone, and if still someone doesn’t like you, that’s totally fine.
As a practice, instead of saying, “Nobody likes me,” say, “That person doesn’t like me.”
Stop Thinking that you can Read Someone’s Mind
Even if someone says it on your face that they don’t like you, they might not mean it. Just like how some people can say that they like you but still be spiteful about you behind your back.
So, understand the fact that you can’t read someone’s mind.
And most people who tell themselves that “nobody likes me” are the ones who are too self-critical.
For example, you meet a person for the first time, and throughout your conversation, they keep zoning out.
If you are too self-critical, your first instinct would be, I must be boring, and they don’t like me.
Now, that can be possible. But what if they are someone with a very poor attention span?
Or, maybe, they were having a bad day.
There can be many interpretations of their actions apart from thinking that they don’t like you. So, try to have more optimistic thoughts, and don’t treat your assumptions as facts.
Connect with Yourself More
The feeling of not being likeable often stems from our insecurities. The more we pay heed to our critical inner voice, the more we are prone to feeling unworthy.
So, to get over that, follow these five steps.
- Listen to your inner critical voice and when it kicks in
Maybe it is whenever you meet someone new or when you try to speak up. Note down what it says and turn those I statements into You.
For example, instead of saying, “I’m so stupid; nobody likes me,” say, “You’re so stupid; nobody likes you.” This practice will help you separate your critical inner voice from yourself.
- Try to think of the origin of these negative thoughts
In most cases, if the thoughts are too loud, you might get a glimpse of the moment that made you feel that way.
- Talk back to your critical inner voice
This may sound stupid or bizarre, but talking back your critical inner voice does help in nullifying its impact.
- Reflect on how your thoughts affect your actions
Knowing how those intrusive thoughts can hamper your potential can give you the motivation to try and divert your thoughts actively.
- Change your behavior
If your critical voice says, “Shut up and sit down” you need to challenge that and do what is needed. It will be difficult, but the more actions you take, the easier it will become to get over it.
If you are an introvert, try working on your social skills. That may be the reason why you face difficulty in making new connections.
But, if you feel isolated or lonely for a long time, we recommend you consider seeing a therapist who can give you professional advice. Besides, they can also help you identify your problems better and suggest practices helpful for overcoming them.
She is an experienced Clinical Psychologist and Mental Health Writer with a decade of expertise in psychology. Skilled in assessment, therapy, and patient care. Committed to helping individuals through clinical practice and mental health writing at Therapyjourney.co. Passionate about promoting mental well-being and awareness. Open to aligned opportunities.