I just now saw a picture of somebody who hates my guts so severely that every time I see him, he looks like he wishes his eyes were loaded shotgun barrels and his finger was on the trigger. I laugh within. I reach out and shake his hand, say, "How you doin? Good to see ya," and watch him boil. Just now, when I saw the picture, it put a smile on my face that grew bigger at a steady rate until I let loose an audible laugh. A lawyer said to me several years ago, "We are distinguished by the people that hate us as we are by the ones that like us." I'd never noticed that before, but the moment it was spoken, I saw it. We're raised in school, home, church to want people to like us, not for any rational purpose, just because, the every-parent answer to the question, why? I don't believe anybody really knows why. I came up that way, as did everyone I grew up with all the way along. In America, it is vitally important to be liked. Only a few are popular, though everyone wants to be, with exceptions that prove the rule. I came up with it too. The face in the picture mentioned above is someone I don't want liking me. Hence, I do not worry over being disliked by him, don't even want to know why. We're distinguished by the ones that don't like us, and I like being distinguished by this character.
I've found a sure way to find out who does not like you. Go through the people you know that you don't like. They're the ones that don't like you. It runs both ways. Want to see who likes you, go over the people in your mind you like. They're the ones that like you. It just works that way. I think it has to do with subconsciously reading eyes and body language, tone of voice, seeing those things we don't admit to ourselves we see, feelings. I used to have a friend of several years who moved away. Wanted me to come visit three hundred miles away. I don't go anyplace anymore, certainly not that far. I got a phone call one day of nothing but cussing me, calling me an emeffer over and over. When I put down the phone, that individual fell into the wastebasket of the past. He was drinking, but it's been my experience in self and others that we get away with saying things drunk we don't say sober. To me, drunk or sober, it is the same person, same mind, same intent. It's not the first time I let somebody go for cussing me while drinking. I don't put out disrespect, and don't receive it. Another time was a woman who had a lot more money than I have and thought she was, therefore, in charge of me. I disappoint everybody that takes to such a notion.
I have a friend who used to worry herself until whatever illness took her over to get her mind onto something else. I've talked with her several times over the years, saying things like, "You don't want her to like you. She's toxic. If she likes you, you're really sunk." And, "If you really want her to like you, start liking her." Eventually, she got over the most intense part of her fear of being disliked. Lord have mercy, I've said, be pure sugar sweetness and somebody is not going to like sweet. I either indoctrinated her or gave her enough food for thought she eventually came down out of that mind and doesn't suffer so much from it. I look at self in the past and hang my head in shame over wanting to be liked. Still have it. I don't go about provoking others, intentionally pissing people off. I know some that do. It's a stiff-arm that keeps others from getting too close. I have a few friends of this characteristic. They have a rough life. But they're doing all right, people stay away from them, leave them alone, and they're glad, they already dislike everybody else first. I was told once, "I hate everybody but you." I said, "Only because you don't know me. You'd hate me most of all if you knew me."
Inside myself, in this time of the life, I feel like I've come to a fair balance in this regard. I don't feel a need to impress anybody into liking me. Feel like I have a fair understanding of the dynamic, thus can work with it rationally rather than emotionally. I don't have many people I dislike anymore. The ones I do dislike, it's over an issue of character I've experienced and witnessed that I want nothing to do with. Forgiveness is something I've never learned. I've done it once, actually twice. Both times I was rewarded with good friends unto best of friends. The forgiveness opened a metaphorical door, soul to soul. It takes much to get me there. I've seen so many Hong Kong men-with-guns movies that revenge sometimes becomes appealing to think about. They're all based in revenge. I tend to think about what comes next, which stops me from making the first move that will call a counter move, which will call a counter-move, until one ends up dead and the other in prison. I've learned to let karma be my revenge. A few years ago somebody Justin knew pulled some shit on me. Justin asked what I was going to do about it. I said I'd wait and watch and see what comes back to him. I won't have any fingerprints involved, no involvement in it, and I'll get a good laugh. Karma settles scores better than I could ever think of. A return I could think up would be either too much or too little. Karma takes care of it just right.
karel appel himself