I have heard this several times recently. I have overheard, or had said to me “you just don’t like me because I’m…” fill in the blank here: gay, straight, white, black, female, male, younger than you, older than you, a Republican, a Democrat…you get the idea.
Let me tell you a story.
When I was teaching, I had a student who was a nice kid. He asked intelligent questions, and often ate lunch in my room. He was out of school for several months with an injury, and when he came back he was in my repeater class. During the intervening months he had decided to come out as gay. This is a difficult thing, and he struggled. But he had also turned into a mouthy, obnoxious, whiny kid. He was failing my class because he refused to do the work, even in class. He argued with everyone, including me. And at one point, he looked me in the eye and said, “you just don’t like me because I’m gay.” And I walked to the other side of the room and bit my lip to stop from saying, “no, I don’t like you because you’re an asshole.”
So someone said to me the other day, “you just won’t listen to me because I’m a republican.” Nope, I won’t listen to him because he starts every conversation with me telling me how I’m wrong.
It’s fairly simple, and has nothing to do with gender, skin color, sexual orientation, political party or anything else. Those who believe that no one likes them or is willing to listen to them need to ask if maybe there is a common denominator: their own behavior is turning people away.
Photo by jonkeelty