You may find it hard to believe, but not everyone likes Honey.
There’s Abbey, the pretty mixed breed whose person always asks after Honey from across the street. There’s Layla, the foster dog, who made it clear she’d only play with Honey on her own terms. And now there’s Marigold, a neighbor’s dog who came to see us last night.
Honey did her best to entice Marigold to play. But after a brief sniff, Marigold said to Honey in doggy body language, “I don’t really like you.”
Honey felt disappointed not have a new playmate. But that didn’t last long.
Honey’s attitude when a dog doesn’t like her? “So don’t like me. I don’t care.”
Dogs Don’t Take Things Personally
One of the great things about the canine brain is that it doesn’t hang on to bad feelings.
Dogs definitely feel bad. They get jealous, disappointed, and worried.
But they don’t sit on their pillows two hours after another dog refused to sniff their butt wondering: “Why didn’t he sniff my butt? What’s wrong with my butt? He sniffed every other dog’s butt.”
You know, the way humans do (minus the butt sniffing part).
Maybe it’s not the canine brain structure that keeps them from wallowing in hurt feelings. Maybe it’s just because they don’t spend time online.
The Internet Is An Excuse To Feel Bad
I love and hate the internet.
I love sharing interests with people on the opposite side of the world. I love getting book recommendations from readers with better taste than my “in real life ” friends. I love learning new perspectives about national and international news stories from people directly affected by them.
Most of all, I love seeing cute puppy pictures from all around the world.
But if you’re a sensitive person the internet is one big excuse to feel bad.
And if you’re on social media or a blogger, it’s even worse.
It’s hard for a mere human not to take every unsubscribe, unfriending, or lower “popularity” than a fellow blogger personally.
And some of us, who are particularly un-doglike, see the worst in everything.
Facebook friends don’t go away because of a computer glitch or because they’re trying to get a handle on their time. They go away because I’m a horrible person who offended them.
I don’t have fewer blog subscribers than my friend because I don’t work as hard at it. Or because their blog of pictures of cats in cute sweaters has broader appeal than my weird, niche-y ramblings. No it must be because I’m a horrible person who never writes anything interesting or funny.
Yep, I probably need to ignore stats.
And I definitely need to channel the dog.
Wanting To Be Liked Is Unlikeable
Some dogs don’t like Honey when she comes on too strong.
If I suspect a dog (or cat) might be apprehensive about meeting Honey, I ask her to stay still and let the other animal approach first. On their own terms.
But if I’m told the other dog is playful, I let Honey make her own introduction.
It involves play bows, whirling around, and a big, floofy tail in the air. In other words, it looks like she’s trying too hard.
And we all know (except Honey) that there’s nothing less attractive than someone saying “Like me, like me.” Which is exactly what Honey is doing with her wild gyrations and bowing.
When I look back at times in my life when someone really disliked me, I wonder if I tried too hard to be likeable. And made myself the exact opposite.
So Don’t Like Me
Some people who don’t care if people like them are obnoxious jerks. Or maybe they really do care if people like them but they don’t know how to be likeable so they pretend they don’t care and just act like a-holes.
But some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met couldn’t care less who likes them.
They do what they want to do. They’re driven to follow their own path. If you want to join them on it, fine. If not, that’s fine too.
They’re going to do what they want to do regardless of whether people like them for it or not.
I’m sure they suffer disappointments, like we all do.
But they’re more dog-like in how they handle them.
If their human play bow is rejected they reply, “So don’t like me.” And they go on with their lives.
Freedom Of Taste
I like most people.
In fact, it’s so rare that I dislike someone that those few people really stand out in my mind.
I even like people who don’t like me.
But if I really like people, I need to cut them some slack and let them like what (or whom) they want to like. Even if they don’t like me.
And learn not to care.
I want to be the best “me” I can be. Like Honey, I’ll put myself out there. And if someone doesn’t respond to my floofy tail or play bows, I’ll say to myself, “So don’t like me. Who cares?”
And if I still feel bad, I’ll go chew on a Nylabone until I get over myself.
Your Turn: Is your dog good at making friends? Are they better or worse at it than you are?
photo credit: (You Lose) JeepersMedia via photopin cc. Click on the image to learn more about the photographer.