I tried telling her to 'please go away'. I tried being a little mean, shutting the door in her face and walking away from conversations in the middle. She came right back. I told the R.A. that she was a 'problem' and could they please switch my dorm rooms to another building? He said 'no, that's not enough of a reason' and wouldn't let me do it. Friends asked me 'how do you tolerate her' and 'what is the deal with her, she knows she's not wanted?' I told them I didn't like her, that I wished she was gone.
Since I couldn't make her go away, I started avoiding anywhere I might run into her. I kept away from the student union, I turned around and went the other direction when I saw her coming. When I did go back to my room, I jumped whenever the door made a noise, thinking it was her. By the end of the school year I was feeling pretty bad about her, about dorm life, and about school altogether. Then the semester ended and I never saw her again.
Now I'm wondering - what would today's me think of old me? What would I do if I met someone like this now, perhaps at work?
Hating someone is no fun for the hater - I was distracted so my studies suffered, I was catty and mean and I don't like myself that way. I had taken an official 'position' - I didn't like her and I told everyone I thought this way. Taking a position is kind of like joining a political party, once I join it I will defend it to the end.
If I went back in time and talked to old-me, I might tell myself that by keeping this position, I was hurting myself. I needed to change my position and stop hating her. I needed to see the situation differently. Perhaps I needed to have empathy for her. She was amazing (as we all are) and deserves respect for getting up every day and putting herself through her day.
Do you work or live with someone right now, who you don't like? Do you think having empathy would help?
*Some of the elements of this story have been changed to protect identities.