Have you ever been “forced” to spend time with someone who, despite being a perfectly sweet (most of the time) person, just doesn’t mesh with you at all? I say “force”, because you usually only come together with these people when a social obligation requires you to. These people are well-meaning and really like you for one reason or another, but have such completely different ideas of fun than you, or they genuinely enjoy a type of music you can’t stand, or they have certain personality traits that you find grating or draining. These are not bad people, by any means, but outside of said social obligation (or work, etc.), you have no plans to spend time with them; especially one-on-one.
I feel like this is something we don’t really talk about, but that a lot of people experience. We’re told it’s part of being an adult and to just suck it up; but to be perfectly honest, I don’t feel like it’s necessary. As a Unitarian Universalist, I wholeheartedly believe in the inherent worth and dignity of ALL people, but that does not mean I have to spend any more time with them than necessary.
Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t try to be as nice to them as possible, find common ground, and hopefully make a great friend. I’m always open for new friends; especially ones with whom I can grab a coffee, talk about Harry Potter, or walk around craft stores. I will not, however, force myself to spend time with people that I have gotten to know well enough to know that the scales tip more towards less-in-common than more-in-common, and that’s okay. I won’t subject myself to pretending to like someone more than necessary just for appearances sake. No one should.