You Do Not Have To Pretend To Like Everybody

Adrian S. Potter
2 min readMar 28, 2022

There’s no reason to pretend you are tight with people you cannot stand.

Photo by cottonbro:

I mentor someone who recently lamented the aura of fakeness that people feel obligated to show socially and professionally. We talked about this extensively, as we both, unfortunately, had numerous examples of this self-sabotaging behavior.

“I just don’t have the time to devote to faux friendliness,” she concluded. “I am too busy forging connections with authentic people who share my vision and passion.”

Whoa. That statement hit hard. It drilled deep at the marrow of our reflexive facades. For a moment, I felt like the mentee.

The truth is, you do not have to pretend to like everybody. Similarly, you shouldn’t squander energy and resources on impressing others or kowtowing to gain the world`s favor. This especially pertains to neighbors and coworkers.

There’s no reason to pretend you are tight with people you cannot stand.

Being decent to the folks that live nearby is the proper thing to do, but you shouldn’t feel forced into mundane small talk or think you need to be a participant in their lives if you do not feel a genuine synergy with them.

Likewise, being polite at work is expected, but you do not need to make plans for lunch or a happy hour if you do not want to. If you are just there for a paycheck or want to remain a bystander to the office drama, then there’s no reason to get involved with anyone on a personal level.

However, it is critical to remain kind and courteous even if you dislike somebody. How you treat others — even those who play supporting roles in your life, like waitstaff or administrative assistants — reveals much about you and your value system.

You do not have to pretend to like everybody. But always show class — never be an ass.

Adrian S. Potter — the antisocial extrovert — is an author, engineer, consultant, and public speaker. He writes poetry, short fiction, and articles on various subjects, including creativity, leadership, and personal growth. Adrian is the winner of the 2022 Lumiere Review Prose Award the author of the poetry book Everything Wrong Feels Right (Portage Press). Visit him at

Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity ·