When People Don't Like You

In cultivating the Way, sometimes you may find that you are unable to find the Path, that you don't know how to go about cultivating. You may run into a fork in the road and you don't know which way to go to. At that time you need to have wisdom and samadhi power. You must also hold the precepts.

As to relationships with people, sometimes you may be especially good to some people, but they return your kindness with dislike. The better you are to them, the worse they will be to you. When this state manifests, you must break your attachment. What attachment? Your attachment to being good to people! When the better you are to people and the worse they are to you, they are being your "reverse" good knowing advisors. They are helping you learn to take it easy when the going gets rough. This is based on experience in my own cultivation. At every step along the way, I have encountered these types of abuse and these sorts of tests. Abuse and tests occur just to see whether you will still go forward or whether you'll retreat. If you really understand, then in opposing and according states you will be equally vigorous. There is a saying:

If your ideas aren't working,
    look within yourself;
If you are kind to people and they don't reciprocate,
    take a look at your kindness.
If you give people orders and they don't follow them,
    take a look at your orders.
If you pay respect to people and they don't return it,
    take a look at your manners.

Suppose you are very good to someone, but they won't get near you. In that case, you have to return the light to see if your kindness is really adequate. If it is, eventually you will influence them towards the good. If people don't follow your instruction, return the light and think, "Could I be laying power trips on people? If you nod or do a half-bow when you see people but they act as if they didn't even see you, once again, return the light: Do you really feel respectful towards them? If you can always turn the light, you won't be far away from the Path. You'll be on your way. This is very easy to talk about but very difficult to do!

p. 121, Treasure Trove