Gui, psychoanalyst for over twenty years, traded Latin America for Europe, and abandoned psychoanalysis – for good. He told me he was sick of hearing other people's problems and the job was making him run out of patience.
It was he who told me the theory of the 20%.
According to this theory, 20% of people we meet immediately hate us for no reason! The unfathomable reasons for this rejection are incomprehensible both for them and for us - the hated.
In Brazil, when people feel an instant dislike it is said that their “saints are not compatible”. This means that the saints responsible for the protection of both people do not get along for some reason that escapes us.
In the rest of the world the “theory that the Saints are not compatible” is unknown; and we have to stop blaming the saints for small human dramas, and accept the harsh reality that, out of ten people two will detest us or hate us. And if we begin to project this number, we realize that in each group of one thousand people, two hundred hate us! Statistically, those 20% are lost to us! They are irretrievable.
But there is good news: at the opposite end of the scale, there are 20% who like us, also for no apparent reason, without any plausible explanation! And at this point, the equation finally equilibrated, when the number of detractors equals the number of admirers.
But there is in us an almost natural tendency to focus more on those who hate us - we think about them the most, we wonder about the reasons that lead them to hate us, and sometimes, it even causes us some pain. Rejection causes us more damage and consumes more of our time than acceptance does. The negative loiters for longer than positive. Criticisms linger longer in the memory than flattery.
And in fact it should be the opposite.
Instead of worrying about those who reject us, it would be better to focus on those who love us - freely. They are 20% - exactly the same percentage of those who hate us.
Why should we focus our thoughts and our energies on those 20% who hate us? What is it to us that they detest us? It was not our choice! We already have to deal with the 20% that we hate - and we need to rid ourselves of these negative feelings quickly to not get in the way of our painstaking spiritual climb. To hate someone generates a brutal amount of energy, an energy that we need to transform before it returns to us in this eternal cycle of return and transformation.
Acceptance should consume more of our time than rejection. The positive should remain in us more than the negative. Praise should outweigh criticism.
Love should weigh infinitely more than anger, hatred or grudge.
So the 20% who love us are worth more than the 20% who hate us.