What about the pickles you’re referencing tastes horrible to you?
Asking because there are many types, some with specific strong flavor agents, and others that don’t have those. Fenugreek is one possibility - bitter, strong. Asafoetida is another. Mustard oil too. And so on. You can avoid those things - they are not in everything.
How Indians eat pickles explains why they taste the way they do. They are meant to be eaten in tiny quantity, as a flavor enhancer for an otherwise mildly flavored meal. So no one would have a plate of highly spiced food, and then put pickle on that. One would, however, have a regular daily meal of rice, dal (or those combined into khichdi), chapati/paratha, and then either no vegetable but pickle to bring some spice and flavor to the meal, or an everyday vegetable (that’s not too heavily flavored) and a bit of pickle on the side. Or a simplified meal of khichdi (rice and dal cooked together) or pulao or stuffed parathas - always served with yogurt and a little pickle.
Here’s a pic off the internet for context - the pickle is in the middle.
Among Indian pickles, there are the salty/sour/spicy style and the sweet/tangy style. Some ingredients are used in both styles (mango, lime/lemon), others only in the former (garlic, certain herbs, tomato, etc).
Jarred pickles have come a long way, and are inexpensive for you to put together a tasting for yourself.
Bedekar is a solid Indian brand choice. Mothers is another. MTR and Priya have a better range of South Indian pickles - yes, there’s a lot of regional variety, as with food. Some expat brands (like Pataks) may be skewed to foreign palates, others were developed for the immigrant community and are pretty true to the original (Deep, Swad). Often what is referred to as pickles and chutneys in Western parlance has little to do with actual Indian pickles and chutneys.
If you’re looking for some easy hits to get started:
FWIW - I use my pickles (usually spicy ones) in many non-Indian applications too - as a marinade for grilled chicken or fish, as a mayo or yogurt mix-in for a spread or dip, alone as an intense sandwich spread, added as a flavor boost for any braise or gravy dish, and so on. Think of it like a magic ingredient - how people use gochujang these days, or anchovies, or fish sauce, or chilli oil - it’s powerful, and a little goes a long way.