How to Stop Hating Someone
“Love me or hate me, both are in my favor. If you love me, I will always be in your heart, and if you hate me, I will be in your mind” ~ Qandeel Baloch
Some people are triggers for arousing negative emotions.
They may have qualities you despise, such as selfishness, be continually lying to promote their agenda, or show cruelty and oppress ones who cannot fight back.
Sometimes they remind us of our insecurities or reduce us to feeling powerless and impotent.
The point is, the people who get under your skin are in your life for a reason.
Are you ready to dig down, figure out, and solve the reason?
Our emotional connection to something is what really defines what we are going to do with that thing or part of our life.
There is always some core of emotion that connects you or disconnects you to something or someone.
Emotional pivot points can send you in different directions, or keep you in the same place.
We think it is all intellectual and that it is our mind that is making the decisions. Partly, it is.
Biological Disposition of Aggression Towards “Other”
In an article called “Why Your Brain Hates Other People,” Robert Sapolsky writes about an experiment that showed that when we see someone who looks different from us (from a different group), the area of the brain associated with fear and aggression is activated.
This is in line with how primates brains also function. It is an evolutionary adaptation for survival. We needed to quickly be able to distinguish “them” from “us” in case of threat of attack.
According to the research, this also applies to the release of the “feel good” hormone oxytocin, which “prompts people to be more trusting, cooperative, and generous.” However, this only influences behavior towards members of your own “group” and creates the opposite effect on those we see who are dissimilar.
When I was initially researching information for this article, I found this study quite disturbing. It seemed to give a biological justification for human bigotry and fear purely based on surface “differences” between us as humans.
Despite this biological propensity for “own group bias” we are not “just animals” and have our cognitive power of reason and our intellectual function which can override this fleeting emotional reaction and lead to most people getting on with people of all different races, cultures, and countries.
Emotions Often Drive Our Behavior
The reality is that it is the emotional stuff that usually drives our behavior.
In an article called, “How Emotions Guide Our Lives” Lisa Firestone, Ph. D. referred to recent research that showed that emotional intelligence predicated for over 54% of our success in relationships.
Hate can send us down entirely new pathways in our life.
Hate is confrontational. It is in our face. It is hard to ignore. It can be all-consuming.
Think about someone you really hate at the moment.
Picture them in your mind.
Why do they trigger the emotion of hate in you?
Why do they bring that feeling out in you?
What sort of power must they have to bring out such a powerful feeling in you?
They have enormous power over you!
They have the power to bring up in you a feeling that is so intense, and that you dislike, and do not like having.
That is some pretty big emotions they are making in you.
Check it out.
They are not making these emotions occur in you without your consent.
You are linked together with that person via an umbilical cord of hate that is tied up in knots at your end at least and suffocating you.
They are pulling and tugging on something in you.
It is interesting to go and figure out what that is.
In the same article, “How Emotions Guide Our Lives” by Lisa Firestone, Ph. D. she spoke about how if we focus on emotions with “compassion and curiosity, we can discover who we are and what we want.”
My Trigger for Anger/Hate
Hate is a powerful word, but I have felt it before in my life.
It is not currently an emotion I have towards anyone personally associated with me in my life, but I do feel anger at times towards certain people that trigger me.
I am not talking about world hate (government, political party, etc.).
This is personal. A person did something terrible to you, or to someone you love.
So, for me, being taken advantage of is my hate trigger. If I have someone come in my life, and I ALLOW them in my life, then I have entered into a relationship with that person. Sometimes that person has taken advantage of me.
It has sometimes been a one-off occurrence by the person, but mostly it is because being taken advantage of frequently occurred over time. At one point in my life, it was a boss at a previous place of employment.
I became full of negative emotions. Eventually, I said to myself:
“Why am I letting this person do this to me?
Do I care about them enough to allow them to do this to me?”
If someone I deeply truly love brought out this feeling of hate in me, I would say, “I love you so much I am willing to feel this feeling you brought out in me. I will confront you, and we will work through this together.”
But you need to ask yourself, “Do I care about this person enough to allow them to impact me this much in my life?”
Nine times out of 10 you realize the answer is NO.
So take your power back. Get the ball back in your court.
You let them cross a boundary, cross a line, and now you are drawing the line back in the sand.
A lot of us are over givers, and people take advantage of givers. Stop giving more than you have to in the situation with that person.
Think again about the person to whom you feel this intense hatred.
Do you think they deserve your hatred?
Do they deserve to do that to you?
Do you honor or love them enough to allow them to do that to you? If you do, then contact them and sort it out.
If not, then, “Why are you engaging with them? Why do you put yourself in this position?
When you answer these two questions, a whole lot of other feelings may come up for you to address.
Is it your ex? Many of us know what it is like to hate an ex.
We tell ourselves that, “They broke my heart, I felt fooled by them, I was blindsided, they lied to me, or they cheated me out of money I needed.”
But mostly we are disappointed in ourselves when we hate our ex.
How did I pick them?
Why did I pick them?
How did I choose someone who disappointed me in such a big way?
You let me down.
You hurt me.
I trusted you.
You are upset at yourself and your own heart for not seeing these things or knowing better.
If the person is still meaningful to you and you want them in your life then share all of these feelings with them.
If they no longer are meaningful to you then realize there is no point holding onto the hate. It is holding them close to you.
Hate is like a slow simmering fire that eats you away from the inside.
Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat. — Henry Emerson Fosdick
If they are not important to you your job is to sever the hate.
Acknowledge your heart was broken.
Accept every now and then you will have your heart broken.
What about people who do the things that are unjust, vile, things we can’t stomach or tolerate, things that disgust us?
Before you get to hate, you are in anger, or frustration and hopelessness,
Anger is like a flare that shoots up into the sky and is saying to us “Act now.”
If you don’t do something then what happens to your anger?
In an article called, “Like it Or Not, Emotions Will Drive the Decisions You Make Today” by Mary C. Lamia Ph. D. she explains why we should listen to our intense emotions and not just dismiss them:
You may think that the best course of action is to suppress or ignore an intense emotion rather than figure it out.
But why ignore an emotion that has evolved over thousands of years?
Emotions serve a purpose, informing you, the operator of your body, what to do.
If your brain comes across something it appraises as a “red flag,” you’ll be sent a general, vague alert in the form of the feelings and thoughts that are created by an emotion. This somewhat imprecise signal alerts you to pay attention.
In this way, your emotions serve as a cueing system — an attention-directing system associated with physiological changes that can prepare you to take action.
Anger is an activating emotion.
“this trigger-happy impulse is evolutionarily adaptive…We evolved in hunter-gatherer times…If someone steals your meat, you don’t think ‘Should I go after him?’ No! You strike back quickly.”
So think about the person you feel hate towards again.
Before hatred, there is always anger. Underneath the anger can be other primary emotions such as hurt, vulnerability or sadness.
Anger is an activating emotion that always comes into your life waving a red flag and saying “Do something about this.”
Think about this.
There is always something you can do. You might not be doing it. You might feel out of your league, unable to act or do something about it, or scared to do something. But there are always options for actions even if you feel unable to do them.
Ongoing unaddressed anger breeds hate.
Anger is saying “Do something, do something, I am shaking you up and down, listen to me please and help me, do something, do something, fix this.”
When you don’t do anything hate settles inside of you.
Hatred can come from a feeling of impotence. From feeling like you are not able to do anything, that you are stuck, and your hands are tied. You may have feelings of hopelessness.
Whose fault is it?
There are a million things around the world we may hate that we can do absolutely nothing about.
But in your immediate personal world, you have a small body of things, events, situations or people you may feel hate towards.
According to Summer McStravick when you feel this hate this is your higher self saying:
“These are the things you can take care of.”
If you don’t think you can take care of these angry feelings, your higher self is saying, “What is wrong with you? Why are you saying, “I don’t matter, I can’t do anything”.
What you are really saying is:
“I suck, I am no good, I can’t do anything.”
How to Deal With People You Don’t Like
- Stay calm
Take a deep breath and calm your mind before having to deal with the person.
2. Focus when communicating
Don’t bring up past conflicts.
3. Maintain boundaries
Create boundaries that will help you stay sane.
4. Identify what bothers you about the person
Create a strategy for dealing with the person. Try and stick to facts and not emotion when dealing with them.
5. Be mindful of your body
Be aware of what is happening in your physical body when you are getting angry or stressed. Cultivate ways of managing these symptoms.
Accepting Our Hate-filled Parts
We can’t be complete in our humanity unless we have lovingly embraced every tiny corner of us, even the hate-filled parts.
Hate draws you into a part that was angry and broken as you didn’t fix it when you initially felt angry.
You are not powerless. If you are, it is a chosen state of being.
***Take a real-world situation that is making you feel trapped***
Situations that trap us often inspire hatred as we think we can’t do anything about it.
There may be a continuous feeling of “this person is sucking my power.”
You can walk away right now.
If you need to deal with it, and can’t walk away, you can choose to go in without hate.
You can say “I need to solve this, as it is taking way too much from me.”
“I don’t need to give any more hate or anger.”
Hate does not have to hold you forever. Hate always gives you an opt-out.
What is the feeling that led to hate?
Is it fear, powerlessness, betrayal, disappointment, unjustness?
Identify that feeling and take THAT feeling on. And the hate will fade.
Look at the person who created the most significant amount of hate for you recently and say, “You are awesome. Thank you. Thank you for showing me where I lost my power.”
It takes a lot to play that kind of evil villain. They are probably miserable playing that role.
YOU get to play that villain for other people as well. You will no doubt have people who HATE you. You no doubt will feel you are misunderstood and misinterpreted, but people will still at some time, most likely, feel this way about YOU.
Imagine if we all could learn that skill to walk back into our feelings and identify where the hurt started, the unacted upon anger, and determine what led to the hate?
Deciding to clean up the hate in your life means you are first of all doing it for yourself.
It has nothing to do with your enemy. It is the most selfish thing you can do.
Clean up your hate. Once your hate is dealt with, then you can reclaim your power.
In the article called, “How to Forgive Someone You Hate” Kimberly Russell M.A., M.S.Ed stated that “forgiveness is not your enemy’s freedom from accountability, but your freedom from torture.”
Two tactics she suggested to help you find forgiveness:
- Reflect on what this person’s crime took away from you on a broad level. How can you get it back independently from this person?
- Reflect on the important lessons you learned from the ugly situation you were in. Take a moment every day to feel grateful for these lessons.
“The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”~ Socrates
“A friend of mine once remarked that forgiveness…is a journey rather than a destination.
We make the choice to forgive, but then we have to keep choosing it, over and over.
Lingering anger or sorrow doesn’t mean you’re not in the process of forgiveness; they just highlight that it is, indeed, a process.”
Hate is like a swordfish, working through water invisibly and then you see it coming with blood along its blade, but transparency disarms it. — Pablo Neruda
Transparency means casting light over something so you can see through it, to the other side. You cast a light over it so that you can see what it is made of.
In relation to hate, if you did not have that significant hate response to that person, you would never look inwards to find out where you were broke, and you would stay there, unhealed forever.
Shining a light on the hate in your heart may reveal these unhealed bits of you.
Hate uncorrected leads to extremes. Look at the history of genocides, and killings around the world against other groups, cultures, religions, sexes, and genders.
If you deal with the hate inside of yourself, you won’t get into that enormous state of social or societal hate.
“The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less” — Eldridge Cleaver
All the hate and anger you have inside of you is your friend and ally and is prompting you to move to the next phase.
You have everything to gain and zero to lose from letting go of hate and anger towards yourself and others.
Hate never solves any problem. Anger can spur us to action (which is excellent and can be healing), but hate burns us up from the inside out.
Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet. — Maya Angelou