So you have someone in your life you dislike. With passion. Ok, it’s more than dislike. You hate them. And even though it gives you a feeling of righteousness because that person must be a jerk to be hated, it sucks the joy out of you.
Hate is not a nice feeling. Even when you have every reason to hate someone, ultimately you’re the one suffering. Ask yourself: if you were that jerk, how much would you care about being hated? Probably not that much. And that must make you hate that arsehole even more.
Alas, hate is the problem of the haters. So if you’re fed up hating someone, you can stop and move on and find some peace of mind at last.
I’ve been trying to do this for months now, and I’m finally at a point where I can look at the source of my hate and think to myself – you know what, I don’t hate you anymore. And that’s when I feel like I’m back in control over my life, and whatever that person ever does or says, it will never ever have any effect on me whatsoever. I’m free from hating them. I’m free to choose peace.
How did I arrive in this happier place?
At first, I wanted to walk away. But I stayed because I had a choice to make: leave but stay where I am or suck it up a little longer but advance in life. I chose the latter. The months that followed have not been easy, but now that I am so close to a big dream coming true, I am grateful I had held myself together and pushed myself to stay focused on the big goal and disregard the emotional turmoil it entailed.
And that has taught me a few things about dealing with hate.
First of all, hate is subjective. Hate is simply a reflection of our own values. If you are an organised person, you’ll hate mess. If you are quiet, you’ll hate noise. If you are reserved, you’ll hate parties. If you like order, you’ll hate inefficiency. And so on and so forth. But all those messy, noisy, inefficient party animals will hate you for exactly the same but opposite reasons: you and they are too different. And it is fine! The trick is to find ways to cross each other’s paths as seldom as possible.
Secondly, you don’t know what that other person has to deal with himself. You hate your boss? But do you know what kind of pressure your boss’ boss puts your boss under? Probably no. So go easy on people.
Thirdly, you can find ways to minimise interaction to keep yourself sane. No, sometimes you can’t get away from a dysfunctional team, but yes, you can – and you should – set your own ways and standards of working. And if it means saying out loud that you need your own space to deliver your part, say it.
Fourthly, as impossible as it seems, do try and find something positive about that jerk in your life. No one is ever totally evil. In your darkest moments, when you can barely stop yourself from reaching your arms out to strangle the prick, think about the biscuits he brings to share with the team or the funny jokes she makes or something. Focusing on the good really helps when you’re one step away from becoming a killer.
Lastly, remember that most often people don’t do something just to make you hate them. They are just minding their own business. How you react to it is all up to you. You can choose ignorance over hate. You really can. So just let them be.
And when you let them be, somehow, they take your hate away. Let it go. Choose peace of mind instead. It’s a much better feeling.