How To Deal With People Who Hate You

By Jon Jaehnig|Updated April 25, 2022

As we navigate the complexities of life, it is only natural that we will develop some enemies along the way. "Enemies" may be an extreme term, so it may be more accurate to say that there will always be people who simply dislike us or who rub us the wrong way. Whether it's because of a personality clash, differences of opinion, or something more malicious, it's important to find the most effective ways to cope with people who hate you.

Dealing with People Who Hate You

It's Okay If You Are Not Liked By Everyone You Encounter

Knowing how to deal with people who hate you is a necessary skill in the adult world; as unpleasant as it may seem, everyone has someone who seems to hate them or at the very least, harbor negative thoughts toward them. Coping tactics should never involve violence, abuse, or "getting even," but effectively and safely dealing with someone who hates you might involve removing this person from your life, if possible, or learning how to maintain emotional distance. Even if you cannot remove a person from your life—as is often the case with family members, people within your social circle, or coworkers—you can absolutely find ways to cope, so they cannot negatively impact you.

Arguments and Disagreements Are Unavoidable

It is important to understand that not everyone will like you. If everyone you encountered liked you, it would probably mean you were not being your true, genuine self; because there are things in all of our personalities that will not appeal to some people, a natural predilection toward dislike is inevitable. Just as you probably do not like everyone you know, it's okay if some people don't like you.

Furthermore, some people will seem to dislike you even though it's not personal. Sometimes, we have to perform necessary roles in the world, and people dislike their relationships within those roles. For example, no one is thrilled to hear from a bill collector. As a result, it's important to understand why people seem to dislike us, so we can fix what we can and cope with what we can't.

The Language of Hate and Acceptance

It's much healthier to use the word dislike as opposed to hate, because hate implies that people hate intentionally, and purposely go out of their way to harm you or make your life worse. While this may be true in rare cases, more often than not, these people simply don't want you to be part of their lives. Therefore, dislike is a much more accurate term.

In many aspects of life, the first step toward growing as a person is acceptance. One thing we should all learn to accept is that there are very few things in this world we can control. A famous philosophical statement claims we are only in control of our own thoughts and actions—nothing else. Keeping this in mind, it is far easier to recognize that human beings cannot change other human beings, and people we dislike—or people who dislike us—are not our responsibility to change, win over, or improve, anyway.

Humans are stubborn by nature, and attempting to "prove" yourself to people who dislike you can be a waste of energy. We can't tell someone else how to feel, nor should we try to: painful thought it may seem, it’s important to understand that you are never in control of or responsible for someone else’s feelings about you. After all, even the most respected people in the world have someone who dislikes them.

It's Okay If You Are Not Liked By Everyone You Encounter

Hatred or dislike of someone else often stems from one of two things: insecurity or jealousy. People who are insecure often let their emotions erupt in the form of hatred, while those who are jealous address you in the only way their ego allows them: they become hostile. When we attempt to reconcile with people who dislike us, we may be attempting to address someone else's misplaced emotions or disrupted mental health, which can prove unhealthy and dangerous for both parties.

It could also be that you and this other person are just not a match. Maybe you have an assertive personality, and that person feels uncomfortable around you. Maybe you and this person are at opposite ends of the spectrum on an important issue. If you are outspoken in your beliefs, you have to be prepared for the fact that some people may not agree with you and will dislike you for that reason alone. It’s hard to see your own weaknesses or perceived shortcomings reflect back to you, and a timid person who desperately wishes they could be assertive may feel hatred or resentment toward someone who has a more assertive personality.

Secrets of Dealing with People Who Hate You

When there is someone out there who does not like us, we can sometimes spend hours racking our brains, trying to figure out what we've done wrong. Eventually, we may realize this is a complete waste of our time and energy. At the time, though, it may feel like the most distressing thing in the world. Who actively enjoys feeling someone else’s hatred or intense dislike? As social creatures, it's natural to feel unsettled when you know someone does not like you. Rather than making things worse, however, try the following options.

Find Out What's Wrong

One of the best ways to deal with people who hate you is to find out why they feel this way. Sometimes people are just incompatible. Alternatively, you may be doing something that upsets them without even knowing it. Finding out what it is can make you a better and more considerate person if you choose to change your behavior or reconcile whatever issues or difficult situations your behavior has caused.

Other times, the individual is not really mad at you; they're mad at something else, and they're venting their feelings in unhealthy ways, unfortunately catching you in the crosshairs. In this case, asking them what's wrong or if you can help may let them know that their actions are affecting you. It might also allow them to vent their feelings in a healthier manner, and could soothe some of the loneliness, pain, or frustration they are feeling.

If the person does not respond well to this, you can end the conversation with a simple, "Okay! I just wanted to see if this was something we could discuss," and a smile. Then you will know you have done all you can. As mentioned above, we can only control our own behavior and actions, so do not feel like you’re required to keep trying to figure out where the issue lies.

Hatred or dislike of someone else often stems from one of two things: insecurity or jealousy. People who are insecure often let their emotions erupt in the form of hatred, while those who are jealous address you in the only way their ego allows them: they become hostile. When we attempt to reconcile with people who dislike us, we may be attempting to address someone else's misplaced emotions or disrupted mental health, which can prove unhealthy and dangerous for both parties.

It could also be that you and this other person are just not a match. Maybe you have an assertive personality, and that person feels uncomfortable around you. Maybe you and this person are at opposite ends of the spectrum on an important issue. If you are outspoken in your beliefs, you have to be prepared for the fact that some people may not agree with you and will dislike you for that reason alone. It’s hard to see your own weaknesses or perceived shortcomings reflect back to you, and a timid person who desperately wishes they could be assertive may feel hatred or resentment toward someone who has a more assertive personality.

Secrets of Dealing with People Who Hate You

When there is someone out there who does not like us, we can sometimes spend hours racking our brains, trying to figure out what we've done wrong. Eventually, we may realize this is a complete waste of our time and energy. At the time, though, it may feel like the most distressing thing in the world. Who actively enjoys feeling someone else’s hatred or intense dislike? As social creatures, it's natural to feel unsettled when you know someone does not like you. Rather than making things worse, however, try the following options.

Find Out What's Wrong

One of the best ways to deal with people who hate you is to find out why they feel this way. Sometimes people are just incompatible. Alternatively, you may be doing something that upsets them without even knowing it. Finding out what it is can make you a better and more considerate person if you choose to change your behavior or reconcile whatever issues or difficult situations your behavior has caused.

Other times, the individual is not really mad at you; they're mad at something else, and they're venting their feelings in unhealthy ways, unfortunately catching you in the crosshairs. In this case, asking them what's wrong or if you can help may let them know that their actions are affecting you. It might also allow them to vent their feelings in a healthier manner, and could soothe some of the loneliness, pain, or frustration they are feeling.

If the person does not respond well to this, you can end the conversation with a simple, "Okay! I just wanted to see if this was something we could discuss," and a smile. Then you will know you have done all you can. As mentioned above, we can only control our own behavior and actions, so do not feel like you’re required to keep trying to figure out where the issue lies.

It's Okay If You Are Not Liked By Everyone You Encounter

Finally, talking to friends and family members about your concerns can usually help you feel better. As mentioned above, no one gets along with everybody. As a result, anyone you ask is likely to have had experiences like yours, so they can commiserate and also offer tips for coping with these problems. Family members and friends can also offer a unique point of view, and may be able to gently address issues they’ve noticed with your demeanor or behavior, if these issues exist. Although it may initially feel bad to hear, venting to your loved ones can be both a balm and a gentle, constructive criticism, allowing you to both move forward and address any legitimate concerns they may have.

How BetterHelp Can Support You

If someone's hatred toward you is greatly affecting your day-to-day life, perhaps through direct insults, targeted harassment, or even violence, then it's important to address these issues. Even if it's not "extreme" and you are just having a hard time shaking the feeling, it can still be helpful to talk to a counselor. You can reach out to a licensed professional to get support today.

BetterHelp has thousands of counselors who are ready to help you cope with anyone in your life who is causing you distress. You can speak with your counselor on BetterHelp in a variety of ways, including messaging, live chat, video sessions, and telephone calls. They are not biased, so they can offer you objective feedback and suggestions to help you stay strong and deal with the repercussions of having someone who hates you in your life. It is both freeing and an important life skill to learn how to effectively cope with all types of people, even those who do not like us (or those who outright hate us). Of course, not everyone is comfortable with the idea of talking to a therapist or counselor online. If you have any reservations about this method, consider reading the following reviews from real BetterHelp users.

Counselor Review

"She is simply amazing! In my experience she understands my language and position, and she gives me feedback to expand on that position. I've experienced so much growth with her. My understanding of myself, how I interact with the world around me, and how/who I would like to be moving forward has developed so much with her help. Thank you so much!!!"

"Sharon Valentino has helped me through so much! Since we started working together, just a few months ago, I already feel like I have more power and control over my life. I have let go of some very painful things, I have moved away from abusive relationships and really gaining skills and tools I need to keep myself safe and happy. She has taught me that I have the power to control my thoughts, my anxiety, and most of all my company. I really like how direct she is, it helps me get grounded and connect to myself. I can't wait to see where I am after working with her a year!!!"


Final Thoughts

Dealing with people who seem to dislike or even hate you can be difficult. Sometimes you can use these moments to improve yourself or to help those around you, but sometimes there's not much you can do. Even then, however, you don't have to let people like that ruin your day. You can learn to cope and thrive in any situation. Take the first step today.

Helpful mental health resources delivered to your inbox
For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns
Speak with a Licensed Therapist
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.