How To Deal With People Who Hate You

By: Jon Jaehnig

Updated February 26, 2021

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.

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Dealing with People Who Hate You

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
Learn To Thrive In Any Situation With The Help Of A Licensed Counselor

Source: pexels.com

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.

Source: pexels.com

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
Learn To Thrive In Any Situation With The Help Of A Licensed Counselor

Source: pexels.com

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do successful people deal with someone hating them?

Successful people usually understand that not everyone is going to like them. When it comes to building a career and chasing your dreams, people aren't always going to understand you or agree with you. Some people may even feel like they hate you. Successful people know that other people's feelings have more to do with themselves than anything else and generally don't spend much time worrying about if people don't like them.

That being said, successful people are also skilled at taking inventory of their own behavior; does it feel like you’re coming off like the hero, and the person who hates you is the villain? If so, life is rarely quite so black and white, and it could signal that something is not quite right. Although someone hating you could certainly indicate a greater issue with someone else, it could also suggest communication or behavioral issues on your part. Taking stock of your own culpability and potential hand in the situation are traits common to successful people.

What are some of the ways successful people deal with people hating them?

Successful people deal with most situations head-on. This is one of the ways successful people handle conflict and disagreements. Successful people will try to resolve the situation fairly, but they likely won't force a resolution where there is resistance. Success often comes along with hatred, because people can feel inadequate when faced with other people’s success. Humility, kindness, and consideration are often qualities espoused by people who have a modicum of success, which keeps their conscience clear and makes room for open, honest communication.

Successful people are also likely to recognize the truth: people’s actions toward others often say far more about their own issues and mental health than it does about anyone they may treat poorly. Far from allowing this to give them carte blanche to do whatever they want, successful people simply do not get mired down in others’ opinions. Whether their success comes from being a real life superhero, a social media influencer, or is viewed from the lens of their home life, successful people often recognize the value of self-assurance and compassion, and live their lives accordingly.

How do you live with someone who hates you?

Living with someone who hates you may not be common, but it does happen, and getting out of the situation can be impossible. If a child or young adult, for instance has a sibling, parent, or other family member who seems to hate them, simply leaving is unlikely to be a viable option. If roommates have signed a lease, it is not as straightforward as going to the landlord and lamenting, “My roommate hates me. Can I have my deposit back and break my lease?” In these cases, coping with hatred is the only feasible avenue forward.

Healthy coping mechanisms involve taking the high road in many cases, and biting your tongue, or refusing to rise to bait. If, for instance, a loved one goads you by saying, “Shocker: miss perfect got another award at work,” you can ignore the barb and go on your way, or you can smile and say, “Mhm.” In some cases, taking a deep breath and calmly stating, “I don’t like being spoken to that way. If you are upset, that’s fine, but please be respectful when you speak to me.” Any further attempts to goad you or behave disrespectfully can then be ignored or avoided by simply walking away.

There are some situations in which it is not possible to live with someone who hates you, the most pressing being instances of abuse or violence. If someone continually abuses you, or reacts in violent ways to you, it may be time to seek professional help. Family counseling or mediating can be helpful, but in some cases, seeking legal counsel to dissolve contracts or change living situations may be necessary. If that’s the case, make sure you have a safe place to go, should the person in question respond with threats, violence, or harassment.How do you deal with someone who doesn't like you at work?

Although it would be wonderful to say that fighting or incompatible coworkers were rare, the issue is common enough to warrant a write-up on the Harvard Business Review. Working with someone who does not like you is extremely difficult, but you can take the high road, stay strong, and follow these simple ways to resolve the issue:

  1. Try to resolve the matter directly. “Hey, I feel like you’re coming at me with a lot of anger. Have I done something to upset you?” or “I feel like we’ve gotten off on the wrong foot. Could we talk?” are both simply, easy conversation starters to try to diffuse tension. Keep a strong poker face during this interaction, and try to avoid any extreme emotional reactions or outbursts. Take deep breaths, if necessary, and stay grounded.
  2. Involve management as soon as the situation escalates. If need be, a manager can step in to make sure the two of you are working separate shifts, tackling separate projects, or even transferred to different departments. Keeping a close record of inappropriate interactions and behaviors will make sure that both you and the person expressing hatred toward you are kept accountable, and will help your manager deal with the problem effectively, so be sure to keep a record of anything you feel is out of hand or inappropriate.
  3. Agree to disagree. If you do not feel that your manager needs to be involved, but are deeply uncomfortable with everything going on between you and a coworker, you can go to the coworker and say something to the effect of, “We seem to have a lot of difficulty communicating and getting along, and maybe we just have some compatibility issues. Do you think we could just call a truce, and see as little of each other as possible, while remaining civil?” They may not agree, but they may also be just as relieved to see less of you as you would be to see less of them.

What does hatred do to a person?

Hatred is not healthy. It is not healthy for the person feeling hatred, nor is it healthy for the object of someone’s hatred. While it is perfectly normal to dislike someone, hatred has an air of compulsion and obsession involved; living your best life means being honest with yourself and evaluating your motives and behaviors, and if you feel hatred for someone, it is time to evaluate why that is. Left unchecked, hatred can created feelings of stress, anger, resentment, obsession, and even revenge, and can quickly go from feelings of unease or unrest to violent, inappropriate, or targeting behavior. Feeling hatred for someone frequently reveals the presence of insecurity, jealousy, or feelings of inadequacy, whether that comes in the form of resenting someone always getting the credit for your work, or shows up in the form of jealousy over someone’s home life, despite your seemingly unending struggle in your home. Speaking with a mental health professional can help sort through the underlying reasons for your feelings of hatred, and can help you start on the path toward healing.

Although feeling hatred for someone is damaging, feeling hated by someone is similarly problematic. Feeling target by someone can negatively impact self-esteem, and make you feel as though there is something wrong with you, or unlovable about you. Although this is not a healthy response to feeling someone’s hatred, it is a fairly common one; it is hard to recognize that someone’s behavior says more about them than it says about you, and when you feel someone’s hatred, you’re feeling their own issues coming to the fore and inappropriately lashing out at you. This, too, can be improved with therapy, as therapy can help you ground yourself, take a deep breath, and recognize that you are not responsible for the behavior or feelings of others.

What causes extreme hatred?

Extreme hatred is often caused by an unhealthy state of mind, including insecurity, feelings of inadequacy, and even a fear of abandonment; fear can make everything seem like a slight or a barb, and can make people feel unfairly singled out or targeted by others. Extreme hatred can also be caused by deep hurt and pain. Someone who has been cheated on or betrayed, for instance, might experience feelings of extreme hatred for their wayward spouse. Someone who was swindled out of millions might feel hatred for the rogue financial officer who destroyed their personal finances. While hatred has a tendency to be linked to ulterior motives, it is often simply an unhealthy coping mechanism borne of pain and trauma.

How do you deal with toxic friends?

Dealing with toxic friends is one of the most difficult situations to face, because you are confronted with people you love, and potentially cutting off ties with people who mean a great deal to you. Friends—especially toxic ones—also excel at pushing your buttons, which can make it feel difficult to set appropriate, safe boundaries. Although it may be rash to immediately declare, “End toxic relationships!” Setting boundaries is an important part of maintaining toxic friendships, and protecting your own health and wellness.

Toxic friends can demonstrate toxicity in a variety of ways, some of them difficult to discern. Someone who continually describes their mental health ailments, for instance, but refuses to seek help can exhibit symptoms of toxicity, if you are always made out to be a surrogate therapist. Setting boundaries in relationships like these can be simple, in saying something similar to, “I cannot act as a surrogate therapist for you. I am here for you, but the help you need exceeds the help I am qualified to give. Can I help you find someone who can help?” This makes it clear that in-depth discussions of mental health are better suited for a professional setting, rather than friendly discourse.

Toxic friendships can also be friendships that involve a great deal of backstabbing, double talk, or manipulation. Friends who guilt you into doing things you do not want to do, or mock or tease you when you set boundaries are friends to continue to provide toxicity, and in most of these types of friendships, the best course of action is to begin to create distance and limit contact. While it would be wonderful if your friends were to suddenly recognize the error of their ways, and an explanation is certainly a reasonable thing to provide your friends, many toxic relationships are marked by an unwillingness to change or compromise.

Why do I attract toxic friends?

Codependence and low self-esteem are two of the most common reasons for continually seeming to attract toxic friends. To clarify, though, people do not necessarily “attract” toxic individuals, but instead frequently settle for unhealthy relationships. This is perhaps never more clearly demonstrated than when codependence is involved; codependence is a coping mechanism borne of trauma and unhealthy relationships, and often acts as a means of preventing abandonment. People who are codependent may find themselves drawn to people who are lost, or struggling, such as those with untreated or undiagnosed personality disorders, or people who are dealing with addiction. This is because people struggling with their mental health are seen as wounded and in need of help, which makes codependent people feel needed and important.

What is important to remember, though, is that none of this is a reason for shame or humiliation; instead, it indicates the need for healing and deep introspection. Were childhood relationships fractured, leading to codependence? Were first romantic encounters marked by abuse or ill treatment? There are many reasons people inadvertently seek out toxic or otherwise unhealthy friendships, many of them related to past trauma or mental health concerns, and many of them readily treated and resolved with patience, time, and therapeutic intervention. Although it can be disheartening to find yourself in the throes of an unending stream of toxic friendships, there are avenues available, whether through online counseling, or group therapy, to help ease some of the most common reasons for seeking out toxicity.

Is it OK to distance yourself from family?

Painful though it may be, there are certainly instances in which family distance is necessary. While family can be a support system for some, family members can foster a great deal of frustration, pain, and torment for others, and suggesting that family should always be given free reign in your life is a willful misunderstanding of what it means to be a family; family is not always determined by blood alone. If your family members are abusive, violent, reckless, or otherwise manipulative, it is not only acceptable, but necessary to create boundaries and set standards in place to keep your relationship safe and healthy.

Boundaries will vary from family to family, and may mean removing yourself from family text chains, or avoiding large-scale family get-togethers. Refusing to speak negatively about one’s spouse is a common boundary that needs to be established in familial relationships, as is general communication: how often phone calls come in and how long those phone calls last could be a necessary boundary to set, as could appropriate times to reach out.

Boundaries also come in the form of speech: any speech that is filled with rancor, manipulation, or mockery are all modes of speech that do not have to be tolerated. Lying is also a common issue among family members, and can constitute the need for a family boundary.

While many people feel that family should be given uncontrolled access to their lives, by virtue of being family, this is not the case, and your mental health can and should be made a priority. If you are unsure how to set healthy boundaries, or do not know where to begin to have these types of conversations with loved ones, speaking with a trusted confidant or even mental health professional can help you gather the courage you need to have hard, uncomfortable conversations.


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