A colleague recently asked how she can find something positive in someone she hates.
It was an interesting question that I’ve thought about for several weeks.
Sure, she can try to find at least one positive thing about that individual that she hates. But here’s what keeps coming up for me, and some questions I want to ask.
Why keep thinking about a person you hate?
There’s wisdom in the Buddhist saying, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
Must you find something positive in a person you hate? Why?
How does it benefit you to keep hating that person? What are you getting out of it?
Are you less available to others and less open to other opportunities because of the anger you’re holding onto? Are these feelings pointing you in the right direction?
Occasionally in life, you’ll encounter someone you don’t like (or hate, if you will). It might be at work, or it might be someone in your personal life.
Give yourself permission to be angry at that person, to hate that person, and then move on. Do you have to force yourself to like them? No.
I imagine hate as a chain that binds you to that person. When you continue to hate them, you’re keeping the chain. You’re still connected to them.
Why stay connected to them?
Why are you maintaining the chain? Does doing so bring up negative feelings for you? If so, why do you want to hold onto those negative feelings?
It takes a significant amount of personal energy and power to maintain that chain, to keep up the hatred and anger. I guarantee you that your energy and power can be redirected to better, more positive uses than continuing to stoke your anger.
I’m not saying that you aren’t justified in your anger or hatred. Maybe the person who wronged you is genuinely a complete asshole who treated you poorly and you have every right to be angry.
But what can you do to take care of yourself? Where is your power in this situation? What would be your best-case scenario?
There’s a wonderful quote that can apply here:
How can you release the chain that binds you to this person, and move forward in a positive way? For more information, check out a Mayo Clinic article on this topic. You also can learn more about finding someone in your corner.