Understanding & Overcoming Hatred For Someone

Overcoming and conquering hatred for someone

Hatred is a negative phenomenon that many people struggle with it. It’s imperative that you learn how to overcome it before it destroys your life.

Hatred for someone is a powerful emotion to experience. Whether it’s because of personal conflict or an unfortunate incident, this feeling can be very consuming and often seems like it will never go away.

But there is hope! There are ways to cope and even defeat this negative emotion.

This article will help you learn how to deal with their hatred for someone by understanding what it means, why it happens, and how to move on from it.

What is hatred?

Hatred can be defined as a feeling of intense dislike for someone or something. When you hate something, it means that you have a strong aversion or dislike for it and that you usually want to avoid it at all costs.

Many scholars prefer to refer to hatred as a ‘phenomenon’ and not just an emotion (Fischer, 2018).

In fact, hatred has been described as “the most destructive” phenomenon in human history. It has also been considered an attitude, a form of anger, an evaluation that is generalized, a judgement, an emotion and even a motive (Fischer, 2018).

What are examples of things people hate?

There are a number of different examples of things people hate. For instance,  people may dislike a behavior, attitude, ability or appearance of someone.

There is also hatred towards things such as diseases, civil rights violations and crimes. In fact, hatred is more often directed towards things or groups rather than individuals.

How does one show hatred?

The way you portray hatred depends on your personality, beliefs, relationship with the person or thing etc.

For instance, many persons show hatred towards someone or something by attacking them verbally. You may insult them, call them names and make angry or disparaging remarks about them.

Another way to show hatred for someone is through physical behavior such as aggressiveness, anger, disgust, violence or retaliation against the object of their hatred.

However, sometimes the hatred one has for someone is not displayed and it remains hidden. In fact, research shows that many persons are unwilling to acknowledge hatred because it’s such a ‘negative’ phenomenon (Fischer, 2018).

Understand the cause, consequences and solutions for hatred for someone
"Do not waste a single breath with feelings of hate or jealousy. Instead, show gratitude and thank God for the beautiful life He has given you in knowing Christ." - Pearl Little

Where does hatred come from?

There are numerous internal and external triggers that can cause someone to develop this strong feeling toward another person or thing.

In fact, hatred often comes from anger, which in turn stems from frustration, distress and resentment. There are also other factors that can lead to hatred such as jealousy and insecurity.

But, the main cause of hatred is usually due to a negative experience with the person or thing that you hate.

For instance, hatred may result when something makes you feel powerless, when you’re mistreated or humiliated.

Sometimes hatred stems from fear because if we are afraid of something we want to hate it so that we can feel safer or more in control of the situation.

Hatred is also often the result of prejudice and stereotypes which develop over time when people don’t get to know someone well enough to form an accurate picture of them.

Related: Can insecurity be cured? 6 Tips to defeat self-doubt

What does hatred do?

Undeniably, hatred for someone is physically and mentally exhausting. In fact, hatred hurts both the person who hates and the person who is hated.

Hatred can lead to persons behaving badly and even losing respect for themselves. Plus, it wastes time that could be better spent on things that bring happiness. Hatred can also lead to depression, self-harm, violence or even suicide.

Notably, hatred also affects your health because it releases stress which means that it affects your sleep, heart, blood pressure and immune system.

Research shows that hatred actually has a negative impact on the way we work, and it decreases our mental and physical effectiveness.

Hatred can also affect your friendships and relationship with family and even strangers. For instance, it may cause you to become overly critical and constantly find fault with other persons and things (Fischer, 2018).

Additionally, unlike many other emotions, hate has the ability to easily spread from one person to an entire group of individuals particularly close family and friends even without they themselves having any interaction with the person.

This in turn will make the initial feelings of hatred even more intense and long-lasting (Fischer, 2018).

Hatred affects multiple dimensions of personal wellness. In summary, hatred for someone:

  •  Negatively affects mental health and can lead to stress, anxiety, violence or suicide.
  • Has been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • Can be contagious. 
  • May cause you to focus on what they don’t have instead of appreciating what you do have.
  • Decrease your quality of work and productivity.
  • Hatred can affect your relationship with others.
Negative emotions destroy emotions and productivity
"Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated." - Coretta Scott King

What is the difference between hatred and anger?

When you have feelings of strong dislike for another person it can be difficult to distinguish between hatred and anger. But hate and anger are not the same.

Generally – not always- hate refers to a much more intense emotion than anger as anger usually has a shorter duration. 

Additionally, hatred is likely directly towards a group or individual as a whole whereas anger is usually directed towards specific acts or characteristics.

How do you overcome hatred for someone?

The best way to overcome hatred is to deal with it directly. Sometimes we prefer to repress negative feelings and thoughts so that we don’t have confront them.

But, this only serves to prolong the hatred. As such, for true healing to occur, you must face your feelings head on.

Notably, it is often beneficial to seek the help of someone you trust in order for them to guide you through this process until it becomes easier.

Now, let’s discuss the steps you should take to overcome hatred.

Steps to get rid of hatred for someone

The 5 steps to get rid of hatred for someone include:

  • Understand that hatred is a natural feeling.
  • Identify the cause of your hatred.
  • Find healthy ways to release your hatred. 
  • Learn how to forgive.
  • Focus on positive things.

STEP 1: Understand that hatred is natural

Firstly, it’s okay to feel hatred. But, it’s not okay to let your hatred for someone consume you and ruin your life. Start by assessing and acknowledging your feelings and then trying to see the situation as an outsider.

Additionally, you need to understand that hating someone or something will not make them go away.

STEP 2: Identify the root of the problem

Most persons perceive hate because they believe that the intent of the person is malicious (Fischer, 2018). As such, take time to process what is going on with yourself and your life.

Consider the possibility that there might be a deeper issue at hand. In this way, you’ll be able to assess if you’re overreacting.

Additionally, I find that when we really focus on the shortcomings of ourselves or another person, it erodes the good and makes it impossible to see any true value that’s there.  

That’s why it’s important to step back and analyze if such a strong emotion, that’s possibly detrimental, is really warranted.

Once you understand the reasons why you hate someone it is easier to stop believing in stereotypes and to see people for who they are instead of what others say about them.

It might help to try talking with the person you hate or ask them about their side of the story. This might help you understand why they act like they do and make you see that what others say or what you believe is not always true.

Discover the dangers of negative emotions
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

STEP 3: Find healthy ways to release your anger or resentment

Consider discussing your feelings with someone close to you. This should be someone who you trust and that would not ‘feed’ the hatred even more.

If you have a hard time talking about the feeling of being angry, use writing as a way to vent. Even seemingly simple things like putting your feelings on paper and then crumpling or throwing it away may help.

In this way, you’ll be able to get rid of that negative energy without causing any harm. Although tempting, make a special effort to avoid toxic habits and behaviors.

Remember, that toxic habits are easy to create and hard to get rid of.  Make a conscious effort to protect your personal wellness.

If you can’t let go of the hatred, it is best to seek professional help and advice.

Healthy ways to release hatred for someone include meditation and physical exercises, forms of art like dancing, painting or singing to express yourself creatively.

Read also: Self-care tips

Step 4: Learn how to forgive

Forgiveness requires a change in perception. In fact, forgiveness often entails a decision for a renewed view of the wrongdoer and a possibility of making amends.

It’s seeing the value of the individual despite their negative action. The person is not judged as a character trait but as an entity.

In some situations, we’ve made people guilty until proven otherwise. So try to see that person from the eyes of someone who loves them and seek a reason for their behavior. This will help you to move past the hurt and move forward.

Figure out how much time and energy hatred takes up in your life. Then, realize that you need to take your power back! To do this, it’s important to notice and identify negative emotions and thoughts as they come up and find ways of letting them go.

Let go, forgive, and move on with your life! This person doesn’t deserve all the attention they’re getting from you. Give yourself permission to stop thinking about them entirely if possible.

And finally…

Step 5: Focus on positive things

When you feel like you can’t let go of the past, take a break and focus on something else. For instance, spending quality time with friends and family who love and support you unconditionally!

They are worth far more than any negative feelings towards anyone else could ever be.

Try to find happiness in simple things. Discover things in your life that make you happy.  Additionally, it’s helpful to work on improving your self-confidence and value in your own worth despite the wrong that was done to you (Verbin, 2010). Do not let it affect your feelings of self-esteem.

Learn how to overcome hatred for someone
"Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Related: How to break bad habits that affect your life. 

Final words on understanding and overcoming hatred for someone

I hope this article has helped you understand hatred for someone, and how to overcome it. The next time you find yourself struggling with hatred toward another person, take a moment to reflect on why that is happening.

Taking these kinds of steps can help us better understand our own feelings and motivations so we can then work through them and move forward more peacefully.

What’s your best advice for overcoming hatred for someone? Share your thoughts below!

Related topics

Can revenge be satisfying?

Whether seeking justice through legal means or through personal retaliation, seeking revenge is common human behavior.

No one can deny the satisfaction that comes with revenge. It’s a sweet, vindictive feeling to know someone wronged you and is now suffering for it.

But if you’re not careful, taking your anger out on them may only bring more pain in the long run. Revenge doesn’t have to be brutal or violent; sometimes just making them realize they’ve hurt you enough will suffice.

Feelings of injustice are natural but don’t let those feelings control your actions and lead you down a path of self-destruction as well as the destruction for others.

How can I better express my emotions?

There is a great quote from the famous artist, Bob Ross, that reads: “I don’t paint pictures. I paint my feelings.” Just as art can be used to express feelings, so can words and actions.

However, there is one thing you should know about expressing your emotions. It’s only healthy when you do it in moderation. In fact, it can be very dangerous if you express your emotions too often.

Not only that, but it can also be very dangerous if you express your emotions towards the wrong kinds of people.

Related: 23 Simple  tips to control negative emotions


Fischer A, Halperin E, Canetti D, Jasini A. Why We Hate. Emotion Review. 2018;10(4):309-320.

Verbin, N (2010) Forgiveness and hatred. Ethical Perspectives 17, no. 4(2010): 603-625.

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