I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard of the saying “You can’t please everyone.“
No matter what we do, there will always be some people who do not like us. It may be because of something we did or said in the past, or probably just for being ourselves.
So we’ve asked experts “what to do when someone hates you for no reason?“
Let’s see what they have to say.
April Kirkwood, M.Ed., LPC
Therapist | Author | Speaker
Even the most pleasant politically correct person will undoubtedly run into some who just don’t like them without any obvious reason.
It’s one of the numerous challenges all face as a member of society. Nonetheless, it’s still a shock to the nervous system when the lightbulb goes off and the realization that you are being avoided, left out, and slowly deleted from the rest of your pack.
That being said, after this painful truth of their distaste for you, there is the question of how to handle this irrational judgment.
Here are three strategies that will show everyone, even the haters, that you are a class act:
As we continue to advance in civilization one aspect of our DNA is still raging. It is the ‘fight or flight’ instinct with its immediate impulsive urge to either see revenge or run and hide.
Both extremes are not the optimal choices in this scenario. I admit rejection is hard to swallow and it regurgitates all kind of feelings and memories that are best left in the subconscious. But going off in a rage like a lunatic or running like a scared rabbit diminishes your positive qualities.
So, what do you do? Leave if you must. Cool down. Walk away from the scene of your disappointment and embarrassment.
Even if you could, it’s impossible to fight a battle that you don’t even understand how or what started it. They have formulated their opinion and you’ve got nothing to work with.
It’s impossible to defend what you don’t know.
In addition, you will not be met with welcome and any action on your part will only exasperate the tension and the faulty bias that is being projected about you. In short, it’s like a dog chewing their leg off in a trap with only loss no matter how you act.
Counselor’s Tip: Two wrongs don’t make a right.
Also, remember your connection to the ‘perceived’ enemy. Is it a working relationship? A family member? Or just a cashier at the grocery store?
It’s vital to take one giant step back to calmly see the relationship assessing the importance of it in your life.
Slashing the tires of your boss will damage your career. Every action invokes a reaction. You have the power to make this situation worse then it is. Be a grown-up and use your cognitive common sense and avoid impulsive comments and gestures. The cost of blurting out derogatory comebacks and cornering them can cause irrevocable damage to all concerned.
Counselor’s Tip: Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.
Preserve your self-esteem
Tossing and tormenting yourself trying to discover what you could have possibly done to them is a waste of time and drains your energy. It is key to keep in mind that their views are unjust and you are just as wonderful as ever.
From a clinical perspective, another’s judgments has more to do with their personal issues than their target.
Something about you innocently triggered their sorrow sparking a defensive need to push you away. In short, it is more about them than you. This is difficult to remember in the midst of personal degradation and hostile comments but understanding this can be a real help in moving forward.
If you are truly upset and shaken make a mental note of everyone that loves to hang out with you. The odds are on your side. Make plans to be with those who adore you and think you are fabulous. Soon you will feel fabulous too.
Counselor’s Tip: True happiness comes from within.
Provide an open door to reconciliation
The ever-changing dynamic of life’s seasons mimic the ever-changing emotions within each of us. We each experience both happiness and heartache at certain junctures.
However, no one really knows what is going on in another’s psyche and what they may have endured. Realizing this can bring new awareness so that we naturally give others a right to their feelings.
We don’t need to understand but only give them space. That space alleviates our own feelings of anger and resentment. This is living with true freedom.
Perhaps this is the moment of a door opening that is an opportunity of growth for all concerned. Why do they hate you? Haters hate because they are hurting. Hurt people hurt people. Even if you never actually see the benefits of your graciousness, the end result will be positive.
CEO, Sabia Inc.
Ask if there have been any issues in which you may have caused them to be offended
It is not very likely that someone hates you for no reason.
There are 2 parts to this question:
- One is to ask if that person actually hates you, or are you simply there in a very stressful or volatile situation. Maybe you trigger them in some way.
- The other part is the “no reason” issue. Because you are not immediately aware of one does not mean there is not a reason. Think back over your interactions with this person. Look for how they might be offended or hurt by what you said or did (rather than why being hurt or angry might be an unreasonable response).
The answers to the above questions lie in humility and self-awareness.
Humbly and in a friendly way, ask the person if there has been any issues or ways in which you may have caused them to be offended or hurt. Accept what they say as valid even if you don’t think they are being reasonable. Feelings are feelings. They are not right or wrong. Apologize and ask how you can make things OK with them.
Apologies are inexpensive and have big returns.
Health and Wellness Expert, Maple Holistics
It’s really upsetting when someone hates you for no reason, but there’s no use in letting it ruin your day.
Whether this person is an acquaintance, a friend of a friend, or a colleague, you should try to clear the air so that things are not tense in situations where you must interact.
Try to talk to the person privately and ask them why they are upset with you.
If they do not give a good or substantial response, your next option is to simply put it out there that you feel some tension but would like things to remain respectful between you two for the sake of the work you do or the friends you hang out with.
But no matter what you do, don’t stoop to the other person’s level.
Even if they are mean, nasty, or cold, kill them with kindness. You don’t want to give them something to legitimately hate you for, and you also want to make sure that others do not see you as the bad one.
Plus, being nice will frustrate the other person immensely, and eventually, they might find that treating you badly does no good and is not worth the effort.
Relationship Life Coach, Studio City, Ca.
Usually, when someone hates us without cause it can be for the following reasons:
- You have a quality in you that they have disowned in themselves.
- They are jealous of your accomplishments, appearance, or kindness.
- They feel intimidated by you and would never say anything about it because hating you is easier, and safer for them.
The best thing to do is to continue being your fabulous self regardless of what anyone thinks of you and to keep on doing your magnificent things. As they say, we can not please everyone so we’ve got to please ourselves.
Founder, Junto NYC Self-Improvement Discussion Group
After having experienced rivalry and competition in both the corporate and tech start-up world in the last 7 years, as well as in the NYC underground standup comedy circuit, it has been extremely common for me to meet people who hate me for no reason.
In fact, “hate” is probably too strong a word. I believe It’s often a mix of envy, insecurities and competitive anxiety that pushes people to dislike you for no reason and try to cut you down in a variety of ways.
Read Related Article: Why Are People Insecure?
You can easily experience this in schools as well. When you tell yourself “Oh, that person hates me for no reason“, I feel that you are giving away your power.
In fact, Marcus Aurelius, a Roman Emperor, once quoted that “When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surly.“
It’s almost like saying: expect people to hate you for no reason. Don’t be so surprised by it; it’s human nature. People are emotional and irrational for the most part after all.
I used to be an over-thinker when it came to these situations. “How could I get that person to like me?” I’d ask myself. “I haven’t done anything wrong to that person. Why does he treat me badly?“.
After a while, I’ve grown to realize that I cannot control whether others like me or not. One way that works for me is putting enough distance between myself and the haters.
Try to ignore the behavior first, and if that does not work and the situation is severe, defend yourself against their hateful behaviors as best as you can if they are impacting your work.
Your haters will stop if they realize that:
A) they can’t rattle you easily, and it’s a waste of time to try to rattle you or
B) when you decide to fight back, they need to risk getting hurt as well (reporting them to HR for example). The Assertiveness Workbook by Randy J Paterson is a good source of information on this.
Most super-achievers that I’ve met have such a laser-like focus that they don’t seem to be bothered by the haters. However, there are ways to fight back assertively to this kind of behavior as well.
Find the balance that works for you. Just feeling completely helpless or exploding violently are two extremes that will not work long-term.
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