If you’ve ever sat down and pondered how to stop hating someone who hurt you, there is good news coming your way in the form of seven helpful steps.
Learning how to stop hating someone who hurt you requires a lot. Being hurt sucks. It hurts, literally. You can’t believe that person betrayed you and didn’t mind stamping all over your feelings like it meant nothing. You have no clue how they could be so absent-minded and think that none of it would scar you or cause you to feel pain.
Yes, being hurt is the pits. Unfortunately, most of us have been hurt at some point in the past. If you’ve never been hurt, well, I’d like to say it will never happen… but the chances aren’t in your favor. Sorry.
Why do I say that? Because humans are cruel by nature. You might not think it, but deep down the human race is selfish. We often think about number one before anyone else.
That means you and me. We are flawed, every single one of us. It also means we make mistakes. While we might not hold our hands up and admit that mistake, deep down we know it. [Read: How to recognize the emotionally unstable people in your life and cut down on the drama]
Why we shouldn’t let hate fester
It might be a friend, a family member, a colleague, a lover, or someone quite random, but hurt is hurt nonetheless.
When hurt festers, and closure isn’t achieved, bitterness sets it. Other strong emotions can also rear an ugly head, like hate. Yes, sometimes we experience hateful feelings in response to the way someone made us feel, disregarded our feelings, or because of something they did which basically caused us a huge amount of emotion.
It’s normal. While true hate is rare, it’s normal to feel it when someone has hurt you. But, if you’re wondering how to stop hating someone who hurt you, you’ve come to the right place. [Read: How to become a better person by following these 9 golden rules]
The utter exhaustion of hate
Hate is exhausting. Holding grudges takes effort. Quite frankly, that person doesn’t deserve another second of your time or effort. Stop holding onto past baggage because it only weighs you down.
It’s like going on vacation and checking your luggage in at the airport. You’re overweight because you’ve got your suitcase with all the old stuff you’ve been lugging around with you. Let it go… but how?
How to stop hating someone who hurt you in 7 steps
#1 Acceptance. The first step towards stopping hate is actually accepting what has happened. This is probably the most painful step of all, because to some degree it means reliving what happened. It doesn’t matter if it happened two weeks ago, two months ago, or two years ago, it will still hurt when you think back over it. The good news is that it will hurt less and less as time goes on. Time really is a great healer!
Give yourself permission to think about what you’ve probably pushed to the back of your mind and to remember the feelings and events. Understanding how to stop hating someone who hurt you is about accepting the issue and not pretending anymore.
Allow it to be a part of your past and stop running away from it. Once you’ve accepted what has happened and accepted the role that person may or may not have in your life, you can proceed with the rest of the process.
Just because someone hurt you in the past, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be a part of your life now. I understand this may be very difficult in some situations, and in that case, it’s probably better to wave goodbye and move on. Life isn’t supposed to be full of painful reminders. In that case, acceptance is also about accepting that this person is no longer a part of your life. Quite frankly, if you hate them, that won’t be a big loss! [Read: How to get out of a toxic relationship with your dignity intact]
#2 Perspective. The second step is to put the whole thing into perspective. When strong feelings are involved, it’s easy to blow things out of proportion and misinterpret things. I’m not suggesting you’re wrong in hating this person, but perhaps you’re not seeing the entire picture.
Is there a reason this person acted the way they did? Is there something you’re missing? By ensuring you have all the facts you can move on far easier. Whenever there are unanswered questions, your mind is always going to be stuck in the past.
This doesn’t mean you should go around seeking extra information, simply make sense of what you already know and the feelings you experienced at the time, and what you’re feeling now.
By gaining perspective, you are giving yourself power.
#3 Forgiving yourself. The next step may be a painful one. Achieving the entire process of letting go requires you to forgive yourself. This doesn’t mean you had any part in your own pain. You’re forgoing yourself for allowing yourself to be hurt, for anything you may have said or done, and you’re also forgiving yourself for feeling hate.
That might sound harsh, because how could it have been your fault? The point is that it’s not your fault, but true forgiveness is on both sides. Forgive yourself for any weakness, any chink of light you gave to them, and anything else you might be pondering in your own mind. Tie up the loose ends and moving on. [Read: How to stop hating yourself and instead learn to love all of you]
#4 Hope for the future. The true knowledge behind knowing how to stop hating someone who hurt you is about looking to the future. When you look forward, you take your mind away from the past and allow hope to creep in. Hate can’t co-exist with hope. When you feel excited about future opportunities or wonder if the future could be brighter, believe that it can! Look for those new doors, the ones that will open when you let go of what has been holding you back.
#5 Forgiveness. This fifth step is a difficult one. How can you forgive someone who caused you pain? You’re not saying, ‘Hey, it’s okay you hurt me.’ It’s you simply saying ‘I let this hate go.’ By doing that, you forgive.
You’ve already forgiven yourself, but you cannot move forwards unless you forgive that person. You don’t have to understand it or be their friend. In fact, you don’t even have to speak to them. You simply let it go.
#6 Learning. How can you learn from the experience? How can you ensure it doesn’t happen again? Life doesn’t guarantee you won’t be hurt again, but you can learn from the experience and how to handle the situation better.
Learn from any mistakes you made, and change your approach to life as a result of experiences in the past. Sit down. Take some deep breaths. Think about any learning points you can identify. [Read: How to learn and grow from the rejections you faced]
#7 Letting go. The final step? Letting go. Visualize the entire situation in a box. Close that box. Then, visualize a big lock on it, and picture yourself burying it deep into the ground. Finally, fill it in with heavy soil, never to be seen again. This visualization exercise is extremely powerful and will ensure that you truly do let go.
Don’t let hate and grudges hold your life back in negativity for a second longer.
Understanding how to stop hating someone who hurt you isn’t an easy process. And it will take time. It’s more about simply throwing your hands up and saying ‘I can’t be weighed down by this anymore.’ And that is enough.