angry's musings

Written by on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012

How to Not Hate People

We all have people in our lives we dislike and many of those people we just can’t avoid. Co-workers, friends of our boyfriend / girlfriend, bosses, teachers, and family members. So let’s use them. Not for money, gifts, and free lunches. That’s nice. But let’s get something more from them. Growth.

First, people are not born assholes. They behave that way because of their story, what they’ve been through, what they’re lacking in tools, what they’re going through today, and what you trigger in them. Basically this means their behavior has less to do with you and more to do with them. What you are experiencing is them coping. That’s what being an asshole is, coping. It’s their desperate attempt to minimize their anxiety. They are pulling from a place of hurt or void. Know that.

This will help. If you don’t know their story, imagine it. See them when they were ten and bullied. Picture their childhood and the way their parents were to them and how they internalized that, the shit they must have gone through to be acting this way. When you do this, they become three dimensional. You see them as hurting instead of just a dick. There’s always a story behind someone’s wiring and you will begin to blame that instead of them. This is a great tool to exercise your empathy muscles. That’s the pitch. Now, it’s time to swing.

Usually our resistance has more to do with us than them. The way they are is triggering something in us. This is the important piece. This is where you will find growth. What is it about them that is causing such a reaction in you? Who do they remind you of? Someone you don’t like? Possibly yourself? Do you see parts of you in them that you don’t like about yourself? Or parts in them that you lack in yourself?

Now let’s hit this shit out of the park.

As you explore and work on that, now try to change your behavior around them. Instead of being defensive, see them as that hurting child and accept them, encourage them, support them. I’m not saying be patronizing. Then you become the asshole, the one “coping”. I’m saying turn your dial to GIve and pull from the place in your heart that is purely authentic. Maybe that means a healthy conversation about how you feel when you’re around them, without wanting anything back. See how long you can pull from that place before your ego turns that dial again. Give them your hand instead of your back or your finger. Be consistent. Breathe. See what happens. The dynamic will change. Slowly, but it will. Their guards will drop, your resistance will lessen, and guess what? You just changed a relationship.



Thank you, come again.

– Angry


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Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • el says:

    I like what you wrote about blaming the story, not the person. I have been able to do this only with one person and I changed my relationship with my daughter. It is much more natural to turn the dial to give to your child but I just can’t do it with other people.

    It would be really helpful if you gave some more practical tips and examples on what to do.

  • MO says:

    Damn that was some good reading. thank you.

  • Deoeil says:

    Pff and what if everyone has been through tough times, do we continue be assholes to one another?

    Or, you could view it this way: you been through tough times, yet you put in the effort to be nice and try to “see the story” behind the asshole. But the asshole does not want to bother himself with that, cause you would have to actually do something, like put in effort ;o So in the end, if it doesnt piss you off that someones an asshole, it pisses you off that he/she/it doesn’t put the effort to improve.

    The only thing that i can see helping out in this case, is resorting to your own ego…

  • Ambrosia says:

    Even after reading this article, I still feel inclined to hate people. Damnit.

  • Chelsea says:

    Thank you for this article! I love the real way in which you write…articulate, well-spoken but not pretentious. I appreciate your tips on how to change my thinking in order to improve the relationship I have with the *assholes* in my life.

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