We live in a world today where we are exposed to a lot of violence. Being exposed to violence is priming us to dislike those who are not from our culture, our country, our religion. Competition and discrimination are becoming ways to survive and we don’t even realize the individualized effects caused by this social phenomenon.
Have you ever had someone in your life and you thought: “I just don’t know what it is about her but I don’t like her, she is very irritating and I don’t want to be around her”. You may have encountered people in your life and you may have felt like you hated them, couldn’t tolerate them and did not want to be around them.
The truth is, we reject what we don’t like about ourselves. If you have someone in your life who creates intense negative feelings inside you, identify what aspects of them that you hate. Then, ask yourself if those aspects are part of you that you are not in peace with or that you may have repressed. Freud called this process “projection” to describe our tendency to reject what we don’t like about ourselves.
What can you do with these intense feelings? Use hatred as an opportunity to get to know yourself and to develop compassion for yourself and others. Try to identify what it is about that person which is causing you these feelings. Try to think if those are features that you repressed or that you tried to avoid in the past. This process will increase your insight and self-awareness. You will also learn to develop compassion and love towards other people.
Ipek Aykol, LMFT 97315