Hate is a powerful emotion that is often fueled by other emotions. A person may hate someone that caused them trauma, direct harm, or negatively affected their well-being. Sometimes, hate is something learned as a child, where the child is taught through the words and actions of adults. And still, hate may be something that a person develops much later on from feeling as though they are marginalized or passed over for someone else. The complicated nature of hate makes it a difficult thing to easily unpack and heal from. 1. Understand why you hate the person. The place to start unraveling your hatred is by asking the question, “Why?” Why do you hate them? What did this other person do that caused you to hate them? Is there a tangible reason that you can articulate why you hate this other person? Did they wrong you in some specific way? It’s important to note that there may or may not be a clear and obvious reason. 2. What if I can’t find a “Why?” Sometimes we are just too emotionally invested and close to a situation to pull it apart effectively. It’s possible that whatever hate you’re feeling does not have a direct reason. If that turns out to be the case, it would be best to seek the help of a trained mental health professional. You’ll need to speak to someone you can be open and honest with. That’s not always possible with friends or family, mainly if they aren’t emotionally intelligent people or tend to talk about your personal business too much. 3. Work on healing the harm that caused the “Why?” You can make hatred less powerful by healing the emotions that are fueling it. Think of it as depriving a fire of fuel. The less fuel there is, the less hot the fire will burn, the sooner it will go out. A person who is an abuse survivor will have a lot of emotions to sort through. They may feel inadequate, angry, or sad because of what they experienced. They may also feel self-conscious, foolish, or mad at themselves for not trying to make a change sooner. They might have been tricked into believing that they deserved to be abused and need to make peace with the decisions they made while their vision was unclear. Or maybe the person is looking at a relative that seems to enjoy a lot of easy success despite not doing the right things. 4. Humanize the person that you hate. It’s easy to build up an image of a person to hate in your mind. You may not actually know how or why they got to the point where they are inflicting harm on someone else. You may also be unfairly judging someone’s life that you don’t know as well as you think. Abusive people often come from abusive backgrounds. Does that make it okay or absolve them of responsibility for their actions? Absolutely not! 5. Forgiveness is a journey, not a destination. Forgiveness is a powerful tool for resolving hatred. However, forgiveness in this context is not for the benefit of the person that caused the harm. It’s for you to forgive yourself for being human and feeling the ugly feelings that humans sometimes feel. As you work to resolve the situation that caused and fueled your hatred, you will likely find it pop back up in your mind from time to time. This is normal. Each time it happens, you will need to forgive yourself and accept the situation for what it is again. It’s hard in the beginning, but it does get easier as more time passes, and you keep working on healing those wounds. Eventually, you’ll find it popping up very rarely, if at all. Don’t be surprised if this doesn’t happen overnight. Healing these kinds of wounds is a long journey, one that you are more than capable of making! 6. Do seek professional help if in doubt. Hatred is an intense emotion that is often fueled by the ugliest experiences of humanity. It is not an easy thing to navigate and may be beyond the scope of self-help. If you’ve experienced trauma in your life that is causing you to hate the people that caused it, or even just feel lost in making progress, it is a great idea to seek help from a certified mental health professional.