What you hate about others is your own reflection

Updated: Oct 3, 2020

'You despise the things about others are the things you hate about yourself'

I didn't realize how true this statement was until a close friend encountered about my relation with another friend of mine, let's call the later Derek for the time being.

Have time for a little backstory?

Derek and I went through a lot together and even though we were not best friends per se we were inseparable at a point of time. Things changed though, I had to switch cities and as a result, we lost contact.

But that was not the end of our story, phase two began when circumstances put us back together after a year and at that time I realized that our bond isn't the same anymore.

This was pretty unusual for me as I've always been good at reconnecting with people who were important to me. There have been instances where I have ghosted my best friend for months but in the end, we've always found our way back to each other. Sadly, things were different this time.

Things weren't bad because we've evolved but because I had this seething resentment towards him which was completely unjustified but beyond my control.

I started to get irritated by the little things he did and said, I hated him for having opinions. I am usually not unreasonable enough to not respect someone else's perspective toward things but in this case, I was the most unaccommodating person you'll find.

Things got so bad that I was letting my personal opinions affect our work relationship.

Back to the conversation

Back to the scenario where my nosy little friend wasn't satisfied with my answer,

which was "We aren't friends anymore, I don't like him now." So, he decided to drop the bomb and ask "Why? Did something happen?". I wanted to say yes but the answer was a big fat "NO", the reality was that I hated a person I previously loved for no damn reason.

My friend realized that it bothered me and we decided to go over the possibilities for this unexplainable rage. We crossed over several possibilities ranging from a change in his behavior to changes in my preferences but what finally made the cut left me sobbing and my friend comforting me (that's what you get for being nosy)

Enough of the anecdote and into the realization

In the words of Carl Jung

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves”.

I realized that the reason that I loathed Derek had nothing to do with him and everything to do with me.

Simplifying the situation:

During the first phase of our friendship when we are inseparable, things were easy.

I was in a great place in my life and was completely satisfied with who I was and what I was doing.

As compared to the second phase when the hatred emerged.

This time both of us had a lot on our plates, though the components of the plates varied the concern towards those components were the same. I was stressing about the future while not giving enough time to things that mean the world to me and was being overprotective about my personal space. I was confused and doubtful about my choices and ended up constantly ranting to my friends about everything.

I have become a person that I preached people to not become all my life.

It was sad but true and projecting that I realized that Derek has had the same experience. He was displaying a similar behavioural pattern as he was stuck in the same situation and that is why I hated him.

He was a reflection of everything I abhorred about myself. He was a constant reminder of everything that I thought was wrong with me.


It was completely unreasonable for me to hate a person for suffering from self-doubt just because I was going through the same.

Psychologically this happens because Humans find it unpleasant when they are reminded of their flaws and suppressed emotions. When you run into a person who is in any way similar to you or portrays any of your negative tendencies your response is defensive. You intend to eliminate that person from your life but as you can't tell a person to go away without a reason, you simply choose to let them stay while you secretly hate them.

It doesn't have to be this way as we have the power to change our perspective.

We don't have to stick to the ancient wiring and keeping that in mind I decided to work on my relationship with myself.

It took 8 months for me to transform my perspective towards myself and it wasn't easy. I had to work on everything from my habits to my feelings but it was completely worth it because now I am at a place in my life, where I love nothing more than myself and it is amazing.

You can do that too by some conscious efforts.

Here's a list that might help you to stop hating yourself and others

  • Self Analysis: There is a 'why' behind everything including the hatred that we feel for others and ourselves. A little introspection might be harsh but it can help you narrow down to the primary reason behind your hatred for someone and eventually your self-loathing tendency.

  • Change: Once you've found out what's wrong it is time to do some digging to find out how can you fix it like if you hate yourself for being stressed maybe meditation can help. You have to work to change the quality that's bothering you.

  • Forgiveness: Much of the hate that we feel towards ourselves comes from our habit of expecting too much. We have these hopeless expectations from ourselves and when we fail to meet them, we get annoyed with ourselves but we need to understand that we are only humans. We need to forgive ourselves for making mistakes, for failing and also for not meeting our expectations.

  • Accept: Some things are beyond our control and we can't alter them no matter how hard we try and accepting the same is the best thing you can do.

  • Stop Projecting: Even when you develop a loving relationship with yourself, there will come times where you'll be stuck in an annoying situation. So, your immediate response shouldn't be to find a person to dump your annoyance on but instead shift your focus on dealing with that situation better.

  • Repeat: Just like building a relationship with someone else, building one with yourself need constant work. There will be times of doubt but what matters is your response to the adversities that could hamper your relationship with yourself.

  • Other relationships: Just like your relationship with yourself affect your relationship with others, it is also true that your relationship with others has a direct impact on your relationship with yourself. So, surround yourself with people who genuinely care for you and motivate you to become better instead of those who always find fault in your behaviour.

The point of this entire yarn is that sometimes we hate people not because they are too different from us but because they are too similar and once we start loving ourselves and accepting our flaws, the hate leaves faster than non-readers did after scrolling down to see the length of this passage.