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How do I handle being hated?

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  • #47278
    Kel
    Participant

    Hello – this is my first time posting anything. I often read through the forums and responses, and usually find the advice very insightful. I’m hoping someone in the Tiny Buddha community can offer words of wisdom in regards to my situation.

    I have been dating my boyfriend for about 10 months, and we’re serious about one another – we hopefully will be moving into an apartment together next year. He is very close with his family, in particular his cousin. My boyfriend and I have spent a lot of time with his cousin and cousin’s wife, and it always seemed that we all got along well and had fun. Recently the cousin and cousin’s wife had their first child, a healthy baby boy. When they came home from the hospital last weekend, my boyfriend asked his cousin when we could come over to see the baby. His cousin responded by letting him know that I was not welcome in his house or to see his child. He said that he has hated me since he first met me, he feels like I look down on him because he smokes weed, I’m a bad person, and that I’m taking my boyfriend away from him. He named specific things I have “done” to him to cause this hatred, which were not saying goodbye to him once after a family dinner and wearing my boots into his new house. Those were the only examples he gave of how I have upset him. Everything else is based upon his general feelings that I am taking my boyfriend away from him, and his belief that I am a bad person.

    This has hurt me deeply, and has caused tension between my boyfriend and I. I always tried my hardest to be kind to my boyfriend’s cousin, as he has a reputation within the family for being easily offended and very sensitive. He has a lot of insecurities that my boyfriend tried to help him deal with. So after this, my boyfriend said he would absolutely not go over and see his cousin while I was not welcome in the house, and that his immediate family would support me if his cousin tried to block me from celebrating Christmas with the family. My boyfriend spoke to his cousin today, and his cousin said that he “came off as too harsh” with the things he said previously. However, he did not apologize for saying what he did, nor did he change the fact that I am unwelcome in his home and to see his son. My boyfriend said he decided to go over to the cousin’s home without me after all.

    I know people post about many much more serious issues on this forum, and I really am trying to not be petty, but this experience has truly hurt me. I feel betrayed that my boyfriend is going back on his word and going to a home where I am not welcome. If there was anything that I had done that I could apologize to his cousin for, I would do it in a heartbeat, but this person just has an innate hatred towards me. It was especially hurtful to hear that I am a “bad person”. Helping others and practicing kindness is an important part of my life – I am a consistent volunteer in many different areas and encourage others to get involved and be compassionate.

    Has anyone else out there experienced anything similar? Should I just accept that a person close to someone I love has chosen to hate me for no reason, stop obsessing over it, and try to continue being the best person I can be? (Which is, of course, easier said than done)

    Thank you!
    Kel

    #47283
    Matt
    Participant

    Kel,

    I’m sorry for the suffering you’re experiencing, and know how rejection can really hop out and grab us. You did practically nothing, and yet you’re not even welcome in his house? Sheesh! No wonder your compassion is being challenged. And its fine to drop the fear of pettiness, your pain deserves space too, it is, after all, quite thorny! A few things came to heart as I read your words.

    Consider that the rejection you’re experiencing… injustice, being left out, not getting to see the baby, his negative percerceptions… can be divided into two sides. His side, and your side. On your side, these experiences perhaps grab your attention and pull you into painful cycles. Said differently, if you held compassion for him, perhaps it wouldn’t be about you at all. For instance, on his side you already see the components… you offered them. He suffers. Your husband has been like a life line to him in many ways, and you threaten it. Even if you don’t do it intentionally, perhaps in his eyes you do compete for your husband’s time, and the resulting fear pushes your cousin to unskillfully project all that onto you. But, its like a present he is offering, and you can reject it.

    Buddha taught that if we refuse the gift from them, refuse to let their aggression pull our intention away from compassion, then we quite naturally find the space to be peaceful with the events. A side effect is often the love we feel inspires our creativity, aiming us toward helping our family find joy and love. Then, even if they respond with hate, it really doesn’t matter, because we know we’ve been doing our best to find and help love bloom.

    On your side, perhaps you could spend a little more time self nurturing. When our roots are deep and peaceful, these moments are much easier to weather with grace. Consider bubble baths, walking in nature, soft music, meditating, yoga… or whatever activities you enjoy that bring peace to your heart, help you let go, and just breathe. I know it can sometimes be unreasonable to imagine that breathing can be the solution to a puzzle that appears to arise “out there”. That’s just an illusion, dear sister, we paint it “out there” from our inner attachments and pitfalls. For instance, perhaps if you had been spending a little more time reminding yourself of how much you give to others, how loving your spirit becomes as it shines toward others… then when the aggression came from his side, it would blossomed into your heart as compassion… seeing him, what he is struggling with, and authentically wishing him well. It never has to be about you.

    Finally, remember that these little knots come up, and that is just the way it is. The path toward joy is littered with them, as we stub our toes on this and that and forget. Connecting and sharing with one another is a huge part of what helps keep us inspired and intentional. Said differently, don’t bother worrying that stumbling away from compassion is abnormal… it is quite normal, usual, and expected. You’re trying to use what you’ve learned to solve the puzzle, and that is the light that makes growth so beautiful! And possible!

    With warmth,
    Matt

    #47309
    Greg Frucci
    Participant

    Perhaps, become a Light for the cousin by not allowing how he feels now to affect you in a dark way.

    What?

    Those who are insecure…and I have been one of them in the past…will lash out at those they see as happy and peaceful, perhaps because this is a feeling they wish to have. People who are insecure will reflect the disdain they have for themselves and their life onto others in order to feel strong…yet, this is weakness. This I know from experience.

    Let the winds of negativity blow past you and smile as you bend while not pushing back. In your volunteer work, perhaps you see people in pain…see them wishing for hope. By your selfless work…you give them Light…you give them Faith in a better tomorrow. Perhaps, see the cousin this way.

    I have seen it many times in Life: Negativity thrown at someone and the someone responds back with negativity. This will always be a whirlpool which becomes more difficult to climb out of than if the negativity was first responded to with nothing but silence and a smile. And it has happened to me in the past…in a very powerful and public way. What did I do? I let it get to me for a while…thought about it…and saw the poor souls who had nothing better to do than throw hate. I felt sorry for them and wished them peace in silence. The hate-throwing ceased as all winds will do over time.

    Maybe the cousin will always be this way…but, maybe he will not. The cousin does not wish to be hated deep down…none of us do and I know from the way you write that you are not a hater at all…you simply wish peace and a love filled world where all humans can co-exist in an unconditional loving way.

    Yes, it is indeed hard to remain calm when another attacks. But smiles are infectious in such a wonderful way. His pride is keeping him from apologizing to you…so be it…his choice based in Fear. Many will always wish to apologize to others over a lifetime, yet they will pridefully keep to themselves for a time.

    Change will occur for all of us, but we all are on our own timetables. 🙂 Me? I’m “slow”…it took me fifty years to realize I was negative much of my life…but this is ok, Kel…eventually I “got” what the Universe was trying to tell me. It took going to sea alone in a very small boat and battling intense storms while there to understand the most important lesson of all…for me at least it is this:

    The past no longer exists…the hate-throwing cannot be changed, yet it is no longer.
    The future has yet to happen, so it does not exist either…you can create anything you wish and if you remain positive…so it shall be.
    The only thing which is real is this moment as you read these words…a moment which flows forward with time.

    When you are with your boyfriend and in the presence of the cousin…just be there with them…no past and no future, for they will not exist. Perhaps look the cousin in the eyes with Love in yours and smile. He may not…he may be confused by his fear. Remain peacefully steadfast with your eyes locked onto his and let him feel your kindness with your smile. If you feel a tear come…let it flow…he will see the real you. A loving human such as he…who wants the same thing in life. Peace.

    Tomorrow begins with a little more light than today…
    and each day after, the sun will be a little higher giving warmth to this earth…
    may you be a similar light for all you come into contact with…
    and become an Angel for someone who seeks kindness.

    Blessings and Light,
    Greg

    #47346
    Kel
    Participant

    Matt and Greg, thank you so much for your kind words and thoughtful responses. They mean more to me than you know!

    I can see clearly now how his cousin is struggling, how he has lashed out in fear – how this has never truly been about me or what kind of person I am at all. From now on, whatever aggression he directs at me, I know I can let it be transformed in my heart into compassion for him, and how desperately he needs to feel compassion and loving kindness from someone. It makes me smile to remember that tomorrow will begin with a little more light than today 🙂

    Thank you both again, for all that you do!
    Kel

    #47347
    Greg Frucci
    Participant

    “From now on, whatever aggression he directs at me, I know I can let it be transformed in my heart into compassion for him, and how desperately he needs to feel compassion and loving kindness from someone.”

    Beautifully spoken Kel…
    perfection…
    through your deeds…
    you will become a light for him to see and feel warmed by along his path.

    you are welcome…
    and thank you for sharing the challenge you face…
    perhaps you have also helped another who remains in silence…

    peace to you,
    greg

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