General Question

MissAnthrope's avatar

I need advice on releasing negative feelings about someone.

Asked by MissAnthrope (21511points) September 7th, 2008

Okay, so there’s a person in my life, in an auxillary manner.. meaning, I don’t have to be around them, but I have to hear about them with some frequency. I hate this person, I have a lot of really strong negative feelings towards them. Jealousy, distrust, dislike, etc.

I have been struggling for a long time trying to release these feelings because when you boil it down, it just makes me stressed, angry, upset, and it generally feels bad.

Does anyone have any advice on how to let this go? I’ve tried asking the intermediary person to not talk about this person I hate, but I don’t think that’ll be possible.

I need to work on it on my own and would love some help. Anything you’ve done that helped you out, that sort of thing. Thank you!

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33 Answers

dollfacee's avatar

there was a blog on myspace where you made a list of things you wanted to say to someone but you never would. something like this might help?
it made me feel better when i did it, you should try it.

marinelife's avatar

In my personal experience, this is not an easy thing to do. My best success, which has been partial, is to spend some time concentrating on my feelings, writing about them, letting every nuance of anger, dislike, etc., out. I also have talked about my feelings with a couple of trusted, supportive people in my life.

After that, I let go of spending time and thinking on these people. My situation is similar to yours in that our worlds touch, and I end up hearing about them. I have found that as some time has passed, I don’t get my feelings stirred up again as I did at first.

I have processed my piece of interaction with them. All that is left is mild regret that they made it so ugly, and some relief that I am out of the situation, and what I consider a human hope that their chickens come home to roost someday. I just no longer feel I have to be the author of that.

Good luck working through this. As I know that you know intellectually, they don’t deserve that energy from you. You will get to the place where you feel that in your gut too in time.

jcs007's avatar

These are my 2 options:

1. Talk to somebody you can trust. Sometimes you just need to vent. But when words just don’t cut it then…

2. Whack the shit out of your bed with a tennis racket. Sometimes it just feels good to release all that anger onto your bed. At least this way, no one gets hurt, and you can do this alone, when no one is looking. I know it sounds weird, but I’ve actually done it before, and I have to say, it is kinda relieving/liberating.

jcs007's avatar

@Marina: Lurve for you. That’s a much more peaceful way of venting one’s anger.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Thanks and lurve to the three of you. This is proving really difficult for me. I have vented, I have journaled and really vented. I have tried to put it out of my mind so it’s not so raw, but the intermediary person seems to not be able to help talking about the person I hate.

It’s ongoing, which makes it really hard to let it go. I’d be so much more at peace and happier! I’ve tried meditation, tried to be more forgiving and understanding, to be more Zen about it. It isn’t working. I’m considering therapy, but part of me is unsure even that will work.

MissAnthrope's avatar

By the way, if anyone else wants to weigh in, please do. I’m serious about wanting to resolve this, and I would find your experiences and advice to be most helpful.

Response moderated
cyndyh's avatar

How much do you have to be around the intermediary person right now? If they don’t get that it’s not helpful to you to hear about the person-in-question then maybe you could find a way to put a little distance between you and the intermediary for a while, too.

Bri_L's avatar

@ AlenaD – I agree with Marina and jcs

I would add that I am going through a similar problem for the second time. It is going much better because of what I learned the first time.

Everything I loathed about that person and all the time I took with that loathing took time away from my life. Time I will never get back. They didn’t care, didn’t even know about it. It didn’t change the situation.

In the end all the reasons I didn’t care for, nay, hated them came back and bit them in the butt. All my obsessing did was slow me down and prevent me from being me and being as happy as I can be.

It still isn’t easy, but it is easier. Especially since I have OCD. That makes it particularly hard not to do. To get past it. Every single time I think of these two people I think of my successes and their difficulties so I can remember why I am lucky.

I hope this helps, and remember, you’ve got your fluther gang.

augustlan's avatar

This “intermediary” doesn’t sound like he/she is being very supportive of you. You may have to try harder to convince this person of how seriously the situation is affecting you. If that’s truly not possible, you might need to distance yourself from the intermediary as well.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@cyndyh – Unfortunately for me in regards to this situation, I have a fair amount of contact with the intermediary. I think I will mention again that it isn’t helpful to me and that I need to distance myself from my hatee.. not hear about them, etc. It’s also unfortunate that the intermediary and I are best friends, and the intermediary and the hatee are best friends.

@Bri – You are so right. I recognize this and that’s why I feel I need to let it go. It’s a waste of time and energy, the hatee doesn’t even know the depth of my feeling.. in fact, I don’t think they like me much and may actually get somewhat of a kick out of knowing/guessing how much I seethe when the two of them hang out. Also, I am beginning to think I may also have a touch of OCD, in all seriousness. I have always struggled with obsessive thinking. In cases like this, it’s painful and awful, but I cannot get it to stop.

@augustlan – Yeah, I think I might do that.. tell her the situation is seriously affecting me, I don’t want to hear about this person, and that if she can’t avoid speaking of him, I will have to distance myself from her, too.

Thanks. :)

marinelife's avatar

I agree with augustlan, AlenaD. I would have to question a “best friend” that kept bringing up a topic I had asked that they not bring up. What is their motive?

When you talk to them, I would be very specific. “I will talk to you about any topic in the world except Bill. If you cannot keep from mentioning Bill when we are together, then for my own sake, I will need to take a break from talking to you for a while.”

Be clear inside yourself that you are not asking for too much. Your request is reasonable.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Marina, thanks. I’ve recently noticed that my friend has behaved in a manner that I feel is selfish and self-absorbed. This is one of those things. I told her explicitly that I needed to put this guy out of my head for a while and wait until the feelings aren’t so raw, before I can truly deal with it. Despite this, she kept bringing him up. I then reminded her, but he would end up coming up in conversation again.

She is not really a malicious person.. in most ways, she’s very kind and understanding. I myself have wondered what the deal is, why she feels the need to keep talking about him. I will say that she has a hope that all three of us can be friends, so I wonder if part of it is maybe she is trying to give him good press in order to make me like him more.

I will definitely use your line, though. Thank you. :)

tinyfaery's avatar

It sounds like you might need to use some coping skills. If you have seriously searched your soul, and cannot find a solution, maybe your soultion is to learn how to deal with the the emotions you cannot seem to change. Check out a site on DBT. It’s vet helpful.

Tantigirl's avatar

@AlenaD – It sounds to me as though this other person who you don’t like, may well be manipulating your friend to give him information about how you react when his name or actions are mentioned. From what you said, you are already aware that this person is probably getting a kick out of your reactions, and that tells me that you’re well on the way towards ignoring this person, and his importance as a negative figure in your life is diminishing. Maybe the next time your friend mentions this person, let her talk, you don’t have to respond. The response is the end result. As hard as it may be to hear about this person, if the wanted end result simply doesn’t happen anymore, then the irritation should eventually stop.

cyndyh's avatar

AlenaD, a best friend should understand, especially if you tell her it doesn’t have to be forever. You just need more time before you can usefully discuss it. It won’t always feel so raw, but while it does it feels like she’s poking at you when you’ve told her to stop. That’s the way that sort of thing feels to me anyway.

cyndyh's avatar

Well said, Tantigirl. I know that’s sometimes easier said than done, AlenaD, but you can also listen to the friend talk and then ask at the end “are you finished now?” That might be enough to make your point to her as well as giving none of the reaction the hatee wants.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@Tantigirl – Yeah.. I had considered that. My next step after reminding my friend that I don’t want to hear about this guy is to request that she not talk about me to him at all. I really don’t want him to know anything about me, much less have her vent about something negative and know he’s probably getting perverse pleasure out of it.

She says I don’t understand him, that he’s not like what I think, blah blah. The thing is, I think she is very naive and trusting where he is concerned. She is, in a way, desperate for intimates who really understand her, so I feel like she has a blindspot in this area. I mean, she wants to maintain her friendship as she imagines it, and ignores what seems obvious to me and another friend that I have discussed this with.

@cyndyh – Yeah, it does kind of feel like that. I think she is being a bit insensitive in not really understanding where I’m coming from and how seriously it’s affecting me. And I said that to her, that it’s not permanent, it’s just what I need right now to be able to cope. She’s on a trip right now with him, but I am definitely going to have a chat with her when she gets back.

Tantigirl's avatar

@AlenaD – I don’t know that I would say anything further to her. You’ve already made it clear how you feel for the time being about talking/hearing about him. I think the best revenge on this man is to not show any kind of emotion or reaction towards or about him whatsoever. If I was you, I would show as little emotion as possible. In my mind, anything you say regarding him that gets back to him, tells him that he is on your mind, that you are thinking about him. It doesn’t matter that it is negative thoughts, in fact, I suspect the more negative he thinks you are, the more satisfaction he’ll derive from it.

Your friend sounds like a friend of mine. She has a heart of gold and wouldn’t ever hurt anyone intentionally. She wants to be friends with everyone, and sometimes that means you feel all turned around, and don’t want to upset those closest to you. I think when people have that kind of personality, they can be easily manipulated by certain people in a situation like this.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I want to say thanks again to you who chimed in here. I feel a bit better at having discussed this with impartial parties, and I also feel more validated in my feelings.

@Tantigirl – I feel like I do need to reiterate my feelings one more time. I get the impression that she is not taking me seriously, in that she feels I’m being irrational or something and not really taking in just how badly I feel. I need to plainly state what Marina said. If she can’t stop, then I have to stop talking to her for a while.

Yeah, I feel like he is being manipulative of her naivety. He’s doing it in such a manner that she is unsuspecting, but the situation seems really obvious from the outside. It’s not just me, but as I said, I presented the situation to another dear friend of mine who really doesn’t know either of them, and he came up with the same conclusions as I did. I feel like my hatee can’t be trusted, I feel like there’s more going on underneath the surface that he’s not presenting to her.

However, I’m done trying to point it out to her. She doesn’t want to hear it or believe me. I just have to let him do his thing and hopefully the truth will come out. I like to believe the truth always comes out eventually.

I have to get ready to go out, but thank you all so much for your help and supportive shoulders. :)

Tantigirl's avatar

@AlenaD – You have to do what is best for you now. I think I had in the back of my mind that what I suggested may be a way to stay in contact with your friend. However I then thought about what Marina said, and I think that she has a point (which you’ve recognized), and that point is that your friend isn’t being such a good friend if she can’t or won’t even try to respect your feelings in this. Keep your chin up, you’ll get this sorted out, I guarantee it. Sometimes this is how you find out exactly how good a friend someone is.

And hey!!! You’ve always got us to lean on. ;)

cyndyh's avatar

Yes, feel free to do all the leaning you need to here. Take care.—Cyndy

ninjaxmarc's avatar

blogging or putting it down on paper.
This should help with it.

Then grab a picture of that person and put it on a punching bag then start working it. That should release some if not all your feelings.

Ineedtoknow594's avatar

Your friend is being manipulated. The only thing I can tell is that people are all motivated by two things – Pleasure and Pain. She needs to understand the pain she’s causing you by constantly bringing up this person. I also feel that the negative feelings inside you are your responsibility. It sounds like you feel entitled to something you are not receiving. Unfortunately, you are responsible for your own happiness. And the expectation of people living up to what you expect , is going to disappoint you every time.

Judi's avatar

If you are a person of faith, I would suggest you pray for good things to happen to the person you hate. My daughter had a friend who was a really bad influence. I knew that her family rented their home and I started praying that the family would be blessed with a job that would take them away from my daughter. In a few months we heard that the family was moving to Australia.
That’s sort of a funny story, but when you begin to genuinely pray for your enemies, something changes in your heart. It doesn’t mean you accept the unacceptable, but eventually you gain the strength to stop giving the person such power over your emotions.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@INTK – Good points all, thanks for that. You’re right.

@Judi – I am a person of faith and I have been both praying and meditating. I’ve been asking to be filled with forgiveness instead of the negative emotions, prayed to release the negative emotions. Your story is awesome though, I love that! I think I may try a different tack based on your suggestion.. I may know the right thing to pray for that’s also positive for him, but would, I think, help ease this situation some.

MissAnthrope's avatar

So, an update.. On Friday, I went in to get started on the free counseling sessions I have at school. It was just an intake session, but I got to spill some beans and talk about what’s been bothering me. The therapist was awesome and it was an incredibly validating experience. There’s anxiety and obsessive thoughts on top of this situation. I have appointments tomorrow, one for therapy and one to see a psychiatrist about the anxiety and maybe get some Xanax to deal with the acute anxiety because I had a hard time functioning last week. I’m really looking forward to the therapy session, in which I will be discussing this situation.

I did tell my friend not to talk about this guy, and she’s been pretty good about respecting me. It was really easy to ask, she accepted what I had to say, and said, “No problem.” She hasn’t talked about this guy at all since I asked, which is a relief. She asked if I wanted to hear about some of the people she met on her trip, and I told her that I didn’t. She did later mention something even though I didn’t want to know, but it had nothing to do with the guy I hate. However, overall, it’s been pretty good.

jcs007's avatar

Glad to hear that things are moving along just fine. =) Good Luck!

Bri_L's avatar

Very very cool AlenaD. You have taken the hardest step. Now that your rolling and embracing it. I bet you feel better!

Way to go!

augustlan's avatar

Good job, Alena!

Tantigirl's avatar

Excellent news Alena. ;)

cyndyh's avatar

I’m happy for you, Alena. I’m glad that you’re able to work toward a solution and that your friend seems to value your friendship enough to try. Cheers!

MissAnthrope's avatar

Thanks, guys. You’re pretty awesome, yourselves. I really appreciate it. :)

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