I came across an article that I thought gave odd advice but the more I think about it, maybe it’s not so crazy. The article is “How to Let Go of Someone You Love by Hating Them“, by Jake Butler. I also found an article written by a professor of philosophy who believes that loving and hating the same person is entirely possible. As a middle-aged woman who has been through a lot of crap, I can attest it is possible but is it the best way to get over someone? Or if it isn’t the best way, is it at least effective?
Well, I haven’t found any studies to support either question but I think there’s some good points to be made by channeling your hurt feelings into pure, flaming, toss the chair across the room, hate.
Love is a powerful emotion, so it may require an equally powerful emotion to knock it out of your heart’s orbit, so to speak. So, instead of only thinking about the good positive moments or qualities of the person you want to get over, think about all the lousy times. Think about how horrible they treated you. Remind yourself every single day that they don’t give a flying fig about you.
The goal isn’t to hate them for all eternity. You don’t want to become a vengeful psychopath. The goal is to get your own heart back so that you can love again. You can’t do that if some clown has a death grip on your soul. Yes, call him/her a clown! Call them every name in the book. Curse the day they were born.
Of course, I’m sure there’s a point where you can take things too far. You don’t want to be the inspiration for the next “based on a true story” homicide forensics television show. You also don’t want to be the one gluing cutout letters from a newspaper forming creepy anonymous threats, (like anyone buys newspapers anymore), and mailing them to your most-hated one (like anyone uses the mail anymore). It would probably be a good idea to keep your good side intact. Hug a tree and share puppy memes to the rest of the world. You don’t want to go full Anakin Skywalker and succumb to the Dark Side.
The point is to regain your life. Okay, this particular relationship sucked but that doesn’t mean the next one will. The person you’re trying to forget may be a truly wonderful person but don’t think about that! Think about how much pain they brought to your life. They might be an angelic, loving, leper colony missionary but for you they’re hell.
Then one day, you’ll have the joy of complete indifference. You won’t hate or love them anymore. You will have moved on to better things. So, the theory goes. And like usual, I have a brain imaging study that might just back up the theory.
It appears that the same two parts of the brain light up in both feelings of romantic love and hate – the putamen and the insula. So, maybe it isn’t so crazy to think that we can replace love with hate, as horrible as that sounds. The article, however points out that it may not be that we’re really replacing love with hate, but rather love with anger. But does it really matter?
Of course, I did come across this study recently, which suggests that “Most scientific studies are wrong or useless”, so take my advice with a pinch of salt, and a splash of vinegar for the one who did you wrong.