How to Get a Person You Hate to Be Your Best Friend
Hating another person can take its toll on you; it's mentally exhausting and ultimately an unhealthy way to live. While you’re never going to see eye-to-eye with everyone, you do have control over how you react to different people and you can choose to let go of a grudge and to move forward. And if you work hard enough, who knows? You may end up as best friends.
Learning to Like Your Enemy
Be the bigger person.If you hate someone, chances are there’s a reason why. Maybe you got in a fight or something hurtful was done to you. If you want to make your enemy your friend, you have to let that go and decide in your head to move on.
- Try to see your past interactions from your enemy’s point of view. Was there maybe something you did that might have hurt them too?
- If you don’t know why you dislike this person, take some time to think it over. Maybe you don’t like them because they remind you of someone else you don’t like.
Treat your enemy nicely.The nicer you treat a person, the more likely you are to think of them in a positive light. Take a week and do everything you can think of to treat your enemy better. At the end of the week, you may be surprised to find that your feelings for them are now completely different.
- Make an effort to say “Hi” to your enemy every time you see them.
- Hold a door open for them or smile at them in the hallway.
Pretend your enemy is a family member.Everyone has family members who they don’t get along with. But family is blood, so you have to learn to put up with them. By pretending your enemy is part of your family, you force yourself to find ways to put up with them and even relate to them.
- Look for similarities between the person you hate and people you love.
- For example, if your dad loves soccer and the person you hate also loves soccer, use that similarity to help trick your brain into liking them.
Stop speaking negatively about your enemy.Talking about someone behind their back may be a guilty pleasure, but it’s also a way of tricking your brain into believing the things you say are true.
- Whenever you have the urge to say something negative about this person, instead find something nice to say.
- Make a list of all the things you like about the person (even if it’s a short list) and concentrate on the positive attributes instead.
Starting to Bond with Your Enemy
Ask for a favor.If this person is truly your enemy, then asking for help is probably not high on your priorities list. However, if you ask for a favor and they agree to help you out, you open up a door for further communication.
- The favor doesn’t have to be big; it can be something small, like asking for help with an assignment.
- There is a chance the person will decline. If they do, try a different tactic later.
- Make sure to say please and thank you – you’re trying to rebuild a relationship and manners help.
Look for things you have in common.As humans, there are so many things in this world that we love – books, movies, foods, experiences, etc. It’s almost impossible that you and the person you hate would have nothing in common, so look for opportunities where you can use this to break the ice.
- Surreptitiously observe your enemy and make a list of all the things they like and dislike.
- Look for opportunities where you can bond over these commonalities.
- For example, if you see them reading a book you love, say something like “I love that book. What part are you at?” and allow the conversation to go from there.
Compliment your enemy.Everyone likes to hear nice things about themselves, and your enemy is no exception. Make an effort to say something nice to them whenever you can; they may even throw a compliment back your way.
- Give your enemy honest compliments - don’t lie and say you like something if you really don’t.
- Compliment your enemy on their outfit or hair or an idea they had in class or at work.
- Don’t overdo it – they may worry that you’re making fun of them or being disingenuous.
Use their name and practice active listening.The way you talk to your enemy can have a big influence on how they respond to you. Use their name frequently and try to repeat back what they’re saying when you have conversations with each other.
- Be careful not to repeat back what they say exactly; always rephrase it and put it in your own words to show that you were listening.
- If they say something like, “Let’s go over the assignment after class” you might repeat that back as “Okay, I’ll see you at the end of the day to go over the work.”
Creating a Friendship with Your Enemy
Invite them to hang out.Once you have managed to trick yourself into liking your enemy and had a few positive interactions with your enemy, it’s time to up the ante. Have a party or gathering and invite the person you hate to come along.
- Make sure that the first time you hang out isn’t one on one.
- Spending time with them in a group setting is a lower pressure way of getting to know them as a friend.
Get personal.As you and your enemy become friends, make an effort to expose something private about yourself. Confiding in your ex-enemy will help build your bond and strengthen your friendship.
- Tell your ex-enemy an embarrassing story about yourself or admit to a guilty pleasure.
- Encourage them to do the same – the more you can open up to each other, the closer you will feel.
Maintain the relationship.Friendships, like any relationship, need love and care in order to flourish. Make an effort to keep in contact with your new friend; invite them over to hang out or invite them to go out on a friend date with you.
- Alternate who is inviting who over and who is planning what activity so it doesn’t feel like one of you is controlling the relationship.
- Be friends online and by phone – add your new friend on social media and look for opportunities to text them things you think they’d enjoy.
Be there for your friend.Friendship is a two-way street and the more you can give to a friendship, the more you’ll end up getting. If your new friend is having a bad day or needs a shoulder to cry on, make yourself available.
- Be there for your new friend and chances are they’ll be there for you.
- Treat this new friend the way you would treat all of your other friends – stick up for them and be loyal and kind.
Be yourself.If you really want to take your friendship status from “friend” to “best friend” the trick is to be yourself. You just put in all this work to turn an enemy into a friend – imagine how betrayed they will feel if they find out you aren’t being honest about who you are.
- Make an effort to keep spending time with your new friend. The more time you spend with them, the more comfortable you’ll feel around them.
- Let them see the sides of you that no one else sees. Be goofy, be honest and encourage them to do the same.
- Don’t worry if you never make it to “best friends” status. You have one less enemy and one more friend, so you’re doing okay.
Video: How To Deal With People You Hate
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