How to deal with someone who hates you?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2009
How to deal with someone who hates you?
Sat, 03-06-2010 - 7:33pm

So I've written about this before but I'm posing a different question this time.

Why do I let peoples opinions of me bother me so much that I become severely depressed? Example, I made a mistake and had a confrontation with my neighbor about something major (I accused her of leaving dog crapp on my lawn, which she did and because she felt as I was using a threatening tone when I said I was going to call the association, she turned around and called the cops on me saying she felt I was harassing her. Weird, how she decided to turn things around.). I have been feeling a tremendous amount of guilt over confronting her because as my husband said, I could have just let it go or been "nicer" to her during the confrontation. I wish I could take things back but I can't so instead the guilt and anger at her caused me to become depressed. Like, REALLY depressed feeling as I did not want to get out of bed for weeks. I did but only to go to work and back. Then I usually come home, drink chamomile tea, take occasional Xanax and go to back to bed.

The other important reason why I became depressed is that aside from the guilt how I could have handled (or rather not handle) the situation is the fact that this confrontation with my neighbor was witnessed by other neighbors who told many other neighbors in my commnity and after the word got out, I became the bitch who was "mean" to Mrs. X. Mrs. X happens to be also a fairly popular figure because she is chatty and has a few kids who hang out with other neighbors kids so naturally, they took her side without questioning much. And again, I am not saying I was right and they should have taken my side instead, because when I look back I should have never been involved in this argument with my neighbor. Because knowing her personality, I was "asking for it".

It;s been way too long (a YEAR) that this thing has been bothering me for. The exchange between me and THAT neighbor made us enemies for life because when I was making a mild attempt to apologize, she snubbed me instantly and said she had to go. So it's over. No turning back, nothing can be repaired.

But a year later I am still traumatized by her calling the cops on me and I cannot deal with others looking down on me since this incident. I feel like they're all judging me even though they moved on, I will forever be branded as the bitch, that girl, that crazy neighbor. They hardly ever look at me. I get many dirty looks and overall I "feel" that they dislike me.

Intellectually, I understand that I am unable to change anyone's hate for me especially if they all have decided that's how they feel about me but on an emotional level, I am unable to deal with the aftermath. I became "paranoid" about the situation. I hardly leave the house to take walks because it is just too uncomfortable for me. When I get a sudden feeling of depression lifting and I get outside, something like my neighbor passing me and looking the other way, can always SET OFF more depression with which I struggle with for more weeks/months.

I have seen a therapist about this and he seems like he's really trying to help me but months later, I still don't feel better. He told me things like that "it;s okay to be different" and deep down I should know that I am a good person but the thing is, I don't believe that I actually am. Otherwise, I would not be so stupid to not know how to get along with people.

I must mention that this episode only triggered my depression from many years ago that was about general regrets about dealing with people, things like "I can't believe I did that/said that". That depressive episode got better with time but I guess I still have many unresolved issues hence for the past year or so, since the incident with my neighbors, I actually believe now that I am a "bad" person, incapable of understanding social qs and incapable of developing proper relationships with people. I mean, look at me, I only have a few friends. Some people have 300+ friends on Facebook, I barely managed to get a dozen and only a few of them are actual friends.

I got a script for Lexapro and I am terrified to start taking it. I've read some things on the Internet how it may create suicidal tendencies and this would be the nail on the coffin for me.

Any feedback would be appreciated. My husband is threatening me to have me committed if I keep talking to him about this. He said he either wants to on meds or to snap out of it. He doesn't understand why I have let everything to take form of all kinds of distorted thoughts in my head like that everyone hates me. He also doesn't understand why it's taking me so long to deal with it....

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-2009
Mon, 03-08-2010 - 9:20am
maybe it's time to think about moving.
Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
Mon, 03-08-2010 - 2:20pm

From the research I've done on myself your response sounds much like a person raised by somebody who suffers from narcissism. We worry so much about hurting other people. It's not really a self-centered type of self-loathing. But we are very upset of how we have failed other people.

Maybe you want to look into adult children of narcissistics and see if this seems to fit your personality. I feel sometimes understanding where the feelings come from it helps us to move on and attempt to not allow these to control you again (as much) in the future.

You cannot change the past and part of moving forward is accepting it. What is done is done. Then maybe the next decision should be, what do you want in your neighborhood? Do you want to be the neighbor who bows her head every time she sees a somebody? Or do you want to smile & wave? If you want to be the waver, then select the neighbor who threatens you the least & spend the next month smiling & waving every time you see him/her. Once you get comfortable with this you can move on to other neighbors. Just select them as the least threatening to you so you feel safe and comfortable making this gesture.

It is hard to learn how to not wonder what others may say or think about you. But the truth of it is, you will never know for sure. I had learned this in my newspaper editing class - "To Assume is to make an ASS out of U and ME." I really like that statement. It makes me stop and realize that often we assume things completely wrong.

In the book "Change Your Brain, Change Your Life" Dr. Amen has a 18/40/60 Rule:

"When you’re 18, you worry about what everybody is thinking of you; when you 40, you don’t give a darn what anybody thinks of you; when you’re 60, you realize nobody’s been thinking about you at all."

Speaking of the book, Amen also teaches about "Automatic Negative Thoughts" (ANTs). You can run a search on Amen ANTs and get a lot of information on these & how to kill these ANTs.

What has helped me a lot is learning about meditation. Meditation is learning how to focus on the present moment. Life in the past is only a memory, life in the future is a prediction, life is ONLY lived in the present. So you learn how to make life happen NOW. To enjoy this moment. What do you want? How are you going to make it happen?

I do not have the discipline to meditate. I can do guided meditation (having somebody talk to me through it), but not sit silently. I've tried, but I'm not ready yet. Yoga can be a type of meditation. Yoga works on learning how to breath correctly, helps with posture (which is really important for self-esteem) and builds strength.

Yoga is showing it is very helpful in mood.


I understand your position & I understand your H's as I've been in both places and therefore so has he. But ultimately, in order for things to change the only person to make it happen is yourself. People can try to help, but they can only do so much. The change depends on you. I believe you have the ability, even if it appears really small, it is hiding within you. Then rejoice with every small step you take. So if you take the time to smile and/or wave at a neighbor - rejoice! It's a big step to walk out of your comfort zone & to reach for what you want. You deserve the rejoice. If you do not think anybody else will rejoice with you, then keep quiet & rejoice here where others who understand your hurdles can rejoice with you.

I wish you peace

"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2009
Thu, 03-11-2010 - 10:05am

Maybe you want to look into adult children of narcissistics and see if this seems to fit your personality.

My parents have always been very loving in a way that they provided me with every educational opportunity. Also, great providers in materialistic term. But not very emotionally available, never purposely damaging my self esteem but rather not cultivating it much. You just kind of lived the way you were supposed to but it was never discussed it detail, if that makes sense .

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2010
Thu, 04-01-2010 - 11:44pm


Are you still dealing with the neighborhood issues? I went through a similar situation in my neighborhood. All the neighbors down the street didn't like us because of something my oldest daughter blurted out while driving down the street one day (when they were all standing there, blocking traffic, and one of them happened to be a cop's wife and sent her husband down to my house to harass my daughter -- I ended up reporting him, and he was suspended for a couple of weeks -- which of course inflamed the neighbors even more). Then they all hated us.

Anyway... long story short... neighborhoods evolve and change... kids grow up and move away, neighbors move out (as our neighborly cop did), families move to new homes, new neighbors move in, and everything changes. I wouldn't sweat it. Who cares what the neighbors think, you can put yourself above all that drama.

And regarding the neighbor's dog crap... kinda funny when you think about it. Sometimes a sense of humor helps in these cases. I mean really, do you need your neighbor to be your friend? My neighbor lets her dog crap in my yard when she thinks we're not paying attention. My husband shovels up the poop and throws it over the hedge into their driveway. We figure it's their dog, so it's their crap. If they don't like it, they can clean up after their own dog. If they don't like us for it, who cares. My life will still go on, I surely don't need their friendship in order to be happy.

In the end, try not to sweat the small stuff (and as they say, it's all small stuff). We don't need to be friendly with all our neighbors. Just be friendly with the ones you like, and ignore the ones you don't like (it will drive them crazy! : )

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-2009
Fri, 04-02-2010 - 9:42am
i am all for ignoring neighbors because i like my privacy. leave me alone, and we'll get along just fine :)
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2009
Mon, 04-05-2010 - 12:24am
I think self-esteem issues are also value issues, so I wonder if you REALLY cared about your neighbors' needs if your preoccupation with their opinion of you would decrease. Jesus, who even if you're not Christian you have to admit was a great humanitarian and philosopher, said "Pray for your enemies" in addition to praying for your friends. Maybe if you pray for your neighbors your heart will soften towards them and theirs will soften towards you and things can heal. This is something I really need to do in my life.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2009
Tue, 04-06-2010 - 9:52pm

"Are you still dealing with the neighborhood issues?"

yeah, kind of, I've been doing slightly better but I attribute that to getting on "natural SSRIs" such as Holy Basil and St. John's Wort.
It could be the placebo, I know, I know...