Welcome to this week’s Question and Answer Space!
I hope you find this useful and informative.
These Wednesday posts wouldn’t be possible without your questions, so get asking!
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This week’s question:
Can I love and hate someone at the same time?
Now this question is something that I encounter many times in many shapes and forms when working with clients, or in every day conversations as well.
Through life experiences we get to a place where things can only be one thing and not two at the same time. Feelings are either good or bad…people are either good or bad… are either good or bad.
good or bad…positive or negative…love or hate…
It’s all-or-nothing. It’s all black or white.
This makes life harder and some feelings, thoughts and situations tricky to navigate through and move on from.
Life isn’t exactly black or white or all-or-nothing. But how do we make peace with something we might have been living with for a long, long time?
How about finding the middle, the greys?
Can two strong emotions like love and hate co-exist? I think they can! Can we love someone and hate them at the same time? I think we can!
Take the example of a parent telling their child off for behaving in a naughty way. Does the parent hate the behaviour – and maybe the child too –for a period of time? Possibly. Does the parent still love the child despite the behaviour and being unhappy with them for a while? Definitely!
Finding a place in your life where two seemingly opposite emotions co-exist, and accepting that they both exist and co-exist towards a particular person or situation – becoming ambivalent at times – can be helpful in understanding what exactly you are feeling, and work through those feelings.
Avoiding one feeling (hate) because we think we should be feeling the other one (love) will limit us in our range of emotions and in how we relate with the people in our lives. We are not bad, terrible people for loving and hating someone at the same time.
As with every emotion, it’s temporary and you will go back to feeling what you really feel for that person, it’s just that, at this point in time, they have infuriated or upset you to the point of hate.