Permission to hate me: Letting go of what everyone else thinks


Show me that you can handle my honesty…
Show me that grace was made
For people like me.
– Mikeschair, People Like Me

“I need to give you permission to hate me if that’s what you need to do heal,” I wrote in an email.

“If you need to hate me and everything that I am in order to heal yourself and become everything you need to be, you have permission.”

This last summer, I adjusted to living in my very own apartment, without roommates or family, and I lost touch with nearly all of my best friends.

I learned to be alone. And sometimes I was intensely lonely. But I discovered it was okay to be Eleanor. Just me.

In September, I sent one of my close friends that email. I’d hurt her, and I wanted her to have permission to be angry with me if that’s what would heal her and possibly our friendship later.

The statement requires I know my own worth enough that I don’t need approval.

I love people. Random interactions, laughter, and doing odd things like wearing aluminum foil on my head around campus just to get weird reactions give me an extroverted recharge.

But I still need to be secure enough in my identity to give others the freedom to hate me.

In the same way, I can respect a God who allows us to hate him. I love Christianity, because Jesus allows humans to hate him and abandon him. He gives us that space.

Not in the painful “nobody likes me, everybody hates me” singsong, not in self-deprecation. Jesus was secure in who he was.

He lets us hurt him because he can handle the pain. For people repressed like me, we have to distinguish between emotional self-harm and step into a new security, a raw bravery.

(Disclaimer: I’m not promoting the idea of hatred. But hatred is a human emotion, and sometimes it’s necessary to let it out, not repress it. Even the Bible says to be angry, just don’t let the sun go down on your wrath. But the verse doesn’t advocate ignoring the anger. I’d rather someone hate me than exercise a false forgiveness, which is really repressed hatred. But I don’t do it as an unwilling victim.)

I recognize that maybe people need to hate me to move on, if I caused their pain. And I bear responsibility for that.

Also, I believe in my mission, in my purpose. I am open to criticism and ask for my friends’ opinions on my choices. I strive to not cause harm. But ultimately I should be able to stand behind what I do.

Jesus said his disciples would be hated. So I shouldn’t be surprised if I make a bold move and there is backlash.

(Disclaimer: Not an excuse to have a persecution complex. Jesus said if you are following him, people will hate you. But you can’t reverse the syllogism. You can’t say that if people hate me, I am doing what Jesus wants. You can’t deny the antecedent to prove the consequent, it’s a logical fallacy. So just because I am being criticized doesn’t mean I’m doing “the right thing.” I might just be a giant annoying jerk. Which is why outside perspective is so important.)

So for you, if you are offended by me, if I have hurt you, I give you permission to hate me. Let me know if there is something I can do to encourage healing in your life.

4 thoughts on “Permission to hate me: Letting go of what everyone else thinks

  1. I am still mulling over the thoughts here, but allow me to comment first on the statement that “Jesus gives us permission to hate him”. I think I understand it in the context of the post, but although Jesus allows this, it has consequences that breaks His heart: “If you deny Me before men, I will deny you before My Father which is in Heaven.” (Mt. 10:33) and Matthew 12:31 ” Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.” He is perfectly balanced and His love is balanced with His justice.


    1. ^ The kind of hate you are talking about is rejecting God. A permanent, final-answer kind of hatred. But you can hate him and not reject him at the same time. Eleanor is talking about the non-permanent form of hatred. The I-just-can’t-love-you-right-now kind. It’s /meant/ to be temporary.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Totally agree that it does break Jesus’ heart — as the God-man, Jesus knows human emotions, and very few people would actually /enjoy/ being hated.

      But my point is that somehow he lets us do it, he gives us that choice, full and free. He doesn’t manipulate us into choosing him, and that’s why I can trust him. And, like my friend Anna said, I think he lets us do it because he’s trying to honestly win our hearts, not force his way in. So he did and I think still does let us hurt him, let us hate him, because sometimes that’s part of our own humanness and our journey to him. Does that clarify more?

      Would like to hear your other thoughts as you mull over it. ^^

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s