How Hating Someone for No Reason Can Turn into a Goldmine of Powerful New Resources

A clever, unexpected way to use your negative energy to your advantage

Julie Plavnik
8 min readDec 7, 2021

Have you ever had to deal with someone who annoys you for no reason? Someone who doesn’t cross your personal boundaries and doesn’t touch you at all, but just irritates? A singer with poor vocal range? Or a YouTube blogger who, in your opinion, is too stupid to open his mouth and speak from behind a screen?

Or probably that is even a whole category of people, like escort chicks from OnlyFans, jailbirds, alcoholics, drug addicts, video gamers, crazymakers — anyone who has never violated your personal boundaries but still manages to get on your nerves.

If you’ve ever felt this way, then meet your shadow self!

What exactly is a shadow?

This is a part of your personality, some of your inner traits that exist in your deeper self, but have been shut down for some reason. So when you meet someone whose behaviour somehow mirrors your shadow, you start getting pissed off.

You wouldn’t have noticed those annoying people, if they didn’t share similar traits with you.

I’ll put my disclaimer here (sneaky lawyer, hey).

If, let’s say, you get triggered by escorts, it does not necessarily mean that you are slutty at heart. It may simply mean, that those personal traits allowing sugar girls to have that kind of a lifestyle, live inside you as well, but you prevent them from coming up to the surface.

What is not a shadow?

Your negative reaction, when others invade your personal boundaries, is not a shadow.

When, for example, you feel discomfort when someone in a resto, sitting next to you, talks too loud or behaves like a weirdo, it is not your shadow. Or you got confused with unsolicited advice about your appearance or intimate life, then it’s not your shadow either.

Generally speaking, any negative feeling that you experience, when others interfere your life or confront your interests, is not a shadow.

Why and how do we need to work with shadows?

When we block our feelings, it is easy to lose energy and peace of mind. Our negative emotions, if not released, can cause a lot of stress and anxiety, which in turn affect the quality of life. We definitely don’t want this to happen.

Different psychological resources suggest, as a solution, artificially trying to look for the positive qualities in people we dislike, and start empathising with them out of the blue.

If you fail to do this, then rush to call a therapist.

Sounds cool, but feels like bullshit. IMHO, the idea of building sympathy through logical arguments is fucked up at its core.

Instead, we will go for a smarter and more natural way of handling the shadows. Here are the steps.

Step 1. Look closely at the source of your indignation and spot exactly that qualities, which permit them their annoying behaviour

  • Boozie example

Let’s assume you despise boozies (those crazymakers who enormously consume alcohol).

Why in the world would they bother you?! It’s their divine right to abuse their health as they want. But they still somehow irritate you.

So let’s take a closer look at the boozie and try to answer this question:

“What is that personal trait (or a combo of traits) that permits them to have such an alcohol-filled lifestyle?”

This could be irresponsibility, desire for fast euphoria without thinking through consequences, indifference to what others would say, watching him crawling on the floor like an animal, etc. What else would you add here?

Keep adding to this list until you find something, that speaks to you the most. What caught your attention? What made your body react in some way?

Let’s assume you picked up irresponsibility as an answer. Our boozie dumbhead allows himself to be constantly fly-by-night without even thinking through consequences, and this is exactly what makes your face wrinkle in disgust.

So what could this potentially say about you?

May be your everyday life is filled up with too many obligations, and you are overwhelmed with them. May be you feel like you always owe something to everyone, and deep down in your heart there is a voice that craves to send everything to hell and to just chill.

You may want to give yourself permission just this once — without worrying about any negative outcomes — to do something asinine with reckless abandon. But for some reason you keep pushing against it. Like the world would crumble, if you do.

That’s probably why you got triggered by folks, who give themselves this luxury not to care in their excessive and even bizarre manner, though they don’t affect you personally.

Other examples

Let’s walk through some other examples and see how they can relate to us.

  • Sheep

Are you getting annoyed by sheep-minded people? Those who live average lives and share obedient and compliant life views?

That’s totally fine. Actually this is my shadow too:-) Let’s analyze them under the microscope by asking:

“What could it be about their characters which makes them content with living stagnant, sedentary sheep lifestyles with no ambitions to stand out?”

It’s possible, that they have an easier time adjusting to new environments and situations without stress. They might also enjoy a less-effort mindset allowing them to always be emotionally balanced.

Or they might have a talent for staying relaxed and content with themselves, no matter how far they’ve progressed in their lives, etc. Actually the last one resonates with me a lot.

  • Lawbreakers

How about lawbreakers? If they trigger you, then ask:

“What are the traits, permitting them to break the rules without sentiments or feeling guilty?”

Maybe they have a belief in their impunity and own might. What else?

Prioritization of themselves and their interests over regulations; audacity, determination and bold courage; charm to influence others’ behavior to get the desirable; self-permission to display anger and aggression; “fuck the system” mindset, etc.

Does any of the above resonate with you somehow?

  • Escorts

Let’s take escorts again. What are their permission factors driving their lifestyles?

No worries about public opinion, no fear of negative feedback and critics, love of easy money, confidence in their own sexuality and attractiveness, etc.

Would you like to strengthen any of those qualities in yourself? If being honest…

The deeper you go with this exercise, the more you start realizing the following:

The objects of your hate simply mirror your shut down shadows, but in their particular perverted manner.

Step 2. Acknowledge and release

Once we outline the traits driving the behavior of annoying others, it’s time to make peace with them. You need to acknowledge that all these traits exist in you too, and become comfortable with them. This will help you to understand yourself better, and find a more harmonious way of relating with those who trigger your buttons.

But only acknowledgement is not enough for that. Our “demons” should be brought from shadow into light, by slightly releasing and incorporating them in our daily life.

If for example, you’re triggered by someone’s irresponsibility, or their lazy attitude to life, then revise your tight schedule, and find an option to let yourself relax more. Take a day off, pay someone to do chores instead of you, or just do nothing for a while.

If there is a nonchalant person who gets under your skin — publish a post, make a sexy photo session, do a YouTube video, or whatever that is not typical for you, without worrying about any potential critics it may receive.

However, you should start releasing your shadows in a “eco — friendly” manner; once a week, or a bit at a time, so that you don’t suddenly turn your life upside down and shock everyone around you. Your purpose is not to rebel, but to create a space for your nervous system to operate more freely.

Step 3. Make your shadows work for you

Here is how.

First, create your shadow profile.

For that, pick a few examples of people from your life who drive you crazy. Twist, turn, dissect, and analyse them with your closest attention. Then distill the list of the traits, narrowing it down to the particular behavioural or lifestyle trait that echoes with you the most.

Have you made this list? Great.

Now, glance through it and ask yourself these sorts of questions:

How could each of these traits help me achieve better balance in my life? What are the advantages of having that quality? Can any of them add to my skillset somehow?

If you are shy, then the “free-for-all” mindset of a lawbreaker might come in handy in many situations: when you need to promote yourself at work, defend your interests in an argument, look out for investments for your startup, etc. It could also be useful if dealing with dangerous individuals on the street because you will broadcast more confidence and readiness to strike back.

Afraid of public speaking? Remember escort chicks or untalanted showmen who don’t’ care about public opinions. They just do their job and get compensated for it. Recall those qualities allowing them not to be afraid of critics. By integrating them into your mindset, you will expand your array of choices and possibilities. They can serve as pillars helping act more confidently and be laser-focused.

Do you have some goals that you still cannot accomplish?

This is probably where you need to expand your mental arsenal with some extraordinary tools. So why wouldn’t you combine the skills and qualities you already have with your shady ones? And from that get a new fresh vision, insights, sources of creativity, as well as the new tools to get what you desire?

Wrapping it up

As we see, if approached properly, your shadows can provide you with an additional tool palette for your growth and greater life results. Acknowledging and releasing the shadows will help you get rid of stress caused by others’ behaviour.

You will become less sensitive to outside influences, and your emotions will become more under control. As a result, your concentration and attention will become more in touch with what’s really important for you.

“Consciousness is becoming aware of the many energies within us and accepting the essence of each quality. Exploring and embracing our darkness is the only way we can truly live in the light.” (Shakti Gawain)

The fewer qualities you have in the shadow the better. Bring them into light and make them serve your goals and best interests.

P.S. Thanks for reading and clapping me! That’s flattering :-)!

A few times per month I share some first-hand experiences or how-to guides, with a major focus on first steps in entrepreneurship and its traps that you can learn only in practice. Sometimes I also touch upon topics about negotiations, psychology and discipline, as these are strongly connected with starting up new businesses.

If you’re a beginning entrepreneur or just feeling stuck at where you currently are and looking for a pivot, then welcome to my blog.

You’ll get at least one valuable idea per post that you can apply in your life (I’ll try to provide more), as well as a dose of entertainment. You’ll receive a single email whenever a new article is published.

If you’re looking to get in touch, you can email me (see the form below), or say hi on Instagram (juliaplavnik) or LinkedIn.



Julie Plavnik

FinTech nomad. Web3 content strategist and writer. Ultra-spiritual Jew living in Bali.