I really don't know what I did to make her hate me, although I have a few hunches. She may have heard the things I said about her - it wasn't gossip, really, but they weren't the kindest words. Thinking they were said in confidence, I now realize they weren't. We were never friends; she was someone I once worked with who did a poor job, and it negatively affected me. At the time, I vented to those close to me (and maybe a few others as well).
She's not the first person who hated me. She's not the first person to make my palms sweaty and my heart race, causing me to hide behind walls and go a different direction. Hey, being married to a pastor, it pretty much comes with the territory. Someone doesn't like your husband, they usually don't like you either.
But in this case, I knew it was my fault. I didn't have to say anything to anyone else about her, I chose to. It made me feel better. I even got some people "on my side." I did say it wasn't gossip, didn't I? :) See, I have realized something: when someone hates me, there is usually something that I did, even if it wasn't intentional. I never meant to hurt her, but I did. I never meant for her to EVER find out that I didn't like her! But she did.
There have also been times that I have been hated and there was really was nothing I did to cause it. Sometimes people just don't like you. Maybe your personalities just don't mix, or they don't like the clothes you wear, or the role you play in their life. You do everything you can, but it doesn't work. They don't want to like you, and they never will.
However, much of the time, something triggered the negative feelings. Sometimes it was even something that we did. We should always be willing to ask ourselves, "Did I do something, even unintentional, to cause this?" Do we owe that person an apology, even if it isn't worth it? And the motivation for offering an apology shouldn't be so that we will feel better about ourselves for doing our part; it should be because it is the right thing to do. God calls us to be peace-makers. He also calls us not to gossip, even when we don't think it is gossiping.
There will always be haters. Yet I'm finding that there are things I can do to stop from getting more haters. The first thing I have learned is to just close my mouth when I feel like venting, because you just never know who is listening.
Proverbs 17:28 - "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue."