So often in life, I hear people complaining about others for the most insignificant reasons. It’s almost as if people go out of their way to act negatively toward each other. In the past, I thought this was just a natural thing for people to do. However, then I learned something important from my grandma.

I learned that her least favorite word was the word “hate.” Not some vulgar swear word, just a small, negative word that many people use on a day to day basis. Sure, it is one thing to say that you hate a type of food or a specific movie, but what she meant was that she never wanted to hear that word used toward someone else. She never wanted to hear anyone say that they hated someone else, whether it was just a joke or a serious expression. Ever since I learned this, I’ve always been more conscious about how I talk about other people. I encourage others to try this as well because spreading hate is only hurting those around us.

It can sometimes be so easy for negative words to slip out of our mouths without us even realizing it. There are positives and there are negatives in life, but no one wants to be one of those negatives. Most of the hatred I’ve noticed is someone disliking others for a minor thing that happened once or something that is insignificant overall. It may seem best to get angry at this person and ignore them if something goes wrong, but don’t go spreading negative thoughts about them. Don’t talk down to them and encourage others to have a negative outlook on this person as well. What you say can greatly influence others. Just because you don’t get along with someone at one point does not mean that they are a bad person or that other people won’t enjoy their company.

An easy way to ease any anger or discomfort you have with another person is to resolve the problem with them as soon as possible. An apology or discussion can go a long way. Just because you seem to disagree with someone a lot does not mean you have to hate them. Conflict can always be resolved. That doesn’t mean that you have to go and be best friends with them or anything, but at least you can settle any discrepancies that you have against this person. It is better to try and work things out than to go on acting like someone is horrible. Sometimes the root of the problem is easier to solve than you might think. Oftentimes, others don’t even realize that they are hurting you if you don’t speak up. Therefore, you should try your best not to jump to conclusions. All you have to do is open your mind to being kind to everyone, even those that you normally don’t get along with.

It’s not just about you spreading hate to others, but it’s also about those around you, too. If one of your friends is constantly talking down about other people, don’t let it get to you. Don’t agree with everything they say and don’t assume that every bad thing that comes out of their mouth is true. Try your best to put a positive spin on any hateful comments you overhear. It can be difficult for some people to fix their judgmental thoughts, but sometimes all we need is a friendly reminder to think kindly about others. Try your best to help spread positive thoughts around so that less people are feeling hurt from hateful comments.

Even if you’ve tried everything to patch things up with someone and you still feel uneasy about them, you still should try to keep any negative thoughts you have about them to yourself. Don’t try to get others to dislike someone just because you have issues with them. It can be hard to be quiet about these things sometimes, but it is better to talk calmly and reasonably about these problems instead of just letting your anger burst out. It may seem like a harmless topic to discuss, but imagine if someone was spreading hatred about you. You wouldn’t want others to be upset with you just because of a little thing that they overheard. The less hatred that is spread around, the better. Don’t let the negative things in life affect how you look at someone. Kindness can be spread just as easily at hatred if we let it, so always choose kindness first.