By Chris Seiter

Updated on June 29th, 2022

So you probably just got hit with the classic “I hate you” from your ex-girlfriend and now you’re wondering if it’s all over for good.

Today we’re going to dissect the psychology behind why your ex-girlfriend says she hates you and then I’ll tell you exactly what to do if your in this situation.

This is obviously a highly researched and talked about topic, but I’d like to add something new to the conversation based on my personal experience of coaching several men and women who have been exactly where you are.

Now what I’m telling you today isn’t exactly a way to get your ex back immediately after they said they hate you, even I can’t work miracles like that. But what I can do is teach you how to bring your ex back on a more neutral emotional playing field.

Let’s dive in.

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What To Do If Your Ex Girlfriend Says She Hates You

First things first, having an ex tell you they hate you is a LOT more common than you’d think so don’t just give up as soon as you hear that.

In fact, the whole reason I brought up this topic is that I researched what people are looking for online and an overwhelming majority were trying to figure out what to do after their ex said “I hate you”.

Honestly, there’s not much solid actionable content out there about this.

Sure you can find some random guesses that “sound right”, but today I’m approaching this topic through a new lens – from the experiences of people who have actually had their exes say they hated them but then went on to take them back.

You see one of the perks of having two widely successful ex-recovery websites (EBR and EGR) is that I get to interview success stories and use their experiences to find trends about what works best in different scenarios.

After all, they must have done something right if they moved from being told their ex hated them and never wanted to see them again to getting back together.

But before we get to what they did (and what you should do), let’s take a deeper look into why exes even say they hate you at all.

Why Do Exes Say That Hate You And Do They Mean It? 

Hatred is an extremely emotional response and a breakup is the perfect emotionally charged moment for hatred to come out.

With emotions all over the place, it’s highly likely that if your girlfriend says she hates you, she means it in that moment.

Now, this doesn’t mean she hates you forever, she just means she hates whatever you just did and this is her immediate response.

Ever hear the phrase “when emotions run high, logic runs low”?

That’s exactly what happens when your ex-girlfriend gets mad at something you did and tells you she hates you.

So don’t let such emotional responses discourage you because they’re often fleeting and believe it or not, there is a right way for you to deal with someone who says they hate you.

I’m going to take you down a little personal trip down memory lane with me so you can kinda see where I’m coming from on this.

If you just look at my podcasts now where I interview people you could never guess how nervous and scared I was before doing my first coaching call.

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I started this back in 2012 and I did not think I was good enough to give people advice over the phone.

Over the years, I learned and got more experience, and eventually, I took my first stab at coaching.

I’ll never forget my first day of coaching…

Five one-hour calls lined up back to back, ready to listen and advise people to the best of my abilities.

I came in with the mentality of asking some directed questions that would give me a clear enough idea about someone’s relationship and situation so I could give them advice. I had the usual mental list like:

  • When did the breakup happen?
  • Walk me through it all.
  • What are you doing after the breakup…

But some people weren’t really interested in a two-way conversation, or even in getting any advice.

These people would just spend the entire hour talking and telling me about their situation.

They didn’t want to be coached, they needed to feel heard.

All these people truly desired was someone to listen to them and validate their emotions and struggles – someone who empathized with them.

That’s what it all comes down to – empathy.

I recently read this amazing book called Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss, an expert negotiator from the FBI. Voss is one of the best in the game and his biggest claim to fame is using empathy in the field.

He found that when talking to a hostage-taker, you have the highest chances of success if you empathize with their world view.

The more comfortable they feel in talking to you, the more equipped you are to deal with them. This instantly reminded me of those few people who would spend 45 minutes of our allotted hour just talking about their situations.

They were all craving empathy.

They wanted to know they had someone on their side to share their pain.

Understanding empathy is important when navigating conversations about hate because they’re both linked together:

Hatred in relationships often coincides with a lack of empathy from the other side.

So when your ex-girlfriend says she hates you, she probably just hates the lack of empathy on your part. She feels unheard, unappreciated, and misunderstood.

So what do you do when she says she hates you?

Empathize With Her By Labeling Her Emotions

Now, what does that mean?

To take a page out of Chris Voss’s book, simply stating what you think is happening is a great step towards empathizing with someone’s world view.

When you label someone’s emotions, you acknowledge their world view and that makes them feel validated.

This is especially important if you and your ex-girlfriend are on different wavelengths, i.e, shes saying she hates you but you still love her.

The only way to bridge that gap is to label her emotions so she knows that at the very least, you know what wavelength she is on and you are trying to be there for her.

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Labeling negative emotions like hatred and anger can help diffuse them, while labeling positive emotions reinforced them.

Here are real-life examples and advice.

Say you just ended a no-contact period after your ex-girlfriend said she hated you, you’re talking again and things are looking good but you still have this lingering feeling that she hates you. How do you address that?

Here’s a simple, foolproof template to use if she gets emotional in a conversation with you:

“It seems like _____ is happening.”

So for example, if your ex-girlfriend is mad at you, you could say something like:

“It seems like you’re extremely upset because you feel I didn’t pull my weight during the relationship.”

Now, what does this do?

  • It shows her you’re actually willing to have an open conversation without getting defensive
  • It makes you seem empathetic because you’re looking at the world from her point of view and she will appreciate that
  • It gives her the chance to correct you or guide the conversation if you’re not totally correct in identifying how she’s feeling

If your ex-girlfriend truly is angry because you didn’t pull your weight in the relationship, she will feel validated when you say this because you get where she’s coming from.

By putting it on the table like this, you’re saying “look, I understand how you feel, let’s talk about it.” That way, the negative emotions are diffused and you can both have a real, constructive conversation.

Now looking at an ex-girlfriend who hates you and labeling her emotions obviously isn’t going to be enough to push you over the finish line. It’s all about the timing of when you do this and how you build conversations from there.

I can’t go into all the detail of how to master the timing and our processes of the value chain and value ladder here so I highly recommend you scroll around our blog and just start devouring all the free articles.

If you’re a bit impatient or want some extra help in knowing exactly what to do, you should look into doing my ex-girlfriend recovery program.

The program includes:

  • 30 different video courses,
  • 30 different PDF courses,
  • 30 different audio courses,
  • A discount on a coaching session with either me or one of my coaches, and
  • Access to our private Facebook support group.

So, there’s a LOT of cool stuff in there that will help you figure out the timing of when to label your ex-girlfriend’s emotions or have emotional discussions.

But here’s a CliffsNotes version:

The best time to label your ex-girlfriend’s emotions when she says she hates you is only AFTER she has exhibited anger.

That’s it.

She has explicitly shown anger and it’s not during the no contact rule.

This is important because you don’t want it to seem like you’re trying to interrupt her or bait her in any way. Let her anger take its course and then when she’s cooling off you can offer empathy by showing that you understand where she was coming from.

And honestly, this applies to everything in life. Having empathy and knowing how to negotiate is a basic life skill. Think about how many times you have to negotiate for something every day – maybe when you’re buying a car, or trying to extend a deadline at work.

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In my opinion, being a good negotiator will make your life SO much easier and I highly recommend reading “Never Split the Difference” to take your negotiating skills to the next level.


When your ex-girlfriend says she hates you, she probably only means it in that moment.

The best thing you can do is let her have that moment of anger and then empathize with her by labeling her emotions and truly listening to her grievances.	

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