Hate has always been a hard topic to discuss. It is usually seen as negative and can be deemed as an unacceptable emotion, making us feel like a bad person for an emotion that is valid. Even hearing the word can trigger inner anger and fear inside of us all. And can immediately put us on the defense. But, we are all human and as hard as it is to admit, each one of us has probably expressed some sort of hate in our lives. It can be a really dangerous place to stay if we aren’t careful. However, I think most of us have good intentions and are not even aware when we may be practicing hate or negative behavior toward others.
It’s easy to play the blame game
When we are struggling, whether it’s problems at work/school, low self-esteem, conflicts in our relationships, etc., it feels much better to blame someone else than to take accountability for the role we personally play in our own problems. By redirecting our pain to something external, it can help us feel energized to blame or hate others. It solves our own discomfort by putting the responsibility on someone else. Eventually, a negative pattern establishes and it feels easy to continue to blame and/or hate others.
We are lonely and seek connections
All of us have a desire for friendship and belonging. Sometimes, it feels much better to connect with someone who shares our negative opinion toward something or someone. It makes us feel supported and appreciated to be connected (even if it’s through negativity). When we don’t have to do or be anything special that can feel refreshing.
Our own insecurities
When we are not as sure of ourselves as we’d like to be, we will often compare ourselves to others. When we feel like someone else is better than us or has strengths or traits that we don’t possess, it can lead to hatred or negativity toward others.
It’s easier to hate from far away
People say and do things online that they aren’t comfortable doing in real life. We also find it easier to talk about others when they are not present. It’s a lot easier to hate from a distance than when you are close up and in person. When we express our negative opinions through social media and/or engage in gossip, it can desensitize us, making it easier to hate.
The misconception that our opinion equals fact
Each one of us has opinions that are based on our own experiences. Sometimes, our opinions are based strictly on our emotions. Our emotions lead to thoughts and we can incorrectly believe that all of our thoughts are the truth. If we believe it to be true in our own mind, it must be true for everyone. Therefore, we can begin to believe that our opinion is fact. Over time, this can lead to an “I am wrong and you are right” mindset. This can create hate and discontent toward others.
Self awareness is critical
Hate can be a very dangerous place. If we aren’t aware of where our hate comes from, we can get stuck there and it’s an emotion that we are all capable of feeling. I’m not saying that it’s okay to inflict harm on others or intentionally support hurtful or negative behavior. What I am saying is that it’s important to recognize the parts of ourselves that may be negative. We can’t let our own negativity control us. When we can begin to understand where those feelings come from, we can manage our emotions in a much healthier way.