Why Do We Hate?

Have you ever felt this intense feeling of disliking someone to the point you start hating them, and don’t understand why? If yes, then don’t worry, we’ve got it covered for you!

In this blog, we’re going to talk about the psychology behind hating someone. So without further delay, let’s get started!

It is often said that love and hate co-exist as one entity. The deeper the love, the deeper the hate. Love and hate are basic human emotions which every human feels. When we are betrayed, we channelize our hurt and anger in a much graver emotion called ‘hate’. It is easier to hate than let the hurt consume us. Some people are silent about their hate, while others choose to be vocal about it. It is common that basic human sentiments and psychological needs bring out the worst behaviours in some individuals and prompt them to say negative statements about another person.

In recent studies a well-defined relationship has been established between love and hate.The present study in the field demonstrated that whether similarity within romantic partners was associated with greater feelings of love in the absence of betrayal, and greater hate induced in the presence of betrayal. Furthermore, stronger feelings of love were associated with greater hate after the relationship was broken, suggesting a link between romantic love and hate. If one loves someone deeply and sometimes hates that person, the feeling of love may still be dominant in the context of betrayal. However, if one does not love that person, hate will be a much stronger feeling than love.

Some researchers say that we hate or reject what we do not like about ourselves. This phenomenon is associated with the term ‘projection’ coined by Sigmund Freud. In this context it implies that whatever we don’t like about ourselves, we project hate towards someone who has the same qualities as us. Meaning, we transform our hate towards ourselves into someone else because it is hard to hate oneself.

Other psychologists say that people who hate, lack self-compassion by claiming that “If we find part of ourselves unacceptable, we tend to attack others in order to defend against the threat”. Another reason as to why we hate is because it fills a void. Hate is an escape from much more painful emotions like helplessness, shame, inadequacy and hurt. Henceforth, hate is a product of our own insecurities that we can’t get rid of.

A person who is emotionally, mentally and psychologically broken or exhausted, will prefer to hate others rather than accepting his own hurt, as it is an easier way out. This phenomenon is called denial.

Now let’s talk about the repercussions of prolonged hate. Carrying hate in our heart and mind for a long period of time harms our body and mental health. Hate causes extreme negative emotions that release certain hormones which cause stress and anxiety. Continuous release of these hormones affect our body’s fight-or-flight response and damages our overall well-being. The heightened arousal of our fearful instincts causes us to dread future interactions with people we dislike. In turn, this conditions us into even further dislike of that person, which just validates our negative feelings. In this way, our distaste for another person becomes like a snake eating its tail: we dislike them because they make us feel bad, and we feel bad because we dislike them. The never ending vicious cycle goes on.

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