When we see someone who even looks different from us, there is preferential activation of the amygdala, which means the brain region associated with fear and aggression flares up. This visceral, emotional reaction can spark a long-term pattern of dislike when it’s validated by action: if you perceive that someone has hurt you, your fear of them becomes rational.
Our negative feelings toward someone get stronger as bad experiences with them pile up, and these negative thoughts trigger the fight-or-flight response in our bodies, making us think “I hate people” or a specific person.
Hate is a simplified method for the difficult task of managing difference. There are differences that matter to ourselves and our community, for example: race, religion, language. People that manage difference well are often brave and curious, supported by a sense of safety from which they can explore the mysteries and uncertainties of life. There are times when the differences around us become too much to bear. These differences threaten our sense of self and our notions of group identity. Such differences become even more acute when they coincide with trauma, violence, and/or humiliation. Rather than accept the instability of a potentially unknowable difference, we choose to hate.
People seek a specific and identifiable outlet for our generalized feelings of anger. Hate allows us to define clearly who is in our group and who is not. When a person or group feels tension, and they don’t know how to resolve it, they seek out a scapegoat, express their hatred for it, and then expel it from their world. Once the scapegoat is removed, the person or group experiences a feeling of unity and peace. That is, until the next time tensions rise and a new scapegoat needs to be found. The key to is that it replicates each time there is tension, and that tension is expressed by hating the scapegoat.
Because hatred is energizing. When we feel frustrated, helpless, or disempowered, hating others becomes a way to climb out of those difficult feelings. We can redirect our personal pain to an external, well-defined target. One who feels empowered, motivated and successful has no need for hatred; they have plenty of energy already. For one who is stuck in listlessness, though, hatred can be a shot in the arm.
How to Deal with People You Hate
Successful people are able to handle problematic personalities they have to interact with. Here are tips to empower yourself to deal with people you hate.
Emotions can be like a genie. once you let them out of the bottle, it’s hard to get them back in. If know you’ll be dealing with someone who make you feeling hate, take a deep breath and quiet your mind. Try to let it go. Remember, you don’t have to eat the words you never say.
Identify what bothers you about the person you hate.
Get clear about what’s driving you anger. Stick to the facts and do your best to keep your emotion out of it. When you identify what bothers you and dig a little deeper to go beyond the behavior, you can arrive at a strategy that helps you deal with the person and their behavior in the most positive way possible.
Just keep in mind. You are in Control
If someone is getting on your anger, it can be difficult to see the bigger picture of why you’re angry or annoyed or what can be done about it. However, you should never let someone else limit your happiness.
Be mindful of your body
Spend time paying attention to your body when you are angry or hate with someone: How do you feel your emotions coming on? Is it pressure in your chest, tension in your muscles or throbbing in your jaw? All of these physical symptoms are examples of common responses to anxiety or anger-producing situations. And all of these symptoms also have physical ways to relieve or lessen them.
If you finding yourself saying, “I hate people,” ask yourself why that is and what you can do about it to make sure you’re happy. Remember that you have control over your feelings. Don’t let someone gain power over you just because they momentarily darken your day.