I hate people, therefore I hate myself.
It never occurred to me that you can globally hate people until my high school buddy showed me the ropes.
We were standing on the side of my house shooting the bull and chucking water balloons at cars. I mentioned that I hated my archenemy at school and he replied, “I hate people.”
“Yeah? You hate people just for being people?”
He launched a mini-tirade:
I hate people who hate me.
I hate people who love me.
I hate people who expect things of me.
I hate people who are hypocrites – and that includes everyone.
Not surprisingly, he was a miserable guy.
Why? Because we live in a sea of people. We’re social beings by nature. There is nothing anyone can do about this. We depend on each other for survival and prosperity from day one. We were created by people and learned to be people by watching people. Forget it. Other people are an intricate part of our existence.
Carrying the I hate people banner is a one way ticket to misery.
What do you do if you’re walking around chanting “I hate people?” Here are nine tips:
1. Work at growing up.
One of the surest signs of maturity is the ability to adopt another person’s point of view. Children don’t do this well. Adults should be able to. But growing up is optional, so many adults don’t spend time trying to understand anyone else’s perspective.
Hating people is a form of blind narcissism, because in so doing we don’t see that 1) we are people very much like others and 2) we need others for the basic necessities of life.
2. Find the people you don’t hate.
Do you hate absolutely every other individual on this earth? Think about it. Do you hate every child? Are you a hater of babies? You could be. Still, identify at least one person that you have an ounce of respect or compassion for.
Start here. Notice what it’s like to feel something positive toward another human being. Build on that. If you can respect one person, you can respect two.
3. Love other creatures.
Speaking of building on respect – if you running around with I hate people t-shirt, you may need some animals in your life. Do you love dogs? When you spend time with your dog, allow yourself to embrace the positive feelings. See? You’re capable of having those feelings. Build on that!
4. Identify the origin.
Most global hatred starts with one or two people who are objects of hatred. Then, the hatred generalizes and spreads to other people. It usually begins in the family. Children hate their parents, siblings – or learn to hate from their role models. Soon enough, a cycle of hatred has begin.
Where did you learn to hate? Maybe your role models were wrong. If you can psychologically separate yourself from those who taught you to hate, it will be easier to let go.
5. Narrow it down.
It could be that you actually hate just one person. That person takes up so much of your psyche that you spend a lot of time filled with negativity. The negativity then spreads. You see the object of your hatred in everyone.
Don’t mistake hatred of one individual – and what that one individual has done – with hatred of everyone.
6. See hating people as a problem to be solved.
Make a list of the problems hating people has caused you – and will continue to cause you for years to come. You could come to see hating people as a problem for you. This would be a step forward.
Now, you’ve got a problem to solve. This is better than being the victim of your own tendency to hate people.
7. Realize hating people is only self-sabotage.
Make a list of the problems hating people has caused you. You’re miserable. You don’t feel joy or compassion or respect. You have to pretend to be nice all the time because you’re not actually nice. You’re cut off from others, isolated in a prison of hate.
Hating people is self-sabotage. Learn how self-sabotage works and how to solve it within your own psyche.
8. Understand your distortions.
Most likely, you are exaggerating your feelings and other people’s faults. Stop it. Get real with yourself by eliminating the exaggerations so you can see things clearly. Most likely, you’re dealing with average human beings in your life. They aren’t as bad as you like to think.
This doesn’t mean you must cherish them. And it doesn’t mean you have to hate them either.
9. Eliminate the word “hate” – never say I hate people again.
Get smarter than that. You don’t have to love everyone. Just choose more specific words to describe your thoughts and feelings. You may feel hurt by someone. You may find someone’s behavior annoying. You may be put off by someone. Maybe you feel dismissed or disregarded. You might even feel grief for the loss of love you experienced.
Getting specific about the feelings surrounding your hatred or the more specific reasons you feel as you do may lead to actions you can take to resolve matters.