Do you find yourself saying “I hate people” more often than you would like to? But have you ever wondered why you hate everyone? Let’s take a look at the psychology of hate and find out why you hate people.
Hatred is a natural instinct
Just like love, complex emotions like anger, envy and hatred are instinctive emotions that have an evolutionary advantage. It enables us to decide who we fight or flee from to keep ourselves safe. A 2013 study on the psychology of hate describes this negative emotion as “a deep and emotional extreme dislike. The objects of such hatred can vary extensively. Hatred is often associated with disposition towards hostility against the objects of hatred. And can drive oneself to extreme behaviors such as violence, murder, and war.” However, love and hate is not all that different.
A 2008 study titled Neural Correlates of Hate scanned the brains of 17 individuals while they looked at someone they hated and someone they had neutral feelings for. It was observed that “Viewing a hated face resulted in increased activity in the medial frontal gyrus, right putamen, bilaterally in premotor cortex, in the frontal pole and bilaterally in the medial insula.” Research also revealed 3 areas “where activation correlated linearly with the declared level of hatred, the right insula, right premotor cortex and the right fronto-medial gyrus.” In the right superior frontal gyrus, a single area of deactivation was observed.
Research shows that our brain has a unique pattern of activity when it comes to hate. In fact, hatred shares some similarities with romantic love. The study concluded “Though distinct from the pattern of activity that correlates with romantic love, this pattern nevertheless shares two areas with the latter, namely the putamen and the insula.”
According to a Scientific American article, “The areas of the putamen and insula that are activated by individual hate are the same as those for romantic love. This linkage may account for why love and hate are so closely linked to each other in life.”
Why do we hate?
When you start understanding the science and psychology of hate, you begin to realize that there are numerous complex reasons for your hatred towards people. In an ideal world, we would love and respect everyone we interact with. Everyone will be compassionate, empathic, generous, considerate and kind. We will accept each other’s views no matter how opposing they may be to ours and would learn from different perspectives. But reality is far from ideal. And this is perhaps why we often get upset, angry and annoyed with others.
Read also: 6 Ways To Stop Hating Women
“Sometimes we are fortunate to be surrounded by people we like, but other times we have to live, work, or interact with people we don’t like,” explains Chicago-based writer Ladan Nikravan Hayes.
The psychology of hate
Although it’s not possible for us to like each and every person we know and meet, it is also not necessary that we hate everyone. Yet, if you find yourself wondering how you hate people, then you need to take a better look at the psychology of hate and why we hate people.
Here are some psychological reasons for why you might hate people based on the psychology of hate:
1. You have high expectations
People, like me, who hate other people tend to have excessively high expectations from others. And these expectations dictate how we interact with other people around us. Being both realistic and unrealistic, our high expectations from others influences how we see and judge them. We expect others to understand us – our personalities, thoughts, emotions, moods, perceptions and motivations. We expect them to agree with our opinions and do things the way we want. And obviously, people fall short of our high expectations. This is what turns us into people haters.