2. You are afraid of others
We are often afraid of people who are different from us. Even though you might not admit it, when someone shares different views, perspectives, opinions, beliefs, attitudes, mentality and even physical features, we tend to hate them. Why? Simply because they are different, says licensed psychotherapist and author Allison Abrams, LCSW-R. She explains “According to A.J. Marsden, assistant professor of psychology and human services at Beacon College in Leesburg, Florida, one reason we hate is because we fear things that are different from us.”
This is perhaps due to the in-group out-group theory according to behavioral researcher Patrick Wanis. In social psychology, the social group which you can psychologically relate with and identify yourself as being a member of is an in-group. Contrarily, the social group with which you can’t personally identify is an out-group. So, when you feel that there is a threat from certain outsiders, you will seek the support of your in-group. Hence, hatred is a survival mechanism as per the psychology of hate.
“Considerable evidence suggests that dividing the world into Us and Them is deeply hard-wired in our brains, with an ancient evolutionary legacy,” writes author Robert Sapolsky. He adds “Humans universally make Us/Them dichotomies along lines of race, ethnicity, gender, language group, religion, age, socioeconomic status, and so on. And it’s not a pretty picture.”
Patrick Wanis explains, “Hatred is driven by two key emotions of love and aggression: One love for the in-group – the group that is favored; and two, aggression for the out-group – the group that has been deemed as being different, dangerous, and a threat to the in-group.”
Read also: 6 Ways To Stop Hating Men
3. You are afraid of yourself
When we feel insecure about our own selves and are unable to accept our own flaws, deficiencies and imperfections, we start to cope with those insecurities by blaming and hating others. Clinical psychologist Dana Harron says that what we tend to hate about other people are the exact things we are afraid of ourselves. We use the targeted person or the group of people we hate as a blank canvas upon which we project those parts of ourselves which we refuse to acknowledge. It’s like we telling ourselves that “Nothing is wrong with me, it’s you who is terrible.”
This is known as psychological projection which is a defense mechanism we use subconsciously to deal with complex and difficult emotions. It includes projecting our undesirable feelings onto another person, instead of accepting or coping with such unwanted emotions. It is our need to project our bad aspects outwardly to see ourselves as good, says Allison Abrams, LCSW-R.
Following the psychology of hate, psychologist Brad Reedy explains “We developed this method to survive, for any ‘badness’ in us put us at risk for being rejected and alone. So we repressed the things that we thought were bad (what others told us or suggested to us that was unlovable and morally reprehensible) – and we employ hate and judgment towards others. We think that is how one rids oneself of undesirable traits,” but this strategy can often result in various mental health problems.
4. You lack empathy
Empathy is our ability to put ourselves in someone else’s position. When we have our own perception of how things should be and we are strongly set in our ways, then it can be difficult for us to accept and understand others’ point of view. We become incapable of feeling or understanding what others are experiencing from their point of view. Lacking empathy is another reason for hating people according to the psychology of hate.
Writer and editor Ladan Nikravan Hayes explains that one of the basic reasons why we hate and dislike people “is the aspect of human cognition to see the world through one’s own eyes. Even those of us who try to have a healthy tolerance of different viewpoints occasionally catch ourselves thinking: ‘How in the world can you believe what you’re saying?’ Disagreements can manifest as outright dislike.”
5. You lack self-compassion
When you lack compassion for yourself, you will lack compassion for other people as well. Loving kindness and compassion is the solution to hatred, according to the psychology of hate. When you practice self-compassion, you begin to accept yourself as you are and that empowers you to accept others without feeling the need to change them or dislike them.