Anger and hatred are such pure feelings.
It’s funny listening to people that have never experienced that level of anger before. They always talk about how awful it feels and how awful you must feel because you’re angry. These people don’t seem to understand that anger and hatred make a confusing life and world so simple.
And frankly, if you’re the kind of person who enjoys being angry, loves conflict, wants to experience the adrenaline that comes with testing yourself against other people, well, there’s no better drug.
But, and there’s always a but, here’s the problem with anger and hate. Anger and hate make you blind. It makes you blind to a lot of wonderful things about life, the harm you’re causing to your loved ones, and the damage you’re causing to your life. That’s not even counting the ugliness you put into the world that negatively affects the targets of your hate.
That doesn’t feel good if you aren’t actually a terrible person. But if you were a terrible person, you probably wouldn’t be trying to find answers on not being so hateful and angry. Chances are pretty good you feel guilty about it. You may feel ashamed that you were sucked into whatever chaos and anger that pulled you into it.
And, of course, if you tried to express that to other people, they may try to shame you because that’s just kind of how people are. So don’t dwell in that shame. You may be chastised because of how you acted or felt. Still, the alternative of staying in that mindset is certainly not better. Don’t expect to get much sympathy from random people. In fact, it may just be better to hash it out with the privacy of a therapist that shouldn’t judge you.
We’re going to look at reasons people feel hate, what to do about it, and self-management techniques. You may find that self-management may not be a powerful enough tool to overcome your angry feelings and hatred. That’s okay. It’s a large problem and may require the help of a mental health professional.
That being said, let’s get into some reasons why you may hate everything and everyone.
Speak to an accredited and experienced therapist to help you address the underlying causes of your hatred. You may want to try speaking to one via BetterHelp.com for quality care at its most convenient.
1. Unresolved trauma that is still affecting you.
Unresolved trauma can be the source of negative feelings, depression, anger, or hatred. You may feel rage at the person or situation that harmed you.
Maybe you feel hatred toward an institution that failed you. For example, if you were in a natural disaster, you may feel angry at the government or aid agencies that didn’t provide the kind of help that you needed.
Some combat veterans come back from their deployments with hatred and anger toward the people they were fighting from the stress of combat, losing friends, and whatever they had to do in the line of duty.
Child abuse, domestic abuse, sexual assault survivors, or victims of crime may rightfully feel anger and hate for the people that wronged them.
Trauma comes in many different flavors. Its core is a negative emotional experience that left a lasting mark on the way you move through the world.
Solution: Trauma typically needs to be addressed with the help of a qualified mental health professional. You may require medication to help temper off the extreme emotions and provide some stability to address and heal whatever you experienced.
In addition, therapy will likely be suggested and should be explored. Yes, your professional’s suggestions may sound stupid or silly. Still, give their suggestions a solid try before writing them off. Sometimes the things that sound most stupid are what end up helping us.
2. General or social anxiety problems.
Many people don’t realize that anxiety and anxiety disorders can cause anger issues. Anxiety causes over-stimulation in a person’s brain, which can project outward in many ways.
Many people with anxiety try to build consistency or predictability in their lives. If that predictability is disrupted, it can cause the person to be angry at life or the people that caused the disruption. That anger can boil into hatred because the person is just looking for a little peace, but life will not let them have it!
Solution: Anxiety problems will need to be addressed with a mental health professional. You will want to get to the root of the anxiety to find the right treatment to get it under control. Suppose it’s just anxiety because the world is stressful and life is hard. In that case, there might be self-management practices that can help, like meditation or creating a peaceful space in your life. Unresolved trauma or an anxiety disorder may require therapy or medication to bring it under control.
3. Stress from life, work, or responsibilities.
The world is a difficult place. Resentment and anger toward one’s station in life can easily foster hatred. That hatred makes those people into “useful idiots,” to borrow a phrase from economist Ludwig von Mises. These people are blinded by their ideological beliefs, anger, and hatred to be manipulated into pushing an aggressive agenda.
It’s easy to be angry and even hate people that have it better than others. That hatred is a potent weapon for bad actors to steal your time, your money, and your attention away from making your own life better. Anger is one of the easiest ways to keep people engaged and tuning in to social media and the news.
Solution: Always ask questions. A big reason that this kind of anger and hatred can flourish is because so many people just blindly accept authority. Various news outlets have a clear bias toward putting out their version of the “truth” instead of fact-based reporting. They focus on the extremes, the spectacle, because that’s what the general public tunes in for. And when it comes to ad revenue and sponsorships, more eyes mean more money.
Work to reduce the stress in your own life. Are there responsibilities that you can take off your own shoulders? Can you start saying “no” to more things that other people try to put on you? Are you a people-pleaser who constantly stretches yourself too thin because you don’t want to let others down? What kind of stress is that causing in your life?
4. Ideological differences that separate you from others.
The “us vs. them” mentality fuels anger which fuels hatred. You could almost think of it as a rolling wheel. The more anger you feel, the more hatred it fosters, the angrier you get, the more hatred it fosters, and on and on the wheel spins until you decide to stop it.
Ideological differences aren’t always because of maliciousness, though. Sometimes they are just the result of ignorance. For example, there are plenty of rural, white communities all over America where no people of color live. Or, if they do, only one or two families may live there. It’s not unusual for white folks from these communities to change their views when they go to college or move to a different city. They can actually meet different people and see past the rhetoric and BS that the actual racists in these communities push.
And speaking as someone that grew up in one of those areas, it’s a hell of a lot more common than people realize.
Solution: Test your ideological differences. Expose yourself to different people and their way of life. Go do some volunteer work in a community of people that may make you uncomfortable. Talk to some people that live a different life than you.
If it’s political, talk to some actual people from the other side of the aisle. Don’t listen to the talking heads and influencers purposefully stoking anger to control and influence their useful idiots. What you’ll likely find is that most people want the same thing: peace, happiness, and the ability to conduct their life without being messed with.
5. Burnout and exhaustion.
Burnout and exhaustion can feed anger, resentment, and even hatred. Part of it is how a person not in a good situation needs to live their life. Poverty is extremely stressful. Hell, even being middle-class can be stressful right now. People are buried in debt, student debt, living paycheck-to-paycheck, and struggling to keep their heads above water. People working multiple jobs don’t feel like they’re making any progress. And, if you’ve shopped for houses or tried to rent recently, prices are completely unreachable and unreasonable for many people. In some areas, a one-bedroom apartment is commanding $1500+ rents.
The problem with burnout and exhaustion is that they completely tap out your emotional reserves. A person who has reached that point will respond with anger to problems, be easier to sweep up into negative rhetoric, and fuel hatred. It’s a big problem that our society faces.
Solution: Good question. Many options that would help alleviate burnout and exhaustion just aren’t realistic. Therapy might help. Looking for a better-paying job may help. Taking a break or a short vacation may help. But what do all of those things have in common? Privilege. They all assume that you have the time and the money for mental health help, that better jobs exist where you live, that you can afford to take time off and have the money to take a break. Practices like meditation and stress management may help, but that stuff doesn’t keep a roof over your head.
6. Jealousy or envy of other people.
We’ve already touched on socioeconomic factors; let’s look at something more personal. Jealousy and envy of the qualities of other people may be the cause of your dislike and hatred of them. Perhaps it’s someone who is better looking than you, smarter than you, or has some other qualities that make you see that person as somehow superior to you. You may perceive them as a jerk, even if they’re not, because your own anger and judgment are causing you to pigeonhole that person into your perception of who they are. Envy and jealousy add nothing to your life and only serve to rob you of peace and happiness.
Solution: Discard your perceptions and judgments of these other people. Focus on the fact that other people have traumas and difficulties in life, even if they appear to have all their stuff together. And if they aren’t experiencing it now, they will sooner or later. That’s just how life is.
Even in a best-case scenario where you grow up in a loving home, transition to a loving relationship, have a stable life and career – the people you love will die sooner or later. People get sick. They lose jobs. They make terrible decisions and sometimes do terrible things. That’s life. No one is above it. Everyone will be touched by it sooner or later.
You don’t need to judge another person’s life. When those thoughts creep in, push back against them with reminders that every person has their strengths and weaknesses, even if you can’t see theirs.
Ready to seek professional help for the hatred you feel? Speak to a therapist today who can help you overcome it. Simply connect with one of the experienced therapists on BetterHelp.com.
7. Self-hatred for shortcomings you see in yourself.
Self-hatred is a powerful, painful thing. It’s hard when you look in the mirror and can only see ugly things about yourself. Maybe you don’t feel like you’re smart enough, good enough, or worthy enough.
The setbacks of life can be easy to take personally. For example, if you do poorly in college, you may beat yourself up about not being smart enough to do that. It could be a bad relationship with a romantic partner or your family. You may find yourself telling yourself that you are not good enough or worthy enough for loving, healthy relationships.
Whatever you feel those shortcomings are, they aren’t necessarily true or fair assertions of who you are as a person. Besides, everyone has shortcomings and things they wish they were better at.
Solution: Realistically, this is a problem that may be beyond self-help. You may need to seek help from a therapist to get to the root of the issue and heal it, rather than just bandaging over the wound. In addition, these problems can often come from dark places, like surviving child abuse, domestic abuse, or sexual assault. They will be better able to help you identify where these feelings are coming from to resolve them.
8. Focusing on the negative.
You can’t grow positive thoughts in a negative mind. That’s a sentence that took on a whole new weight and meaning for me, the writer, while I was working to address my severe Bipolar-depression. You can’t grow positive thoughts in a negative mind. The world is awash in brutality, negativity, pain, and suffering. It’s hard not to give your focus to the spectacle of negativity.
But the simple truth is that focusing on the negative only fosters more negativity. And no, I definitely didn’t want to do things like think positively or be around happy people. Most of the time, it was just a stark, glaring reminder of the peace and happiness I lacked. Thinking positively and being around happy people mostly just made me more bitter, angry, and resentful.
Solution: The truth is that we need to focus less on the negative. Take in less negative news, stop doom-scrolling on social media, and stop sticking your toes into terrible things. Get some help from a trained professional if you find that you can’t reduce that negativity. It may be that you’re dealing with depression (which can cause anger and hatred) or some other issue that is fueling it.
And here’s a piece of advice that can help lighten the load: if you can’t be positive, just try to not be negative. It is easy to jump on the spiraling negative thoughts and ride them into oblivion. The truth is that you don’t necessarily need to judge either way. Let things be as they are. Just let it sit.
9. Not being able to forgive or let go.
People can be terrible at times. They do things that leave lasting damage, suffering, and pain in their wake. That kind of harm leaves trauma, and trauma can foster rage and hatred.
Sometimes it’s not that severe, though. Maybe it’s someone that did you wrong in a way that they experienced no justice for. Plenty of people just love the saying, “What goes around comes around.” But that isn’t true. There are plenty of terrible people out there who will face no justice at all for the ugly things they did. Some will, some won’t. But what does that mean for you?
Solution: Forgiveness is a powerful tool for self-healing. Now, don’t mistake forgiveness for an apology. They seem like synonyms, but in this context, they’re not. In this context, forgiveness is about accepting the way things are, the flaws or terribleness of that other person, and not dwelling on the past. It’s about not holding onto that grudge because it will only harm you, not the person you’re holding it against.
Sometimes, people do terrible things because they don’t know any better. They are ignorant of their own nature, watching out for themselves, and don’t realize how they are harming others. On the other side of the coin, you have genuinely evil people who thrive off the harm and suffering they cause. And that has nothing to do with you at all. That’s because there is something seriously wrong with them.
10. Feeling the need to win.
Are you a competitive person? Maybe an overachiever? Do you feel like you must win at everything you do? And if you don’t win that you are somehow less than? Does it make you angry? Does it make you hate the person who succeeded… or yourself for not being good enough?
This kind of behavior often stems from childhood trauma or neglect, particularly when a parent or guardian withholds love as a punishment for a failure. That kind of behavior reinforces the child’s need to be productive, do something, and do well at it so they can earn love and affection. This, of course, is toxic. It’s toxic because love and affection aren’t a currency to be earned.
Solution: Addressing trauma is typically not something you can undertake independently. You will likely need to see a therapist to get to the root of this kind of competitive behavior, the negative feelings you experience, and find a way to heal it. By addressing those issues, you should reduce the anger and self-hatred you feel by not winning. To lose is not the end of the world when you realize it’s not reflecting who you are as a person.
11. You have poor boundaries.
Boundaries teach other people how you want to be treated. That seems like kind of a questionable statement, doesn’t it? How hard is it for people to be respectful, considerate, and kind? Well, turns out it is mighty difficult. You see, most people are out there in this world for themselves. They aren’t thinking about you at all. Even the people you love and care about may not have you on their minds nearly as much as you do. And that’s why boundaries are so important.
Boundaries inform other people how you want to be treated and what you are willing to accept. Now, here’s a secret bit of information that you may not realize if you don’t have good boundaries: the kind of people you want in your life will want to respect your boundaries. They won’t want you to be uncomfortable or unhappy. If they want a relationship or friendship with you, they will act respectfully.
But the people that want to use you or take advantage of you? They hate boundaries. They want to tear your boundaries down. And that’s the reason that a person with no boundaries that starts to enforce boundaries will often lose people around them as they go. The people taking advantage of them no longer see them as useful, so they move on to someone they can manipulate and influence.
You cannot rely on other people to do right by you. Self-hatred and resentment are fueled by being taken advantage of and disrespected. You may find yourself asking questions like: why am I not good enough? Why isn’t this person good to me even though I do so much for them? What makes me so terrible?
And the answer is that it’s not about you at all. It’s about the way that person chooses to move through life.
Solution: Boundary setting can be difficult when you first get started with it. You have to define the boundaries, be willing to set the boundaries with other people, and enforce them when people push up against them. You do this by deciding what is acceptable to you, clearly communicating it, and then conflicting with the person if they try to push the boundary.
And rest assured, people will most certainly try to push your boundaries because most people are out for themselves, first and foremost. That means you must be careful about what you put out there and how you interact with the world. Boundaries are a good thing to work on with a therapist if you find yourself struggling with enforcing your boundaries or any guilt you might experience.
12. Undiagnosed or uncontrolled mental illness.
Undiagnosed and uncontrolled mental illness can feed the flames of hatred, anger, and resentment. Those kinds of extreme emotions may actually be symptoms of mental illness in many cases. Honestly, there isn’t a whole lot to say about this one. Anxiety disorders, mood disorders, trauma disorders can all contribute to extreme emotions and emotional instability. If you can’t nail down why you’re experiencing hatred, or you’re having a hard time with extreme feelings, then it may be worthwhile to be screened for mental illness.
Solution: If you are having difficulty conducting your life because of your moods, emotions, or actions, it would be best to talk to a certified professional to get the appropriate help. Mental illness can be managed in many different ways. Some people take meds, others use therapy, some use lifestyle changes, and many use some combination of those things. The best part about seeking help is that putting a name to the problem can help you find solutions to that problem.
If you’re having a hard time with hatred or extreme emotions, the best thing you can do is to reach out to a professional so you can get to the cause of the problem. Unfortunately, many of the suggestions people offer for dealing with such a powerful thing as hatred often only address the surface-level problem. If you don’t address the deeper problem, it will just keep resurfacing until you do. And usually, it’s worse every time it resurfaces.
Still not sure how to work on and tame your hatred for everyone and everything? Talking to someone can really help you to handle whatever life throws at you. It’s a great way to get your thoughts and your worries out of your head so you can work through them.
Speak to a therapist about it. Why? Because they are trained to help people in situations like yours. They can help you to uncover the core reason(s) for the hate you are feeling and provide effective and workable solutions to dissolve those negative feelings and replace them with something more neutral or even positive.
BetterHelp.com is a website where you can connect with a therapist via phone, video, or instant message.
While you may try to work through this yourself, it may be a bigger issue than self-help can address. And if it is affecting your mental well-being, relationships, or life in general, it is a significant thing that needs to be resolved.
Too many people try to muddle through and do their best to overcome issues that they never really get to grips with. If it’s at all possible in your circumstances, therapy is 100% the best way forward.
Here’s that link again if you’d like to learn more about the service BetterHelp.com provide and the process of getting started.
You may also like:
- How To Stop Being Bitter: 10 Steps To Overcome Your Bitterness
- 5 Reasons Why You’re So Angry At The World (+ How To Stop)
- 5 Ways To Not Be So Easily Offended By Everything And Everyone
- 7 Simple Steps To Not Let Things Bother You