When you wake up in the morning, what’s the first thing you think or feel?
Is there positivity about the day that’s about to unfold as well as gratitude for your many blessings?
Or immediate hatred and bitterness about every awful thing you’ve ever experienced and will ever go through?
If it’s the latter, you’ve probably given up on seeing the good in the world and are instead consumed by anger and loathing. But do you want to keep living this way?
If you’re reading this, you’re probably ready to understand why that hatred is festering in your chest and how to finally get rid of it.
Reasons Why You Feel So Much Hate
There are several reasons why you might be carrying a lot of hatred within you. The ones listed below are the most common, and they encompass issues that many anger-riddled people struggle with.
You’ve been through a lot.
Few people who have been through an extraordinary amount of suffering manage to escape from it unscathed. If others have put you through things you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy, it’s likely that you feel hatred toward the perpetrators.
This is especially true if what happened caused long-lasting damage or if you were unable to get proper closure about it.
For instance, someone who ends up paralyzed in a car crash caused by a drunk driver may not only feel hatred toward the driver, but toward anyone who drinks irresponsibly. The same might go for someone who has health issues thanks to their mother’s drug abuse during pregnancy.
Similarly, you may be carrying hatred in your heart because someone humiliated you and you can’t “pay them back” for having wronged you. This may have caused you to have a bad attitude toward life in general, but especially toward those who remind you of those who have caused you pain.
You’re frustrated by the injustice and stupidity in the world.
A lot of people have a great deal of hatred inside because they’ve had their hearts broken by human cruelty and stupidity over the years.
Some have witnessed atrocities committed against children and animals, while others feel a sense of hopelessness about the future due to the damage that previous generations have done to the planet.
It’s easy to feel hatred and resentment when one feels powerless. For example, knowing that local drinking water has been tainted by chemicals that none of the residents wanted or consented to having in the area could leave people feeling powerless to fix the situation.
After years of witnessing this kind of crap, it’s easy to be angry at the world. In fact, many of us have gone through periods of being absolutely livid at being trapped here. When one feels powerless, it’s difficult to imagine any other reaction.
You feel threatened.
Some people feel hatred toward others because they feel threatened or disgusted by them. We see examples of this in those who are xenophobic (an unreasonable fear or distrust of people from different countries, different cultures, or strangers in general) or homophobic (despising people who are same-sex attracted).
In some cases, this hatred stems from self-loathing—a person might have similar leanings but can’t come to terms with that fact. In other cases, they might have had negative experiences with the people they now hate, and thus they paint everyone of that background or preference with the same brush.
Alternatively, you may hate others who are (in your opinion) smarter, stronger, or better looking than you are because you’re afraid of losing your social position. After all, a new coworker whom you feel is “better” than you might steal your job and leave you homeless, or a new neighbor might flirt with your partner, and so on. In cases like this, the hatred stems from insecurity and fear, often because of past traumas.
You may even despise a topic or other people’s life choices without necessarily understanding why. Sometimes this is caused by one’s upbringing, and thus has been wedged in one’s subconscious from day one. For example, people of different social classes might despise one another, either for perceived shortcomings or assumed privilege.
This kind of early programming can also inspire self-hatred. If your family members constantly trash-talked people with fat bodies, for example, and you end up gaining weight for one reason or another, you might aim that loathing inward. You’ll be awful to yourself as a result, while also despising those whose body types mirror your own.
Your hatred is a distraction from something else.
If there are aspects of your life that you’ve been avoiding because they’re difficult or painful, then focusing on anger and hatred is an easy distraction. In fact, the hatred you feel for one thing may be a stand-in for fear or resentment you have for something else entirely.
For example, you might be feeling overwhelming anxiety about environmental disasters and societal collapse. Since these very big feelings are too much for you to handle, and the situations are beyond what you’re able to control, your subconscious transmutes the terror into something tangible that you can chew on.
Maybe you feel hatred toward people who eat meat because you feel that their dietary choices are contributing to climate change. Or you hate yourself for having to drive to work because of your vehicle’s emissions.
People who are drowning in difficult emotions often find that they either project or redirect said emotions into more accessible, tangible areas because they’re easier to handle.
It’s rather like taking a bite out of a sandwich that you can chew on rather than trying to cram an Olympic-sized donair into your face all at once. The former option is manageable, while the latter will overwhelm and potentially choke you.
How To Let Go Of The Hatred In Your Heart
If you feel that the hatred you’re carrying within you is causing damage—either to yourself, to those you love, or both—then it’s a good idea to try and let it go. The techniques you choose may differ from another’s choices, but they can be adapted to each individual.
1. Try to recognize that everyone is on an interconnected journey of evolution.
You might be full of hatred and loathing because you’re frustrated by all the stupid crap people do that ends up harming others. Maybe you get waves of rage every time you see some jackass throw trash on the sidewalk or scream at their kid.
Instead of getting angry, you can try to withdraw a bit and think of all life forms as components in a giant clockwork. Every cog turns another wheel, and each wheel serves a purpose.
That sidewalk trash might feed a stray dog, who’ll save a family by barking when he sees smoke coming out of their house. And the kid who gets yelled at might grow up to be a therapist who can help countless other people heal from their traumas.
Some might say, “everything happens for a reason.” This might be difficult to wrap your head around if you aren’t someone who usually trusts in faith, but consider all the difficulties you’ve experienced thus far.
We’re all shaped by our experiences, and the things that hurt or bother us can be used as fuel to drive us to make the world a better place.
Now, switching to a mindset of “everything happens for a reason” may work for some people, but if you have experienced traumatic things such as abuse, assault, or natural disaster, this approach may not help you (though you can still give it a try). Because there is also the truth that the reason things like that happen is because some people do truly horrific things and/or chance can play out badly for you.
2. Transmute the anger and hatred into positive action.
This might sound like some kind of “New Age” post that turns up in your Instagram feed surrounded by glitter effects, but it goes much deeper and more sincerely than that.
When you feel angered by something—such as an injustice toward an innocent being—your instinct might be to unleash your full fury on whoever you feel deserves it. You might feel that your hatred will melt away once you’re standing in triumph over the wreckage you’ve destroyed.
The problem is that rage like this never solves anything. Have you ever punched your computer or kicked your car when you were frustrated with it? How did that work out for you? You probably had to work that dent out of the door or replace your computer, which just exacerbated the anger instead of making you feel any better.
Hate and anger are powerful emotions that can sit and fester within us unless they’re released. While unleashing them on inanimate objects might feel better for a moment, there’s usually a worse negative outcome in the long run. Try channeling those emotions into forward momentum instead.
Use the emotions you’re feeling to fuel something positive and life changing. If you’re seething with rage because you’ve witnessed animal cruelty, donate to animal rescue organizations or volunteer at a shelter.
Are you furious because the city council cut down some of your favorite trees? Go plant some new ones in a protected area. Over time, the hatred you’ve directed elsewhere will transmute into something far more worthwhile.
For example, I was very small for my age when I was a child, and I ended up getting picked on and beaten up all the time. As you might imagine, I was enraged at the injustice of their behavior and my own diminutive size and perceived weakness.
Rather than going full victim, I used that anger to inspire me. I started exercising regularly, including weight training and martial arts classes. I was fortunate enough to have great teachers and discovered that rage and anger weren’t my masters, they were my fuel.
As a result, I learned how to release those emotions in a focused and healthy manner. Best of all, I discovered that I didn’t need to shout or lash out due to the anger I was feeling. I had outlets to release it, and thus could remain calm in even the most difficult circumstances. This has served me well over the years, as you might imagine.
No matter what you go through, you can transform your experience into something positive.
3. Remember that holding onto hatred only hurts you in the long run.
Another way of phrasing this is that you can’t injure someone else by swallowing poison.
Holding onto anger and resentment isn’t going to punish the one who wronged you. They’re doing their own thing and might not even think about you anymore. The only person who gets hurt here is you.
Take some time to analyze yourself and your actions from an outside perspective. Then ask yourself if you want to keep adding to the hate in the world or if you should try to release it. Furthermore, determine whether you can help other people alleviate their own hatred and anger now that you have firsthand experience of it.
One of the less discussed and more practical aspects of forgiveness (or at least letting go) is that you’re no longer consumed by whatever it is in the past that’s embittering your life. We’re all houses and vessels in a very real sense. Our bodies carry our consciousness around and whatever that consciousness is bent toward has a very marked and dramatic effect on our body, our mannerisms, the way we speak, and what we think and say.
Holding onto hatred and anger can even cause us harm over time. It can damage our immune systems, cause cardiovascular damage, reduce lung capacity, increase testosterone, and cause headaches and digestive problems among countless other health issues.
4. Help others (or at least, don’t harm them).
Going through a process like this can give you a greater understanding of what drives people to behave in certain ways and why they end up in difficult circumstances. As such, you can change how you respond to various situations.
Once you understand why people behave as they do, you can determine the best ways to react. There is also potential for you to help them out of the pit they’re wallowing in.
This is one of the reasons why some of the best therapists are people who have been to hell and back. They know what they’re talking about. Even if you don’t want to be a psychotherapist or life coach, you can still use some of your time and energy to lend a helping hand to those who are hurting.
You’d be amazed at how much good you can do in the world if you seek to heal hatred rather than helping to spread it.
Even if you don’t have it in you to be an active healer, at the very least you don’t have to cause any additional harm. This can be especially true when it comes to letting go of hatred toward people who have done you wrong. If you want to move past the hurt that they caused you, an effective way of doing this is to wish them joy.
It’s more than likely that they caused you harm because of whatever they were going through at the time. That doesn’t mean that their behavior toward you was okay, but rather that you just don’t want them to live rent-free in your head and heart for the rest of your life. Wish them joy, and then turn your attention toward healthier, more wholesome pursuits.
5. Practice compassion (for yourself as well as others).
This expands upon the previous suggestion while also leading into the next one.
If your hatred is focused on yourself and your perceived shortcomings, try to be more gentle and patient with the person you see in the mirror. Imagine saying and feeling all those awful things to the people you love the most. It’s unlikely that you would do so because you don’t want to cause them pain, right? Then why do it to yourself?
Being cruel to yourself doesn’t do any good. Some people might believe in the “tough love” approach, feeling that constantly criticizing themselves will somehow inspire them to do better. But nothing good ever comes from cruelty.
Even if you manage to change aspects of your life that frustrate you right now, you won’t feel a sense of accomplishment afterward. In fact, you’ll likely resent yourself just as much for being such an awful taskmaster. You might even self-sabotage during the process or backslide from whatever it is you achieved through bitterness and rage.
Similarly, if you’re feeling hatred toward someone else for their foibles, try to put yourself in their shoes. We often have expectations of others based on what we’re able to do, or how we function, and then we get enraged when they fall short of our established mark.
After all, we can do all these things with ease, why can’t they? How are we supposed to rely upon someone who continually drops the ball when they should be just as capable as we are?
No two people are alike, and as such, they won’t have the exact same capabilities. Focus on the things that people do right, rather than everything they do wrong, and that goes for yourself as well.
6. Determine what you can do for yourself to change your perspective.
You may be feeling hatred because you’re tired and angry about being stuck in a particular situation. When we’re surrounded by discomfort and irritation, it’s easy to lose the ability to see any good in what’s going on around us, let alone in other people.
This is rather like a cantankerous old fisherman who curses the river for not yielding any fish, but he refuses to change location, try different bait, or use any different techniques. Meanwhile, just a bit further downriver, he sees plenty of people having a wonderful time, laughing and catching entire shoals of tasty fish.
Naturally, instead of taking a cue from them and changing position, he curses them and hates them for their success.
Try to avoid ending up like that old fisherman. You can choose to stop being bitter by making some different choices, even if you bristle at the thought that YOU need to change instead of the world around you adapting to better suit your preferences.
If things are going terribly, then re-evaluate all the reasons why they may be unfolding that way. Although your immediate response might be dismissive, or that the universe hates you, there may be tangible aspects that you can alter to better effect. For example, if the tool you’ve been using up until now hasn’t been effective, try using a different one.
When you allow hatred to take over, you abdicate your personal choice and freedom. In essence, you give your personal sovereignty and allow these emotions to rule your life for you.
As a result, you’re bound to behave badly and may refuse to adapt to life as it unfolds in a conscious, present way. Instead, you let this river of misery drag you along, smacking you on the rocks as you go.
7. Learn your own trigger patterns and then change the tune.
Most of us have behavioral patterns that are triggered by specific choices. We might default to those choices because they’re comfortable for us, but that doesn’t mean they’re good for us (or anyone else, for that matter). This often happens to people who drink or do various drugs, but it can also apply to any less-than-beneficial life choice.
As an example, let’s say that someone has been working at the job they hate all day, and they follow their usual routine of getting awful, greasy fast food as “comfort chow” on their way home.
Logically, rationally, they know it’s a terrible idea. It tastes amazing (briefly), but then they have horrible indigestion for the rest of the night, and after doing this several nights for a few weeks, they also have to deal with self-loathing in addition to their upset stomach.
The same can be said for people who drink too much in the evening to deal with their crappy life circumstances, then struggle with hangovers and nausea the next day, only to repeat the process the day after.
If you can recognize why you indulge in these kinds of self-harming actions, you can adjust them. This might involve changing personal behaviors, but it may also include changing your social network.
For instance, if you find that you keep running into an ex at a pub that you and mutual friends hang out at all the time, you may drink more than you intended in order to cope with the emotions that arise from seeing them.
What would be the logical change to make here? Stop going to that pub.
Of course, this can be easier said than done if it’s the only pub in the village, but there are always alternative options that will be available to you.
8. Address the underlying issues (especially if you’ve been avoiding them).
As mentioned earlier, many people have an enormous amount of hatred in their hearts due to circumstances or subjects that they don’t feel capable of handling or processing. They seem to hate everything and everyone, and they constantly lash out in all directions.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to know how to release this hatred when you’ve actively avoided looking at the cause for some time. Maybe you have a subconscious block on it because you know that what’s really troubling you is too damaging to try and work through alone.
In situations like this, where there doesn’t seem to be a clear or easy answer, one of the best options is to book some time with a therapist. We often get mired in our own habits and have difficulty seeing past them; whereas, someone who’s outside of the situation may be able to offer different perspectives.
There’s no shame in asking for advice and help when you need it. After all, you wouldn’t hesitate to get someone’s help if you needed a broken bone reset, right?
There’s an odd notion in Western culture that what doesn’t kill you simply makes you stronger… that’s not always true. Yes, it’s great to test yourself and toughen up to difficult circumstances, but it’s a different story if you’re being ground down by crappy situations day in and day out.
That isn’t a test, nor does this experience help to build virtue. It’s a grinder, and there’s only one result to being mashed down into one of those.
9. Step into your own personal power.
Many people feel hatred because they feel powerless. Maybe they’ve gone through awful things that have damaged them (as discussed earlier), or they’re dealing with other aspects of life that they have no control over.
For instance, someone who has to cope with physically limiting conditions like arthritis or multiple sclerosis might feel hatred toward those who are more able-bodied as well as their own bodies for “betraying them.”
Instead of turning their energy toward any positive pursuits, they wallow in all the things they can’t do rather than attempting what is within their reach.
We all have gifts and abilities that we can tap into that go far beyond our limitations. If your physical form is giving you grief, put your energy into creative or mental skills instead.
In contrast, if you struggle with ADHD or other neurodivergent issues that don’t allow you to absorb information, try your hand at crafts instead.
When you feel hatred toward everything you’re unable to do, whether due to someone else’s influence or a genetic crapshoot, you’re limiting yourself.
10. “They know not what they do.”
When I find myself getting angry and bitter about other people’s stupid behaviors, I remind myself that they really don’t know any better. Earlier we discussed how some of our hatred springs from the expectation that they “should” know better, and “should” behave or choose differently, but that’s based on our own personal experiences.
If they haven’t been through similar circumstances, then they don’t have the insight to recognize the right course of action.
Alternatively, some people behave badly because they’ve been pushed into harrowing situations and do whatever they feel is necessary to survive. They might feel that robbing another person is the only way that they’ll be able to eat that week, and they don’t consider how stealing someone else’s money may affect that person and their family.
Similarly, someone who only experienced unhealthy relationships in the past might repeat the same behaviors that they were raised with. Hypothetically, they “should” have been able to learn from the mistakes and pain that they grew up with and choose different paths, but many people repeat unhealthy, abusive cycles even if they think they’re trying to avoid them.
This is because, on a subconscious level, many people recreate situations they’ve been in before in order to have a better outcome this time.
In situations like these, it’s easy to be swept up in hatred and resentment toward people whom you think should “do better.” However, that’s a lot easier said than done for the majority of the population.
Ultimately, these folks hurt themselves more than they could ever hurt anyone else.
If you’re dealing with a ton of hatred in your heart, know that you don’t have to allow it to consume you. As we’ve touched upon here, there are ways to let it go so you can live a more peaceful, contented life. More often than not, turning your hatred and bitterness toward positive action can re-empower you enough to be able to let some of that poison go.
Alternatively, if you’ve been badly hurt in the past, your therapist might give you some firm techniques that can help you finally move past the damage so you can start living well, out from underneath the shadow those people left on your soul.