How to stop hating a person: advice from a psychologist

Hatred, according to psychologists, is an individual’s anger that is directed at an external object for some subjective reason. This feeling haunts us all our lives and sometimes manifests itself in a very uncontrollable way, spoiling our relationships with people around us. If you think that hatred always has a good reason, then this is not true, sometimes it arises subconsciously and has a detrimental effect on the first impression of an outsider who in reality does not deserve to be hated.

So what is hatred, how is it formed in the human mind and how to overcome it? Let's figure it out.

Why does hatred appear?

The reasons for the appearance of this feeling are a mystery to psychologists. Of course, if a person experiences such an emotion in relation to someone specific who has offended him or caused him pain, who has prevented him from achieving his goals, then the origins of hatred are obvious. There are no ambiguities when this feeling arises in relation to duties, events or phenomena that are unpleasant to a person, but he is forced to come into contact with them.

But what about hatred for something that people have never directly encountered in their lives? Where does the categorical rejection of other cultures, foreign traditions or habits come from? Psychologists cannot answer these questions unambiguously.

Thus, this feeling can appear both as a consequence of the conflict, that is, for obvious and objective reasons, and in the form of an irrational emotion provoked by fears, lack of information, propaganda, cultural traditions of society, features of historical development and much more. For example, if a family holds certain views on something, then the child “absorbs” them from infancy.

Is misanthropy possible in the digital age?

Misanthropy exists in a paradigm of thinking in which the question of the true nature of man is still important: what is he really like, bad or good? In the 21st century, in the world of big data, where behaviorism and the concept of post-truth come to the fore, such a formulation of the problem seems simply impossible.

A person’s self-valued existence is replaced by self-presentation on the Internet, he turns into an object or (at best!) into an actant.

Health insurance companies collect consumer health data through fitness bands without our consent in order to develop the most successful marketing strategy. The dystopian story from 2015's "Black Mirror" about the latest technologies excluding misanthropic misanthropes from society has become a reality in China, where social ratings are about to affect the access of an individual with "unacceptable" behavior to the benefits of life.

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First, the story of the serial killer Fritz Honka forms the basis of a novel by Heinz Strunk. Then the work was filmed by Fatih Akin, and the film entered the main competition of the 69th Berlin Film Festival. And finally, terrible events become real news - a St. Petersburg professor is caught from the Moika with a backpack in which the sawed-off hands of his beloved are found.

Looking around, you come to a disappointing conclusion: in order to allow yourself the luxury of not being a misanthrope today, you need to have an almost religious faith in a person.

How to cope with this feeling towards a specific person?

How can you stop hating a person whose very appearance makes you want to do him harm? It is especially difficult to cope with yourself in situations where you have to deal with an object of hostility and disgust every day.

Typically, in such circumstances, the following are of paramount importance:

  • the ability to cope with your feelings, not show them and reduce the intensity of emotions;
  • interaction with the object of hatred;
  • conflict resolution.

The ability to cope with your feelings is not at all getting rid of them. This should be understood and the fight against hatred should not stop at acquiring the skill of hiding and suppressing it. A destructive emotion, artificially driven into the farthest corner of consciousness, will not disappear anywhere. It will constantly “undermine” a person, just like water stones, and will influence all his decisions and actions, even if he himself does not realize it.

For example, a woman who hates her ex-husband or boyfriend will intuitively avoid places where she might encounter him, or, conversely, only visit them. At the same time, her choice of stores, entertainment venues or events is influenced only by hatred, and not by rational arguments. That is, destructive emotion limits possibilities.

Accordingly, hatred must be completely eliminated. But you definitely need to start this difficult process by gaining control over your feelings.

When the inner misanthrope comes out

Little children look at everything with kind, naive eyes. Even external aggression that causes negative emotions is forgotten over time. Once you reach adolescence, the child begins to feel like an individual with his own views on life. He has already learned critical thinking and is able to evaluate the actions of other people.

It becomes a real revelation for him that the world is not as friendly as it seemed in infancy. It contains injustice, hypocrisy, betrayal, and cruelty. This is disgusting to teenagers with a heightened sense of truth.

Watching films with a negative plot, observing the development of modern society with its foundations, which are sometimes worthy of condemnation, the younger generation reacts painfully to such manifestations.

Not only politicians, but also close people can generate the beginnings of a misanthrope in the mind of a youth. If the actions of relatives are not always consistent with the interpreted moral norms, the child perceives this as a betrayal. If loved ones are capable of this, then what can we expect from the whole world?

It’s good when a teenager grows into a fighter for justice. The unstable psyche of a child does not always withstand such tests. As a result, the person becomes bitter and begins to hate everyone. If he becomes a hermit, it's not a big deal. It's worse when a misanthrope turns into a sociopath.

How to cope with surging emotions?

It's very difficult to stop hating. How to cope with attacks of anger during which you literally take your breath away? After all, it is not always possible to simply let off steam or throw out your feelings directly on the object of hatred.

The following will help reduce the intensity of negative experiences and curb them:

  • distraction from thoughts, switching attention;
  • creativity, because hatred can be expressed in drawing, in music;
  • sports: running or boxing, a person splashes out his anger;
  • deep breathing, counting to yourself to 10 and exhaling forcefully during a sudden attack of anger;
  • writing stories or keeping a diary, which describes in detail the sensations experienced and their reasons;
  • frank conversation with a loved one;
  • seeking help when possible.

It is difficult to predict what exactly will help curb hatred. This is largely determined by who exactly the person experiences strong negativity towards. If the object of hostility is a work colleague, then it makes sense to seek help from your superiors and achieve a division in the schedule or a transfer to another room.

But what about those who hate their own family members? The best options in such a situation would be sports, painting or music. If we are talking about hatred between brothers or sisters, then if you have a normal relationship with your parents, you can turn to them for help.

You need to understand that taking control of your negative emotions is an extremely difficult task. There are no universal ways to stop hating. What helped one person will be useless to another. Sometimes it is possible to cope with negative feelings only with help from a psychologist.

How to communicate and interact with a hated person?

The most difficult thing in the fight against hatred is the need to cope with the feeling in conditions of forced interaction with its object.

What to do in such a situation? Psychologists advise the following:

  • limit communication with the hated person as much as possible;
  • control your feelings, in case of an “acute attack”, apologize and leave the room, leave an event or meeting;
  • ignore all attacks directed at you, no matter how difficult it may be, do not give a reason for them;
  • do not incite or pick on the object of your hostility, do not provoke conflicts;
  • set boundaries of interaction and never violate them.

If the person towards whom you feel acute hostility has not earned it in any specific way, then you can quite easily try to get rid of your own hatred by starting to communicate closely with him. In what situations is this appropriate? When there is hatred that does not have clear and objective reasons, for example, in the presence of racial prejudice, rejection of a culture or way of life that differs from one’s own. However, before you try to get to know a person better, you need to understand whether you can control your own hatred.


Let's continue to look at the definition of the word "hate". Psychologists and scientists identify another term. It's called "social hatred." What is this phenomenon? Some believe it is a feeling of disgust and hostility experienced by a group of people. In this case, the object that causes negative emotions does not play any role. Others say that the definition of enmity, hatred of social groups is called precisely that, that it is directed at a specific group of people or at a specific person as a representative of a given community. The target of hostility can be any socially relevant characteristic, such as race, gender, nationality, age, sexual orientation, and much more. In the field of sociology, the term “intolerance” is used to denote this kind of hatred. There is also the most narrow understanding of such a subject. In some cases, social hatred is called class hostility. Racial and religious strife are excluded.

Social hatreds are based on differences between specific groups, and they are given an inevitable leading role in the conflict. Lifestyle, different appearance, cultural values ​​are most often the reason for inciting serious confrontations. It is interesting to note that the degree of these differences does not play any role. Anger between close, related, culturally similar groups, for example, peoples, states or religious denominations, manifests itself more fiercely than, for example, between communities that are strangers to each other.

How to resolve the conflict?

If a certain situation serves as a reason for hostility towards a particular person, then it should be resolved in order to stop hating. How to do it? Unfortunately, there is no single, universal pattern of behavior that can be used to get out of a conflict situation. Each conflict is resolved in its own way, taking into account the peculiarities of its occurrence, the interests and desires of the warring parties, as well as the circumstances surrounding the escalation of the situation.

The following helps resolve conflicts and, accordingly, get rid of hatred:

  • searching for a solution to an existing problem;
  • recognition of the character traits of another person;
  • identifying and eliminating the true cause of hostility;
  • understanding the actions of the object of anger and the motives that motivate them;
  • focusing on finding common ground rather than seeking sympathy;
  • frank discussion of the situation in a calm and constructive manner;
  • assistance from third parties, mediation of people respected by both warring parties;
  • the ability to admit one’s own shortcomings, mistakes and mistakes;
  • willingness to apologize if there is guilt.

When trying to end the conflict and get rid of the feeling of hatred that destroys the psyche, there is no need to strive for friendship with an unpleasant person or try to begin to sympathize with him. You shouldn't rush from one extreme to the other.

Misanthropy according to Lucian is a creative force

The first misanthrope in history was named Timon, and he was from Athens. This character, undoubtedly important for European culture, appears in many works not only of ancient literature, but also of the literature of New and Contemporary times.

One of the earliest texts in which the figure of the Athenian misanthrope appears is Lucian of Samosata’s dialogue “Timon, or the Misanthrope.” The plot underlying this work is widely known.

The rich man Timon generously gifts his friends, convinced of their sincerity and devotion, and having distributed all the treasures, he discovers that the flatterers, greedy for profit, have abandoned him. Disappointed by the betrayal of his treacherous comrades, Timon begins to hate the human race and goes into voluntary exile.

In search of roots for food, the former nobleman discovers a treasure sent to him by Zeus and declares a new life attitude:

“Let me have a name - the most pleasant of all - Misanthrope - Misanthrope, and let the distinctive features of my behavior be gloom, severity, rudeness, anger and unsociability.”

This state of mind of Timon is justified by the plot, and the unfair attitude of people towards him evokes sympathy even among the host of gods. This irreconcilable misanthrope intends to direct his anger in a destructive direction:

“If I see someone dying in a fire and begging to put out the fire, I will put it out with tar and oil. <…> He would have received what he deserved.”

But the dialogue can also be interpreted in a symbolic way. In Lucian's "Timon" a whole suite of human vices is shown, and the misanthrope's revenge on the human race occurs on two levels - real and allegorical.

The literary device used by the author is known to modern readers from fables: physical reprisal against traitors symbolizes deliverance, the cleansing of humanity from envy, flattery, greed and other base manifestations of our nature and gives hope for rebirth.

This is how the creative potential of a seemingly destructive phenomenon is revealed. Misanthropy gives impetus to personal transformation: by hating human vices, it is easier to get rid of them.

The author of the book “The Monster: Outlines for the Philosophy of Escape from Humanity,” Ulrich Horstmann, a German professor and specialist in English literature, discusses the constructive component of this phenomenon. He perceives misanthropy as a certain type of thinking:

“Forays into forbidden, untolerable, closed areas of consciousness,” says Horstman in one interview, “would not cause condemnation if not for those who pragmatize the situation, perceive it as an imperative, a call to action.”

It is about the effect of a misanthropic way of thinking, which can become a kind of warning and force a person to abandon destructive actions.

How to get rid of hatred towards your family members?

How to stop hating your husband, brother or sister, parents? It is difficult to talk openly about such feelings even with close friends, not to mention trusting psychotherapists who know nothing about the situation in the family.

First, you need to stop blaming yourself for the emotions you experience. You need to abstract yourself from feelings and try to understand what exactly caused them. As a rule, the reasons for hatred that suddenly arises after many years of living together are negative emotions accumulated in the soul, such as:

  • grievances;
  • disappointments;
  • irritation caused by everyday habits.

Often the reason for hostility towards a once loved one is a difference in personal development. The loss of common interests, differences in views on life, and a change in priorities by one of the spouses also plays an important role.

If the whole point is an accumulated heap of negativity, then resolving the situation is very simple. There is no need to rush at your spouse with accusations and hysterical screams; you should calmly explain to him that your patience has run out. It is quite possible that the spouse had no idea that some of his habits or actions were causing negative reactions. If for some reason a frank constructive conversation is impossible, you should turn the solution to the problem into a playful game. For example, if your husband does not close the tube of toothpaste, you should leave a new note above him every evening with a reminder and a comic prize for completing the task.

The main thing in the fight against intra-family hatred is to contain negativity, adequacy and respect for your partner. We must not forget that a spouse may not have the brightest feelings about something. Accordingly, you need to be prepared to respond to criticism and to find a compromise.

How to stop hating everyone? Sometimes it happens that disgust arises in relation to all relatives and friends. In such a situation, it is worth looking for the reasons for anger and malice not in them, but in yourself. It is possible that the person is too tired or needs solitude. You can’t fix everyone around you, so it’s worth going on vacation or a weekend to have a good rest and recharge yourself with positivity. The fulfillment of simple desires, which are always put off, also helps to cope with irritation.

However, you should understand that not everything can be fixed. Sometimes hatred is quite natural and is caused by violence, both physical and psychological, from one of the family members. If this is the situation, you should not fight your feelings, but seek professional help. Of course, it is necessary to end family relationships.

Jonathan Swift: People are depraved, greedy, stupid and stink.

“I love John, Jill and Jack, but I deeply hate humanity,” wrote another avowed 17th-century misanthrope, Jonathan Swift.

The Irish satirist sent the protagonist of his novel “Gulliver's Travels” not only to the land of Lilliputians and giants, but also to the noble horses of the Houynghnmas, who kept disgusting little Yahoos as pets.

In a fairyland, Gulliver comprehends the true human nature: people are depraved, greedy, stupid and stink.

In the “Satirical Pamphlet,” the projector concerned with the public good, on whose behalf the story is told, even calls for cannibalism. He proposes that the Irish poor sell their children to be eaten by representatives of the upper classes of English society:

“One child can make two dishes for lunch if guests are invited; if the family is dining alone, then the front or back of the baby will be a completely acceptable dish, and if you also season it with a little pepper or salt, you can successfully eat it even on the fourth day, especially in winter.”

Because of such lyrics, which contemporaries sometimes perceived too straightforwardly, Swift gained a reputation as a misanthrope.

The historical context sheds light on the reasons for the satirist's misanthropy: he was horrified by the suffering people inflict on each other. Thus, after the release of the 1652 Parliamentary Act “On the Settlement of Ireland,” all residents of this region who participated in the anti-English uprisings were completely deprived of their land, as a result of which tens of thousands of people died of starvation.

Swift, suggesting that his compatriots, in his characteristic grotesque measure, simply feed their children to the English, exposes the cynicism and cruelty of the newly-made landlords.

Historical and literary paradox: the one who drew public attention to real manifestations of misanthropy became known as a misanthrope.

How to get rid of hatred towards your ex-partner?

How to stop hating your ex? The question is very rhetorical. First you need to understand what exactly is the reason for this hatred. What did a person do to deserve such treatment, what did he do?

If a woman is ready to list specific offenses that have consequences, then she should fight not with feelings of hatred, but with the problems that the actions of her ex-partner gave rise to. For example, if a person is hated for assault, the results of which are visible every day in the mirror (scars, the consequences of uneven healing of cracks in the skull, unregenerated hair follicles, etc.), it is these defects in appearance that need to be corrected. It is impossible to let go of the situation, forgive a person and forget about his actions if you constantly look at their results.

In the event that a girl is not able to name a single specific offense, but lists many shortcomings of a man, the reason for hatred is irrational and is located in the female mind. She needs to be found. Perhaps it's all about resentment towards the person? Envy that he was able to start a new relationship? Is it that the woman feels guilty for the breakup? Having found the cause of negative emotions, you need to deal with it. After this, the hatred will go away.

Of course, you can't concentrate on the past. You should live in the present. In order to get rid of intrusive memories, you need to find interesting activities for yourself, get a dog, walk, communicate with people, learn something new, play sports. If possible, you should travel or change jobs.

How do misanthropes differ from sociopaths?

Phlegmatic - who is he, brief description

Some people equate both concepts because the types are based on hatred. If a misanthrope fences himself off from people, thereby showing his hostility, then the behavior of a sociopath manifests itself in aggression towards others, in the desire to cause pain, ignoring all social norms.

Thieves, rapists and murderers suffer from sociopathy. They have to some extent the traits of a misanthrope. But this does not mean that the opposite assumption will be true. When a person considers himself to be a hater of people, it does not mean that he will become a sociopath capable of robbing, raping and killing.

How to get rid of hatred towards all humanity?

How to stop hating people around you? This is a question that requires consultation with a psychologist. Hatred of humanity is a very serious disorder; it can be either an independent specific phobia or a symptom accompanying neuroses and other pathologies.

Of course, hatred of people is not always a sign of mental illness. It can appear after severe nervous shocks, be a consequence of stress, or develop due to a series of insults, humiliations, and insults from others.

It is impossible to understand on your own what exactly such hatred is and cope with it. The help of a specialist and sometimes medication is required.

The destructive potential of misanthropy according to Shakespeare

The destructive beginning of misanthropy is shown, perhaps, in the most famous adaptation of the plot about a misanthrope - in William Shakespeare's play “Timon of Athens”:

I'm a misanthrope, I hate people. If you were a dog, I could love you at least a little.

Even when the former nobleman regains his fortune, Timon's hatred of people does not weaken.

If the protagonist of Lucian of Samosata limits himself to only thinking about the evil human nature and the desire to harm his own kind, then Shakespeare’s hero actively contributes to the destruction of humanity: he gives money to Alcibiades to wipe out Athens from the face of the earth, and bribes a courtesan, persuading her to infect everyone with syphilis.

Such is the case with classic superheroics of our time - a typical villain such as Batman's adversary, the Penguin, undoubtedly continues this tradition.

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