Do you feel like you’re always grumpy?
That you never run out of people to dislike?
That if you tallied your most common phrases, “I hate people” would easily take the top spot.
If so, this guide is for you.
You should like people more than dislike them.
For many reasons:
First and foremost, you’re a human being. A social animal.
You’re essentially wired to connect with other people whether you’re five years young in nursery school or 35 years old and working in a gloomy office.
You shouldn’t be driving people away by developing genuine hatred toward them.
And second, it’s not good for your health.
Hate is bad for anyone’s well-being; it’s an emotion that shouldn’t stay long in your system.
If you’re thinking “I hate people!” all the time, you’re just stressing yourself out. For no good reason. At all.
But luckily for you and everyone else, there is hope.
It’s never too late to change your outlook on others.
So if you’re ready, check out these five practical ways to hate people less and like them more:
1) Identify the Reasons Why You Hate People
Here’s the thing:
You don’t just hate people for no reason.
You might think we’re wrong — that you simply hate people, that you were born to do so.
But here’s the truth:
Some people have a hard time identifying the main cause of their behavior.
Because there are so many things that influence our lives. We have our own family and friends. We get into romantic relationships. We have school and work.
We’re a member of various social units.
Then there are environmental and psychological factors. There’s traffic. There’s the psychological effect of a dreary office cubicle. Insufficient ventilation at home. Improper lighting. Tall buildings and no trees.
So here’s the first step:
Trace the origins of your hatred toward others.
What’s important now is determining the whys rather than the whats:
— Do you hate others because your friends do?
— Do you hate people because of what they’re doing?
— Do you have people because of who they are or what they look like?
— Is there a chance that you have social anxiety, which causes you to dislike others?
The first one is a case of peer pressure. You need better friends — ones who are more accepting and less like jerks.
If it’s the second one, you should consider approaching and talking to them about it.
Also, see if you have an irrational dislike toward certain habits or behaviors.
Who knows? It might be a psychological issue as well.
If it’s the third, think very carefully.
Perhaps your hatred stems from a case of discrimination or racism.
And if it’s about your anxiety:
You have to look further and understand where this social anxiety developed from.
Only by knowing the root cause can you truly change your ways.
2) Ask Yourself Whether You Really Hate Someone or Not
This sounds silly, but it works.
Try thinking of someone you hate.
Do you have someone specific in your mind?
Now, ask this to yourself:
“Do I actually still hate this person?”
Because sometimes, you’d be surprised to find out that you don’t really dislike them anymore.
But why is this so?
Well, there’s one common reason:
Your hatred was more about your fear of the unknown than the actual person.
We’ve all experienced it:
Being a transfer student in a class where everyone already knows each other makes us feel small. Similarly, the first day at work can get stressful because you don’t know anyone.
And the thing is:
Unfamiliarity makes us react in a variety of ways. For some, they respond by becoming hostile toward others.
But once you get to know the people around you, things start to change.
You feel less spiteful.
You become more comfortable with your social environment.
So while you might still think that you hate someone, it’s just that:
A mere thought.
With no supporting evidence in real life.
We get so caught up in life sometimes that we fail to reexamine our long-held opinions.
3) Practice Empathy
There are so many people in the world.
In fact, there are literally billions of us; you’re bound to bump into someone you don’t find okay.
But is the sheer size of humanity an acceptable reason to practice hate?
As it is, the world is already chaotic and filled with misery. National and global politics are a mess. There’s climate change to deal with. And a million other issues.
Don’t be a part of the problem.
Look, we get it:
Hate is easier to practice than love.
But this shouldn’t deter you from being on the right side of history.
Learn to be more empathic.
Be a genuine listener.
In other words:
Understand where people are coming from. Think from their point of view — stop making it all about you and your feelings.
Maybe they were impatient at work because they had a rough day at home.
Or that the person you want to hate behaves that way because they had the wrong role models in life.
Life isn’t always fair.
Some are dealt with bad cards.
Don’t hate people just because of a single, out-of-context Facebook comment.
And even if practicing empathy doesn’t stop you from thinking “I hate people”, it should at least lessen the number of people you dislike.
Empathy should lessen your tendency to hate.
It’s much better — for others and for your own well-being — to make friends and lift others up than make enemies and ignite the divide between people.
4) Stay Proactive in Dealing with Your Hatred
You’re bigger than your constant feelings of hatred.
What does this mean?
It just means that you are in control of your emotions and not the other way around.
You’re not a robot.
You’re not programmed to automatically loathe people who do something you don’t approve of.
It’s up to you to watch over your emotions.
Plus, consider this:
You’re a rational creature.
You have the capacity to see the patterns in how you react to other people and change your ways. Don’t let the same thing happen over and over again.
Don’t be a slave to your own emotions.
If you sense that you’re about to get stressed out and frustrated at someone, close your eyes for a second.
Count from one to 10, slowly. Let your mind relax. Stop it from getting clouded.
Chances are, you won’t be exclaiming “I hate people!” afterward.
Because you’ve prevented yourself from exaggerating your feelings. Getting annoyed for half a second shouldn’t lead to hating a person for the rest of your life.
Don’t let a bad moment ruin your entire day — or even a potentially good friendship.
5) Surround Yourself With Love and Happiness
The urge to hate won’t likely disappear completely.
Because life is uncertain.
You can’t ever accurately predict that life would be smooth sailing from here on out. So even if you want to only keep loving everyone, there will be bad times.
The good and the bad are what make life worth living.
It’s knowing that you lived your life.
Still, this doesn’t mean you have to love and hate in equal proportions.
Here’s our advice:
Invite more of the things that make you happy and fulfilled. Keep them close — literally and figuratively.
Do you have great friends and a loving family?
Spend more time with them.
Nurture these special bonds.
Does having a dog make you happy?
Go to your local animal rescue center and see if you can adopt one for yourself.
You see, here’s the secret about tackling hate:
You don’t have to fight it head-on.
Sometimes, all you really need to do is to allow more positive things in your life.
Find more reasons to smile and appreciate what you have. The more space love and happiness occupy in your mind and heart, the less you’ll feel the need to say “I hate people.”
How to Stop Thinking “I Hate People” and Become More Positive
The thing with hate is that it’s not an outside force.
It’s an emotion inside you, influenced by factors both internal and external.
In other words:
You’ve got full control of it.
Sure, all of these can be true at the same time:
— Your officemates are lousy
— Traffic is horrible every single day
— The waiters are snobbish and unfriendly
— Strangers on your train commute are rude
But if you practice empathy and try to understand why people act the way they do sometimes, you’ll find that not everyone deserves hate.
Likewise, knowing why you generally hate people in the first place is a great step toward changing your perception.
Identify the factors and fix them, one by one.
And last but definitely not the least, find more reasons to love your life.
Life is short, yes.
But that also means you have to be smart about where you spend your time.
Will you dedicate your precious hours to thinking “I hate people” whenever possible?
Or will you focus more on the lighter, better side of life?
Hate is a strong emotion.
But people are much stronger. Always.
For more inspirational articles on mindfulness and self-improvement, like Hack Spirit on Facebook.
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