General Question

le_inferno's avatar

How can I stop hating everyone?

Asked by le_inferno (6194points) January 8th, 2010

I don’t like people. I’d say about 90% of the people I meet, I dislike. Hell, I probably don’t like you. This is not because I think I’m better than everyone, necessarily, but I simply cannot relate to most individuals. I only have genuine respect for few. As a result, I’m often angry, bitter, and cynical. Though this is a fundamental part of my personality, I recognize that it’s not the best approach to life. I think it’s instinctual and pretty hard to change, but I’d appreciate any suggestions for how to tone down bitterness and give people a chance without immediately judging them.

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50 Answers

frdelrosario's avatar

Stop judging yourself. The world is a reflection of yourself.

When you’re old like me, you can get back to thinking everyone is an idiot.

pjanaway's avatar

You’re exactly like me, I hate most people. But I just deal with it and pretend to like people. Must be a psychological thing.

filmfann's avatar

Everyone is different. We all have had our trials and troubles, our difficulties and disadvantages. Some have been lucky, and many have not.
If you had different parents, you would certainly have turned out different.
Give everyone a chance to show what they are, and don’t feel like they have to meet every criteria you set. Life is about differences, and we all have had struggles.

Ivan's avatar



Learn the difference, idiot.


frdelrosario's avatar

I used to hate everyone. Now I hate people who misuse homonyms.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

What an interesting question. Not that I’m going to attempt to answer it, because you’d probably hate the answer anyway. But it’s interesting, anyway.

Pandora's avatar

@CyanoticWasp That was cynical and very amusing. LOL

john65pennington's avatar

I sincerely hope you do not hate me, i have enough enemies already. i have always said that a person that hates everyone else, in reality, also hates themselves first. i have seen this many times when people attempt to commit suicide. once you talk to this person and discover their real reason for their attempted suicide, you learn they hate themselves, the world and everyone in it. this may not be the case with you, but have you looked in a mirror lately? do you like what you see? i hope so. its hard to believe that one person can just automatically hate other people without a reason.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Thanks, @Pandora. Cynical and Very Amusing is my middle name. Or should have been. And could have been my user name, if only I had thought of it. (And were amusing enough to not have it be a hollow self-mockery. Which really could have been my middle name.)

le_inferno's avatar

@john65pennington @frdelrosario I disagree. See, I’m content with myself…my mentality is that the problem is not me, but everyone else. I think the negative feelings stem from others not matching up to the standards I hold myself to. If that makes sense.

elizabethmae's avatar

This is a great question.

Pandora's avatar

@le_inferno I think most people who feel that way simply may never have had a close relationship and don’t understand how they work. In your statement you said you are angry and bitter, so jealousy may be what is keeping you from getting close to people. I would think maybe some professional counseling may help you out if you really desire to change this aspect of your personality.

Pandora's avatar

@CyanoticWasp, if you did than you would pigeon hold yourself. Cynical and Amusing doesnt’ fit every situation. And people would expect it from you every time.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Pandora, they don’t already?

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Is it a case of not having the patience to have to interact with people, deal with their unique strengths and weaknesses, respond to their needs or do you actually hate most people.

Hating is an active process that damages you more than those you hate. It drains you of energy and diminishes your experience of life.

I suspect you don’t know enough about most of these people to be able to hate them.

You may just prefer to limit your interactions to a small number of people with whom you would prefer to deal.

What do you thing is so horrible about that?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I have Aspergers Syndrome, diagnosed late in life, and I know how you feel. I tend to describe my feelings as aversion or at best indifference to people in general. I realize that this is due to my inability to read any meaning from such things as body language, facial expressions or eye contact. The vast majority of people irritate me in F2F situations and I avoid all unnecessary social contacts. I realize that this is my problem and not the world’s.

You might consider having yourself evaluated for autism spectrum. I felt the same way that you did before I was diagnosed. If nothing else, the diagnosis gave me a sense of perspective and understanding. What I was interpreting as hatred was actually my inability to understand nonverbal communication.

Supacase's avatar

@le_inferno my mentality is that the problem is not me, but everyone else

I have a friend who finds herself in one crummy relationship after another and, of course, it is always the guy’s fault. Except, it isn’t. Each relationship had one thing in common – her. You see where I’m going with this?

It can’t always be the other person. If it always seems it is the other person, the more likely reality is that you are the problem.

DrMC's avatar

My favorite saying is everyone who comes brings us joy, some as they come, and others as they leave.

Along these lines is

If you get up, and your third patient is a real asshole, his family agrees, as do your staff, then that day your third patient was an asshole.

If your get up, and suddenly everyone is an asshole, well…

Maybe it’s not them.

It’s happens. So many reasons. First, take some rest and get that “issue” in your mind, then out of your mind. You have to find some way.

My simplest answer is you’ve made the million dollar realization.

I’ve noticed the most evil cranky old men get wonderfully pleasant after they are on antidepressants.

I love this question. Your mind is expanding.

Psychologist can be very helpful for this sort of thing. You don’t have to be nuts to benefit. It takes a lot of counseling time to turn things like these, even if they will.

I’m hoping you wont think I’m poking fun at you, there’s a reason I know so much about this issue. : )

Haleth's avatar

@le_inferno There are two possibilities that I thought of right away, but they’re just suggestions. I’m in no way trying to say that I know for sure why you hate most people. You could have a personality disorder like Narcissism or Antisocial disorder. I can’t diagnose you, but it is very common in many of these disorders to have a lack of empathy and trouble forming relationships with other people. Empathy is very important to liking and understanding other people.

Another possibility is that you don’t have any psychological problems, but you’re awkward in social situations. If you go into an interaction with another person expecting to fail, it can make you feel defensive and hostile toward them. If I feel uncomfortable around someone, I start to resent them and dislike them, and maybe you feel the same way. Anyone would feel bitter and cynical if most of their interactions with people don’t go right. People tend to go two ways over this- feeling worthless and depressed, or feeling superior to all the people they didn’t get along with, and being angry.

Sampson's avatar

Well fuck you too.

Soubresaut's avatar

In a way, this reminds me of me in reverse…
So I’m going to give you the advice I got, only in reverse.

I hated myself, was too hard on myself, judged myself too hard.
And it didn’t feel like I was being too hard. And not being that way was scary, unfamiliar. Something in me just kept ticking off negativity.
And some of the negativity I thought was toward other people, and I tried really hard to push that down. Which is why I think these two things may be similar.

I don’t know if you know why you act this way? Whether something happened earlier to give you a negative view, or if it’s just the way you’ve kinda always been.
Either way.
See, what I was told to do was, when I looked at myself in the mirror, instead of picking myself apart, force myself to give myself a compliment. Even if I didn’t believe it… but the goal was to try and get myself to believe it.

Because you don’t want to hate people, you just feel like you do, right? You just feel something really negative always talking to you, about other people?

And if not, if I’m totally wrong, well, then I don’t know….

But what I would suggest, is try doing what I did, in reverse. When you see someone else on the street, a stranger, force yourself to see something you like about them. Even if to begin with it’s just their choice in shoes. That’s a start. When you run into someone you know, try and give them an honest compliment.
Also, try taking a closer look at why you don’t like so many people. What is it about them? Is it really such a big deal, that you can’t stand them at all, can’t stand any part of them?

The really annoying thing about humans is, we all have our faults. And while we all know this, it’s hard to look past…. I know! I want everyone to be perfect, even though I know that’s unreasonable. But it doesn’t have to be as hard as it’s become for you.
Good luck.

J0E's avatar

Everyone makes immediate judgements on people they meet, the key is to look past those and actual get to know the person. Then decide if you hate them. It also can be an attitude thing. You have to be willing to like someone.

Rarebear's avatar

They probably don’t like you either.

eeveegurl's avatar

Mmm. I understand this. I always look angry as I’m walking down the street. In fact, once a while, I get scared that certain people might become people I have to work for one day (especially if I’m near my place of work) and then I start to tone down the meanness.

With that said, I’m still always polite. Being mean and being polite are two different things.

mammal's avatar

Perfectly understandable, most people are phony, snotty and intensely annoying, see catcher in the rye try exploring a different demographic, where the population are poorer, simpler and more straightforward.

DrMC's avatar

Some people might think this is BS but you may want to try

and also

If you are interested in studying the components.

People not meeting standards, could be narcissism, but diagnosing it is way beyond my skill. It’s not bad to have a personality thing. Well all do, especially me.

You are special. You’re asking the million dollar question of insight. Most never do.

The personality tests are cool.

DrMC's avatar

It would be cool to see if there are common patterns in those who have these common frustrations.

jonsblond's avatar

I was just reading an old thread from one year ago and I came across this statement from a fellow flutherite:

It sounds very trite, but if people would just give out what they want to get back, life can be fairly decent. I see many overly pessimistic and negative people standing around scratching their heads wondering why the universe is crapping on them. What are you sending out into the universe? If you view everything with a negative eye, if you mistrust everyone & everything, if you look for excuses not to love & be loved…you’re going to get a big heaping plate of crap – and you’ll have earned it.

credit to @bythebay. I really miss her positive contribution to this site.

DominicX's avatar

Holden Caulfield was a spoiled brat…

See, I have the opposite “problem”. I like most people by default until they give me a reason not to. (I’m not saying that’s the only way to go, it’s just my way). I as well am content with myself. Sometimes to the point of being a little arrogant. But I don’t let it get out of hand. I don’t let it get out of hand because I know it’ll only result in negativity. I’ve come to realize over the years that people are a lot more similar than you think. Maybe you don’t want to admit it, but you are more like those people you hate than you think you are. You can’t see people as pawns or animals. They are just like you. See the good in them. See more to them. See deeper inside them. Because there is more. And realize you are not so different from them. I’d wager some of the people you’ve hated hated you just the same and maybe for the same reasons.

Let me tell you something, right now, you’re trying way too hard. Way too hard. And it’s not getting you what you want, is it?

You admitted that in your mentality, it’s their problem, but it’s so easy to place blame on other people and ignore our own faults. (I know you’re not completely ignoring them, I’m just saying). It isn’t just their problem.

I certainly agree with the notion that it is not the best approach to life: it isn’t. It isn’t because to me it sounds like it is not enjoyable. It’s constant unending negativity. In my book, that’s a problem. Ubiquitous hate. It’s not a good thing; and obviously since you’re asking this question, it shows that you are not satisfied with it. Hate is damaging, hate hurts others, but most importantly, it hurts yourself.

I act the way I do not only because it’s in my nature*, but because it works for me. I get the most out of it. I give the most because of it. People appreciate it. I appreciate it. It’s functioning well. Hating, cynicism, those things would not work for me. They’re not going to get me anywhere. They’re only going to make me unhappy. I agree with @jonsblond‘s quote, harsh as it is. If they’re not working for you, a change is needed. I don’t know too much about psychology, so I can’t exactly offer means of change, but others have. The point is that you have to be willing to change first and it essentially sounds like you are. But this question shows that you’re not truly content with yourself.

*I know that a person’s nature certainly plays a significant part in behaviors such as these. When I first met my boyfriend, I was so impressed with this person who was even more nice and less cynical and less angry than I was. And I consider myself a pretty mild-mannered person. I know it’s in his nature. He’s been like that his whole life.

absalom's avatar

I’m afraid your situation is not only nonspecial but actually pretty common and is what we refer to as “life”, something you might be wise to learn to “deal with” sometime soon lest you continue to indulge your “solipsistic tendencies” and/or “emotional myopia”.

It’s way too easy to go around hating people because they don’t live up to the arbitrary “standards” you’ve constructed. It’s way too easy to hate people period. It takes no effort.

Luckily you are a human being and equipped with control over your emotions. All you have to do is exercise that control, which begins simply with putting an end to saying silly and melodramatic things like “I hate everyone” and “Most people annoy the shit out of me, often for reasons that are not comprehensible to the average person.” Probably because they’re not comprehensible to you, either. It doesn’t help that you use “obscure references” on Facebook; you’re only creating your own trivial reasons for hating people.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

#1. Stop hating yourself first.

That may sound harsh or you may not accept it as a step you should take, but you sound like a classic example of someone who doesn’t like themselves and therefore finds it equally hard to like others.

daemonelson's avatar

Don’t worry about it. Chances are, you don’t like them for a reason.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Angry, bitter and cynical does not equal “content with yourself”.

Excalibur's avatar

Personally, I think you are in the wrong group of people. Any chance of moving?

rooeytoo's avatar

Often fear of rejection plays a strong role in this sort of attitude. As long as you maintain that you don’t interact because of __your__ reason, whatever it might be, you don’t have to risk actually liking someone who might not like you in return. That would equal a failure, better to hate everyone than take a chance.

Sounds convoluted but is not an unusual condition.

Janka's avatar

What do you mean exactly when you say you “hate” most people? Hate is a pretty strong word. You also use words “dislike”, “cannot relate to”, and “am bitter and cynical”, which are all quite different things. I think it would be useful for you to spend some time identifying what exactly it is that you feel when you feel like this. It is not easy, but it is essential for to solve the problem. You are not happy being angry all the time, so one way or other you have to figure it out. (Or, well, be unhappy.)

In the end, you need to decide what you want, and then just do it. The only way to stop judging people is to just stop doing it, but for that, you need to want to do it first. Then you need to become conscious of when you do it, and then you need to replace that judgment with something else. I tend to use the mantra “We are all the same; we all want to be happy and to avoid suffering” when I find myself judging people too harshly (I think it is from Dalai Lama).

It might also be that you will find that you have higher than usual standards for people. If that is the case, you will want to learn to not to be bitter and angry when people fail those standards, but instead just ignore them; be polite and benevolent but go find people you can genuinely respect to spend time with, instead. And remember to put real effort to being worthy of those standards yourself!

Also, @rooeytoo might be correct. Often when people reject others and are constantly angry at others, it stems from fear. It can be a fear of rejection, as in, “if I don’t care for them, it cannot hurt me if they do not like me”. Or it can be a fear that others see your faults and will become bitter and angry at you, so you decide to do it first to “hide the terrible truth”. In reality, everyone has faults, but most people are nice regardless.

robaccus's avatar

Drop the 90%, Stick with the 10%.

le_inferno's avatar

@PandoraBoxx I’m “angry, bitter, and cynical” because people make me that way. At least that’s how I think of it. I don’t see it so much as a fault of myself, I just want to find a way to be less annoyed by others.
@rooeytoo There is some truth to that, but that mostly applies to me in a romantic context. I write off guys very easily because I let a few flaws dominate my perception of them. My thought process is that they wouldn’t want to date me so I just tell myself “it’s for the best, he sucks anyway.” Although, in general, I don’t worry about people liking me in a friendly context. I can make friends easily, I just often don’t feel a true connection with them for one reason or another. Honestly, it’s usually low intellect. I can’t take a lot of my peers seriously.
@absalom I appreciate your attempt to analyze me based on the 3 sentences I wrote in my Fluther blurb, but somehow I don’t think my Facebook statuses have anything to do with my inability to connect with people.

Soubresaut's avatar

@le_inferno—if you really find people so annoying, why do you give them so much power over your emotions? Why do you let yourself feel so much annoyance and hate toward them?
People aren’t going to change. The world isn’t going to change. So, if you want to feel happier in it, you’ll have to figure out a way to stop taking everything everyone does and internally translating it into negativity.

No one’s saying you have ‘faults’ here. They want to help you, they’re trying very hard to help you, get you what you want out of your life. And since how you’re living now isn’t working for you, they’re trying to figure out what you should change to make it more the way you want. Because ultimately, you do have to make some changes if you want to see changes in how you feel. Your feelings and negativity are a result of how you’ve gotten use to viewing the world. It’s not easy to change; I’m trying to change. It’s the hardest, scariest f~ing thing I’ve ever tried to do. But even the little changes I’m feeling are so, so worth it. Trust me. Try to trust the people here, because they’re answering your question for you, love. Honest.

But, just because you may not be in love with everyone you meet, why do you have to turn to the other extreme and hate them? I know a lot of people I don’t like that much, but I don’t let myself hate them. Like @Dr_Lawrence said above, hate is an active process. If you really hate everyone in the world, or just about everyone, that means you’re going around and looking for faults in others to blame them for, even if not totally consciously. If you don’t think they’re worth your time, why give them your energy, especially in such a destructive manner?
Just remember, when you figure out how to, decide to, stop hating the world, that doesn’t mean you have to love it all. There are places to be between the two extremes. But when you let go of the negative feelings, you’ll probably find the positive ones are easier to find.

DrMC's avatar

Inferno, do you want to offer up a specific example, we are speaking in extreme general terms here, and getting more specific might be useful. You don’t have to follow this but…

Give an example of someone that is making you feel this way.
What is the relationship (friend, spouse, parent?)
How long have you felt this way?
When did it start?
Are there specific issues that led to the general situation?

DrMC's avatar

the “annoyance” is best approached functionally IMHO. Consider it like an assembly line that needs a tweak here, diversion there. Most processes can be viewed as inefficient when they are not leading to functional resolution. It just needs to be looked at that way. (this is how i’ve done it anyway)

DrMC's avatar

whoops, missed the specifics 3 posts above.
difficulty with peoples IQ. Focusing on flaws of those in a relationship.

you are on the edge of the bell curve most likely, and it’s very lonely out there, it does however give you much to offer to those with less talent.

Think about someone like Michaal Jackson, who learned from an early age that groupies wanted the stage image and not the frightened young boy that he really was. He likely never fully grew past this stumbling block.

I know you very little,but I do know that focusing on the negative is a way to keep distance. This can be a form of self defense.

These processes here fall under the general model of formation of emotional ties and intimacy, and you appear to be in control, and resent intrusion (IMHO).

This is however 90% conjecture – as I’ve said, I’m extrapolating off very little written, with more specifics it can get more useful

If the above were true, then the comment above “you need a different crowd” is dead on. You are avoiding the current one.

It’s useful to have an interest or two, or three, that highlight your talents. You are more likely to bump into others who have the similar plight. (Its lonely on the end of the bell curve).

I would also try hard to appreciate the other people, even though you may feel frustrated. You might be surprised to find hidden talent.

seeing_red's avatar

When you mature, you’ll lose most of this bullshit. That’s all it is. You’re obviously rather insecure deep down and it reflects in your attitude towards others. Eventually you will grow the fuck up.

Nullo's avatar

Actively try to find things to like in people; it’s rare for a person to be entirely made of suck. Make them up, if you must.
Next time you pass a stranger, try to imagine what his life is like*. Family. Friends. Weekends.

*results not guaranteed

Jeruba's avatar

Do you still feel this way six months later?

le_inferno's avatar

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 6 months since I wrote this!
Hmm… I’m not sure. I think my attitude has a lot to do with my environment. For the past few months, I’ve been much more at peace. I spend most of my days around children, who don’t bother me nearly as much as my peers (at least not in the same ways). When I get home, I’m usually just relaxing on my own/with my family, who I can easily tolerate. On weekends, I see my good friends, who I obviously enjoy. I haven’t had much reason to be hateful lately. The student body at my school tends to really get to me. Though, it’s hard for me to remember what was the catalyst for this question, because on this date I was still home for Christmas break. Overall, I’d say that I still get angry and annoyed with people some of the time, but I don’t think it’s nearly as dominant as it was. I guess I just don’t care too much anymore. I wrote this before I met my current boyfriend. I think having him around helped a lot. And as my last question brings up, I learned that even though someone may be unintelligent, there’s still a lot more that could make them a great person. In short, I think I’ve cooled down a good amount. But who knows what will happen once I get back to school (my boyfriend won’t be back from New Zealand til November… yikes!). But I’ll still have my friends; I’m in a suite with 3 girls I like, so that should help me. In my last question, you can see how my previous roommate got on my nerves .

Thanks for the check up :D

Jellie's avatar

@le_inferno I searched fluther to check if such a question existed because I really wanted to ask the question. You have probably expressed what I feel better than I could have been able to. I too cannot stand people because I believe if I am treating someone a certain way I expect the other person to treat me in the same way (even if he doesn’t treat everyone that way). And I know people are d*cks and that’s why they don’t. My problem is I can’t deal with it and end up hating people for this. Also I can’t stand bullshit. People talking like they know everything whereas all they’re doing is talking crap. There’s so much of that at my work place. This is making me miserable and I have so much anger and bitterness like you say.

I have tried to think that maybe there is something wrong with me but I can’t figure out what. I don’t want to live like this forever :(

Jeruba's avatar

@sarahhhhh, please notice that for @le_inferno that attitude changed in as little as six months in parallel with some other changes in her life.

infjman's avatar

you are an infj. google it. you are welcome x.

infjman's avatar

and by the way, If i had known that when I was in school my life would be better I think..

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