“Why Do I Hate People?” Answers And Support

Medically reviewed by Laura Angers Maddox, NCC, LPC
Updated April 16, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

At some point in life, you might have encountered people in your life that you might not like. It could be because of the impression, how they behave around you or how they may have treated you in the past. However, we do want to encourage you that it is possible to live peaceably among these types of people, possibly even forging bonds and friendships later on.

For now, though, we want to take the time to validate your experiences. Being around people can be difficult sometimes, especially if you’re experiencing feelings of dislike. However, we’ve put together a helpful guide that covers possible reasons for these feelings and scientifically-supported resolutions for them—read on to learn more. 

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Experiencing social frustration?

Possible reasons behind a “dislike” for multiple people

There are many reasons why you might be experiencing feelings of frustration or dislike with people in your life. For example: You might dislike perceived differences between both of you, and you may not understand certain aspects of their life. Additionally, you may not like how they treat you or how you feel around them. 

However, there are more than “social” reasons why we may dislike people or groups. There may be possible causes within us that are generally contributing to negative emotions and experiences. 

Identifying these early on can help you to validate your experiences later, while also being sensitive to the needs that others may have. We’ve compiled a list of these possible reasons below: 

Stress

Stress can amplify negative feelings in some. This emotional strain can make you feel less resilient than you otherwise would be and may inhibit the logical processes of processing one’s emotions. Stress-reduction techniques and online therapy can be helpful ways to address feelings of stress. 

Introversion

Those who have an introverted personality type may feel drained when being around other people too frequently. A way to resolve these feelings of stress includes taking time away to recharge or seeking support from a therapist. 

Social differences

Some people may fear ideas they don't know or understand. Regardless of political, cultural, ethical or religious beliefs you may hold, it can be helpful to remember that subconscious beliefs and biases may surface—masquerading as feelings of dislike. Therapy can be a helpful tool to help many overcome this, as can social immersion and tolerance training. 

Social anxiety disorder

Social anxiety disorder is generally described as a continuing, immense fear of situations that might require you to interact socially with others. This can cause physical and emotional symptoms, including feelings of irritation in some. Therapy can be a helpful tool, possibly offering supportive strategies to try in moments of tension. 

Feelings of envy or jealousy

It can be easy to feel threatened by certain people, such as those who appear successful. If you believe that feelings of envy or jealousy are underlying your dislike of people, it can help to remember the unique qualities that you can bring to the relationship with that person. Building confidence with the help of a therapist can be a helpful method to address and resolve these feelings.

Feeling out of place 

When you feel like no one understands you, it can lead to loneliness, feelings of “not belonging” and irritation. This can lead to projection or general frustration but can be avoided by building your confidence and seeking support from a licensed therapist. 

Childhood trauma

Traumatic experiences from childhood can affect your relationships and feelings about social interaction. This could lead to an intense dislike of people or a fear of making connections.

If you are experiencing trauma, support is available. Please see our Get Help Now page for more resources.

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Do feelings of dislike matter?

Disliking people, if left ignored, can have an adverse and impactful effect on your mental health and physical well-being in some cases. Possible results can include a lack of meaningful relationships and friendships, chronic stress, mood swings, and sadness. Therapy can help address these feelings in a constructive and scientifically supported way.  

How to overcome feelings of dislike toward people

Understand the possible causes of your feelings

If you feel frustrated with people, you may try to take a step back and think about where this might be coming from. Finding out why you dislike the person can help you recognize hate, rationalize it to yourself and possibly end it.

Emphasize self-care

Prioritizing yourself and your needs can be an important element to improving your mental health. For example: You may work to develop ways to cope more efficiently under stress, which can resolve your feelings of frustration. 

Practice empathy and mindfulness 

If you’re looking to resolve feelings of frustration with others, you might determine that it’s important to truly “see” the person without any cloud of pre-judgment or bias. This can be done with regularly practiced empathy and mindfulness. These two skills can have a positive ripple effect across your relationships. 

Remain as positive as possible 

It can be easy to slip into a place where your mind might see the bad in people rather than the good. Consciously focusing on positivity can help you to see the positive sides of other people and relationships, which might help you to appreciate them more. This can temper any frustration you may be experiencing. 

 Invest in yourself 

If you’re noticing frequent irritation with other people in your life, you might try pouring back into yourself. This can look different for everyone. However, for many, it can look like investing in good books, Developing hobbies and practicing self-care. These types of activities can help you to feel good and improve your confidence, which can resolve feelings of frustration toward people. 

Forgive when possible 

If you find that people’s actions are at the source of your dislike, you may try practicing forgiveness when you can. This can break the cycle of frustration and may result in more fulfilling relationships. 

Seek support through therapy

Going to therapy can help you to find the root causes that can lead to feelings of dislike toward people.  It can also help you create alternative coping mechanisms, forge healthy bonds and practice understanding and empathy toward others when needed.

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Experiencing social frustration?

What are the benefits of online therapy?

Online therapy can help you to build healthier relationships with those that you might dislike by encouraging understanding and empathy toward others—done in a convenient way for many in the comfort of their home or safe space. Those experiencing their feelings may not feel motivated to leave the home and face more social interaction in the outside world, so this form of therapy can be especially helpful in context. 

Is online therapy effective? 

Addressing feelings of hate can be a complex and challenging process, but therapy can help many to effectively discover the roots of one's feelings of hate towards others. Often, these feelings of intense dislike can be rooted in experiences related to anxiety disorders, depression, or chronic feelings of anger. Therapists can help individuals recognize and address the underlying issues that may be driving their hate, using empathy, nonpunitive limit setting, and other techniques. 

Online therapy has been scientifically suggested to be especially effective at resolving feelings and symptoms that are related to anxiety disorders and depression, as noted in an analysis from the National Council on Aging. Their experts have found that comparable benefits are shown between those who attend in-person therapy and those who opt to go online, making online therapy an option to many in need. 

Takeaway

Living with feelings of hate can be challenging. However, there are plenty of ways to possibly overcome these feelings—which can help you to form more fulfilling relationships with others. These methods may include practicing empathy, self-care and mindfulness, as well as the strategic use of online therapy. With support and guidance, therapy can help many individuals overcome their feelings of hatred and move towards a more positive, fulfilling life overall. BetterHelp can connect you with a therapist in your area of need.
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