Why Do I Hate People So Much?
By: Michael Puskar
Updated December 21, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Christy B.
If you have ever found yourself wishing you could just walk out of your job, work from home, or become a recluse, you may be experiencing a "people burn out." Many of us work in offices or environments in which team collaboration is the norm. And, even if we are cloistered in our cubicles and on our computers or phones for most of the day, we are still dealing with people on a constant basis. When we finish the day and leave, we deal with people in the parking garage, on the drive home, and in the grocery store when we stop to pick up ingredients for dinner. Sometimes we may think we actually hate people. But is it actually hatred or something else?
What Is Causing Me To Feel This Way?
Even if you are feeling strong negative feelings toward a group of people or the general population, it is still possible that you do not actually hate people. As mentioned earlier, being in environments where one is required to interact with others continuously can be mentally exhausting. It is common for people in these environments to get annoyed at those around them – on occasion – and need time to themselves. If this is you, you might become more introverted and prefer to do things on your own. People around you who are extremely outgoing or overly friendly might get on your nerves, even if they have good intentions. Furthermore, to you, people can seem invasive if your boundaries are not respected. All of this can lead to intense feelings that may mimic or become strong hateful feelings. If this describes your situation, there are steps you can take to help yourself, either on your own or with outside help.
Everyone Experiences Dislike and Hatred
It is completely normal to have negative perceptions toward other people, especially if you feel like you have been slighted in any way. Hatred, one of the most powerful negative emotions that a person can experience, is also part of human nature.
It is impossible to put a statistic on how many people are feeling similar feelings as you are right now, but, rest assured, many people do. Everyone has expressed grievances toward other people at least once in their lifetime, and some of these feelings may be more powerful than others. We can learn how to keep these under control. For some, this is intuitive, while for others, it is a skill that can be acquired with some assistance.
What Can Cause These Feelings?
Being Emotionally Drained and Having Actual Hatred. When you are going through episodes of social burn out, feelings of hatred or perceived hatred can surface. Hate is a pretty strong emotion, most often reserved for those closest to us. It is pretty difficult to experience true hatred for someone you really do not know well, or with whom you have little to no real relationship. So perhaps what you are feeling is annoyance, irritation, frustration, or just stress. When we ignore smaller signs of such negative emotions, they can build up, and spill out unexpectedly. At this point, our emotions can then be easily triggered.
Introversion. If you notice yourself having a pretty common tendency to feel annoyed or irritated with others, especially if you are able to determine that they are not necessarily doing anything to warrant such strong emotions, it may be that you are an introvert. It is common for introverts to be confused with those who are shy, socially awkward, or inarticulate. But you can be incredibly articulate, funny, a great public speaker, and completely comfortable in social situations and still be a strong introvert.
What Is An Introvert?
Introversion has only to do with how you draw your energy. Extroverts become more and more energized as they socialize with other people. Introverts, though, must have quiet, alone time to regain their emotional energy. Therefore, introverts are highly likely to become emotionally depleted and short-tempered if they do not get as much alone time as they need. Perhaps the meme which states, “You need to understand that my quiet time is for your personal safety!” illustrates this reality best. Think of this as the emotional version of being “hangry.”
Introverts Need Alone Time
If you suspect that you may be an introvert, you and those around you will be well-served by your figuring out how to get as much time alone as you need. There is no right or wrong to this calculation. It's just the amount of time you personally require to recharge. One way to determine how long you need is to be on your own for varying lengths of time. If your tolerance for others increases as you spend more time alone, you may very well be an introvert who just needs to keep this in mind as you plan your schedule going forward.
Breaks Are Important
Taking a break is essential to our mental health but can seem like an impossible task. When we're home, we're often with people, even if it's our beloved family members. While we hopefully do not hate our family, they are still people with whom we must deal before we can begin to take care of ourselves. After a long week at work, the last thing we may wish to do is spend time with more people, but then there is a party or gathering to which we are invited and expected to go. We have had it up to our necks with people, and the idea of more people, even friends, causes us to feel stressed.
How To Get the Break You Need
It may seem impossible for most of us to take a break from people during the workday. We find that even our lunchtime is filled with people. So, what can we do?
- Maybe it's time to find a place that is people-free for your lunch hour. Instead of taking lunch in the break room or the usual sandwich shop, take it outside. If you can sit at your desk without getting on the phone or computer, take lunch there. Eat your lunch in blissful silence, put your feet up, and close your eyes for a 10-minute power nap. Sometimes a simple lunch break away from people can recharge your battery.
- You may realize that you are in the wrong profession. This might sound extreme, but if you are an introvert, door-to-door sales is likely not for you. Working in an environment in which you are surrounded by others, for example cubicles, may also not be the best for you. We make career decisions based upon many factors; introversion can be important to take into consideration.
- Plan some time between work and home to be alone. This might include just sitting in your car for 15 minutes before you leave work, or you can sit in your car in your own driveway for a few moments before heading inside. If your family is understanding and supportive, you may be able to compromise and agree that you can have time in your bedroom before fully joining the rest of the family.
- Reserve a night for alone time or family time that ends with some valuable time for you.
- Agree to when social engagements will end. While introverts still may want to participate in outings, especially those with close friends, they just may be done sooner than an extrovert. This is especially true when in the presence of strong extroverts. This combination can cause an introvert to feel like their energy is just being sucked right out of them.
- Build longer times alone into your schedule on a weekly basis. This might include some additional self-care, like a facial, massage, or a trip to a library or other quiet venue in which silence is expected. You may even choose to plan for a silent retreat periodically for just an overnight, a weekend, or longer, depending upon your need.
I Am Not an Introvert; I Just Don't Like People Right Now
Do not worry about others thinking if you are antisocial. That is probably what brought you to the level of people burnout in the first place. Take the appropriate, and healthy, mini-breaks and let others know you just need some alone time to think. It is okay, and it is not rude. Do not feel compelled to go to every social gathering to which you are invited.
Taking a smaller break from people in increments will help you to avoid the people burnout that often leads to taking sick days or standing friends up. Most of us have been to a point where we cannot even bring ourselves to be around the people we love the most. If you're having trouble telling others you need a break, and it's standing in your way of taking the breather you need, there are ways to get help. You can use some of the strategies outlined above and others, which we will discuss later in this article.
But I Really Do Hate Some People!
If this is really what you are experiencing, it is important for you to get to the bottom of such strong feelings. Hatred is best addressed, then released healthily, for it to not negatively impact other relationships. You may have legitimate reasons for your hatred, but that still does not make it healthy for you to hold on to this emotion indefinitely.
If you hate more than one or two people who have truly harmed you, it may say more about you than the other people. Either way, you will do yourself a meaningful service by figuring out how to understand what you are feeling and why, so you can process your thoughts and feelings to let go of the hate.
What Can I Do If I Truly Hate People?
In addition to taking a break from other people and the other advice mentioned in this article, there are different strategies you can use to manage your emotions. Here are some practical ones that you can start using today:
Breathing Exercises: Learning how to breathe properly can reduce anxiety and tension throughout our bodies. Whenever you feel like you might react negatively toward another person, take a deep breath, exhale, and try to let your emotions pass.
Exercise: Like learning breathing techniques, exercise can be an excellent asset in helping to reduce strong and/or emotionally draining feelings. In addition to releasing endorphins that make you feel good, certain types of physical activity can help you release pent-up aggression that you might have toward people.
Try To Work Past Your Issues With Others: It may seem counterintuitive if you are not in the mood to deal with other people, but if you have any specific issues with another person, it is best to be forthcoming about it. If you choose to ignore or avoid the problem, you are not doing anything to resolve it. As angry as you may be, try to be non-confrontational and try to have a productive dialogue. You will likely find that you feel better afterward.
While all of these strategies are helpful, you may find that you need help from an outside source. An in-person or online therapist can offer emotional support and understanding as you explore possible reasons why you find it difficult being around people. Online cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) is effective in the treatment of burnout. A before-after study of 1,500 participants in an online CBT program showed that the recovery rates were similar to that of face-to-face therapy. Also noted was the cost of online CBT, which was less than traditional modes of therapy. Additionally, the study indicated that online CBT can be successfully used to treat depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
BetterHelp Can Help
Online therapy can be a great way to get insight into who you are as a person and help you take care of yourself and your needs. Online BetterHelp counselors are trained to guide you through the process of self-discovery and show you how to set boundaries with people you may have trouble doing on your own. You will be able to meet a therapist when it’s convenient for you and wherever you’re most comfortable. Below read how people have improved themselves with BetterHelp's services.
"Dr. Murphy has been very helpful in identifying issues and behaviors that led me to withdraw from my relationships and now she is helping me to repair them."
"Peter has worked with me to significantly improve my health and relationships. He's a great listener and communicator."
Hopefully, this article has been informative and has helped point you in the right direction to keep negative feelings like anger and hatred under control. With help from others, coupled with techniques to manage your negativity toward others, you can turn this social burnout into positive and productive thoughts and start living happier. Take the first step today.
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