Asking Yourself “Why Do People Hate Me?” Here’s How To Address It

Medically reviewed by April Justice, LICSW
Updated September 6, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Many people, at some point or another, might have the uncomfortable thought of “why do people hate me” come into their minds. This can be a very painful thought, and it can be difficult to sort through. 

If this is something you find yourself thinking often, it may be worth digging into possible reasons for this feeling and ways you can try to address it. We explore exactly how you can do that below. 

Feeling Like Others Hate You Can Be Painful

Possible Reasons For Worries Of Hatred 

When you feel as if others are mad at you, it can be hard to figure out if your assessment is accurate or not. 

Are people actually angry at you? 

While in some cases, there might be a real reason why someone could be angry at you, it may be worth considering some other possible explanations. 

For instance: If you are frequently asking yourself, “why don't people like me,” you may be experiencing low self-esteem—which can impact how you think others see you. Or it can be possible that your intense worry about being disliked could stem from an undiagnosed anxiety disorder. 

Individuals living with an anxiety disorder may have excessive worry about everyday situations, and this worry can be difficult to control. There are several different types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and social anxiety disorder that can contribute to this thought process. 

Additionally, it is also possible that what you’re feeling could stem from paranoia, which can be a symptom of certain conditions. We’ll dive into social anxiety disorder and paranoia further below:


Paranoia can be a symptom of certain mental health conditions, including paranoid personality disorder, delusional disorder and paranoid schizophrenia. It can involves intense feelings of fear or nervousness that can be associated with threats, persecution or conspiracy by others. 

Additionally, a person living with paranoia may find it hard to trust others, assume people are talking badly about them behind their back or might feel overly suspicious of others. Paranoid symptoms can range in severity and can be helped by a medical professional, online therapist and other members of a person’s allied care team.  

Social Anxiety Disorder

Individuals living with social anxiety disorder may think that others are excessively aware of or judging them. Social anxiety disorder generally involves the fear of adverse judgment from others, especially in social situations, and/or the fear of public embarrassment.

Getty/Xavier Lorenzo

How To Address The Feeling Of Hatred

If you are often feeling like others hate you, you may consider trying some of the tips below to try to address this feeling: 

  1. Implement Lifestyle Changes

To help manage anxiety disorder and the thoughts that can accompany it, you can try making certain lifestyle changes. Certain factors, like poor diet, toxic relationships, lack of physical activity or constant negative thinking may exacerbate feelings of anxiety.

A few examples of habits that may reduce your anxiety disorder-related symptoms can include:

  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs
  • Keeping a regular daily schedule 
  • Exercising regularly
  • Finding activities you enjoy (like reading, taking a bubble bath or playing a sport)
  • Leaning on family, friends or a therapist for support
  1. Challenge Your Cognitive Distortions

Cognitive distortions are considered by many to be biased in ways of thinking about ourselves and the world around us. In our minds, we may see these thoughts as truths—when in fact, they may be irrational.

There are several types of cognitive distortions that can be recognized, including mind-reading, which can lead a person to jump to conclusions—such as concluding that someone is thinking negatively about them even though that person doesn’t say so. 

Similarly, all-or-nothing thinking can occur when you see things in black-and-white categories. These are the kinds of falsehoods that can come into play when you begin to think, "everybody hates me." 

There are several ways to challenge these cognitive distortions—but first, simply acknowledging the distortions can be helpful. 

You can do this by trying to pay attention to your thoughts, and then assessing if what you’re thinking is based in fact, or if it could be a distortion like mind-reading, personalization, overgeneralization, catastrophizing or all-or-nothing thinking. Working with a therapist can also be helpful in addressing these thought patterns. 

For example: If you say hello to someone and they don't respond, you may have the immediate thought that they hate you. This would be an example of mind-reading for many. Instead, you can consider other possibilities. Perhaps they were distracted and didn't see or hear you.

As another example, let’s consider personalization in the case of Jenny, a 16-year-old who felt like everyone hated her. For weeks, Jenny's older sister, Melanie, had refused to spend time with Jenny. Although they used to be close, now Melanie rarely came out of her room. When Jenny spoke to her sister or invited her to do something, Melanie would brush her off. Jenny felt her parents hated her as well. Just like Melanie, they were always preoccupied and seemed to avoid Jenny whenever she entered a room.

After talking to her guidance counselor, Jenny decided to sit down with her sister and parents to talk about her feelings. They were shocked to learn she thought they hated her. It turned out that Melanie's boyfriend had broken up with her, leading her to depressed and embarrassed while the parents were preoccupied with financial troubles that required them to work extra hours. In the end, Jenny was relieved to know their behavior wasn't about her at all.

  1. Practice Positive Thinking 

To combat harmful negative thinking like “everybody hates me,” you can try meditating on, repeating or even writing down some more positive thoughts and affirmations. Included below are some ideas to consider:

  • I am enough as I am, and I don't need anyone else's approval.
  • I am valuable, and I deserve to feel that way.
  • It's okay to have a small group of friends.
  • Certain people might not like me, and that is okay.
  • I can provide myself with the same amount of love I want from others.
  • I have the power to conquer my fears and shape my own life.
  • I can and will think positively about myself.
  • I deserve love, and I love myself fully. 
Feeling Like Others Hate You Can Be Painful
  1. Seek  Help Through Online Therapy

If you feel your negative thoughts are getting in the way of the life you desire, you might consider reaching out to a professional for support. It can be difficult to confront your negative thoughts on your own, which is one area in which a skilled online therapist can help.  

For individuals who frequently feel like others dislike them or are judging them, going out in public to new places and interacting with new people may feel a bit scary. Online therapy has the benefit of remote use, meaning that you can connect wherever you have an internet connection. This means that you can speak with your therapist from the comfort of your own home or safe place.

Is Online Therapy Effective?

Research suggests that online counseling can improve mental health and help people living with anxiety disorders. One such study evaluated the effectiveness of an intervention that used video-based cognitive behavior therapy for individuals living with depression or anxiety disorders. It found that the treatment was effective among study participants, with approximately 73% of all participants demonstrating “reliable improvement”. 

Read these patient testimonials from people who have turned to BetterHelp:

“Jennifer Feldman is an excellent listener who offers practical, effective strategies for overcoming difficulties and managing my mental health. She remembers the things that I say, which helps me to feel understood and helps to identify my patterns of negative thinking which have far-reaching consequences. We are then able to use that retained knowledge to reverse the patterns. I recommend Jennifer Feldman for counseling to address habitual negative thought patterns.”

“I have greatly appreciated my time with Stephanie. She asks the right questions and helps contextualize what I am going through in a way that is very compassionate and non-judgmental. Stephanie knows how to challenge negative thought patterns which helps me catch them when they happen outside of our sessions. Our sessions have proven very beneficial and I value our client/counselor relationship immensely.”


Feeling like others hate you can be painful and uncomfortable. However, these thoughts may not reflect reality, and there may be other explanations for feeling this way, such as an anxiety disorder or low self-esteem. If this is something you’re experiencing, you can try some of the above suggestions for help, such as making certain lifestyle changes and connecting with an online therapist. BetterHelp can connect you with a therapist in your area of need.

You are deserving of positive self-esteem

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