Is it okay to hate someone? Even writing that question out makes me cringe a little. What if I had framed it this way instead: Is it okay to not like someone? Sure, we don’t have to like every person that we come across. Is is okay to dislike someone? Let’s be realistic, there are some people that are going to drive us crazy or do things that make us not want to be around them.
You see, I have this woman in my life right now that I dislike. I don’t like fake people, and this woman is one of them. A person that will act a certain way when she knows people are watching and a completely different way when they aren’t. She will pretend she is your friend when certain people are around and not acknowledge you at any other time. She’s obnoxious in her pursuit of being the center of attention.
According to a lot of people, I might be merited in disliking or even hating this person. After all, it’s not like I dislike her for no reason, or because I’m jealous of her, or just because she has an annoying voice. It is easy to dislike someone for one or more of the following reasons:
- They are fake or two-faced. Depending on the situation and the people they are around they will change how they act or what they say. They talk behind your back, they give backhanded compliments, and are insincere. Basically, you can’t trust them.
- They think that the world revolves around them and they are an attention seeker. They are incapable of seeing things from another perspective. They find great joy in holding court among their friends and talking over other people. They want to monopolize a conversation, butt in on others, and make sure everyone knows they are there.
- They have hurt someone you love. Cue the avenger inside of you. If they have betrayed, abused, or screwed over a loved one, you better believe that they will be transferred to your hit list, even if it is only a mental one.
- They just aren’t a nice person. They make rude comments, play games, are untrustworthy, and unreliable. They may also take advantage of their position to manipulate or mess with people. Why would you want to hang out with a person or even like a person who treats you like crap? If they don’t respect you, why should you respect them?
But I am starting to wonder: when does disliking someone veer off into hating territory? Is it all just a slippery slope? Does disliking morph into hating the more you dwell on the person and those feelings? It seems okay to dislike someone, but hating?
Here’s why I think that it’s probably not okay to hate someone.
It’s Dwelling on Someone Else
Why are you wasting time thinking about this person? If you are merited in not liking them because they just aren’t a nice person, they are not worth your time agonizing over. Especially if they are popping into your head multiple times a day and ruining your mood. Or making you not enjoy events you are at with them in attendance because you are busy shooting mental daggers at them across the room. Or filling your head with scenarios in which they could do or say something so you can hate them more.
What a waste of time when you could be enjoying yourself and your life to the fullest. Don’t let someone else or your thoughts about them drag you down.
It Sucks Up Mental Energy
You don’t like this person, so you probably don’t want to spend a lot of time with them. So why are you spending so much mental energy on them? It can be exhausting to be thinking about how you hate someone all the time.
Hate can distract you from the things your mind should be and needs to be focused on. Like your significant other, the tasks that need to be done at your job, and things that you just plain enjoy doing like hobbies and activities you spend your free time on. It can mess with your brain in other ways too, causing you to be more impulsive and reducing your ability to process thoughts. Studies have also shown that hatred represses the area of the brain responsible for self-awareness and laughter.
It Can Lead to Bitterness
Hatred can bring a whole load of intense feelings along with it, including anger, unforgiveness, sadness, and eventually bitterness. The times in my life when I’ve allowed myself to be controlled by my negative feelings for someone else I have not been a happy person. It can become toxic.
Have you ever been around a person that has allowed themselves to wallow in their hatred and bitterness? They are so unhappy that they seem to want everyone around them to be unhappy too. I sure don’t want to turn into that person, because no one wants to be around them.
Is it okay to dislike someone? Is it okay to hate someone? Who is pushing your buttons right now?