Why do we hate? The reasons are complex, but following are some of the factors that may play a role in helping us understand hate and, hopefully, work toward change.
Fear of “The Other”
According to A.J. Marsden, assistant professor of psychology and human services at Beacon College in Leesburg, Florida, one reason we hate is because we fear things that are different from us.
"Hatred is driven by two key emotions of love and aggression: One love for the in-group—the group that is favored; and two, aggression for the out-group—the group that has been deemed as being different, dangerous, and a threat to the in-group.
For any 'badness' in us put us at risk for being rejected and alone. So we repressed the things that we thought were bad (what others told us or suggested to us that was unlovable and morally reprehensible) — and we employ hate and judgment towards others. We think that is how one rids oneself of undesirable traits, but this method only perpetuates repression which leads to many mental health issues.
The antidote to hate is compassion — for others as well as ourselves. Self-compassion means that we accept the whole self. “If we find part of ourselves unacceptable, we tend to attack others in order to defend against the threat,” says Reedy. “If we are okay with ourselves, we see others’ behaviors as ‘about them’ and can respond with compassion. If I kept hate in my heart for [another], I would have to hate myself as well. It is only when we learn to hold ourselves with compassion that we may be able to demonstrate it toward others.”
"Acts of hate are attempts to distract oneself from feelings such as helplessness, powerlessness, injustice, inadequacy and shame. Hate is grounded in some sense of perceived threat. It is an attitude that can give rise to hostility and aggression toward individuals or groups. Like much of anger, it is a reaction to and distraction from some form of inner pain. The individual consumed by hate may believe that the only way to regain some sense of power over his or her pain is to preemptively strike out at others. In this context, each moment of hate is a temporary reprieve from inner suffering.
The hate you give transcend the receiver, it goes beyond how you feel or preferably how you want the person to feel too. It really goes beyond that, it penetrate into the objects,persons around the person. You have no regard for the person or his things.
What Can We Do?
Hatred has to be learned, Golden says: “We are all born with the capacity for aggression as well as compassion. Which tendencies we embrace requires mindful choice by individuals, families, communities and our culture in general. The key to overcoming hate is education: at home, in schools, and in the community.”
According to Dutchevici, facing the fear of being vulnerable and utterly human is what allows us to connect, to feel, and ultimately, to love. She suggests creating “cracks in the system.” These cracks can be as simple as connecting to your neighbor, talking with a friend, starting a protest, or even going to therapy and connecting with an ‘Other.’ It is through these acts that one can understand hate and love.”
In other words, compassion towards others is the true context that heals.
By: Oke Olasope