HATRED

Posted on March 26, 2021 · Posted in Blog, General, Memo Plus Gold, Personal

Hate is an emotion. It dwells somewhere between anger, fear and disgust. At its worst, hatred can inspire violent acts. Hatred can be caused by many variables, but most often it is fueled, at least in part, by distorted thought processes such as “all-or-nothing thinking” or generalizations.

WHY IS BOTTLING UP HATE DETRIMENTAL TO OUR HEALTH

Many people believe that ignoring their emotions will make them disappear, but reality is quite the opposite. Instead of dissipating, unaddressed emotions build up and intensify over time. The more intense an emotion becomes, the more physically demanding it is to contain it. Emotions represent energy in motion. When we are trying to halt the momentum, we do things like clench our jaw, grind our teeth, tense our muscles or ball up our fists. It is exhausting.

Extreme emotions also trigger the release of stress hormones in our brain. When we bottle up emotions like hatred, the release of these stress hormones is continuous which, over time, leads to increased inflammation throughout the body and can lead to significant health consequences.

HOW TO RESOLVE THE FEELING OF HATE

The best course for resolving feelings of hate can depend upon the situation. If you feel hatred toward a person or group you do not understand, lead with empathy (the ability to understand and share the feelings of another) and compassion (engaging in an act of kindness). These are antidotes to hate. Rather than making assumptions about why a person is the way they are or why they do the things they do, try approaching your confusion with the benign curiosity that is inspired by the phrase, “I wonder…”

If you feel hatred toward a person or group that has hurt you

  • Begin with self-compassion; it is okay that you are upset about what happened.
  • Consider what kind of boundaries you need to establish so that you can maintain physical and emotional safety in the future.
  • Consider communicating about the impact that the person’s behaviour has had on your life.
  • With support, and only when it is healthy, safe and appropriate, consider what it might take to approach forgiveness.

STEPS TO OVERCOME THE FEELING OF HATE

  1. Pause for a moment and consider whether what you are telling yourself about the other person or group is accurate. What is the evidence for your belief? Can you think of any counter-examples to your belief?
  2. If you find that you have been engaging in an all-or-nothing thought or a generalization, consider what a more balanced thought might be. Instead of saying, “He is a terrible person,” consider “I do not like what he did to me” as an alternative.
  3. Consider engaging in an intentional act of kindness either toward the person or with the person in mind, such as buying a hated co-worker a cup of coffee or making a donation to a cause that your former spouse supports.

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