We throw around the word "hate" as a common term for disliking someone. As I get older, I tend to really "hate" that phrase "I hate ( insert name here )" because hatred is such a strong emotion to have, and hurts you more than it hurts the other person.
Hate, defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, means "intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury; or extreme dislike/disgust" Yup, that's about right. But what about hate hurts you emotionally?
Everyday Health wrote an article titled The Destructive Power of Hate. It's a good read. It explains how hate is so strong that it can consume you. It can change your state of mind in an instant. The first line of the article is so powerful: Poison isn't always something you eat or drink--it can be an emotion. And it's true--hatred is poisonous to your own mental health.
Huffpost.com also wrote a good article with tips on how to overcome hatred and anger. It's a short read but packed with good information.
Why do we hate?
I can honestly say I hate no one. Sure, I dislike many people ( or people in general ) because most people are not self-aware or empathetic...which makes them come off as rude, expecting, arrogant and only out for themselves. Unfortunately, the world is filled with that type. I like to surround myself with good, caring people; they are few and far in between though.
For a while, I did hate people. People who hurt me, said bad things about me, made me look like a fool. But I realized quickly that I did not HATE them, I was simply HURT by them. Calling me names hurt. Breaking up with me hurt. Cheating on me hurt. Sleeping with my ex hurt. But the "hate" consumed me for my late teens and early 20s, to the point where it was exhausting. I was exhausting to LISTEN to. And eventually, I came to the point where I couldn't even remember fully WHY I "hated" someone. So I let the emotion go. Why take all that time and energy to "hate" someone when it does nothing to hurt them and only hurts yourself?
And I make a conscious point to tell people when they say to me "God, I hate so-and-so" that..."it's not hate; it's not that serious...you don't like them, and you're allowed to not like them...but you don't hate them". I do that because I feel like some people use the word too loosely and it's only hurting themselves in the end.
Plus, I am a firm believer in karma. I feel things that go around come around and that the energy you voice is the energy you receive. When you "hate" someone, it messes with your energy. Now, as someone dealing with anxiety, sometimes it's a little hard to "practice what I preach" simply because my anxious brain stews. And then the depression makes everything way more dreary and negative. It's a battle to maintain a positive attitude. But one way of rewiring your brain for the better is to cut out the use of the word "hate" altogether!
We are humans; always evolving, always learning. We truly do not have to be the person we were yesterday if we don't want to. It's not being "bi-polar" or any other rude ways to say it; it's you struggling to be the best version of yourself everyday. It's hard; it truly is. And some days will be better than others. But little changes in habit can make a big difference in the long-haul. It takes time, commitment, energy and self-awareness to change behavior patterns. So I challenge you to stop using the word hate--replace it with dislike, but just cut hate from your vocabulary altogether...
Peace & love!