6 Things that People Hate for No Good Reason
Hate is a chameleon. It can be many things, and because of this, it is driven by a garden variety of motivations and human needs.
When you take a moment and learn a little about why we hate, you might be amazed at what you find. I know I was.
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When I started compiling a list of common things that people hate for no apparent reason, it seemed that learning why people hate was something that also needed exploring.
Why We Hate
There are a few common reasons why we hate things and even other people¹.
Lack of Self-compassion
The opposite of hate is compassion; this applies to ourselves as well as others. Self-compassion is where we accept ourselves in our entirety. Not everyone can do this.
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Whenever we find something in ourselves that is unacceptable, we often attack others to defend this internal threat. When we are content with ourselves, we understand that the actions of others are only about them — and not us.
Fear of Ourselves
Psychologists tell us that things we tend to hate in others are things we fear within ourselves. This is called projection, and we humans love using this psychological tool.
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Freud referred to projection as something we do to reject things we hate ourselves. It’s an attempt to be good and project our “badness” outward. In reality, projection is repression and can damage our long term mental health.
Fear of “The Other”
This variety of hate comes from fears we have of things that are different from what we are comfortable with. Whenever feeling threatened by an outsider, we run to those with whom we can identify — this is a survival mechanism.
Those who differ from us are seen to be a threat to the entire group with which we socialize.
It Fills a Void
This type of hate can become very dangerous to others. It is where we join up with groups of like-minded people who hate the same things that we do. We have all seen what happens when angry mobs are overcome with rage.
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Group hate can grow uncontrollably because it often fills a void that all of us humans have — the need to be accepted. As the friendship grows, so does the rage. And those who demonstrate the highest levels of hatred are often given higher status within the group. So it keeps growing.
Societal and Cultural Factors
Another type of hate can come from our political and cultural backgrounds. We live in a society that promotes competition and rewards the winners. So we shouldn’t be surprised to see aggression in the fabric of our civilization.
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Competition can be healthy when it motivates us to grow and improve. But when it makes us develop hatred for our opponent, it has gone too far.
6 Things that People Hate for No Good Reason
Now let’s check out things that people commonly hate. My guess is that you probably hate at least one of them — I’m not telling which one applies to me :)
Those of us who live near universities and have a significant student population have dealt with larger than normal numbers of cyclists. But we have also observed that the typical motorist on the highway is very reluctant to share the highway with their fellow two-wheeled travelers.
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Not only that, but they also resent how their city or town begins allocating some of their asphalt “turf” into bike lanes. Even more infuriating is the two-faced cyclists that want to be treated like a car while in motion but become a pedestrian at intersections — so they can ignore red lights. Talk about having your cake and eating it too!
While most of us never go beyond idle complaints about cyclists, others take it to more severe levels. Studies are showing that motorists are becoming more and more hostile towards them². They are doing things like running cyclists off the road, scaring them with loud horns, and driving within inches of them at high speeds.
In the United States, the term “socialist” can be as offensive as a four-letter word to many people³. Socialism is always mentioned countless times during election years. The extent of how badly people hate socialism depends on how it is perceived.
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Most people in our society tend to associate socialism with China, Chairman Mao, Stalin, Lenin, and Kim Jong-Un. And we can’t forget the shameful failure of socialism in Venezuela. These examples of socialism are hideous, and people should hate them. But socialism does not come in that variety alone.
There are several forms of socialism, and not all of them are necessarily evil. It depends on the needs of the people. Fans of socialism tend to point to the Scandinavian nations as examples of how well socialism can work.
While there may be a few great things happening in Scandinavian countries, there are some not so great things too. Their tax rates are much higher than most countries, and their income inequality rates are among the world’s highest⁴.
As with most religions, Christianity has its fair share of extremists. Fortunately, that fair share is a very small subset of the entire Christian population. Most of them simply want to practice their faith and worship in peace.
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A lot of those people that hate Christians have adopted the habit of lumping all of them into one group. This means that they believe the nice guy next door who’s trying to raise his family is the same as the hardcore groups from the mountains that handle snakes in the “name of God.”
This is not only unfair; it is incredibly lazy. The great Martin Luther from the Dark Ages risked his life to challenge the powerful church elders so that Christians were free to worship as they believed⁵. This led to the huge number of church dominations we have today. Lumping them all together is plain ignorance.
While capitalism has allowed many of us to flourish, there has also been a hatred of it growing over the past decade or so. Much of this resentment comes from envy for those who have amassed wealth in our society. Many of those who are envious believe that all wealth should be equally shared.
A 1998 essay written by libertarian philosopher Robert Nozick claims that intellectuals are among those who oppose capitalism the most⁶. This explanation refers to the assumption that because intellectuals feel the most superior — due to their level of knowledge — they should be the wealthiest. This also explains why so many college students are turning against capitalism. This is what their jealous intellectual professors have taught them.
The irony is that those who are speaking the loudest against capitalism should be the most grateful for its existence. This is because democracy and freedom of speech exist because of capitalism⁷. In almost every case, capitalism precedes democracy in a developing society — it’s rarely ever the other way around.
When capitalism dies, democracy is usually not very far behind.
Believe it or not, there’s an entire movement against red-heads⁸. It’s called Gingerism. This hatred of red-haired people seems to be much more prevalent in Great Britain than anywhere else. Amazingly, several hate crimes have been levied against these poor people because of their red hair.
Studies have shown that there are several age-old stereotypes about red-heads that have lingered. People tend to shy away from them for a variety of reasons.
Interestingly, many women today have become started coloring their hair in different shades of red. This is becoming quite common for celebrity women in Hollywood. Image experts say that doing this makes them appear more daring.
If you don’t think there is a dislike for those of us who are overweight, then spend some time on social media. Practically every social media platform is loaded with insults about the picture of a fat person.
This is unbelievably cruel. We all have flaws, yet very few people know about them. Yet this is not the case with an overweight person — one of their flaws is displayed for everyone to see. We should really take a step back for a moment and imagine how that must feel.
In the United States, the CDC reports that in the year 2018, over 35% of all Americans were overweight⁹. And over 30% of all Americans were obese. In other words, 1 out of every three citizens in the US are fat people. This means that many of those who are hating on fat people are actually hating themselves.
: Allison Abrams. (March 9, 2017). The Psychology of Hate. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/nurturing-self-compassion/201703/the-psychology-hate.
: Carlton Reid. (December 21, 2018). New Studies Show Some Motorists Hate Cyclists, Won’t Ever Slow Down When Overtaking. https://www.forbes.com/sites/carltonreid/2018/12/21/new-studies-show-some-motorists-hate-cyclists-wont-ever-slow-down-when-overtaking/.
: Emily Ekins. (September 29, 2019). Poll: 59 Percent of American Hate Socialism. https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/poll-59-percent-american-hate-socialism-they-capitalism-84381.
: Mike Bird. (October 14, 2014). Why Socialist Scandinavia Has Some Of The Highest Inequality In Europe. https://www.businessinsider.com/why-socialist-scandinavia-has-some-of-the-highest-inequality-in-europe-2014-10.
: Elizabeth Bruenig. (July 31, 2017). Luther’s Revolution. https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/martin-luthers-revolution/.
: Rainer Zitelmann. Why Intellectuals Don’t Like Capitalism. https://www.adamsmith.org/intellectuals-dont-like-capitalism.
: James Davenport. (August 21, 2018). Democratic Socialism Doesn’t Exist: Like the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot, Democratic Socialism Exists Only in Myth. https://fee.org/articles/democratic-socialism-doesnt-exist-like-the-loch-ness-monster-and-bigfoot-democratic-socialism-exists-only-in-myth/.
: Greg Stevens. (February 4, 2014). The science behind anti-redhead prejudice. https://theweek.com/articles/451866/science-behind-antiredhead-prejudice.
: CDC. Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity: Data, Trends and Maps. https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/data-trends-maps/index.html.