Currently, most crimes with a social connotation are usually associated with hatred. Crimes of this type have unfortunately become a common problem for most regions and countries. They have short-term and long-term consequences.

In each group or society, different degrees of conflict can be identified, generated from hatred or resentment for various aspects inherent in life together. That is, hatred encompasses a multiple diversity of causes or antecedents, for which it can develop into a problem of considerable gravity.

Examples of this type are found in racism, religious intolerance, xenophobia and homophobia . There are many ways in which hatred can be expressed which in turn is the generator of multiple other negative consequences.

From a legal point of view, it is considered a crime characterized by discrimination and intolerance . It is the base sentiment for the threats, abuses and damages that are perpetuated to individuals and communities. Its consequences are often difficult to solve due to deterioration and damages of various kinds.

What is hate in psychology?

The term hatred refers to the aversion that one has towards a person, thing or situation. At the same time, there is usually a feeling of antipathy and negative thoughts are experienced due to the resentment it arouses. It can be considered to be a word synonymous with others such as rancor, hostility and enmity.

When it is a feeling shared by two or more people, it usually leads to conflictive relationships where there is constant confrontation. To itself, it is usually considered as a negative value that is contrary to friendship and love. It is such an intense feeling that in turn generates other associated elements such as the desire to destroy and repulsion for example.

Unfortunately it always generates negative and dangerous consequences . As for human relationships, in most cases it is associated with physical and psychological aggressions. Due to the difficulty of achieving mediation, it is very likely that behaviors and actions maintain the same destructive pattern that is increasing.

Hate is a subject that has been treated and defined from different perspectives such as biblical, philosophical, legal and psychological.   In psychology it is considered to be a very intense feeling, which in turn generates hostility and anger. Not only does it correspond to one person, it can also arise in a group of people who have a common goal.

According to what is proposed by Sigmund Freud , hatred is associated with the state of the self; which means that there is unhappiness and you want to destroy what creates it. This is how it will always be tried to proceed in such a way that the task of eliminating, damaging, destroying or limiting what is hated is achieved.

What are their characteristics? 

Hatred is usually accompanied by other negative emotions and connotations , such as anger or aggressiveness. This is a very common emotion, but it can affect some people more due to its intensity which is uncontrollable. In addition, when it happens within a long period of time, it leads to the appearance of various psychological problems. This is the case with stress, anxiety, aggressiveness, insomnia, and even obsessive thoughts. 

To describe the characteristics of hatred, you must first make a profile of the people who hate . People who experience this feeling often have some kind of obvious emotional lack. Some common traits are a lack of maturity, thoughtfulness, and a lack of tolerance for frustration. Low self-esteem and insecurity can even be identified.

It is usual that hatred is confused with resentment, anger and rage ; there are significant differences between these terms. In the case of resentment, it is usually the least compared to the others, whereas hatred is the most destructive. It can be considered that it also serves as an incentive along with anger, together they make people react.

Those who hate live continuously in a “fire” that they themselves start , that is, they feed on this feeling to the point of making decisions and actions that are very devastating. It could be said that people who hate suffer much more than people who are hated, generally the negative consequences have a greater impact on them.

What are your causes?

The causes of hatred often coincide with those of other feelings such as anger. A pattern of situations is identified that are considered to be the main ones, and they are also characterized by promoting important changes in the lives of those involved. They are as follows:

  • The first describes situations that are beyond the will and decision of those who participate. When a person can not satisfy their desires or needs, it is a situation that can lead to the development of hatred. It will be directly associated with the person responsible for the failure to carry out the initial plan.
  • It can also develop from irritating situations , they escape their own will and often leave unfavorable consequences. Examples of this type are found in everyday life such as when we lose something, the noise from the street, traffic or arguments.
  • It is also a feeling that can be generated from verbal or physical attacks . Any type of confrontation or aggression that causes significant damage usually leads to a psychological problem in the future. Each person reacts in a different way, some individuals are more prone to hatred or anger.
  • When an injustice is perceived , with respect to mistreatment received from third parties. This is perhaps the most common cause, a large part of the population claims to feel hatred for those who mistreated or offended them in any way. What we perceive as unfair causes us to feel hatred and resentment.

As Sigmund Freud put it: “Hate is a state of the self that wishes to destroy the source of its unhappiness.” This means that hatred is a very deep feeling and so intense that it often appears to be irrational, it can induce the individual to show very negative behaviors. It enters into conflict with feelings such as love and friendship, however, being opposite does not prevent them from leading to the same behavior.

A study showed that there is brain activity in a specific area of ​​this organ, in which a series of neurological circuits can be directly associated with hatred. The people on whom this study was carried out were shown photographs of people whom they hated, in them these circuits were immediately activated. They are made up of the cerebral cortex and subcortex, the same ones that are activated when there is aggressive behavior.

The human brain works in a way that it can translate any signal from internal circuits and then translate them into actions. This means that this is the origin of the planning of all body movements. Thus the so-called “hate circuit” that is located in the medial frontal cortex escapes beams of predicting all actions.

This is the same mechanism that generates when faced with stimuli such as dislike or disgust. In the same vein, this sounds where responses such as defensiveness or all difficult-to-control feelings such as anger, rage, hatred and aggressiveness are planned .

What are its consequences? 

Whatever the reason why the feeling of hatred has developed, it is generally spoken of negative consequences ; that mainly affect whoever feels it. It generates aversion and feelings of destruction, but especially occasionally self-destruction. That eventually people can ignore others or specific situations, they will always react in this way.

Unfortunately hatred does not allow people to have adequate control over themselves. It also makes dialogue and building more positive and healthy relationships impossible . In the long term the intensity of this emotion will affect the harmony and stability of the lives of the people involved.

This is especially relevant in societies where there are different ideological tendencies , in which hate crimes often occur. Racism, xenophobia and homophobia for example belong to this group. The rejection of people who do not fit a specific profile is sufficient cause to make the target of abuse.

The importance of recognizing hatred lies precisely in the possibility of finding solutions. That is why the intentionality of our actions and decisions must be evaluated. Respect and tolerance are just some of the most important elements for establishing less conflictual relationships with other people.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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