Why do I hate everyone, and what can I do to change that?

Sometimes, the world can feel like too much to deal with. Other times, it can feel like people might be the source of our issues. Coexisting with other people around us isn’t always easy, often due to our differences, or even because their shared traits might remind you of things you don’t like about yourself

In any case, when interacting with the people around you is something you no longer enjoy, or if they act counter to how you think they should, it may feel logical to say you just “hate everyone.” However, there is often something buried under that thought, and it may have something to do with you yourself.

What Is It Called When You Feel Like You Hate Everyone?

One term that encompasses having hate for everyone would be “misanthropy,” which literally means “hate for mankind.” Therefore, a person who hates everyone would be a “misanthrope.”

A misanthrope, in its most general sense, is considered a person who hates humans, often due to their perceived inherent nature and behaviors. Misanthropes are different from discriminatory groups (racists, sexists, etc.) because they hate everyone rather than specific groups of people. 

In addition to hate, misanthropy usually involves a general feeling of aversion and distrust. Oftentimes, these feelings arise from the perception of moral flaws within human beings and human nature in modern society.

However, when someone says the throwaway phrase, “I hate everyone,” they may not mean that literally. There are people that don’t believe in or trust any other people, and those people may be right when they hate everyone, but many people say it after they have trusted or let another person in and that person, in turn, did not respect that trust. 

They feel betrayed and hurt, and may feel like attributing the failure of that person to the general idea that human beings as a group are bad or wired to cause pain, though that idea is not necessarily true. Humans have the capacity for great evil and darkness, but they also have the capacity for kindness and selfless action. If someone says, “I hate everyone,” it may be a sign that other interactions or relationships from their past may have hurt them as well.

Another reason someone might say this is that they may be overwhelmed with relationships and struggling to manage interpersonal conflict, or feel that repair in relationships may be impossible. Often, though, there can be resolution, and if there cannot be resolution, one can always build new healthy relationships as they shed the old ones that may not be worthy of repair.

What Is the Root Cause of Hate?

Hate can be caused by a long list of factors. Possible root causes of hate include: 

  • Anger at another person
  • A desire to do harm to another
  • Perceived offenses to your beliefs or values
  • Jealousy
  • Insecurity
  • Intense hurt
  • Assumptions made about another person or group
  • Fear
  • Chronic stress 
  • Depression
  • And many more

While hostility can describe an overt expression of opposition, anger can be a bit more complicated. Anger can serve as both a primary reaction, something caused directly by an event or incident, and secondary emotion, a reaction to a different primary emotion, like sadness or hurt.

Quite often, feelings of hatred may get triggered if one’s values or beliefs have been offended or disrespected—feeling as though they are the recipient of repeated or unfair treatment or mistreatment.

When you think you might be feeling hate, it can be helpful to keep in mind what emotions are close to hate and think of what is causing your current emotions in order to increase your awareness of them and make them easier to deal with.

I Hate This World and Everyone in It—How Do You Deal With Hate for Everyone?

When someone says they hate “the world,” it’s often less likely that they mean our natural environment and more likely that they could be referring to man-made societal structures. This can also help explain why they might “hate everyone in it” as well. If they have a hard time living within these structures created by humans, it makes sense that they might also have hard feelings toward the humans that created them. 

However, when you have to carry all that hate around for everyone and everything, it can be hard to manage. Instead, discovering the root of that hate and assessing what attitudes and thought patterns could be adjusted can help you live a bit more easily. Some examples of things you can do to deal with hate for everyone are:

  • Explore and identify triggers to anger
  • Challenge cognitive distortions, such as overgeneralizations or blaming
  • Identify your values and assess what may have been offended to cause your hate
  • Find a more helpful focus, like gratitude practices or appreciating what you have
  • Explore unresolved trauma or grief
  • Increase your ability to tolerate frustration or resolve conflicts

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Why Do I Dislike Almost Everyone? What Makes You Dislike a Person?

People dislike each other for many reasons. Some reasons make sense—like when someone intentionally offends you. Others are more superficial—like they remind you of someone else who offended you. Sometimes, we may not even know why we dislike a person.

Whatever the reason, holding negative emotions towards a wide range of individuals may negatively affect your ability to function in a society that is dependent on basic social skills to advance in occupational, relational or educational settings.

Some basic ways to improve your perspective of people include:

  • Challenging automatic negative thoughts: If you think that others will never get along with you or treat you well, why is that?
  • Challenging your beliefs: Are people always bad and selfish, or have you simply interacted with many bad and selfish people in the past?
  • Exploring your history for instances of trauma: Will everyone hurt you just because someone in your past did?
  • Engaging with more like-minded people: If you find that your values and beliefs don’t align with those of the people around you, try looking for people that are similar to you.
  • Improving your self-perception: Are you projecting issues you have with yourself onto other people?
  • Examining areas of insecurity: Do others make you feel threatened or touch on your insecurities?

Though sometimes people’s beliefs are rigid, coming to therapy can help with psychological flexibility and not seeing things completely in “black and white,” allowing them to have more openness to other perspectives.

Disliking everyone can be exhausting, and it can also get lonely quickly. If you want to reassess your outlook on others but are struggling to know where to start, talking to a mental health professional can help. They’ll be able to steer you in the right direction and identify what negative thought patterns might be working against you.

Why Do I Hate Everyone in My Family?

If a person holds hostile feelings towards all members of their family, whether that be their parents, siblings, or extended family, it’s likely that the structure of the family may include behaviors that the individual finds: 

  • Offensive
  • Threatening
  • Uncivilized
  • Judgmental
  • Misunderstood
  • Insincere
  • Belittling
  • Condescending
  • Contemptuous

Essentially, the dynamic or overall behavior of the group is not meeting their needs or feels disrespectful toward their needs and requirements. This is not an easy position to be in, as one’s family, whatever it may look like, is often the first point of contact for a person from childhood and has large amounts of influence on how an individual grows up and who they become. In this sense, it can be hard to separate oneself from the influence and support, in whatever amount, of one’s family. 

However, even when there is love and care involved, it is not sustainable to continue relying on or associating with your family if they are not capable of or are refusing to meet your needs. It’s especially important to break this contact and find your own safety if they are actively causing you harm, either emotionally or physically. 

If you feel that you hate your family, seeking counseling from a mental health professional is the best thing you can do for yourself and your mental well-being. However, if you are experiencing any kind of violence and consider yourself to be in physical danger, please contact law enforcement or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.

Table of contents

What Is It Called When You Feel Like You Hate Everyone?

What Is the Root Cause of Hate?

I Hate This World and Everyone in It—How Do You Deal With Hate for Everyone?

Why Do I Dislike Almost Everyone? What Makes You Dislike a Person?

Why Do I Hate Everyone in My Family?

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Laura Harris, LCMHC in Durham, NC

Laura Harris, LCMHC

Laura Harris is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC). She specializes in anger, anxiety, depression, stress management, coping strategies development, and problem-solving skills.

Christine Ridley, Resident in Counseling in Winston-Salem, NC

Christine Ridley, LCSW

Christine Ridley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who specializes in adolescent and adult anxiety, depression, mood and thought disorders, addictive behaviors, and co-dependency issues.

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Hannah DeWitt

Hannah is a Junior Copywriter at Thriveworks. She received her bachelor’s degree in English: Creative Writing with a minor in Spanish from Seattle Pacific University. Previously, Hannah has worked in copywriting positions in the car insurance and trucking sectors doing blog-style and journalistic writing and editing.

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The information on this page is not intended to replace assistance, diagnosis, or treatment from a clinical or medical professional. Readers are urged to seek professional help if they are struggling with a mental health condition or another health concern.

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