Most people struggle with self-esteem and perception at some point in their lives. During these times, it can be difficult to believe that those around us really do care about us. Sometimes, it seems more logical that they actually don’t like us, or may even hate us.
Other times, we may discover that someone doesn’t like us and struggle to understand why—everyone wants to think of themselves as likable to some degree.
People feel hate for others for a myriad of reasons, and many of them don’t always make sense on the surface. That’s why we’ve broken down what conditions often inspire dislike and hate in people, as well as what behaviors and thought patterns cause someone to feel hated.
Why Do People Hate Me So Much? What Does It Mean When Everyone Hates You?
Despite what people may think, someone hating another person is not always about what that person does or who they are. In fact, it can often have more to do with the person that hates them—their own insecurities and past experiences. The word “hate” is one of deep anger, frustration, and often hurt. However, not everyone means it to its full extent when they use it.
There’s no concrete set of reasons why someone might hate someone else, but there are reasons that come up consistently when those feelings are examined. Common reasons why people might say they hate another person are:
- The person feels threatened.
- The person may feel insecure.
- The person may have been hurt violated by another similar person.
- They offended the person’s core values.
- The person may say “hate” and mean another emotion like anger or contempt.
- The person may have experienced chronic disappointment or neglect from them.
Why Do I Feel Disliked? Why Do I Feel Like Everyone Despises Me?
As we’ve discussed above, there are many reasons why someone might not like another person, or even choose to hate them. Generally, it’s caused by a sense of hurt, frustration, anger, and disrespect, whether perceived or based in fact.
One thing to note is that it’s less likely that you will encounter people who hold irrational negative opinions towards you if they are like or similar to you. In other words, you are more likely to encounter people that “like” you or hold a positive perspective of you if they are similar to you.
That’s not all though! If you would like the general population to receive you more favorably there are things you can do that most people tend to respond favorably to.
Some simple things you can do to help improve your social perception and make other people feel good are:
- Improve active listening skills
- Use your sense of humor
- Try not to be judgemental of those around you
- Work on having less closed-off body language (i.e. frowning, crossing your arms, angling away from others)
- Provide sincere compliments
- Be reliable and dependable
- Practice being accountable for your behavior
If this worry that other people don’t like you starts to affect where you go and how you live your life, it’s possible you could suffer from anxiety, or even a disorder such as social anxiety disorder or generalized anxiety disorder. Whether this is the case or not, it can help to receive support from a mental health professional if you feel socially despised or outcast. They will be able to help you dissect what is causing you to feel this way and come up with ways to protect and heal yourself, helping to take that worry off your mind.
How Do You Know If People Hate You?
When a person hates another person, they are likely to perform behaviors that seek to create separation or render the individual no longer a threat. This can mean many things, such as perhaps distancing themselves from you, being passive aggressive, or acting out verbally or even physically.
Some common actions people take when they dislike or believe they hate you are:
- Avoidance: Because of the negative association they have of you in their mind, they might choose to stay away from you, spending less time interacting with you and choosing to avoid situations where you are present. This could look like not returning texts or phone calls, disengagement from you, or them physically staying away.
- Defensiveness: When someone hates someone else, they can often become bothered by the things the other person does and the choices they make, even if those are not the main reasons they have a problem with you. They might take to nitpicking you, assigning blame onto you, or withdrawing.
- Verbal aggression: Being around someone one hates and being exposed to the behaviors that feel frustrating or irritating can cause someone to lash out verbally, perhaps resorting to threats, name calling, or even slurs.
- Physical aggression: While some people might tend toward verbal fighting or aggression, others express emotions like anger or hate through hitting, kicking, or pushing.
- Disrespectful behavior: Another common behavior that someone might choose to employ when they “hate” you is to be disrespectful. Disrespect can come in many forms, such as exclusion, ignoring, and lying, among other behaviors.
- Threats or threatening gestures: People that “hate” you might wish to intimidate you or make you feel uncomfortable in order to exert power over you. This could look like intimidation and expressing intent to do you harm.
What Does It Mean When You See Signs Everyone Hates You?
Reading into the signs shown above can be harmful and detrimental to one’s mental health and relationships. However, many people overthink about whether people hate them quite often, for a number of reasons. Some common reasons why someone might think that everyone hates them include:
- Distorted thoughts: Cognitive distortions are common faulty or exaggerated ways of thinking. Common cognitive distortions are overgeneralization, magnification, or mind reading. Essentially, they are unhelpful thinking patterns that are often used to protect oneself from hurt, but in fact, are causing themselves hurt instead due negative spirals and making it difficult to trust those around them.
- Mental health disorders: Disorders such as anxiety disorders, depression, autism spectrum disorder, paranoia/delusions, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder can cause issues with mood and interpersonal relationships. Many of them either cause feelings of low self-esteem, fear, or worry or cause someone to become insecure about their disorder and what it does to their relationships. In any case, they can cause someone to think that those around them don’t actually like them.
- Substance abuse, use, or misuse: Patterns of substance abuse can affect self-esteem and one’s ability to maintain close relationships. These patterns can also cause someone to isolate themselves, making them feel alone and unsupported, even if that isn’t true.
- Low self-esteem: One can have issues with self-esteem without having a disorder, and these issues will affect them similarly to those with mental health disorders. Low self-esteem can lead one to think very little of themselves, causing them to think that others must have the same hate for them that they do for themselves.
- Projection: Similarly to having a low perception of oneself, low self-esteem can also cause enough pain in someone that they start to attribute their self-hatred to others, seeing qualities they hate in themselves and hating others for those qualities.
If you struggle with any of these thought patterns, consider seeking help from a mental health professional. Working with them, you’ll be able to identify the thought patterns that aren’t helping you, why they occur, and find new and effective thought patterns to replace them with.
Why Does Everyone Hate Me After They Get to Know Me?
As a general rule of thumb, people like to feel comfortable. If you are noticing that your behaviors are eliciting a negative response from other people, it could be beneficial to talk to a mental health professional to gain better insight on what specific behaviors you may be displaying that aren’t perceived positively, allowing you to learn and start to engage in your social environment in a healthier way.
Basic social skills that you can try to improve the way people perceive you can include:
- Paying attention to nonverbal communication and body language (both yours and that of others)
- Improving active listening skills—ask questions and politely engage in conversation when you can
- Maintaining eye contact when interaction with others
- Increasing your perceptiveness of others—consider checking in on them or offering to do something for them based on their physical of emotional circumstances
- Providing sincere compliments
- Staying up to date with current events (as much as you can)
- If you tend to say more negative or pessimistic things, it may also help to be more positive or say fewer negative things when you are getting to know someone
Again, if you think that those around you might hate you, seeing a mental health professional is the best course of action. They can assist you with breaking down any maladaptive or negative thought patterns that are occurring, or help you deal with the negativity and lack of support you are facing from others. Feeling like everyone hates you is an isolating and demoralizing experience and can make you feel all kinds of emotions, but support is always here for you when you need it.
Why Does Everyone Hate Me Because of My Background?
Unfortunately, people often receive hate due to their background, heritage, or appearance, regardless of their personalities and who they are. One’s background usually includes their education, culture, beliefs, and influences.
Many factors can contribute to someone being hateful due to someone else’s background, such as:
- Lack of awareness: Sometimes people perform unconscious behaviors, even hate without a clear reason. Sometimes this behavior has been taught, which can easily allow someone to accept the “badness,” immorality, or other perceived negative qualities of another person or group without sufficient reasoning.
- Negative stereotypes: These cause people to make mental generalizations about undesirable or objectionable characteristics of a certain group, applying them to an entire group even if these characteristics do not, in reality, belong to every person in that group.
- Prejudice: Similarly to believing negative stereotypes, this involves forming a negative attitude about an individual or group before having an experience with them. Prejudice is heavily present in hateful beliefs like racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, and others.
- Discrimination: Discrimination occurs when someone takes negative action on prejudice. It occurs when people treat others differently based on ethnicity, nationality or another group that they belong to, sometimes including hostile, aggressive, and injurious treatment.
- Personality traits: Someone may experience hate due to personality traits that others see as negative, such as having a lack of compassion or empathy.
- Mental health factors: When someone has unresolved mental health issues, their trauma, anxiety, paranoia, delusions, or other conditions may cause them to feel hate toward you.
Whether it’s true or not, it’s extremely taxing to go through life thinking that everyone hates you. Getting support and guidance from a therapist or psychiatric professional can help take that weight off your shoulders and give you the time and space to effectively heal, allowing you to live the life you want—not one that is dictated by the feelings of others. Wherever you are, support and understanding are within reach.