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Let’s Take a Look at The Emotion of Hate

Hate is a very strong emotion that is usually reserved for people whose actions you view as totally unacceptable, evil, or reprehensible.

America, today, is portrayed as a divided society. In the news, we read “hate” groups and “hate” crimes on a regular basis.

So, let’s look at the emotion of hate.

The Emotions as Tools Model notes that each emotion informs you about how you perceive your surroundings. This is the message of the emotion. I discuss the Emotions as Tools Model in my book Emotions as Tools: Control Your Life not Your Feelings.

The message of hate is that you perceive a situation or person as extremely negative, or even demonic. Hate is a very strong emotion that is usually reserved for people whose actions you view as totally unacceptable, evil, or reprehensible. Presumably, you would want nothing to do with this person because he, she, or it is extremely toxic, negative or hurtful.

Logically, you’d think that your emotional reaction to hate would be to cut ties with or avoid the person or situation you view with such disdain. This is not, however, what frequently happens.

I need to say something about how we use the word “hate”.

While we may say “I hate Brussels sprouts.”, the word “hate” is the same as used in the word “hate” crime but the intent expressed is different. To be accurate here, while you might say that you “hate” Brussels sprouts, in reality, you just dislike them. If you really do not like Brussels sprouts, you wouldn’t order them in a restaurant.

And, while you might dislike them a whole lot, you probably are not emotionally attached to them.

With the emotion of hate, however, what you tend to do emotionally is exactly the opposite of what you would expect. Instead of moving away from the object of your hate, emotionally, you bind yourself to the person or situation just as powerfully as if you were in love with them.

Let me show you what I mean.

Imagine that you are facing a person and you are firmly holding both of their hands in yours. Everywhere they go, you go. And vice versa.

Think of this as love. You are emotionally connected to the person you love and they are with you all the time.

Now, let’s look at hate. You can visualize the emotion of hate by standing back to back with your partner and then firmly taking both of their hands in yours. As you can see, you are now opposite them in the sense that many people consider hate to be the opposite of love.

But, and this is the important part, you are just as securely connected to them as you are with love. Where they go, you go. And, they are with you all the time.

If you truly hate someone, you will realize that you can be consumed by your hate. Just as you can be consumed by your love.

This may be okay with love. It isn’t okay with hate.

When you truly hate someone, you might find yourself engaging more deeply with them perhaps to get revenge on or to hurt them in some way. When this happens, you are most likely also experiencing anger. The message of anger is that you perceive a threat to your values or sense of right and wrong and you believe you can “eliminate” the threat by throwing enough force at it. Hence, you are motivated to take forceful action against the person (or people) you perceive as a threat.

To mix anger and hate together can be very dangerous. The hate emotionally binds you to the person (or object of your hate) and the anger emotionally energizes you to take destructive action. Under these circumstances, logic and thinking about consequences often get eliminated. Think about hate groups, hate crimes, extreme discrimination, and so forth.

This is why you might want to avoid hating another person.

“Huh”, you say, “what does that mean?”

Well, as I said above, hate is a very strong emotion. When you are under the influence of hate, you tend not to take the next step in mastering an emotion which is to assess the validity of the message the emotion is communicating to you. Thus, with hate, you should assess both whether the object of your hate is, indeed, demonic AND whether the actions you are about to engage in (moving toward rather than away from that which you hate) will, improve the situation in which you find yourself.

So, what are your options?

If someone or something is, indeed, terrible, reprehensible, or demonic, you can decide to feel disgust toward them. The message of disgust is that you need to avoid or dispel the disgusting object. Think of Brussels sprouts as disgusting. If you find the actions of this despicable person as reprehensible and as a threat to your values or safety, you can use the energy of your valid anger to develop and execute a plan to neutralize this individual. You are now engaged with, but not necessarily irrevocably emotionally bound to, the person or situation.

I discuss anger and the anger cycle in depth both in my book Beyond Anger Management: Master Your Anger as a Strategic Tool.

For more information on mastering different emotions, click on over to my blog TheEmotionsDoctor.com and check out the Index tab in the upper right hand corner of the home page. This will give you a listing of all of my posts by category, title and date.

Ed Daube, The Emotions Doctor, is a psychologist and bestselling author.

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Although having emotions is a normal part of the human experience, it doesn’t mean that someone is born with the ability to understand them. In the same way that someone will need to be taught how to speak, they will also need to be taught how to understand their own emotions.

​Therefore, unless someone is given the guidance that they need during the beginning of their life, they can end up being in a position where they don’t understand their own emotions as an adult. They will then most likely be able to understand what to say to others, along with what others say to them, but they won’t understand how they feel or even how other people feel.

A Frustrating Existence

Instead of being able to describe how they feel, they could just have moments where they are aware that they feel down or are angry, for instance. What they won’t be able to do is to accurately describe what is taking place inside them.

One way of looking at this would be to say that one will have a whole pallet of paints but it will be as if they only have a few to choose from. Through not being able to label each emotion that is inside them, their experience on this earth will be limited.

One Reason

Now, if someone has the need to understand what is taking place inside them, it could be because they are not in a good way emotionally. As a result of this, they can want to understand how they feel so that they can get the right assistance.

Once they are able to do this, their inner world will end up having far more depth and they will be able to put certain labels to one side. This can allow them to get to the bottom of how they feel and to accurately describe what they are going through to others.

Turning Into the Body

The first thing that they can do is to pay attention to what is taking place in their body as certain parts of the body correspond to certain emotions. For example, anger can be felt in the mouth, hands and at the top of the stomach, while sadness, rejection, abandonment and loss can be felt in the chest.

What this comes down to is that sensations are the precursor to feelings; first there were sensations (physical body), then there were feelings (emotional body) and then came thoughts (mental body). So by getting back in touch with what came first – sensations - one can start to understand what came after – their feelings.

A Helping Hand

When it comes to understanding what feelings are felt where one can take a closer look into the chakra system. It doesn’t whether one is on board with this system or not as each chakra goes into where certain feelings are felt in the body.

There is then no pressure on them to become a lifelong student of the charka system; they are simply using the valuable information that it provides. If they have an open mind, this system can greatly benefit their life.

Final Thoughts

For one to go from having no idea about how they feel to having a clear idea will take time. Nonetheless, the effort that they put in to understand their inner world will be worth it in the long run.

Ultimately, what they do will allow them to understand themselves, and this can have a positive effect on every area of their life. The greater understanding they have of their inner world, their better their outer world can be.

When it comes to what one generation passes onto the next, genetics are at the forefront. Some experts say that whatever one generation has, the next are certain to have the same. However, others, through their understanding of epigenetics, have said that their needs to be a trigger in order for anyone’s DNA to have an effect.

And this trigger could be an external trigger, so environmental, or an internal trigger and how one feels or thinks for instance. What doesn’t receive as much exposure as this, is how emotional neglect can be passed on from one generation to another.

No Surprise

But, if one were to step back and look at how the western world is, this is not going to be much of a surprise. And this is because the western world and the countries that have been influenced by it are out of balance. The masculine side has been embraced, whereas the feminine has largely been rejected.

For example, genetics are seen as building blocks and as something that can be changed or removed. Just like how one would build a house, create an extension or remove a part of the existing structure.

Emotions on the other hand, can’t be seen directly, but they can be seen through the consequences that they create. It is also not possible to remove them, like one would move a brick from a house. The masculine approach is all about doing and the feminine approach is about being.

Cut Off

With there being a focus on the masculine or the left brain and a denial of the feminine and the right brain, an imbalance has been created. And that has meant that emotions have largely been ignored.

They are often seen as insignificant and the impact they have ends up being ignored. One can’t see air, but without it one would suffer and die shortly after, if this absence lasted for too long.

And the same applies to emotions; they can’t be seen and yet they define one’s life. If one feels good or balanced, certain things will be done. But if they don’t feel good and are out of balance, it could lead to one behaving in ways that are destructive to themselves and to others.

Childhood Development

So genetics will be often seen as the primary reason as to why someone grows up to be how they are. And when this relates to someone’s emotional development, it could be said that they feel as they do because it runs in the family for instance. Here one might suffer from depression, have what is often described as an ‘addictive personality’ or have mental problems.

And while there may be some truth to this outlook, what it doesn’t look into is the kind of care one received as a baby and a child. The kind of nurturing one did receive or didn’t receive during this time will make a massive difference to the kind of person one will grow up to be.

Through the focus being on genetics, its stops attention going where it needs to be. It is through awareness that change takes place, without it, nothing can truly change.

Emotional Neglect

To be neglected during ones formative years is going to create problems and the severity of these problems will depend on many different things. Two people could experience neglect and turn our completely different; one person could elevate themselves and another could end up living a life of pain and suffering or even commit suicide.

Firstly, there will be how the neglect affects them and how they respond to these consequences. And then there will be the kind of support that they do or do not receive.

Never Again

However, no matter what happens after the neglect has taken place and one becomes an adult, it is likely that one would have said to themselves that they would not do this to anyone. But time passes and one ends up doing to their own child or children, what was done to them.

And as one suffered so much through being neglected themselves, it can seem strange that they would do the same thing to another. Logically this doesn’t make any sense and why would it.

The Cycle

So if one was to work on their neglect through therapy or was able to heal it in another way, then the chances of them passing it on are going to be very low. The problems arise when ones becomes out of touch with what happened all those years ago.

And this is a normal response to trauma, disconnecting from what happened is a way to handle the pain. But although this does allow one to ‘survive’, it also means that they are liable to repeat the same pattern all over again.

This is because the pain of what happened has remained within them and to be around a baby or a child that is incredibly needy and dependent, is going to trigger that part of them that feels the same. And because the child reminds them of this, they will want to avoid the child.

Without Awareness

It would be easy to assume that in order for a caregiver to act this way, they must be bad or evil. And yet this behaviour will be a reaction and not something that they have consciously thought about.

Their pain will be triggered and then the child will be neglected; either through the caregiver physically leaving them or by them being emotionally unavailable. The ability to act consciously is taken away as a result of them carrying so much pain.

Education

What this emphasises is the importance of education, especially when it comes to the area of emotional development. Emotional neglect can cause someone to be emotionally stuck and so it will be important for them to deal with the pain of what happened or more to the point, what didn’t happen, many years ago.

Unless one wakes up and takes responsibility for their emotional development, then there is strong chance that nothing will change and the past will be repeated once again. With emotions being generally ignored in the west, it means that in most cases, one will need to take the initiative themselves.

Awareness

To heal emotional neglect will take work and patience and is likely to require the assistance of a therapist or a healer. They will provide the mirroring and attunement that one didn’t get as a child and allow one to release the emotional pain that they have been carrying ever since.

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