Can I not hate back?

By Boglàrka Szigeti. Boglàrka is a freelance writer and linguist, from Magyarföld, Hungary. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

“La haine attire la haine.” (Hate attracts hate.) – From La Haine, dir. Mathieu Kassovitz.

The truthfulness of this statement is evident. Hate attracts hate. I go further: ‘hate attacks hate.’

In this article, I will argue that hate is part of the human, and the primary focus should be on what to do when we hate instead of fight hate.

Is hate coded in our soul?

I don’t know. I think I am not the only one who doesn’t know the answer. There are many hypotheses of the origin of hate, but no evidence has been found in a scientific context. Where does hatred come from? Where is it located?

Are we born with hate inside?

One day my son came back from daycare. He looked thoughtful and sad.

  • Mummy, are you good?
  • Sure, my dear. Why?
  • Tony said that I should hate him. But I don’t want to hate him. He is my best friend.
  • Why should you hate him?
  • Because everybody hates him. His mummy said that he is different. That’s why everybody hates him.

When I was a child, I was seeking the ‘whys’ for everything. It has been a long time since I have found time to reflect on the big things of the world because I was overwhelmed with everyday concerns. Besides, I considered this matter incredibly complicated, so I preferred to postpone it for a moment of solitude. My son didn’t know it was a challenging argument. So, he answered in the simplest manner to a question I have been carrying with me for years. Difference.

‘Opposites attract’ is a myth. The truth is that we like people who are similar to us. Have you ever been in a relationship with someone completely different from you in character, and personality traits? If so, you will understand the following train of thought.

You probably liked him or her due to his or her bizarre attitude, mindset, or something distinctive from your usual lifestyle. However, after a while, you have started sensing an intangible conflict in the air. Why is that?

Why do we quarrel with our partner? We differ when we realize that our significant other does things contrary to how we usually do them. We like the way we do things and hate how others do the same thing. We like ourselves and everything similar to us.

You would ask now: ‘Ok, but why do we initiate a relationship with someone so different from us?’

The same question arises as to why we would travel to exotic countries. Because we are attracted to their fabulous, mysterious nature. Yet, when we go to live there, we may even hate it because everything is different from how we are used to living. Customs, food, belief, bureaucracy, mentality. We hate it because we don’t assimilate, so we don’t become similar to them.

You may disagree if you have ever been in a good relationship with someone ‘alien’. You might have positive experiences of living in an exotic country. But were they truly different from your inner nature?

I have learned from my son that perceiving something or someone as different, drops hate into our soul.

The other ingredient is: awareness of the difference

I often smile at the fact that my son behaves in the same way with me even when I don’t wear my best clothes. He loves me when I am nice, and he loves me when I am ugly.

He doesn’t know he is supposed to hate his friend. He didn’t even know Tony was different.

The question is why and when we start being aware of the difference? When consciousness enters the picture, we see more and more details, and we put them into categories. Categories become prejudices in the adult’s mind.

Everything starts in the daycare. When small children interact with other small children, they begin seeing that some have better toys, others have tastier foods or nicer pacifiers. I am not saying people don’t see differences if they don’t go to daycare, but social life boosts this awareness. At later ages, they become aware of gender, clothes, and skin differences as well.

Mathieu Kassovitz’s movie, Le Haine, is very relevant today. The protagonists are three young men from the periphery of Paris. All of them were born in Paris, all of them speak French, but none of them is entirely assimilated to the usual French life. They all have some issues with the police and are considered outcasts of society. They behave differently because they are perceived as being different.

Can I not hate back?

We all are born with the innocence of a child. When we start becoming conscious of the difference, we tend to generate anger in our mind, and anger often tends to develop into hate. Similar attracts similar. Hate attracts hate. It’s enough that just one individual starts the trend, the hostility soon becomes contiguous.

Can I not hate back? Imagine that you approach a person to ask for a question or a favour. This guy responds by humiliating you due to your ‘stupid’ question. How would you feel? Imagine that he or she repeats this action each time when you approach him or her! Could you return his anger or hate with love?

Imagine that you have been searching for a job for a long time, but no employers want to hire you because you cost too much. You want only a standard salary to facilitate your usual lifestyle. Nothing extra, just to afford to live in your country. Employers prefer foreign resources because they cost less. You are bombarded with messages that all blame lies with those particular individuals who are ‘stealing’ your job. However, these are simple economic reasons and nothing personal! But you would curse all who ‘rob’ you of your post. Wouldn’t you? You couldn’t see and are not even willing to see beyond the superficial facts because desperation, anger, and hate infest your heart.

Sometimes, when looking deeply into our hearts, we get scared after finding out what we are bearing there. A lot of pain, a lot of hate. We may hopelessly fight against these emotions; however, as long as we attack them, they will attack us back. If we force ourselves to love even our haters, we are asked to do something impossible, which can cause more significant harm if we fail. I know, we should love our neighbour as ourselves, but first, we should learn how to love ourselves, right? How can you love somebody else if you don’t love yourself? You wouldn’t know what love means.

Accept your hate!

The main problem is that we reply to a fight with a fight. To avoid this, we need to accept the ‘different’ one and understand it if that’s possible. We need to recognize our hate and reflect on the reasons. As soon as we analyse our feelings, they may leave, or at least our intelligence can prevent us from taking hateful actions. We need to understand that we are humans and not perfect creatures. We are full of faults, we hate, and we love. We can control our emotions rationally, but hate, anger, and pain will accompany us throughout life. What we can do is reason and avoid taking hateful actions. We can try to see the similarities instead of differences in others to overcome hate.

  • Mummy, are you good?
  • No, my love, I am not good, but I am trying to be.

22 comments on “Can I not hate back?

  1. Bori on

    “The main problem is that we reply to a fight with a fight.” Exactly! I found a very interesting approach in this article.

  2. Tündi on

    I love this article. “We need to understand that we are humans and not perfect creatures. ” I found a very interesting approach in this article. Unfortunately, lot of people don’t want to accept another person.

  3. Izabel on

    It is an interesting article that makes us consciously evaluate and reconsider our attitudes. After all, aren´t we “rational beings”? 🙂
    I truly liked it!

    • Jim Faal on

      What a thoughtful and savvy article!
      “Love your neighbours as you love thyself ”
      I’m gonna precise on this. All what we have to know is that there is a whole lot of reciprocity in emotions…. being HATE LOVE or RESPECT and these are particularly nurtured by our surrounding. It’s deadly obvious that people give what they receive.


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