Hate insulates me from learning because I already know what’s “right”.

Hate criticizes others while justifying me.

Hate can’t understand why no one sees it my way, and doesn’t particularly want or need to.

Hate won’t tell me I’m wrong. Keep hating and I’ll always be right (in my mind at least).

Hate filters out what I should hear and overestimates what I want to hear.

Hate doesn’t desire change, at least not on my end.

 

As offensive as hate usually is, it’s actually meant to defend us. It’s a safe little bubble that protects us from challenging our points of view, changing our minds, or being real. To hate is to defend oneself from the outside.

This reminds me of a research article entitled “Is homophobia associated with homosexual arousal” (Adams, Wright, and Lohr, 1996). Two groups of men, differentiated only by their scores on a scale of homophobia (negative affect toward gay men) were shown sexually explicit material with two men, two women, and finally with a man and a woman (in randomized order of course). The findings? Both groups were sexually aroused by watching a man and a woman or just two women, but only the homophobic group was aroused by watching two men. And these are physical measurements on arousal (I won’t go into further detail), as opposed to self-report.

I’m not trying to make any judgments or observations about homophobic or gay men here. The findings of this article are indeed hotly debated to this day. Rather, my motivation is to underscore that some of us try to hide something with hate. Whether it’s fear, anger at others, anger at ourselves, or plain old hurt, it’s something we don’t feel safe bringing out into the light of day.

When I say the word ‘hate’ does anything stir for you? It might not be as big as racism or stereotyping. I do a lot of ‘hating’ on cheesy Christmas song remakes and mall shopping to avoid my own insecurities. What might we be hiding on a deeper level?