In Search of Hate…

Recently a post on a friend’s blog spurred my interest in the two opposites… Love and Hate… Love is something that has had attention from everybody… be it motivational speakers to the stockbrokers and even scientists but something that has not been probed enough is Hate…

While googling hate as an emotion I came across couple of good articles and the one that specifically stands out deals primarily on Hate and is by a psychologist and a researcher Christopher Burris…

The general consensus is that hate is an emotion, but Burris argues that hate is a motive. Burris says a motive provides focus directed toward the attainment of a particular goal.

Burris offers analysis of road rage, movie scenes (e.g., Kathy Bates’ character in the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s Misery), to illustrate various subtypes of hate.

The hate motive does not have to be premeditated nor do emotional experiences inevitably lead to hate. Burris says: "To the extent that we devalue the other, see them as somehow beneath us or totally unlike us, I believe that becomes the cognitive step towards the process of hate. And honestly, I feel like once it comes to the point of devaluing the other, hate may be an inevitable consequence."

All of this got me thinking, not about "big" hate, but about the everyday hate encounters, particularly in society. It seems to me that the two goals that are commonly encountered in the groves of society are "elevating the self" and "restoring order"… Denigration and redress, then, are the subtypes of hate all too often exhibited in the "normal" course of social behavior…

In the personal life it comes in the forms of ‘Mutiny’ and ‘Tethering’… Last but not the least ‘Nihilism’ is a subtype that I think I’d reserve for terrorists and co-workers :-))

Below is a table from the UA article summarizing Burris’ categories of hate…

Let me count the ways: six subtypes of hate I_Love_Hate_You_4_5465


Emotional antecedent



Anticipation, excitement



Resentment, exasperation

Assertion of autonomy


Loss, fear of abandonment

“Securing” the relationship


Envy, contempt

Elevating the self


Anger, disgust

Restoring order


Loathing, seething rage

Destruction of the other

Source: adapted from “Let me count the ways: An integrative theory of love and hate,” by J. K. Rempel, & C. T. Burris, Personal Relationships (in press).


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