Feelings of hatred or intense emotional dislike develop for many reasons. People might begin to hate another person or group when they:
- Feel envy or want what the other person has. They may consider it unfair that someone has what they lack.
- Have contempt for another person or believe them to be inferior.
- Learn hatred from parents, their community, or other social groups.
- Are humiliated or mistreated by another person.
People also hate when they feel powerless. Rather than turning their anxiety and shame inward, they may project that negativity onto an external target. In some cases, people who experience bullying or abuse may grow to hate the person who harmed them.
In other cases, a target is hated more for what they represent than for specific actions they have taken. Individuals may believe the target of their hatred has harmful intentions toward them and would hurt them if they could. However, the target may not necessarily have hostile intentions, or the hatred may be disproportional to the injury.