Hatred and the Middle Path

by Bobbi McIntyre, licensed DEI Trainer & Consultant
Meme that says "Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate"
Photo and meme by Casey Diggs

I saw this meme about love and hate going around Facebook, and I thought about the fact that people have never been taught how to work with emotions in an intentional and healthy way.

Most of us have learned how to work with emotions by watching others, or simply by reacting. It’s easy to say “promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate,” but when emotions are involved, it’s much more complicated than that.

Hatred is an intense emotion. Like all emotions, it has a purpose in our lives. It shows us the parts of ourselves that we’ve judged to be so inconsistent with our core beliefs that we abandon them or label them as distinctly not us. This gives us permission to bash these parts.

The problem with bashing the things we hate is that the things we hate are a part of being human. We all have the capacity to act in the hated way.

So hate’s job is to show us what parts of being human we’ve denied. This denial can (and often does) lead to anger, panic, and violence — from verbally bashing the object of our hate to outright physical assault.

But hatred calls us to look within

Hate calls us to look within, find that part of us that is human, that part capable of behaving in the way that activates our hateful reaction … and see it. Acknowledge that we are human and, most importantly, that being human includes everything within the realm of our capabilities. This acceptance leads to compassion and empathy for ourselves and others.

From that space, we can take actions to make real changes in the world.

Hate is a powerful and essential emotion. And I struggle with it every day.


Photo of Bobbi McIntyre
Bobbi McIntyre

Bobbi McIntyre is a Licensed Dynamic Emotional Integration® Trainer. She lives in South Carolina and offers workshops throughout the Mid-Atlantic and South East areas. Bobbi is a certified Equine-Assisted life coach and a retired US Navy Captain with over 35 years in corporate leadership. Her DEI teaching focuses on empathy and empathic communication skills to promote healthy relationships at home and at work. Her engaging and interactive workshops focus on the wisdom in emotions and how to work with them to create a balanced and healthy life. View Bobbi’s profile here: Bobbi McIntyre.

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