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I Feel Like I Want Everybody around Me to Feel Bad

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I feel like I want everybody around me to feel bad and suffer and I want myself to suffer just because I feel bad about.

It happens when I get upset about something, (or I choose to be upset about it). and what really happens is that inside me I get this deep urge to do things that either hurt me or hurt others around me, it’s like I feel spite towards others and towards myself. I don’t know if it is a call for attention or just an ego act, but I feel it a lot lately and at some point, it is bothering people around me. One example of the act is that one time I got upset I couldn’t go to a trip I was hyped about, so I stopped eating for a day although at some point in my mind I was really asking myself to eat and to stop the act. I just want to know the source or reason for such behavior and thank you for your time. (From Lebanon)

I Feel Like I Want Everybody around Me to Feel Bad

Answered by on -


The two most likely reasons are a projection or a displacement. It is hard to know for sure because there are a lot of variables that could influence this, but a projection is when some internal process — often a negative one but it doesn’t have to be — is projected on to someone or something outside of us and we respond to them in a way that reflects the emotion inside.

In displacement, the negative emotion gets put out onto something or someone that isn’t the cause of the emotion but instead become a target. A parent who has a difficult day at work who comes home and yells at their child is an example of this.

These are just guesses and are not definitive at all as there are many variables that can influence these types of behaviors. If it persists you’ll want to have a chat with a therapist who can help you sort it through. The find help tab at the top of the page will locate someone in your area.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

I Feel Like I Want Everybody around Me to Feel Bad

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2019). I Feel Like I Want Everybody around Me to Feel Bad. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 5 Jan 2019 (Originally: 7 Jan 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 5 Jan 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.