Tolerance for others is not always easy, particularly when you feel wronged by them. Building tolerance often involves self-reflection, which can help reshape your thinking and may improve your overall well-being.

Everyone faces times when they feel like nothing is going right in their life. At times, it can feel like people — in general — are the source of your troubles.

After all, on any given day, it can be difficult to coexist with others. Differences in opinion, inconsiderate behavior, and even similarities in traits that you do not like in yourself can cause you to feel like you “hate people.”

The occasional passing thought of hating people may not be too concerning. But if it starts to grow into a trend or you find you dislike interacting with others, it may reflect underlying or unresolved issues bringing these feelings to life.

These negative feelings can have a negative impact on your mental health and relationship with others.

Misanthropy is the term to describe when you feel like you “hate people.” It translates quite literally as “hatred of people.” Misanthropy is not a mental health condition, meaning there’s no process to diagnose or treat misanthropy.

The word’s origin dates back to ancient Greek and Roman writers and philosophers, who described certain “abhorrent” people who sought isolation as misanthropes.

Misanthropy is not the same as various discriminatory thoughts, like racism or sexism. These biases base their dislike on specific traits or characteristics of others.

A person described as a misanthrope hates all humans in general, typically due to inherent flaws and natural, undesirable behaviors of others.

Feeling hatred or disdain toward others can negatively impact your:

  • work
  • mental and physical health
  • relationship with others in your life

As great as people can be, there are numerous reasons you may find that you dislike people.

Some underlying causes of disliking people can include:

This is not an exhaustive list of possible reasons for finding you dislike people. You may find there are other reasons you do not like others.

Figuring out why you feel the way you do can help you to help stop disliking others.

The following are some general tips to help you cope when you feel like you “hate” everyone.

1. Try patience-building exercises

Patience — like muscles, endurance, or playing an instrument — requires practice and discipline. If you find you have limited patience for others or in general, you may find patience-building exercises helpful, including:

For more information on patience building, check out this resource.

2. Explore your triggers

Certain situations may negatively influence your feelings toward others. Knowing your triggers may help you plan and develop strategies to help you feel better when you face them.

Some triggers that may cause you to feel general “hate” or anger toward others may include:

  • finding trash on a nature trail
  • other people’s driving abilities
  • betrayal of trust
  • being made fun of or mocked

3. Challenge cognitive distortions

Cognitive distortion is a pattern of exaggerated thought with no basis in reality or what happened. It causes you to view things in a more negative light.

Examples of cognitive distortion can include:

  • overgeneralizing
  • blaming
  • “should” statements.

These thought patterns can cause you to dislike others based on fallacies or misinterpretations of their actions.

Cognitive restructuring helps you to reframe or train your thoughts to help you interpret life events in a more positive manner.

It may help you to understand others’ actions and feel less disdain for others.

4. Consider your past traumas

Your past can influence you, sometimes in ways you don’t intend or realize. Evidence suggests that people who undergo traumatic events often view themselves and the world through a negative lens.

If you find yourself hating others, you may be able to trace its origin to a recent or past trauma ranging in severity from a cheating ex to the unexpected death of a loved one.

You may find your attitude toward others changes as you take steps to address the trauma. Counseling and other types of therapy may help you to address unresolved emotions, like grief, that you experienced due to a traumatic event.

Addressing these underlying emotions may help improve your thoughts about others and contribute to an overall sense of well-being.

If you feel like you dislike everyone or people in general, one of the first things you can do to address the feeling is to determine your why. What is causing you to hate others?

Once you start to understand your why, you can take meaningful steps to address how you feel. This may include therapy, such as:

  • practicing patience
  • talk therapy or CBT
  • challenging your own thoughts

While there is no formal treatment for misanthropy, a therapist or other mental health worker can likely help. If you are not sure how to find or what to look for in a therapist, this resource may help.