Wednesday 22 May 2024

Self-Help For Cynics #34: Hating Everybody

Julian Cope - World, Shut Your Mouth

Reading back through one of those old APAs I found in my mum’s attic, and I came across a throwaway line that demonstrated how much of a curmudgeon I was in my youth. “My thesis on why I hate the world, I’ll save till next time.” With an attitude like that, it’s a wonder I ever made any friends. 

Cream - World Of Pain

I wondered if it was possible to offer a little psychoanalysis to my 20 year old self, so I took advantage of Captain Google (who wasn’t a twinkle in Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s eye back in 1992) to ask…

Why did I hate people?

Big G - I Hate The Whole Human Race

A website calling itself Very Well Mind (which I tried not to be too judgemental about) immediately stuck up its hand and started waving it about in a “pick me, pick ME!” kind of way, so let’s see what it has to say…

The reality is that no one likes every single person they’ve met. However, some people reach a stage where they get so annoyed, hurt, or frustrated with people or circumstances that they feel like they hate everyone.

Kimberley Rew - Stomping All Over The World

Clearly, this was 20 year old me. “But why?” I hear you cry. 32 years later, I’m not sure I have a definite answer to that, but here are some of Very Well Mind’s suggestions…


I’m not sure I had a lot to be stressed about at 20. I had a loving family, a home where I felt safe and cared for, a job I enjoyed with people who (ironically) I didn’t hate (well, most of them, anyway) and I was starting to earn a slither of money. I was back at uni, but that was free in the early 90s and because I went to a local uni, I wasn’t running up any kind of debt. No, then, I don’t think I can blame my post-teenage misanthropy on stress.

Black - Learning How To Hate

Social anxiety / Introverted personality

Now we might be getting nearer the cause, but again, this isn’t an obvious win. I’ve always felt a degree of social anxiety, and that’s certainly something I can deal with much better now than when I was young. And while I am by nature an introvert, I’ve always been able to fake being an extrovert. Which is how I ended up on the radio… although, unlike most radio presenters, I wasn’t a sunny, cheer up your day personality… I was a grumpy, sarcastic anti-personality. Hence the fact that they didn’t ever give me my own solo show, but also paired me with a “straight man” who could offer a little light to contrast my dark. 

Harald Thune - The Power Of Hate

Ideological differences

I think this is more likely to explain why 52 year old me gets wound up by large swathes of the human race, rather than my 20 year old self. I wasn’t really that bothered back then.

Dancer - Hate Generator

A Doctor Kristen Farrell Turner, quoted on Very Well Mind says… 

…feeling hatred toward others will rob you of enjoyable life experiences. Not only does hatred require a great deal of cognitive and emotional energy, it also inhibits you from connecting with others and enriching your life.

The Beautiful South - In Other Words I Hate You

Looking back, I’m not sure I was robbing myself of enjoyable life experiences. In radio, I found a setting in which my grumpiness was actually a way of getting ahead, and I was using that to make people laugh and build new opportunities. 

Did 20 year old me really hate the world? 

Did he heck. 

It was all just an act to paper over insecurity, a tragic lack of self-confidence and a Grand Canyon of loneliness in perpetual conflict with an innate desire to be on my own. None of which has changed in the intervening years… I’ve just become a better actor.


  1. You're in good company Rol, I think nearly all the best people I know are people-haters, which doesn't really make a lot of sense and yet somehow it does!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...