I think we have a skewed perception about what is addicting and what isn’t. There are a lot of substances that aren’t addictive physically but can be mentally. It’s very easy to get hooked on a feeling, hooked on emotions. We can crave the endorphins that something releases or the power we feel when we do a certain act. Are emotions technically addictive? No. Do you get emotional withdraws from them all the same? Yes. That makes them addictive enough in my book.
But it isn’t just the good emotions we get hooked on, it isn’t just things that numb our pain, sometimes we can get addicted to the things that fuel it. It’s an interesting thing really, but more and more people are becoming addicted to outrage, addicted to anger, addicted to hate.
Maybe it’s the way we take in our news, maybe it’s that the most outrageous, enraging headlines are the ones to grab our attention. Maybe it’s that social media has acted as a barrier from other people emotions, so we don’t realize when we are treading to far, maybe then we become desensitized to it to the point that we no longer care when we do. Maybe its the fact that we’re taking in so much hate all the time that we start to think of it as normal, and therefore needlessly dish it back out into the world.
There’s a lot of maybes and perhaps. I could come up with hundreds of guesses to why hate is so wide spread and so accepted, but the reason why doesn’t really matter, because it’s here and I don’t think its going anywhere. People are addicted to it. They like the way it makes them feel. After all to hate something is to feel passionately. To hate something is to feel like you’re helping eliminate it. To hate something makes us feel powerful. It makes us feel better about ourselves, because after all, at least we aren’t like it (or them).
Of course people love to hate. It’s not an oxymoron no matter how much it should be. Hate makes people feel alive, and humans love things that make us feel.
But there isn’t a rehab to rid yourself of hate and most the time when we try to get rid of hate, we just end up replacing it with hate of something or someone else. Most the time it takes a huge life changing event to rid ourselves of our deepest hatred. Most of those events are things we try to avoid. The truth is, most of us don’t want to fix our hate. We’ve accepted it, not only as a constant, but as something we enjoy, as something we don’t know how to function without.
When we try to pull away from hate we get withdraws. We still get the burst of anger we have become so accustomed to and we relapse, right back into the hate we were pulling back from.
I don’t think it’s possible to rid ourselves of hate completely, I don’t even think it’s a goal worth having. But I do think that we need to focus on how much we’re consuming and how much we’re putting out. Like caffeine your body will adjust and grow accustomed to however much you allow it to have, but going through the withdraws and cravings are worth it. Because as much as we love hate, it isn’t good for us. It ages us, it changes us for the worse, and it makes us bitter.
So maybe it’s time we all suffer from some withdraws.