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"People burn out" - why do i hate so many people as i do?

If you ever found yourself wishing you could quit your job, work from home or become a recluse, you may be experiencing 'people burn out.

Many of us work in offices or environments where team collaboration is the norm. And, even though we are locked in our cubicles and on our computers or phones for most of the day, we still deal with people constantly. When we finish the day and leave, we have to deal with people in the car park, on the drive home and in the grocery shop when we stop to pick up ingredients for dinner. Sometimes we may think we really hate people. But is it really hatred, or something else?

What makes me feel this way?

Even if you are experiencing strong negative feelings towards a group of people or the population in general, it is still possible that you do not really 'hate' people.

As mentioned earlier, being in environments where you are required to constantly interact with others can be mentally exhausting. It is common for people in these environments to be annoyed by those around them - at times - and need time to themselves. If this is you, you may become more introverted and prefer to do things alone.

People around you who are extremely extroverted or too friendly may get on your nerves, even if they mean well. Moreover, people may seem invasive to you if your boundaries are not respected. This can lead to intense feelings that can mimic or become strong feelings of hatred. If this describes your situation, there are steps you can take to help yourself, either on your own or with outside help.

Everyone feels dislike and hatred

It is quite normal to have negative perceptions toward other people, especially if you feel like you have been wronged in some way. Hate, one of the most powerful negative emotions a person can feel, is also part of human nature.

It is impossible to make a statistic of how many people have similar feelings to yours right now, but rest assured, many do. Everyone has expressed resentments towards other people at least once in their lives, and some of these feelings can be more powerful than others. We can learn to keep them under control. For some, this is intuitive, while for others, it is a skill that can be acquired with a little assistance.

What can cause these feelings?

- Being emotionally drained and having real hatred

When going through episodes of social burn-out, feelings of hatred or perceived hatred may emerge.

Hate is a rather strong emotion, often reserved for those closest to us. It is quite difficult to feel real hatred for someone you do not know well, or with whom you have little or no real relationship. So maybe what you are feeling is an annoyance, irritation, frustration, or simply stress. When we ignore the small signals of these negative emotions, they can build up and spill over unexpectedly. At this point, our emotions can be easily triggered.

- Introversion

If you find that you have a fairly common tendency to feel annoyed or irritated with others, especially if you are able to determine that they are not necessarily doing something to justify such strong emotions, it may be that you are an introvert. It is common for introverts to be confused with those who are shy, socially awkward or inarticulate. But you can be incredibly articulate, funny, a great public speaker, and completely at ease in social situations and still be a strong introvert.

What is an introvert?

Introversion only has to do with the way you draw your energy. Extroverts always become more energized when they socialise with other people. Introverts, on the other hand, need quiet, solitary time to recover their emotional energy. Therefore, introverts are very likely to become emotionally exhausted and irritable if they do not have the alone time they need. Perhaps the meme that says: 'You have to understand that my quiet time is for your personal safety! Think of this as the emotional version of being 'hungry'.

Introverts need alone time

There is nothing right or wrong with this. It is just the amount of time you personally need to recharge your batteries. One way to determine how much time you need is to be alone for different periods of time. If your tolerance for others increases as you spend more time alone, you may well be an introvert who just needs to keep that in mind as you plan your future schedule.

Breaks are important

Taking a break is essential for our mental health, but it can seem like an impossible task. When we are at home, we are often with people, even if they are our beloved family members. Even if we hope not to hate our family, they are still people we have to deal with before we can start taking care of ourselves. After a long week at work, the last thing we want to do is spend time with other people, but then there is a party or gathering we are invited to and we are expected to go. We've had it up to our eyeballs with people, and the idea of other people, even friends, makes us feel stressed.

How to get the break you need

It can seem impossible for most of us to take a break from people during the working day. We find that even our lunch break is full of people. So what can we do?

  • Perhaps it is time to find a place without people for our lunch break. Instead of having lunch in the break room or the usual sandwich shop, do it outside. If you can sit at your desk without being on your phone or computer, have lunch there. Eat your lunch in blissful silence, put your feet up and close your eyes for a 10-minute nap. Sometimes a simple lunch break away from people can recharge your battery.

  • You may realise that you are in the wrong profession. This might sound extreme, but if you are an introvert, door-to-door selling is probably not for you. Working in an environment where you are surrounded by others may also not be the best for you. We make career decisions based on many factors; introversion may be important to consider.

  • Plan some time between work and home to be alone. This could include simply sitting in your car for 15 minutes before leaving work, or you can sit in your car in your driveway for a few moments before going inside. If your family is understanding and supportive, you may be able to compromise and agree that you can have some time in your bedroom before fully joining the rest of the family. Reserve an evening for alone or family time that ends with precious time for you.

  • Agree on when social engagements will end. While introverts may still want to attend outings, especially those with close friends, they may simply end before an extrovert. This is especially true when in the presence of strong extroverts. This combination can make an introvert feel like his energy is being sucked out of him.

  • Build more alone time into your programme on a weekly basis. This could include some additional self-care or a trip to a library or other quiet place where silence is expected. You may also choose to plan a silent retreat periodically for just one night, a weekend, or longer, depending on your need.

Don't worry about others thinking you are antisocial. This is probably what brought you to the level of people burnout in the first place. Take the appropriate, and healthy, mini-breaks and let others know that you just need some time alone to think. It's OK, and it's not rude. Don't feel obliged to go to every social gathering to which you are invited.

Taking a small break from people in stages will help you avoid people burnout which often leads to taking sick days or standing up friends. Most of us have reached a point where we cannot even be around the people we love most. If you have trouble telling others that you need a break, and this prevents you from taking the breath you need, there are ways to get help. You can use some of the strategies described above and others, which we will discuss later in this article.

But I really hate some people!

If this is really what you are experiencing, it is important that you get to the bottom of such strong feelings. It is better to face the hatred and then release it in a healthy way so that it does not have a negative impact on other relationships. You may have legitimate reasons for your hatred, but this does not make it healthy for you to hold on to this emotion indefinitely.

If you hate more than one or two people who have really hurt you, this may say more about you than about other people. In any case, you will be doing yourself a significant service by trying to understand what you are feeling and why so that you can process your thoughts and feelings to let go of the hatred.

What can I do if I really hate people?

Besides taking a break from other people and the other tips mentioned in this article, there are several strategies you can use to manage your emotions. Here are some practical ones you can start using today:

Breathing exercises: Learning to breathe correctly can reduce anxiety and tension throughout your body. Whenever you feel like you might react negatively towards another person, take a deep breath, exhale and try to let your emotions pass.

Exercise: Like learning breathing techniques, exercise can be an excellent resource to help reduce strong and/or emotionally draining feelings. Besides releasing endorphins that make you feel good, certain types of physical activity can help you release pent-up aggression you may have towards people.

Try to overcome your problems with others: It may seem counterintuitive if you are not in the mood to deal with other people, but if you have a specific problem with another person, it is better to be honest about it. If you choose to ignore or avoid the problem, you are not doing anything to solve it. However angry you may be, try not to be confrontational and have a productive dialogue. You will probably find that you feel better afterwards.

While all these strategies are helpful, you may find that you need help from an outside source. Psychotherapy can offer emotional support and understanding as you explore the possible reasons why you find it difficult to be around people.

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