Love and hate are basic human emotions. Both emotions can make us act irrationally, clouding our judgment. Both emotions have been the root of war and works of art, and both are felt with an intensity capable of making our hearts race. So, most people believe that hate is the exact opposite of love, but in reality, they’re not quite so different. Instead of being opposite realities, love, and hate are just opposites of the same reality.
How We Think Of Love vs Hate
Depending on the specific situation and how you look at it, the opposite could be indifference rather than hate. If you think about your romantic partner, friends, and family, love involves a deep sense of caring; You care for them and their well-being. From this point of view, it makes sense to think of indifference as the opposite of love, meaning that you don’t care about them.
Seen from a slightly different perspective, hate can also be the opposite. Hate implies that you don’t want anything to do with a person. You want them out of your life and out of your mind, and in some cases, some people would rather see them suffering. Instead, if you loved this person you would want them around you and would enjoy knowing that they’re doing well.
It’s interesting to notice how both can have such a strong impact on our state of mind. We as humans can obsess over love and obsess over hate. Therefore, it is safe to say that these strong emotions have so much in common, despite being so different.
The Role Of Indifference
Whereas both love and hate involve some kind of reaction from your part, indifference does nothing. It means that no matter what happens, whether good or bad, you don’t care. This lack of emotional reaction differs a lot from the other two because there is no intense feeling, there is no care and it requires no involvement from your part. If you think about it, indifference is scarier than hate.
Imagine that one day you wake up, and all the people you love simply ignore your existence. As if you were a mere stranger, they just look at you, not caring whether you’re fine or not. You could have an accident and die, and they would not shed a tear. You could become the king of the world overnight, and they wouldn’t celebrate your success nor feel happy for you.
So, indifference means that there is no more love and there are not even enough emotions to feel hate. It is like a triangle–each angle is opposite from the other. Another way to see it:
Hate & Love = Strong feelings
Indifference = Nothing
What Science Thinks Of Love And Hate
Whether it is love or it is hate, this means that you feel very strongly about one person. Psychological research and many scientific studies have shown that loving someone actually involves both feelings.
It is interesting and it can be attributed to the fact the insula (the place in our brains where the intensity of emotions is regulated) basically controls how we experience love and how we experience hate. Evidence has shown that insular damage can lead to an increase or a decrease, which is more common, in the intensity of our emotions. So, our brains just interpret both feelings as “Strong Emotions”.
The good news is that even though we feel love and hate towards the same person, the positive aspects of these feelings triumph over the negative aspects of it. It must be noticed that feeling love and hate towards something or someone is not the same as a love-hate relationship.
Love-Hate Relationships Are Different
This kind of relationship happens when feelings are strong and out of control. Rather than just feeling these emotions simultaneously, both emotions alternate from time to time. Research has shown that love-hate relationships could be a result of poor self-esteem. The conflicting role that egotistic behaviors and the apparent dependency of one emotion on the other often result in these intense relationships.
Although the media and literature have romanticized this kind of relationship, the reality is that toxic behaviors such as this one are not really good for your mental health. It may feel good at times, but the lack of stability and the often outbursts of aggressiveness can take their toll.
Vulnerability – The Thin Line Between Love and Hate
The love/hate dynamic is a normal aspect of all close relationships. There are circumstances in which you might feel negative feelings towards your partner, but this does not mean that there is something wrong with it. Whenever you’re hurt by your partner, “hate” comes into play. Fortunately, these sporadic outbursts of hate coexist with love. And where there’s love, hate really doesn’t last much.
Feed Your Love, Starve Your Hate
Being in a loving relationship means that we open ourselves to the possibility of getting hurt. Willingly or unwillingly, we can hurt our partners, our friends, and our families in the same way they can hurt us. Being able to accept that everyone has flaws is a great first step to feed your love and start taking away power from hate.
Broad as it is and with its million different interpretations, love is beneficial to our lives. From allowing us to experience a different state of mind to have a direct impact on our mental and physical health, love is something you do not just feel but practice. Learn how to identify your emotions and how to channel them, and you’ll see how fast things start to fall into place. This is beyond any doubt one of the easiest ways to achieve a state fulfillment.