Why is everyone against me
If You Feel Like ‘Everyone Hates Me,’ This Is for You
You may have had the thought, “I feel like everyone hates me,” at some point. Here’s what it could be stemming from and what you can do.
“Does everyone hate me?”
If you’ve ever had the thought, you’re not alone. The all-consuming negative thought is common among those with anxiety and mood disorders, those with self-esteem issues, and those of us who might simply be having a bad day.
It may help you to learn why this unhelpful feeling occurs and how you can change your mindset and stop thinking all the people in your life share the same sentiment toward you.
The first sign that this may just be a perception is that superlative word in the middle: everyone.
Sure, you can be disliked by some, but all isn’t reasonable.
Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a neuropsychologist and director of Comprehend the Mind in New York City, says that thoughts such as these may form as a way of coping with adverse life events.
“More often than not, your worries can outweigh logic, and it can overwhelm you and cause genuine distress,” she explains.
Hafeez adds that “stress could cause people to adapt their thinking in ways that are useful for what they believe to be their immediate survival — but this way of thinking isn’t rational or healthy.”
Thoughts can give rise to negative feelings if dwelled upon.
There’s no clinical definition for thinking that everyone hates you, but there may be a few psychological explanations for why you feel this way.
- Paranoia. This is an accumulation of thoughts and beliefs that everyone is against you. Paranoia can be a disorder in itself, but it’s also a symptom of other mood or personality disorders.
- Cognitive distortions. These are thought patterns not necessarily rooted in reality, such as all-or-nothing thinking, negative projections, and overgeneralizing, to name a few. A 2015 review of research describes a cognitive distortion as “a lie our brain sends to our conscious mind. ”
- Loneliness. Hafeez says that feelings of loneliness are often associated with feeling like everyone hates you. Maybe you haven’t had as many social interactions as you’d like, and you begin to convince yourself that your friends are upset with you.
- Insecurity. In some cases, believing that everyone hates you could also be tied to characteristics of insecurity such as low self-esteem or self-worth.
- Bullying. Thanks to social phenomena like the bystander effect and herd mentality, both cyber- and in-person bullying can start with one individual and spread to a whole group.
Highly sensitive personalities
A highly sensitive person (HSP) may also tend to feel this way.
Research from 2018 shows that socially hypersensitive people experience greater fluctuations in self-esteem and negative reactions when there’s ambiguous or negative feedback alike, suggesting that these individuals may need more positive reassurance than others.
“If you tend to be highly sensitive or insecure, it’s possible minor incidents such as missed phone calls or lack of interaction can cause your thinking to spiral into negative thoughts,” Hafeez says.
Persistent thoughts that “everyone hates me” may be associated with mental disorders that include paranoia, delusions, helplessness, or ruminations as a symptom. Some of which are:
- depression, which research shows has a strong link with low self-esteem
- mood disorders, including bipolar disorder
- personality disorders, including paranoid personality disorder
- psychotic disorders, including schizoaffective disorder
- schizoid personality disorder
Feel like the whole world is against you?
Harmful racial stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination, and systemic racism have an impact on how individuals from marginalized groups may feel about how others receive them.
According to research, racism is linked to internalized shame and low self-esteem among African Americans.
“Discrimination and prejudice can lead individuals to internalize stigma or prejudice that is directed against them, manifesting in low self-esteem, stress, and fear,” Hafeez says.
If you’re wondering what you should do when you think everyone hates you, there are a few ways to reset. And it starts with understanding the difference between what’s concrete versus cognitive distortion.
Hafeez recommends taking a step back to analyze what you’re feeling first. You can try the following 3-step check-in to help assess your feelings.
- Find out what’s triggering your feelings. What thoughts are behind feelings of anxiety or what’s worsening your mood?
- Reframe the situation. Are there alternative explanations, evidence, or more positive interpretations of what you’re thinking?
- Check in with your physical self. Are you eating nutritious foods, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and taking time to relax?
According to Hafeez, if folks are genuinely disliked, it can be helpful to take a careful and honest look at any truths that may be associated with a situation — which is not always the easiest thing to do.
It may be helpful to take “everyone” out of the equation and focus on one person at a time. “Think about what this person meant, what their intentions were, and if they realize the impact of their words and actions,” she says.
“If their dislike is genuine, then determine whether they’re attacking you personally or your ideas — this way, you can assess whether it was a personal attack or a passing disagreement you can live with.”
Ask yourself whether you need to forgive someone for not appreciating what you have to offer. Is it worth your energy to worry about whether someone likes you or not? Maybe you lean into accepting yourself.
“Try your best to rise above it, rather than dwell on why they feel this way about you,” Hafeez says.
Thinking that everyone hates you might be an exaggeration, cognitive distortion, or symptom of a mental health condition. The negative feeling doesn’t have to take over your life.
With practice and patience, you can reframe your thoughts to challenge your negative self-perceptions and distinguish fact from fiction.
Whether you need to forgive someone or forgive yourself for words or deeds, try to be gentle in the process.
If you find out it’s true that someone simply doesn’t like you, remember that you’re likely better off surrounding yourself with people who appreciate all that you have to offer.
Help Me Understand: Why Am I So Sensitive?
Do you ever find yourself wondering why you’re so sensitive? If you feel things deeply, you may be a highly sensitive person.
Sensitivity is often framed as a negative personality trait. You may have been told that you’re too sensitive or overemotional and that you need to “toughen up.” Maybe you wonder, why am I so sensitive?
It’s important to understand that sensitivity is a personality trait. Being “too” sensitive is not a disorder. Like being quiet or being thoughtful, it’s not necessarily a bad trait, even though each can pose its challenges.
Several potential causes of sensitivity exist. For example, if you have a neurodevelopmental disorder like autism or ADHD, you might be more sensitive to certain stimuli.
Your sensitivity may not be linked to any particular disorder, though. If you feel things deeply, you could be a highly sensitive person (HSP).
Do you feel a cold coming on before outward symptoms show up? Do you notice that a lamplight is about to go out a day or two before it does because of slight dimming? Or are you deeply moved by someone else’s good or bad news just by picking up on their subtle expressions?
Why am I so emotional?
There can be many different reasons. Sometimes, we become more emotional when we go through difficult or stressful times. Recent bereavement, trauma, and stress can make us feel more emotional.
Some people tend to be emotionally sensitive because it’s a part of their personality. A highly sensitive person is someone who feels things strongly, whether those things are positive or negative. This can include their own emotions, the emotions of others, and sensory stimuli in the world around them.
A note on being highly sensitive vs.exceptionally emotional
We often use the words “sensitive” and “emotional” interchangeably. And indeed, highly sensitive people are more attuned to emotions.
One of the main distinctions between being exceptionally emotional and being highly sensitive is that highly sensitive people are very attuned to their emotions as well as the emotions of others.
Highly sensitive people also tend to be more sensitive to external stimuli, like lights, noises, and colors, as well as internal stimuli, like hunger and pain.
Another difference is that being highly emotional could be temporary while being a highly sensitive person is a part of your personality.
If you’ve been feeling emotional lately, several stressors could be contributing to it.
Highly sensitive people often feel emotions and respond to stimuli — both in themselves and others — profoundly.
About 15–20% of the population is thought to be highly sensitive.
While many highly sensitive people are dismissed as “too sensitive,” their perceptiveness can be a strength.
The discovery of the HSP
The term “highly sensitive person” was popularized by clinical psychologist Elaine N. Aron, who wrote the book “The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You.”
First published in 1996, this book is based on years of Aron’s research into being a highly sensitive person herself.
Sensory processing: Like being a human sponge
HSP are folks who are strong in a personality trait known as sensory processing sensitivity. This is not a disorder or a mental illness, but rather a part of your personality.
Sensory processing relates to how you take in stimuli, including sounds, sensations, others’ moods, smells, and more. HSP often experience these stimuli easily, absorbing like a sponge.
In daily life
If you’re highly sensitive, you might be deeply bothered by violent movies or graphics. You might also be easily overwhelmed by a busy or noisy environment, such as a crowded mall or business conference.
Or, you might be able to savor pleasant stimuli intensely — a good meal, a wonderful song — on a deeper level. Your sensitivity to others’ feelings might help you cultivate strong relationships.
Understanding your sensitivity can be the key to managing overwhelm and leaning into the pleasurable aspects of being an HSP.
Aron’s research found being an HSP is an innate trait, identified in over 100 species.
However, others might learn to be sensitive for several reasons. A traumatic event might put them on high alert, for example. Being sensitive to stimuli is also a symptom of conditions like ADHD and autism.
Over years of research, Aron identified a few common characteristics among highly sensitive people.
These traits include:
- having empathy toward others
- engaging in people-pleasing
- being sensitive to loud noises, chaotic scenes, and busy crowds
- often feeling overwhelmed by sensory stimuli or emotional experiences
- being sensitive to caffeine and medication
- having increased self-awareness
- being able to deeply savor and appreciate pleasant sensations
- avoiding violent and tense movies or books
- avoiding overwhelming situations
- often needing to retreat into a relaxed, quiet space
- having strong emotional responses
Not all HSP will have all the above traits. Therapy and self-work can help you address some of the more harmful tendencies or unpleasant experiences.
Contrary to what many people assume, highly sensitive people are not always introverted. It’s estimated that around 30% are extroverts.
If you think you might be a highly sensitive person, you can take the official quiz on their website here.
To be clear, you can’t (and might not want to!) stop being sensitive, but you can manage your responses to your sensitivity.
While many people may ask themselves “Am I too sensitive?,” it’s important to note that being a highly sensitive person is not a disorder and nothing to be ashamed of. It’s simply a unique trait, just like being tall or light-haired.
Being a HSP can be difficult and overwhelming for some people, especially if you don’t understand your sensitivity. But you might find it liberating to harness and channel that perceptivity.
Psychotherapy to help channel your sensitivities
Talk therapy, also called psychotherapy, can help you learn to cope with the challenges of being an HSP while cultivating the positive parts of your sensitivity.
The official highly sensitive person website has directories of therapists, coaches, and medical professionals who are knowledgeable about HSPs. This can be helpful if you’re looking for a therapist for yourself or a highly sensitive loved one.
Your sensitivity can be a superpower. There are many benefits of being a highly sensitive person:
- being very empathetic to others, fostering deeper connection
- being highly self-aware
- being observant when it comes to yourself and others
- profoundly appreciating pleasant stimuli, including food, fragrances, music, textures, and more
- being deeply moved by heartwarming and positive stories, books, and movies
- cultivating gratitude for the “little things” in life, in part because you notice and experience them keenly
Learning to route your sensitivity toward something positive can be extremely helpful. Often, this starts with accepting your heightened perceptivity and reaching out for help if you need it.
If you feel that you’re “too sensitive,” there might be reasons for your sensitivity. In many cases, it’s simply a part of your personality and not something to try and change.
While your sensitivity can cause overwhelm and lead to challenges, it can also be a strength. Learning about your perceptivity can help you harness this strength to benefit yourself and others.
If you feel that you need emotional support, you can start by reaching out to a therapist.
What to do if everything around you is against you
September 7, 2020 A life
Often circumstances are not in our favor. The main thing we can do is to respond to them correctly.
There is an endless stream of internal and external signals that lead us astray. Marshall Goldsmith, a well-known business expert and best-selling author, who has been translated into 30 languages, tells how to counter them and even use them to your advantage. nine0003
How triggers work
Triggers are the signals that influence our behavior. Why is it so difficult for us to fight them? We are just used to responding to them in a certain way.
Getting out of the habit loop is not easy, but it is possible. First you need to understand that this process consists of three stages: a signal (trigger), a template and a reward. For example, for a smoker, the cue might be stress, the pattern might be nicotine use, and the reward might be temporary stress relief. nine0003
The best way to break a habit is to change the pattern while keeping the reward and signal.
No wonder some people start eating a lot when they quit smoking: this is their new reaction to stress. Of course, this is not the best solution, because instead of delicious pies, you can just as well choose jogging around the stadium or relaxing music.
Now let's see what other triggers are present in our lives and how we can change our behavior pattern. nine0003
What triggers get in your way
Boxing philosopher Mike Tyson said, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. " Traveling along the road of life, most often this blow we receive from the environment.
Sometimes it seems to us that the whole world is against us. We can get angry at the cashier who incorrectly counted the change, give up if a colleague suddenly fell ill and did not make the report we needed, get upset because of the flight cancellation. But these are all wrong reactions. nine0003
Being angry at circumstances is pointless. This is the same as being offended by a burned out light bulb. Do not be upset and blame someone for what happened. Calm down, accept the situation as it is, and act on it.
Mistakes by others
Does your subordinate make a spelling mistake in a presentation and you tell him off in front of everyone? The wife is late for the performance, and you say: “Well, I told you that you need to get ready faster”? A friend makes a risky act, you argue that you would definitely have acted differently? nine0003
Pointing out people's faults and showing how smart you are is definitely not the best way to keep a good relationship. And most importantly, so you do not fix anything.
If you catch yourself in such reactions, learn to stop in time. Do not rush to prove your case, but think about how you can actually change the situation and help others.
Sometimes, after a hard day at work, we feel so exhausted that we ourselves do not notice how our ability to control ourselves decreases. The consequences can be different: instead of an evening workout, someone allows himself to lie on the couch, someone takes out the accumulated aggression on the household, and someone makes a disastrous decision at a business meeting. nine0003
As with everything else, learning to notice the trigger and how you react to it is the most important step in getting better. Be more attentive to everything you say and do in the evening after a busy day. To avoid trouble, schedule the most tedious meetings in the morning. Then make big decisions.
Try to save energy. A great way to do this is to make a clear plan of action for the day and follow it without being distracted by other things.
Have you ever had to waste your work time talking to colleagues, texting on social media, or endlessly checking email? You are not alone.
Modern man is forced to work among many distractions. But if you do not resist them, you will definitely face a mountain of unfinished business, fatigue and stress.
How to avoid this? Make two lists. In the first, list the most important tasks for the day and indicate the time when you will do them. For example, from seven to eight you train, from nine to one you finish the report, from two to five you meet with clients, and from six to ten you are completely devoted to your family. In the second list, list everything that can prevent you from achieving your goals. nine0003
You may realize that a friend who constantly stops at your table and adjusts to your leisure time in the evening is actually a distraction trigger. Then you need to "fire" him for a while. Or you will find that you regularly skip the morning workout, because after waking up you spend a lot of time on social networks. Force yourself to change this habit. Do not be distracted by anything until you do what you planned.
It would be hard to list absolutely all negative triggers and our reactions to them. But now you can determine for yourself what signals are preventing you from achieving what you want. Noticing them and adjusting your behavior is half the battle. nine0003
The next step is to create a network of productive triggers that lead you to your goal. It can be any signal that encourages action.
For example, ask a friend to remind you to exercise at a certain time. Before work, imagine how proud you will be when you complete all the important tasks. Or make a list of motivational questions to answer every night.
Start with the phrase “Did I do my best today to…”, and then substitute what you promised yourself: keep in touch with friends, expand your horizons, do physical education, find meaning in work, get enough sleep, and so on. This wording will help you realize that you yourself can change a lot. Rate each item on a scale of 1 to 10 to see if there is progress. Giving yourself low marks will encourage you to take action. nine0003
External factors beyond our control. Often it seems to us that we are not able to influence them, and we feel like puppets of fate. In vain. Fate is the cards we've been dealt. The choice is how to play them.
Buy the book
Read also 🧐
- How to Stop Complaining: The SEAL Officer Method
- 7 Ways to Learn to Make Decisions
- 8 Negative Phrases to Stop Saying to Yourself
What to do when it seems like the whole world is against you
- Elena Savinova
Photo by Isaac Castillejos / Unsplash
There are people who are chronically unlucky. Or, to be more precise, they themselves believe that everything is bad with them.
And the most annoying thing is that they do not expect anything good from life. For all cases, they have certain stamps-settings. For example: fate is unfair, the country is not the same, youth is passing, work is bad, people cannot be trusted, and all men - you know who. nine0003
Paradoxically, but next to such, to put it mildly, skeptics in the same office, there are women and men who, in general, are not much more capable, more beautiful or smarter.
But their world is different. They love and are loved, enthusiastically talk about some working moments, argue passionately, draw future achievements in their imagination.
- Psychologist's blog: how to get rid of the victim complex?
Of course, everything depends on the personal perception of reality. But sometimes even the brightest optimists have a hard time. From all sides you can only hear: something I have such a depression! Especially now, when the day ends before it starts, and the bright New Year holidays are still far away. nine0003
In order to prevent negative thoughts from taking over, one must know the enemy by sight. What triggers depression, and how not to succumb to it?
Black and white mask of depression
The author of the photo, Ian Espinosa / Unsplash
Our almost countryman, the famous American psychotherapist Aaron Beck, whose father is from Khmelnytsky, devoted his life to the study of melancholy, anxiety, and various phobias.
In his opinion, there is a so-called cognitive triad of depression. nine0003
Negative self-image: I am nothing. The same view of the world: it is cruel and dangerous, it is bad there.
And as a result, a person who thinks this way does not expect anything good from his life.
- Why are we prejudiced against psychotherapists?
In fact, we know that this is not so, but try to prove it to someone who does not see the prospects.
Depression, as you know, is a state when we do not see the future. Unlike euphoria, when on the contrary, we forget about the past. It is characterized by a narrowing of consciousness under the influence of the following factors:
Personalization - whatever happens, a person takes it personally. For example, that everyone wants to do bad things to him personally.
Thinking in extremes. The world is black and white. All are either friends or traitors, if not with me, then against me.
- Psychologist's blog: fashion for indifference
Selective judgments. When, due to a petty detail - for example, a girl leaned over to a colleague to ask something, a scene of jealousy is drawn in the imagination. nine0003
Hit in "blind zones". Groundless self-flagellation due to the inability to see an objective picture. For example, a woman who is at work all day, leaving her child with her grandmother, concludes that she is a bad mother.
Tendency to overgeneralize. These are the well-known "all men are unfaithful, women are frivolous."
Exaggeration of consequences. If he doesn't call back, it's over between us. Didn't pass the interview - no one needs me.
"Automatic" thoughts by inheritance
image copyright, Randy Jacob / UnsplashImage caption,
"Even if you were once unlucky, it doesn't mean that it will always be like this. But there will be something that you yourself want - a puddle under your feet or stars in a puddle"
Such patterns of negative perception or "automatic" thoughts, as Aaron Beck called them, are formed in childhood.
Perhaps the parents themselves were overly anxious and transmitted this attitude to the child. Or were too demanding. Hence, many people have the belief that someone should rate us. And in order to earn high marks, we must work hard all the time and convince others of our worth. nine0003
How to overcome such "cognitive distortions" in oneself? After all, it is they who prevent that lightness of being, thanks to which those who are not too diligent and serious are lucky.
To begin with, it is good to at least be aware of the existence of such attitudes in oneself. Next, you need to mentally separate yourself from your usual, but contradictory negative judgments about yourself and the world around you.
- Psychologist's blog: what is gaslighting and how to resist it?
It's not easy. Because you will have to actually admit that you are wrong in what you previously thought was indisputable. nine0003
This way you will feel the difference between "I know that" (as it used to be) and "I think" or "I think that" - that perception of reality, to which it is desirable to get used.