In this article, we will discuss why you might be feeling like everyone hates you all of a sudden and what you can do to cope.
We will also discuss how cognitive beliefs and distortions could be impacting your feelings about your social relationships.
Why do I feel like everyone hates me all of a sudden? (Help!)
If you feel like there has been a sudden change in your relationship and that everyone hates you, it could be because of your thoughts and assumptions about your relationships.
A few things you can do to help yourself cope include:
- Understand your emotions
- Understand your thoughts
- Change your beliefs
- Reach out to them
Often these thoughts include unhealthy assumptions that include catastrophizing, all or nothing thinking, and taking everything that happens within the relationship personally. This kind of thinking impacts the way we feel which also affects the way we behave.
While it may be an extremely frightening thing to think that the people you love most hate you, it is important that you take a moment to reflect on recent events surrounding you and the people around you, your thoughts and your needs within the relationship.
Let us take a closer look at why you may be feeling this way and what you can do about it.
The relationship between thoughts and feelings
Thoughts and feelings have a profound impact on each other- their relationship is almost cyclical. Almost because you also have a third component- behaviour.
However for this moment, let us take a look at how your thoughts and feelings affect each other.
Suppose that on your usual walk in the evenings you come across your friend on the other side of the road. You wave at them but they seem to simply ignore you and keep on their path.
What are some of the things that you would think at this moment? What would you feel after they ignored you?
Perhaps you would feel embarrassed. You have been ignored, you might also start to think whether you had mistaken someone else for your friend. More embarrassment.
You might begin to wonder why your friend ignored you? Are they mad at you? Why would they be mad? You haven’t done anything wrong. They must think you a bad friend!
Even if you have made a mistake, why aren’t they given you a chance to clarify the situation? How dare they? What kind of friend does that?!
The assumptions you have made- that they must think you are a bad friend or that their behaviour makes them a bad friend are caused by cognitive distortions and can cause you to feel various emotions. You might start feeling a little worried, agitated, or even angry.
Interestingly enough, these emotions stay with you and bring about more thoughts based on assumptions.
If this friend has ignored you for whatever reason, are your other friends in the same circle feeling the same way? Will they also ignore you? Are they going to push me out of the group?
As you might guess by now, these thoughts will eventually bring about more maladaptive emotions.
According to cognitive behaviour theorist Aaron Beck, we develop maladaptive ways of thinking which are born out of our cognitive assumptions and beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world.
These assumptions lead to patterns of thoughts that he calls “cognitive distortions”. Beck has listed 10 of them but for this particular case, we will consider three of them.
All or nothing thinking
This type of thinking is often related to the tendency to think in black or white. It is also common in people who tend to use words like “must ”, ”always “,”never “- which are absolutist.
If your friends are ignoring you, your all or nothing thinking will be somewhat like: if my friends love me, they must always pick up my calls. Or taking the earlier example, “She ignored me just now, she must be avoiding me for some reason. She must not like me.”
Looking at the situation objectively, there is room to believe that your friend could have been busy and hence they did not pick up or in a rush so they did not even see you when you waved at them.
However, all or nothing thinking does not allow for such alternate thoughts.
This type of thinking often leads you to believe that every small thing you might have done can lead to drastic unwanted changes in your life.
If you have forgotten to wish a friend for a birthday, you might believe that they must hate you for being inconsiderate. Or since this friend has ignored you, you might think that maybe all your other friends will do the same thing.
This type of thinking can cause a lot of hopelessness as it may make you feel incapable of doing anything about it because you have already deemed it unsalvageable.
This distortion is particularly relevant if you are concerned about everyone hating you because it makes every situation personal.
In reality, your friend might not have answered your call because she was in the bathroom, however you would take it personally and believe that it is because she hates you and does not want to talk to you.
As discussed, your thoughts and emotions play a vital role in the way you see the world and others around you. This can also impact the way we make sense of ourselves.
So how do you deal with this particular situation? Let us take a look at some of the action steps you can take to resolve this issue.
How to cope when it feels like everyone hates you
Take a moment to understand that feelings are not objective.
As you might have understood from the example above, feelings are not objective. Meaning that the fact that you “feel” like everyone hates you does not mean everyone hates you.
Your feelings are not evidence enough for you to think that your social life is over. Your feelings are a result of your assumptions and oftentimes, your assumptions are biased.
Your first step can being with regulating your emotions-
- identify what you are feeling
- acknowledge them but do not react to them, do not let your behaviour be dictated by your emotions
- Take a moment to breathe
- Reflect on what you are feeling without judging yourself for it
Understand your thoughts
Write down your thoughts and identify which of your thoughts are cognitive distortions. Usually you might find out that they are one or the other or maybe all three.
Take a moment to reflect on what is leading to these assumptions, is it because of something you might have done earlier that you feel guilty about?
Is it something that someone else said in passing?
You will find that most of these events that fuel your assumptions lead back to your beliefs of the world around you and yourself.
It could be something like:
“I am a bad person and something must be wrong with me that’s why they hate me.”
“Everyone is selfish, maybe they don’t need me anymore so they are ignoring me.”
Challenge your beliefs
Once you are able to identify your beliefs, it is time to challenge them.
You can either spend your entire life being dictated by these beliefs that will affect every relationship you make even in the future or you can take the time to challenge these maladaptive beliefs in hope of developing more authentic relationships.
These beliefs are developed over time and your personal experiences in the past. It could have been beliefs that the adults in your life pushed on to you or it could have been because of negative experiences you have faced.
It is important to take time to reflect on how these beliefs came to be but it is more important that you challenge them by doing the following:
- Look for evidence
While being mindful of the cognitive distortions we discussed earlier, Challenge yourself to come up with three pieces of evidence supporting the conclusion that everyone hates you.
Then, take another moment to find three pieces of evidence to refute this. From the lists you have made, the one that lists actual events and moments in your life rather than memories built on assumptions is much stronger evidence on where you stand with your loved ones.
- Blow it out of proportion
If you are so adamant that everyone hates you, blow it out of proportion. Allow yourself to think about what will happen next.
If your friend circle hates you, what is the worst that can happen?
If your sibling hates you, what is the catastrophe you are expecting?
As you spend time ruminating over these scenarios blown out of proportion you will begin to realize that this probably will not come to fruition, and even if it does- it does not mean your life will be over.
- Consider an alternative
If the things you have assumed and feared are not real, then what could be the cause of your friends’ behaviours that might be leading to the assumption that they hate you?
It is here that you need to look at their situation objectively, perhaps they have their own challenges which make it difficult to spend time with you.
Perhaps you have done something to hurt them, but does it truly mean that they hate you or are they simply hurt?
Perhaps they are busy and that is why they couldn’t come over to spend time with you.
Take time to understand that there may be multiple reasons as to why they are behaving a certain way, and you sitting on your assumptions will not solve the problem.
Reach out to them
Take courage and reach out to them, your friends and family. Express what you feel and what you are experiencing. Give them a moment to tell you their side of the story.
You will soon realize that it is not entirely your fault nor theirs. It could be simple miscommunication and misunderstandings. However, you will never know if you continue to sit and ruminate on your own assumptions.
In this guide we have discussed the possible reason why you might be feeling like everyone hates you all of a sudden. We have taken a closer look at the relationship between our feelings and our thoughts born out of assumptions. We have also explored some steps of action you can take to resolve your predicament.
Frequently asked questions related to “Why do I feel like everyone hates me all of a sudden? (Help!)
What is it called when you think everyone hates you?
When you think that everyone hates you, you are probably taking an incident and generalizing it to the rest of your social relationships and blowing it out of proportion. This pattern of thinking is called Catastrophizing.
How do you help someone who thinks everyone hates them?
Some ways you can help a person change this mindset:
- Changing perspective
- Reframe the situation
- Help them identify what is real and irrational
- Distract them
- Show them love
- Help them realise that they do not need the whole world to love them
Why do I think everyone is out to get me?
If you feel like people are out to hurt you and cause you harm without any evidence, you can consider yourself paranoid. However paranoia can become a symptom of schizophrenia if it begins to affect the way you function normally and gets in the way of your work, your relationships, and your daily life.
What is it called when you think everyone is judging you?
People with social phobia are preoccupied with the thought that everyone is judging them or secretly criticizing them. While they are aware that it may not be the case, they are self-conscious and afraid of judgment while they are in other people’s presence.
Why does nobody seem to like me?
There are lots of reasons why you might believe that nobody likes you. It could be because you have a hard time talking to people or connecting with them, it could also be because you haven’t taken the time to understand others.
It could also be that you are assuming that they do not like you because you do not have a close relationship with them.
Take a moment to talk to them and understand what they feel about your relationship with them. Understanding their needs and yours can help clear misunderstandings and strengthen relationships.