Hate is a Passion Equal to Love

Whether you prefer to use the word dislike or the word hate (like me), I am interested to talk about the odd things that we hate and the reasons why.  You have to admit that most people are usually adamant in their likes, and perhaps even more adamant in their dislikes.  Our use of the words hate and dislike is generally accompanied by all sorts of strong emotions.  If you are like me, when I use the word hate, it’s a real verbal manifestation of my deep and negative feelings regarding something or a situation.  The question is how is it possible that an object or situation could cause that type of reaction in us? 

While some researchers suggest that some people may have inherent tendency to have positive or negative reactions to certain things, others claim that our dislikes or likes are usually influenced by previous experiences or acquired behaviours.  I don’t know you, but I think that this second reason is generally true for me.  For instance, one thing that I hate (for those who make a distinction between dislike and hate; here, I really mean hate) is to sleep in an unmade bed.  I just cannot sleep in a bed that is untidy and messy.  It drives my husband crazy when I make the bed at 11:00 pm, just few minutes before we go sleep (if I had not have the time to do it before, of course!).  It is not really my purpose to upset him, but I just cannot sleep in an unmade bed; it’s just impossible for me.

Ok, I am fully aware that studies have found that an unmade bed may not be such a bad thing.  Apparently, unmade beds are actually unappealing to house dust mites that tend to cause asthma and other allergies.  According to these studies, the warm, damp conditions created in an occupied bed are ideal for the proliferation of dust mites. I am usually too busy in the morning and almost never have the time to make the bed right after I wake up.  By the time that I make the lunches and organize everything, our bed is usually cold enough for the dust mites to like it (that's what I think!).  Besides, I generally don’t even think about dust mites (after all, they are probably always there anyway), what I really care is that the bed is tidy, otherwise I know that I would not be able to sleep later.

What happens in our brain when we express hate feelings for something or someone is actually fascinating according to Drs. Semir Zeki and John Romaya from the University College London.  These researchers suggest that hate is a passion that is of equal interest to love. Like love, it is often seemingly irrational and can lead individuals to heroic and evil deeds” (http://tinyurl.com/cy5epg).  These researchers examined the brain areas that correlate with the sentiment of hate in 17 males and females and found that is distinct from those related to emotions (e.g., fear, threat and danger) even though it shares a part of the brain associated with aggression.  It seems that the “hate circuit” includes structures in the cortex and in the sub-cortex, and has components that are important in generating aggressive behaviour that can translate into action through motor planning, as if the brain becomes mobilized to take some action. 

So, we may love and hate objects (or people) with almost the same passion.  You know how sometimes we describe people as being passionate about something.  Well, if hate is a passion, then, I am certainly passionate about beds, particularly tidy beds! The question is why? Why do I care so much about a tidy bed? 

I think that it all goes back to when I was a child and my father forced my siblings and I to make our beds.  I think that we started to make our beds when were 3 or 4 years old.  I remember that I had trouble reaching all the sides of my bed because I was so little, so, I had to climb on my bed to make certain that I stretched all the corners of my blanket properly.  I don’t think that my father was looking for perfection at the age of 3 or 4, but he did expect well-made beds by the age of 6. 

When I analyze the consequences of this task imposed to us, I realize that my dad ingrained in me the idea that a well-made bed is fundamental and is the ultimate symbol of both organization and responsibility.  So, a well-made bed became a passion for me and I am certainly planning to teach my children that it is important to make their beds. I wonder how many other things I was told to do when I was a child, and now I am imposing to our children. Some may be good, others may be questionable!

What odd things do you hate and why? Are you teaching them to your kids? 

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