The Hate Riddle


I started writing a piece, but it got too big to finish in a timely fashion, so instead I’m pushing it back a couple of days. In its stead, I’d like to pose you a question, one that’s been bothering me, one that I can’t come up with a good answer to:

Why is it that we feel vulnerable when we express love for something, but not when we express hate? Why is it that it is us who enjoy a piece that wait in dread for its inevitable detractors rather than the opposite? Why is it so easy and enjoyable to attack, dismantle, dismiss, and so painful to defend? Shouldn’t hating something, as a position of belief, be just as vulnerable as loving it?

Seeing something we love denigrated hurts. It hurts so much more viscerally than seeing something we loathe praised. And yet we keep doing it to each other, pretending to arbitrate tastes, dictate what is good and what isn’t, often dismantling the very things we used to love ourselves.

It makes us close off. We’re so afraid of being seen to be ‘wrong’ that we would prefer to not be seen at all. It makes us hide our hearts so that no one might come by and squeeze just to see how we squirm. We would rather stay in the closet, keep our love to ourselves, than allow someone the chance to hurt that part of us, using a tongue of hate which hurts from a distance and never lets anything close.

What does it mean that hate is so much more palatable than love?

It can’t be anything good.


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