The Most Contagious Disease

Hate only hurts yourself
Hate only hurts yourself

Anger and hate are the most contagious diseases

There’s a disease sweeping through the nation. It’s got the highest rate of contagion of any disease I’ve ever seen. It’s highly aggressive and dissolves through people quicker than you can blink. It’s commonly known as anger, or hate.

It’s a terrible disease. It eats you from the inside out. It consumes you until all you can manage to do is spew it out to those around you.

I’ve noticed a lot more hate and anger around of late. From hacked facebook accounts to statements by radio personalities with everything in between, anger and hate is prevalent in our society. It’s in the streets with angry drivers racing to get nowhere quickly, it’s in cafes with impatient people demanding to be served first. It’s on our twitter stream, it’s on our television, and it’s making its way into our hearts.

This kind of behaviour is toxic, and it’s really easy to be caught up in it when you’re around people who breed that kind of behaviour. It’s easy to catch yourself spewing hate and judgment about others behind their backs. It’s easy to catch yourself putting up passive aggressive facebook updates, or yelling at the windshield when the person in front of you doesn’t indicate.

Hate only hurts yourself

The problem with this behaviour is the only person it really hurts is you. It hurts your reputation, it consumes your thoughts with negativity, and it will eventually result in people no longer wishing to associate with you. Because, before you know it, you’ve spent so much time fueling the anger in your life that it’s no longer other people who are toxic – it’s you.

It must be exhausting to be consumed with so much hate and anger. Exhausting and unsatisfying.

So how to recognise toxic behaviour? The Change Blog defines toxic relationships as those that:

  • Take heavily from us without giving anything back.
  • Sap our joy as well as our mental and emotional energy.
  • Represent people who are hateful, hurtful, critical and discouraging the vast majority of the time you are around them.
  • Constantly leave you feeling empty, guilty, incompetent and ashamed.
  • Represent people who are verbally and emotionally abusive to you.
  • Bring out the absolute worst in you.

The most important thing to remember is this kind of anger, hate and toxic behaviour does not stem from anything you have said or done. It stems from within.

It’s time to banish toxic behaviour from your life. It’s time to banish thoughts that are negative, critical, bringing you down. It’s time to get rid of those who would encourage you to think and act that way. People who want to hold you back or stop you shine. If you have to lower yourself to be on the same level as the people you’re spending time with, they’re not worth your time.

“There is an important difference between giving up and letting go” Jessica Hatchigan

Have you encountered toxic behaviour? Are you guilty of spreading anger and hate? 

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  • John James

    I’ve pretty much stopped reading blogs (especially opinion blogs) and using the “social” side of social media for just these reasons…too many people yelling at each other…I’m much happier for it…

    • An Idle Dad

      I gave up on most news. I vent and promote happiness in equal amounts in social media (I hope).

  • Jessica Chapman

    It’s so much easier to spread hate than love

  • Elle

    Thank you for this post. I recently was really angry at a friend. Its an unusual emotion for me as I tend to take most things in my stride. But a culmination of stress, anger and jealousy led to the worst way to vent anger. The angry email. After a month of unspoken words the anger was still there. I tried to rationalize it. But it was irrational. The anger was driven not by a truth but by my emotionality. A toxic anger that was hurting more than the person I felt had done me so wrong. I had to let it go. So I forgave the person of the indiscretions that I thought they made against me. Not because I was right or they were right. Just that raw emotional anger was not the emotion I needed to be happy. And certainly not the emotion we needed to build a strong friendship. Anger is a shit of emotion, which for me is driven by complete irritationslity and the inability to listen to those we love.

    • Tamsin Howse

      I know exactly what you mean. I had a fight with someone close to me about two years ago and only in the past 6 months have I been able to forgive and move on. The anger was just there, festering, and it was hurting me more than them. So I let it go.

      So much better :)

  • Casey

    I relate to this a lot. In the past I’ve carried a lot of resentment and negativity around with me, even though I’m sure no one else knew about it. Resentment over both major and minor slights that had festered and coloured my view of particular people for quite some time.

    In the last 18 months I’ve made a conscious effort to let things go by forgiving myself, and others, more and it’s really made a positive difference to my life and relationships. Eventually I realised that I was just making things worse for myself, making things more painful than they really needed to be.

    I will say though, it is so easy to become sucked into the hating that happens on the internet in regards to blogs or news media sites. I’ve made it a rule to only post under my real name because anonymity makes it just so easy to join in sometimes – a terrible admission but true.

    • Faybian

      I agree, it is very easy to join in on the bile that gets spilled on the Internet. My post name is my real name slightly changed, because 1: it’s been a longtime nickname and 2: it’s protects my privacy, given confidentiality is such a big part of my working life and I’m super careful about it and 3: sometimes having an Internet name makes me feel a bit more removed if someone attacks my comments.

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