- Thursday, 30 April 2015

Hate The Player Not Their Game

"I hate her so much."
"He's so annoying, I hate him."
"Right, there's this girl that I hate.."

People say they hate things a lot. People say they hate other people a lot. In reality, if you thought hard about what you say you hate, it probably isn't all that much. Sure, you may well dislike a whole heap of things, but hate? Probably not so much. That's not what I'm talking about here, though - hate in itself is a whole other can of worms. Hate who/what you want, we'll go into that another time.

I'm talking about hating things people do because of who is doing them. Let me clarify: you hate a guy and then he posts something on Facebook; you hate what he has posted. You hate a girl and she puts a selfie on Instagram; you hate how many selfies she takes. You hate anyone at all, and it is very likely that you will be inclined to automatically hate at least the vast majority of what they do, too.

This doesn't actually make very much sense at all. Why is it that we have positive or negative opinions towards actions depending solely on who carries them out? Having become a lot more aware of this lately, I have been making a concerted effort to view actions as independent from their actor - by this, I mean that I can really really dislike someone without really really disliking everything they do.

There are people I don't like, and I can fully appreciate that they are doing good things or achieving cool stuff. Just because I don't like them, doesn't mean I should subconsciously forbid myself from liking or admiring or being impressed by or even just being indifferent to things that they do.

The thing is, for people to be disliked, they must have done something to warrant being disliked (if you dislike people where you don't have a reason then that's just unfair and please re-evaluate your dislike of them), which then plants a seed in our brains saying that everything else they do is just as bad and could equally warrant them being disliked. This is where the flaw is - just because people have done something bad in the past, this does not mean that the things they do now are also bad. Take each thing as an independent action and consider whether you 'hate' that act in itself or if you have convinced yourself that you hate it simply because of who is doing it. Most likely outcome: you don't actually hate it at all.

Similarly, we all too often do the exact same thing with people we 'love'. Love in this term is used not in terms of "I love you," but more in the sense of celebrity worship. I'm using the term 'celebrity worship' very loosely here as it frequently refers to people who are not celebrities but are practically worshipped (or at least very much looked up to) all the same.

I would comfortably go as far as to say it is concerning how much of an influence our opinions of people can have on our opinions on what they do. In this instance, it's about more than just 'hating' someone/thing - we often end up emulating their actions in an attempt to be more like them, because of how much we admire them. It can always, always be seen that when a celebrity endorses or says they use a particular product, hordes of people rush out and buy the same thing. By the same token, when they act a certain way or pick up a certain habit, people who admire them seek to do the same.

The point in this case is, just because you really admire someone or want to be like them, does not mean you have to support, endorse or agree with everything they do. You are fully allowed to disagree with things they do - just because it's them doing it does not mean that you are required to be absolutely 100% behind them every step of the way. As before, take each act independently of the actor and evaluate for yourself whether or not you 'love' that action just as much as you 'love' the person doing it.

This was all really just a very long-winded way of saying don't let your views of a person skew your views of things they do. To massively simplify it, bad people can do good things, and good people can do bad things, just let yourself be rational and aware of it.



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