Things I Used to Hate
Okay, maybe not "hate" exactly, but I tended to be dismissive – and sometimes downright scornful -- of a number of things that didn’t interest me. Some of the things I thought were stupid were:
Golf, Sailing, Polo
Movies with a lot of poop jokes and people falling down
Really expensive cars/clothes
Politics as a career
Really fancy food
Heavy metal music
Anything in Bed, Bath & Beyond
I think there are lots of reasons we dislike or dismiss things, some obvious and some not. The interesting thing (to me) is how much of it has to do with *us* and how little it has to do with the intrinsic qualities of the thing itself.
* Rejecting things helps us define ourselves; it’s not quite “I’m X”, but it *is* “I’m not Z,” which is part of the way there.
* Sailing and expensive cars aren’t likely to be part of my life, so dismissing them is partly sour grapes.
* Rejecting things can make us feel superior; we can distance ourselves from pretension or vulgarity or whatever.
* As previously mentioned on this program, we’re hardwired to make a judgment of some kind about things (Yipe or Goody?); we need to be right, we need certainty.
* We tend to dislike things that scare us or make us feel uncomfortable; things we don’t know much about often fall into this category because of the Yipe/Goody factor mentioned above.
* And one reason I just thought of this week: life is confusing, often chaotic, and there is a lot more potential things to be learned than we have time or brain-power to actually assimilate. Every time we can reject something as outside or beneath our concern, we’ve just made the world simpler; now there is one less thing we ever have to worry about learning or caring about.
Anyway, the point -- which I sort of have -- is that it can be interesting to figure out why we feel the way we do about something. And although navel-gazing is fun in and of itself, it’s actually rewarding if it results in us approaching life with a more open mind. Things become more interesting, and life is less scary.
More to the point, if you start making a list of all the things you dislike, you might find that a lot of your dislikes are pointless.
I mean, what’s the point of hating music? Will hating country or jazz or hip-hop really have that great an effect on how often you have to listen to it? Once your family and friends know your preference, it’s mostly senseless to invest any emotion or time in hating a particular type of music.
I don’t think much of heavy metal or really hard rock in general; it gives me a headache and I mostly fail to identify the musicianship – or melody – in it. That said, I’ve changed my attitude toward it – like body-piercing or other things I don’t understand, I no longer waste any time disdaining it or people who like it – I merely choose not to do it/listen to it myself.
My main point is that many (most?) of our likes/dislikes are about our own internal mental/emotional state and what we do or think to make ourselves feel better. And those dislikes are mostly useless in helping is acquire or achieve the things we want. If you can let go of some of that, it frees you up to concentrate on the things that are really important to you, whatever they are.