The Mighty Logo

17 Things People Don't Realize You're Doing Because You Think Everyone Hates You

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

When you’re struggling with your mental health, it can be so easy to mistakenly believe the people in your life hate you. For example, it’s hard to remember when that person you haven’t spoken to in a few days doesn’t reply to your texts, they aren’t ignoring you out of spite — they’re probably incredibly busy.

If you can relate to this struggle, you’re not alone. Thinking the people around you secretly hate you or don’t want to be around you is a common experience for those dealing with mental illness.

When your brain is being cruel to you, it doesn’t just affect you, it can often extend to how you interact with others. We wanted to know how feeling like everyone hates you can affect people’s actions, so we turned to our community to share their experiences.

Here are some things they said people don’t realize they do because they think everyone hates them:

1. Keeping track of who contacts who more

“I keep track of how often we initiate contact with each other, and if I notice I’ve been doing it more often lately, I stop contacting them. If they contact me, that probably means they don’t hate me.” — Sascha W.

2. Keeping to yourself

“Keeping to myself or being quiet. I get really anxious around groups of people. Most people think you’re being rude, but it’s because my anxiety convinces me that everyone hates me or will hate me or think something negative about me.” — Natalie V.

3. Asking for validation

“I’m constantly asking for validation in so many forms, which makes me feel even more annoying and like I’m giving people another reason to hate me. It could be simply asking if they hate me, if they’re mad at me or if they love me. No matter how many times they try to reassure me though, it never gets through to me.” — Nina G.

“Constantly needing validation and reassurance from people. If someone confirms they don’t hate me, OK, but it doesn’t last long before I doubt it again, because I could have done something else to annoy them. Even if I haven’t spoken to the person I can imagine plenty of reasons, in the space of an hour sometimes, why they must now hate me.” — Becky W.

4. Staying quiet in conversations

“I worry that I am being needy or clingy. I keep thinking people hate me so I don’t talk or take part in conversations as I don’t think anyone is interested in what I have to say — if people don’t initiate contact with me, I convince myself they don’t want to be friends with me and don’t like me.” — Sarah P.

5. Pushing people away

“I push people away before they get the chance to push me away so I don’t get hurt again. I start by ‘testing’ them to see if I stop communicating, will it affect them and [will] they make an effort to get me back in their life?” — Katelyn B.

“Separating myself: I’m invited out often but I’ll come up with an excuse or say I’m busy or short of cash. Because in my head I think I’ll ruin the event because I’m negative or they don’t really want me there or I’m no fun anyway. Then I’ll look at all the pictures and comment stuff like, ‘Oh I wish I could’ve been there,’ etc., etc. It’s just a vicious circle.” — Eve A.

6. Getting clingy

“I go between being really clingy with people and pushing them away. One day I won’t leave them alone, and then the next I feel they don’t want me around so I leave them alone. It’s an ongoing battle in my head.” — Danielle S.

7. Reading too much into social interactions

“Reading into every comment, text, inbox they make to me trying to decipher if they’re mad at me and then trying to figure out what I have done this in turn then leads to me constantly asking, ‘Are we OK?’ As I need constant reassurance that everything is good otherwise my anxiety goes off and I spiral into a depressive state.” — Hayley V.

“Analyzing them. It looks like staring or being off with the fairies or like a rude/judgmental look. It’s just constant analyzing facial expressions, body language, etc. Trying to remember that’s not actually the truth.” — Alysia M.

8. Appearing closed off or defensive

“I can appear as more distant, defensive and closed off. If I want to spend time with them but have these thoughts, I tend to fear rejection and so won’t reach out as much. I could easily convince myself that people remain friends with me out of pity, obligation or something else entirely. However, I am a rational thinker and realize that is far from the truth, but my overthinking often challenges this.” — Jenny M.

“I developed a tough exterior, a take no sh*t attitude to keep people away. The people who see me for the real me have to get through a lot of walls, but those are the ones I know really like me… Sh*t and all.” — Jennifer K.

9. Changing social media habits

“Stayed away from posting pictures on social media. I used to feel gratification when I got a lot of likes but when I realized I got less and less, I just didn’t feel like posting anymore.” — Ileana I.

“I will delete people who don’t talk to me off of Facebook or other social media, only to have them wonder later on what happened. I also will overthink everything and come up with reasons as to why they aren’t talking to me, and I will be very surface level with them in my next conversation.” — Shelby V.

10. Lashing out in anger

“I lash out in anger when it really has nothing to do with the other person. I get upset and extremely angry over something completely unrelated and take it out on whoever is around me at the moment.” — Annastasia Z.

11. Feeling used in every interaction

“With every friendly chat we have, I can only feel they’re using me. That I’m a latest cure for boredom. I don’t say anything about it because if my thoughts of them hating me aren’t true, then me expressing myself will definitely make them do so.” — Jazzie M.

12. Over-apologizing

“I apologize for everything and anything I do. If I’m too quiet, I’ll apologize. If I’m too loud, I’ll apologize. I overthink everything and don’t feel welcome so I constantly apologize for my presence.” — Cassandra R.

13. Trying too hard to please others

“I’m a people-pleaser! I will literally agree with you on everything so you’ll like me more.” — Melissa A.

“Desperately trying to impress or please them. I’ve even gone to the extreme of making homemade cookies and giving it to said person because they once re-posted a meme that said, ‘I want cookies.’” — Jazz F.

14. Avoiding eye contact

“I can’t stare anyone in the face when I’m speaking to them, because I feel like they’re judging everything I say. Sometimes I seem rude unintentionally, sometimes I do it on purpose, just to keep people away from me. Not because I hate them. Sometimes it’s easier without the risk of hurting your loved ones’ feelings.” — Jacqueline N.

15. Not getting your hopes up about new people

“I assume that past is always prologue. I underestimate people so I will be pleasantly surprised. I overthink what people write or say.” — Rahadyan S.

16. Checking that no one is talking about you

“I literally will turn my music down and look around the room to ensure none of the conversations are about me.” — Rhiannon E.

17. Finding ways to remind yourself that you’re loved

“I read letters that my friends and family wrote me during my hospitalization. They remind me that I am loved.” — Audrey W.

“I play with my necklace that my boyfriend gave me because he said that it was always a sign of his love. Even when my head is telling me I am alone, he is showing me I am [loved] now.” — Elizabeth D.

We hope this list made you feel like you’ve got a tribe of people who feel like you do on hard days. When you’re struggling with thoughts of people hating you, it can be hard to remember, but you are loved.

Do you do something because you’re scared everyone hates you? Tell us below.

Unsplash photo via Emiliano Vittori

Originally published: March 6, 2019
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home