Imagine this scenario… You have just moved into your new flat & naturally, you get to know your housemates. Let’s assume you get close to one of them but soon enough there’s someone that they don’t like. We’ve all experienced this in school, one of your friends doesn’t like someone, so, on their behalf you “dislike them too”, you ignore them & everything they seem to do begins to annoy you. This is not a good idea… Rather than conforming to your group & “disliking” this person who has done nothing towards you, you should get to know them & see whether you like them or not. You don’t have to but, they haven’t done anything to you.. Yes, you may have some instinctive behavioural inclination to protect those that are close to you. You’ve heard they did your friend wrong & you dislike them for this reason. But you have no reason to do this. If your friend is encouraging you to dislike them then maybe you should consider whether they are a good friend or not. Anyway, back to the scenario. We are assuming that you have just met this person & you are disliking someone on their behalf already – do not make this mistake. First of all, you have no idea what your “new flatmate” is like. More often times than not, they will have had a disagreement with this person & they may eventually compromise or agree to disagree and become good friends. Now you are left looking like an idiot..
WHY WE FEEL INCLINED TO DISLIKE OTHERS ON SOMEONES BEHALF
There are many reasons why we may hate someone, here’s a few I can think of.
1. Self Protection
in some cases, if we hear that someone has done something towards someone that we know – for example, I knew a girl once & one of her “friends” (Lets call her Beth) slept with her boyfriend – Beth then said “Yeah I slept with her man, I wanted to prove that I could get any man I wanted” … She had no shame, she wasn’t even sorry. Quite a few people, including myself were completely shocked & she lost a lot of friends. If you hear something like this, its not the actual act towards to victim that make you dislike a person, but the fear that that person may do the same to you. In this situation, they were very close friends & when she did what she did, that showed everyone that it didn’t matter if they were friends or not – she could do the exact same to you..
more over, in this situation, they made up again. The girl even took Beth on holiday with her. Now everyone hating on Beth looked like an idiot.
2. Protective Instincts
If you are close to someone & you hear someone has done something to do them its instinct to “protect your own”. When we are part of a group we feel a certain degree of loyalty to that group. Anyone outside that group is known as the out-group. Rather than other individual groups being a threat in their own, ANYTHING outside this group is just one big group. For example, we would perceive the police and a “rival gang” as exactly the same. At the end of the day they are not a part of your group. If someone threatens your group, especially if you have a strong loyalty, you’re more likely to want to protect them.