People Who Hate People, Misanthropes
Humans are generally considered to be social animals. With humanity there are some people who like people more than others, and some people who hate, or distrust other people. A misanthrope is a person who hates humanity.
Misanthropy should not be confused with asociality, in which a person simply prefers to be alone, or with anthropophobia, the fear of people, which may in fact stem from a person who is a misanthrope.
People, who are introverts, or shy, are not necessarily misanthropes, and neither are pessimists.
The word Misanthrope comes from misos, for hatred, and anthropos, for mankind. Ancient philosopher Socrates theorized that a person might come to be a misanthrope as the result of an individual fully trusting somebody only to find out that the person they trusted in was unreliable. The person forms a dislike for the person they trusted and later humanity as a whole.
In some cases a victim of bullying could develop a misanthropic attitude. In some cases extreme environmentalists have been labeled as being misanthropes, blaming the state of the planet on humanity in general.
Sociopaths and psychopaths are not necessarily misanthropes, although some are (or were), most notably, Carl Panzram, who bragged of 21 murders and the rape of more than 1,000 men, of which he was not the least bit sorry. Indeed he boasted of his hatred of humanity, which may have stemmed from being gang rapped at the age of 14.
Johnathan Swift has been suggested to have misanthropic views, as expressed in his book Gulliver's Travels.
Because society tends to view those who dislike humans as having a mental illnesses, many who are misanthropes keep it to themselves, functioning among society while remaining somewhat aloof and detached from the social bonds that many others form. Other people may become withdrawn, living every bit as a hermit as possible, although not all hermits are misanthropes. Still others seem to wave the title around as though it were some kind of “coolness” banner.
In general there is very little information about Misanthropy since anyone can claim to hate humanity, and many people have, at one or another, felt hatred towards certain people. Many people have used the term incorrectly to describe their feelings while not fully understanding the level of hatred for humanity to be a true misanthrope, as they still embrace a need to fit in socially.
There are actually at least two types of misanthropes, one who hates humanity as a whole, and one who hates every human. It is easier to understand the type that hates all humanity as explained above, since they blame humanity in general for all society’s and the planet’s problems.
The type that hates all human beings could stem from being mistreated at an early age, but most likely, they developed a hatred for all humans as they aged and looked at the world around them. This hatred could be a form of such distrust of humans that the distrust has turned into hatred of everyone.