People Who Hate People, Misanthropes
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People Who Hate People, Misanthropes

What is a misanthrope? What is misanthropy? Where did the word misanthropy come from? Is a misanthrope the same thing as a sociopath? What is the term for when a person hates people? Learn why some people come to dislike humanity as a whole. Who was Carl Panzram? Why do people become hermits?

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 Other people may become withdrawn, living every bit as a hermit as possible, although not all hermits are misanthropes.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.

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Comments (8)


Wow...this so very informative and educational, too.  "The word Misanthrope comes from misos, for hatred, and anthropos, for mankind".  This bit of information basically sums it up nicely.  I learned something new today by reading this article.  Thanks

Misanthropes sound pretty dangerous. I'd bet a lot of the serial killers in history were misanthropes like Carl Panzram.

Not all of us misanthropes are murderers Joe lol. I'm a misanthrope. House, M.D. was a self admitted misanthrope, even though he's a TV character. Many of us in the health profession are misanthropes actually, but most of us won't admit it. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. It makes it easier to treat terminal patients without bias. We need these types of people in the medical field for that reason!

Great article!

Ranked #17 in Psychology

Very Educational entry Brenda.

Ranked #2 in Psychology

quite interesting thanks

I'd say I'm a misanthrope. On a bad day, the thought of people, the way they choose to be, causes me violent anger, and on a good day, I'm overall indifferent. I make a point not to get personally involved with people, because sooner or later I'll want them to disappear from the planet. To date, there's only one person in my twenty-five years of existence that doesn't piss me off, and that's mostly because we're 85% alike.

I'd describe my misanthropy visually as walking into a meadow of cute kittens and puppies, who slowly turn into disgusting monsters the longer you stay in that meadow.

I hate people. This is not a disorder, it's straight up disappointment and disgust. It's not even a matter of trust or expectations. There is no measurable way to describe this feeling of contempt. It makes me grind my teeth just think about even being with my closest friends which I hold at a distance. It is a feeling of anger, a desire to extinguish that human flame. To make one miserable, to break them until they are in fact reformed as better suited than a "human". Detesting what they build, the society they exhibit. This is what results from a dream of eating smores over a pile of burning bodies. Or to be that one who pushes the big red button on impulse and blasts human nature off the face of the earth. It's a compulsion.... Nothing more... And it's caused not by fear but by desparation. It's completely torturous being forced to fit in among meager evolved apes. And to have restrictions contradicting the progress of an individual desire for perfection in one's own mind.