The word misanthropy comes from the Greek misein, meaning “to hate” and anthropos, meaning “man”.
Misanthropy is, therefore, ‘hatred of mankind’.
However, not all misanthropes hate humanity.
A more appropriate definition of misanthropy would be ‘a general dislike and distrust of humanity’. In some cases, the dislike turns into hatred.
Misanthropy isn’t disliking individuals or groups of people but humanity as a whole. Misanthropes detest the flaws in human nature. Flaws such as:
- Lack of consideration
Hatred is an emotion that motivates us to avoid what makes us hateful. We can say the same for dislike, a milder version of hatred. Since misanthropes dislike people, they tend to avoid them.
What causes misanthropy?
Short answer: Human nature.
It’s undeniable that human nature has flaws. Misanthropes detest those flaws and think they’re somehow above those flaws. But this is impossible because misanthropes are human too.
This indicates there’s some superiority complex at play in misanthropy. Sure, humans have bad qualities. But they have good qualities too. A realistic person appreciates that.
A misanthrope, on the other hand, seems over-focused on human negativity.
Misanthropists might have been raised to have high expectations of humanity (belief in a good true self) and were massively let down by people.
A realistic person accepts human flaws and moves on. A misanthropist continues to dwell on human shortcomings to meet their need for superiority and uniqueness or to deal with the trauma of being let down by others.
Is misanthropy a personality disorder?
Although misanthropy is not a disorder per se, constant disdain and disgust for humanity can make a person feel isolated and disconnected. Being social species, connection and acceptance are our basic needs.
Taking the misanthropy test
This test consists of 18 items on a 5-point scale ranging from Strongly agree to Strongly disagree. If you believe you’re a misanthrope, some of these questions may cause you to get defensive.
The test is anonymous, and we don’t store your results in our database. Only you can see your results. So, answer as truthfully as you can.