Love can seem a risky business. Fairbairn (1940) makes the point that love can feel threatening. Love can close down psychological distance between individuals and, therefore, can be experienced as a threat to a fragile sense of self. Hate, on the other hand, creates more distance and erects barriers against the potentially destructive nature of intimate contact with the other. I would elaborate this further and say that hate enables the individual to maintain contact with others since it still maintains a passionate connection, a relationship, that does not threaten to smother the self. Schizoid traits in the personality may leave the individual feeling more comfortable inducing hate rather than love in libidinal objects. Dealing with hatred and aggression can, in this sense, be much safer than the intimacy of love.

Excerpt from David Mann’s “Love and Hate; psychoanalytical perspectives”

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