What do you call a person who hates everyone but himself? I'm looking for a single word for this.
18Probably a misanthrope, but there's nothing specific about whether a misanthrope hates himself as well as everyone else.– FumbleFingersJan 15, 2013 at 4:53
1paranoid narcissist.– Blessed GeekJan 15, 2013 at 4:55
12a narcissistic misanthrope then :D– user19341Jan 15, 2013 at 5:45
5Okay, I'll bite. Why is this tagged "business language"?– RegDwigнtJan 15, 2013 at 11:03
2If you're asking for a single word, why do you need more detail?– simchonaJan 25, 2013 at 15:07
I believe the correct word would be misanthrope or misanthropist.
As @theUg suggests, I am elaborating my explanation. Following are the reasons why I believe misanthrope should be the correct word here:
- Its definition (source - Wikipedia)-
Misanthropy is the general hatred, mistrust or disdain of the human species or human nature. A misanthrope, or misanthropist is someone who holds such view or feeling. The word's origin is from Greek words μῖσος (misos, "hatred") and ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos, "man, human").
- Scrooge as @JAM suggests could also be considered correct but not 100%, because the dictionary defines it as a person who is miserly. Also misanthrope looks much more formal. Same is the case with words suggested by others as they are not 100% correct for this situation.
It must be a correct answer, but it's a duplicate of a comment above. Jan 28, 2013 at 15:28
2@bytebuster, duplicate indeed, but of a comment, not an answer. If FF deemed it not worthy to post as an answer it is his loss (and, possibly, ours). If expanded (which is what this answer lacks), it may well be the most fitting one. Jan 29, 2013 at 7:04
Note: this echoes several other answers and comments, but I had felt most of them lacked detail, and as I became interested in this topic I decided to elaborate.
A misanthrope would be the most fitting term, but with large shadow of philosophy hanging over, it may require deeper understanding, although in common usage and less demanding context, the somewhat pedantic details may be overlooked.
First ingredient in our recipe would be the “hatred of mankind”. Dictionaries differ in their interpretation of misanthropy, from mere “dislike” in OED’s definition, to “mistrust”, to the full-on “hatred” in M-W’s. But the etymology is unambiguously clear:
from Greek words μῖσος (misos, “hatred”) and ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos, “man, human”)
With that taken care of, the next step is exclusion of self from universal loathing. That is where things become complicated, as misanthropy can come in many flavours, and, on the other hand, some ideas that may look like misanthropy, are not (that is why M-W’s synonymizing of misanthrope with the words like cynic, or pessimist is less than responsible).
One early definition of misanthropy can be found in Plato’s dialogue Phaedo:
For misanthropy is clothed out of trusting someone excessively without skill, and believing a person to be completely true and sound and trustworthy, then a little later finding him bad and untrustworthy and again with another; and when someone experiences this many times and especially by those who one believes are nearest and dearest, so often taking offence he ends up hating everyone and believes absolutely no one is sound at all.
In essence, it is about someone placing unrealistic expectations on others, and then crushing disillusionment when those fail. It does not imply that the doubts of the worth of humankind extend on the subject, but it may force one to separate from society. However, that would be a key point, as according to Aristotle’s Politics, a solitary man is not a man at all (from 1598 translation titled Aristotles Politiques, or Discourses of Government):
…he that cannot abide to live in company, or through sufficiency hath need of nothing, is not esteemed a part or member of a city, but is either a beast or god.
Thus, Aristotelian qualification would allow a reclusive misanthrope to avoid a pitfall of intellectual dishonesty (“I hate all of the humanity, except myself, though I am part of that very humanity”), or becoming a pitiful wreck as Alceste, the character from Molière’s satire Le Misanthrope, had. And, on the subject of gods, one can be auto-theistic misanthrope. Nietzschean idea of Übermensch and other forms of radical individualism were also criticized for that sort of disregard for humanity.
On the other hand, even though Schopenhauer proclaimed “human existence must be a kind of error”, misanthropy does not necessarily mean malicious hatred of others. We could all be failed beings, doomed to suffer together.
Finally, why I think the sorts of narcissistic misanthrope would not work. Basically, it is an oxymoron. Misanthrope despises humankind, and dislikes the idea of society, but narcissists, “unethical” egoists, megalomaniacs and other radically-selfish types, either strive for validation from society, or its subjugation or exploitation.
Like many other answers here, this one is not perfect, but how about
This was my initial response, and a simple Google search reveals that sociopathy is thought of as a severe form of antisocial personality disorder, so it seems like Jim and I are on the same track.
From Merriam-Webster online:
noun \ˈsō-sē-ə-ˌpath, ˈsō-sh(ē-)ə-\ : a sociopathic individual
adjective \ˌsō-sē-ə-ˈpa-thik, ˌsō-sh(ē-)ə-\ : of, relating to, or characterized by asocial or antisocial behavior or exhibiting antisocial personality disorder
adjective \ˌan-tē-ˈsō-shəl, ˌan-ˌtī-\ : averse to the society of others
Though I have no evidence besides various episodes of televised legal dramas, my sense of sociopaths is that they feel somewhat neutral about themselves. The aspect of non-self-loathing you want to communicate with this word seems to me incorporated in sociopath. There is a term, narcissistic sociopath, which seems to explicitly communicate self-aggrandizement (which you didn't state as a requirement for the word).
I'm not sure if my assessment of a sociopath is right, and it may be too strong a word for what you intended, and also come with some connotations about destructive behavior that you do not intend, but that's all I got. As stated, it seems English has no perfect word to answer your question. Misanthrope, suggested above, is the next closest thing I can think of to the suggestions I have given.
For reference, here's a very interesting breakdown of the related psychological disorders
In one word it would be antisocial.
4It's not necessarily antisocial to hate everyone but yourself. That depends on how the hate is expressed, if at all.– deadlyJan 15, 2013 at 9:47
6Antisocial really says that one fails to abide by social rules and norms, shuns the society of others, etc. This does not imply the hatred of others.– user35752Jan 15, 2013 at 11:36
'Narcissist' (defined as 'someone who loves oneself excessively') seems to be the word that fits your description.
'Hating everybody else' would be the result of a state of extreme narcissism.
6Loving oneself excessively doesn't necessarily imply that one hates everyone else.– MohitJan 15, 2013 at 13:25
5Interestingly, it seems that pathological narcissism generally does imply that.– starwedJan 26, 2013 at 18:13
@starwed, not necessarily. One still may strive for the validation from others, and while self-absorbed and selfish, one would not have to hate the important ingredient to their own happiness. Jan 29, 2013 at 9:27
2@theUg From the article I linked: "Narcissists have such an elevated sense of self-worth that they value themselves as inherently better than others. Yet, they have a fragile self-esteem and cannot handle criticism, and will often try to compensate for this inner fragility by belittling or disparaging others in an attempt to validate their own self-worth. It is this sadistic tendency that is characteristic of narcissism as opposed to other psychological conditions affecting level of self-worth."– starwedJan 29, 2013 at 19:27
@starwed: True misanthrope, the way I see it, despises humanity for more or less rational reasons (disillusionment in Plato’s example or the words of Molière’s character: “My hate is general, I detest all men; Some because they are wicked and do evil, Others because they tolerate the wicked”) whereas narcissist is focused on themselves and the others for them are just part of their subjective experience. Not to equate the two, but it is somewhat solipsistic interpretation. Jan 30, 2013 at 2:20
I don't believe that there is one word that can definitively say that "someone hates everyone else, but himself" because there is some ambiguity concerning how that person feels about himself. So now you are limited to words that describe someone who hates everyone else . . .
The problem with these words is that not one of them clearly defines a person who unconditionally hates everyone.
I think this is an unanswerable question.
1Or Grouch. Jan 25, 2013 at 19:16
Although this question seems to be without a clear answer, I believe the most concise way to convey such an individual would be to call the individual a "narcissistic misanthrope."
2I agree as I am also unaware of a singular word that describes this idea.– AaronJan 29, 2013 at 16:16
Such a person may suffer from Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD).
In a Wikipedia citation of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth edition Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) American Psychiatric Association (2000) pp. 645–650, ASPD is described an Axis II personality disorder characterized by
"...a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood."
Therefore, one might say he hates everybody else.
Per Wikipedia, again:
The World Health Organization's International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems', tenth edition (ICD-10), defines a conceptually similar disorder to antisocial personality disorder called (F60.2) Dissocial personality disorder.
I propose the term Dissocial but I don't consider this adjective alone, being a neologism (to common usage, anyway), to be as strong as describing the person as one who suffers from ASPD. You may find it to be acceptable as an answer to your question.
Urban Dictionary describes a disanthrope as a person who is discordant with mankind. In the present context, I interpret this as someone who considers himself apart from mankind, and the term is also consistent with the more modern usage of "dis", in that he is dismissive (or disrespectful) of mankind. But this doesn't address how the "dissocial person" hates everyone but himself (unless you consider that dis- implies that he is 'apart' or 'separate' from). So I will stand by my neologism - dissocial.
Another possibility is
callous: Emotionally hardened; unfeeling and indifferent to the suffering/feelings of others. Not quite hateful, but close.
You might call such a person a scrooge. A scrooge (or Scrooge), named for Charles Dickens' Ebenezer Scrooge from his A Christmas Carol, is "A miserly, selfish person." More detail on the Ebenezer Scrooge character from Wikipedia:
Scrooge is a cold-hearted, tight-fisted and greedy man, who despises Christmas and all things which give people happiness.
The Wikipedia entry goes on to describe how "[h]is last name has come into the English language as a byword for miserliness and misanthropy, traits displayed by Scrooge in the exaggerated manner for which Dickens is well-known."
Scrooge certainly behaved hatefully towards everyone he encountered. I wouldn't go so far as to say that he loved himself, but he certainly despised everyone else more than he did himself.
Even though I think this question might be unanswerable... How about psychotic...?
a runner up might be nihilist (but a nihilist can want the destruction of everything including themselves)
3The word nihilist is an inaccurate one in this context. Jan 29, 2013 at 16:20
2Nor is he doing it because he dislikes people. Jan 29, 2013 at 20:33
1It isn't a matter of whether the individual likes people. The idea that a nihilist wants everything torn down is inaccurate. From OED: Nihilist: "A person having a nihilistic outlook; spec. one professing metaphysical or ontological nihilism." Nihilism: "Total rejection of prevailing religious beliefs, moral principles, laws, etc., often from a sense of despair and the belief that life is devoid of meaning." Its being associated with destruction and such is a historical one, chiefly having to do with the political movement in Russia. Nihilism otherwise used is a matter of philosophy. Jan 30, 2013 at 21:41
1Psychotic is the wrong word also, psychosis is a "loss of contact with reality" and says nothing about attitude to other people. Feb 1, 2013 at 18:00
1@donothingsuccessfully I just remembered why I down voted this answer (mea culpa). Psychosis is not correct at all. It is a condition that has nothing to do with liking oneself or not. Similarly, it says nothing about liking or disliking others, but rather, as you said, a loss of contact with reality. Nihilism is not correct either, as nihilists aren't hateful per se, nor "self-positive" (not a word, sorry). Feb 1, 2013 at 19:36