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(n.) the deep seated disdain or disapproval

of someone or something, often without

logical or conscious reasoning.

Antipathy is probably the greatest indicator of our unconscious (and possibly deep ancestral) biases.

Antipathy could also be classified as the opposite of empathy. I’m sure we can all relate to a feeling or ‘reaction’ to someone, where for no (or minimal) apparent reason we had a clear disdain for them whether long term, or in the moment. Where our negative response to them was completely out of balance to what they exhibited or did. This can occur as a general response to larger groups, or within the micro moments of our relationships. It can occur as a country, with our work colleagues, in politics, religion and even with our best friend, lover or child.

The need to justify this irrational response quells the deep insight that this reaction could gives us. We may be tapping into not just our conscious biases, but those that have lived within us through our lineage for decades, if not centuries, of ingrained negativity at a cellular, unconscious level.

Brave curiosity is required here … the ability to suspend our bias and pause in that very moment we wish to ‘react’. To deeply question ourselves. ‘Why am I reacting so harshly to a seemingly innocent situation?’ ‘Why do I have such a distain for this person/race/gender/age/type?’ It has often been said that the disdain we have for another is usually the distain we have within us, but we are not willing to face.


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