Responding to Hate – Summary

Over the last several weeks we have discussed Robert Sternberg’s taxonomy of hate and how it might be used to plan and facilitate civic discourse in ways that build rather than divide communities. Here is a brief summary of the base forms of hate identified in the taxonomy.

  • Cool hate is characterized by feelings of disgust toward a particular group and a desire to avoid them.
  • Hot hate is characterized by extreme feelings of anger or fear toward a perceived threat, and a strong desire to attack or to run away (fight or flight).
  • Cold hate is characterized by fear and distrust of the target group and includes all of the “isms”.

These forms combine to create 5 additional, increasingly dangerous, forms of hate. While you may not often experience the overt or explosive hot hate, it is likely that you have seen the use of language that gives signs of cool or cold hate in your community.  Here we have provided a simple table to help you think about some of the techniques for dealing with the different forms of hate as they arise.  Please refer back to the original posts for context.

Form of Hate Hot Hate Cool Hate Cold Hate
Time Duration Short Medium Long
Possible Techniques
  • Acknowledging
  • Asking
  • Reflecting
  • Directing
  • Listening
  • Humor
  • Reflecting
  • Asking
  • Introducing
  • Translating
  • Inviting
  • Questioning
  • Sharing
  • Asking
  • Restating
  • Sequencing
  • Informing
  • Summarizing
  • Introducing
  • Inviting
  • Sharing
  • Encouraging
  • Focusing Forward
  • Dealing with any form of hate requires careful planning.  As you consider how to engage when these forms of hate may be present, look back at this table and the associated posts and consider how you might best respond when faced with hot, cool or cold hate.  For instance, those who are showing signs of hot hate often feel shut out and cut off, and being acknowledged can mitigate many of their feelings.  Asking questions, reflecting what you hear, listening to complaints, and even using humor can help to restore good will and positive dialogue.  Cool hate can be eased through the increased interaction and understanding that dialogue provides.  Cold hate is not easily addressed, although even there, with careful planning, new ideas can be introduced, new relationships formed, and tensions eased.

    If you are uncomfortable working with these issues, we can help.  Get in touch with us today if you would like to learn more about planning and facilitating difficult dialogues, and healing hate  in your community.

    5 responses to “Responding to Hate – Summary

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