The Opposite Of Love Is Indifference. Life-Changing Insights (2024)

Love is one of the most powerful emotions that you can experience. It’s complex and variable. It involves a wide range of emotions like passion and commitment. Love is truly a profound feeling that has the potential to change the world.

Many people believe that the opposite of love is hate and that these two intense emotions are very closely related on our emotional spectrum. On the other hand, some people say that it is complete indifference. This really makes you think, what is the real opposite?

Elie Wiesel, a Romanian-born American writer, a Holocaust survivor, and Nobel prize-winning peace activist, once wrote a thought-provoking quote:

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.

In this blog post, we’re going to talk about love, hate, and indifference. We’re also going to dive deep into this and discuss what Elie meant with his remarkable quote. Let’s dive in.

Is Hate the Opposite of Love?

Just like love, hate is a powerful emotion too. It’s closely related to love because it also involves strong feelings directed toward a specific person or a group of people. 

Some experts even think that you can’t hate someone you have not previously loved, which is a common theme in romantic relationships, especially when there’s emotional betrayal. 

If you’ve ever been in an intimate relationship where you loved your partner with all your being, and they cheated on you or hurt you in any other way, you probably know what I mean when I say love and hate are two sides of the same coin. 

They are not opposites but rather two emotions that are related and very similar. Love can easily turn into hate, and vice versa. 

While they appear as complete opposites at first, they have more in common than you might think. Both these emotions do the same thing to your brain. They cause intense feelings. They make you act irrationally. 

The only difference is that love is a positive thing, while hate is negative. Love is happiness, passion, and warmth. Hate is anger and frustration. 

What Is the True Opposite of Love?

Just like Elie Wiesel wrote (and many experts would agree), the opposite of love is indifference

As I said, love is a powerful emotion. It’s an extreme and overwhelming desire. But if you think about it, hate is also intense. It also involves the same components: strong feelings and desires. 

However, hate is dangerous because it’s destructive. Not only does it ruin your conscience and pollutes your spirit, but it also destroys everything and everyone around you. 

Here’s an interesting lyric from the song “Stubborn Love” by The Lumineers. I think it perfectly sums up this idea of love, hate, and indifference.

It’s better to feel pain than nothing at all, the opposite of love’s indifference.

The Opposite Of Love Is Indifference
Photo by Drazen Zigic on Freepik

Emotions make us human, even the bad ones. When you feel pain, it means you’re human. And when you feel nothing at all, that’s when you know the love is over. 

The true opposite of love is indifference. You no longer care about your partner. It might seem like a good thing on the outside because there are no more heated arguments, but that might be a signal that your relationship is ending.

Indifference is the absence of all emotions. There’s no more love, hate, pain, nothing at all. That’s what the “Stubborn Love” song is about. It’s about the ups and downs in relationships, but it also tackles a big issue of indifference.

To be indifferent is to feel ‘nothing,’ and this is what can make you depressed or apathetic to the world around you. And apathy is equally (if not more) dangerous than hate.

Related article: 9 Strategies How To Stop Looking For Love

What Did Elie Wiesel Mean When He Said the Opposite of Love Is Not Hate It’s Indifference?

To understand this powerful quote, first, you need to understand Elie Wiesel’s life story. 

Elie was a world-renowned book author and one of the most famous Holocaust survivors. In 1944, Elie and his family were deported to Auschwitz extermination camp. Nearly all of his family members were killed, according to the world report. Only Elie and his two older sisters survived the Nazi brutalities.

After World War II, he went on to become a successful author and wrote several books where he recounted stories about the horrors of Auschwitz and advocated tirelessly for learning from the Holocaust.

This is one of his most famous quotes to this day. So what did he mean by it?

He meant that indifference is dangerous. Elie himself felt the sting of indifference. He and all other Auschwitz prisoners felt forgotten and abandoned because the world was indifferent towards them. The world was silent and inactive. 

Elie advocated for empathy and engagement because these are the things that make us human. This is how we can save humanity from the perils of indifference. It’s not hate, but indifference that makes us become silent in face of injustice.

Here’s another life-changing quote from Elie Wiesel:

Indifference is not a beginning, it is an end. And, therefore, indifference is always a friend to the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor – never his victim.

What Does Love’s Indifference Mean?

What Is The Opposite Of Love
Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash

Love is definitely not indifferent. It’s the complete opposite of indifference. But love is not hate either. Indifference means having no emotions at all. It doesn’t require any interest in anything that surrounds you. It’s no love, no hate, no emotion whatsoever.

On the contrary, love is full of emotions. It’s full of empathy and warmth. It makes you become the best version of yourself. It’s caring and profound. 

Loving everyone around you can be your greatest strength. Not only does it bring you peace, but it also attracts love back to you.

And there are many different types of love. Love means believing in the best in people and in their potential. It means showing kindness in everyday tasks. It means treating others with gentleness. 

Love is about acceptance. When you accept someone for who they are, and you don’t try to change them, that means you love them.

So, indifference is not the same as love. These two are complete opposites; when you’re indifferent towards someone or something, you’re disinterested and unmotivated. You simply don’t care about them. But love means caring about others and building them up.

Related article: Consciousness & Love – 8 Ideas To Combine These Powerful Forces And Thrive

What Is the Opposite Side of Love?

If love and hate are two sides of the same coin, we could say that the opposite side of love is hate. When there’s betrayal or hurt in a relationship, this coin can easily flip and turn love into hate. It could also go the other way around. 

Here’s a quote from The Beloved Ego by Wilhelm Stekel:

There is no love without hate; and there is no hate without love. The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference; the opposite of feeling can only be the absence of feeling. Disinclination, which is coloured by feeling, often only serves the purpose of concealing and protecting oneself against an inclination. Love and hate must go hand in hand; and the people we love most we hate also, because hate is grounded in the nature of love.

“The Beloved Ego: Foundations of the New Study of the Psyche” by Wilhelm Stekel

Final Thoughts

Thanks for taking the time to read my article. I hope you found this article helpful and that it helped you understand why the opposite of love is indifference.

Indifference can be as dangerous as hatred because being indifferent towards others means not caring about them. It can lead to selfishness, unhappiness, and depression. 

Remember that emotions are what make us human and real. Even negative feelings like hate and pain are all part of this remarkable human experience. What’s important is that we learn to cope with them and not let them consume us.

If you have any additional questions about this topic, I’m here to help! 

Don’t hesitate to reach out or leave a comment in the section below. Let me know your thoughts, and I hope I hear from you soon!

About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.