Suppose that someone develops liking (or even obsessing with) something since very early life, e.g watching football from age 5 to age 25. Is it possible to consciously make oneself hate it when one is older?

Can the converse happen also? Is it possible to hate something at a young age and then consciously make oneself like it when older?

If this "brain rewiring" can happen, what are the methods to achieve it? Is there any research on this subject?

  • $\begingroup$ This is a really broad question! If you rewrite it to be a little more limited (choose either like->dislike or dislike-> like, etc), you might have more luck with answers. $\endgroup$
    – Krysta
    Jan 5, 2015 at 16:25
  • $\begingroup$ thanks for your comment! yes, I may have had to confine my question to a more manageable chunk. Perhaps I may do so in the future in a new question post. Sorry, I'm new here I'm not sure if I can do that? $\endgroup$
    – burnedWood
    Jan 7, 2015 at 0:44
  • $\begingroup$ Yes it can definitly happen. I hated Shrimps and loved Videogames as a kid. Now i love Shrimps and hate Videogames :D $\endgroup$
    – user7479
    Jan 15, 2015 at 16:05
  • $\begingroup$ So do you want to know how one goes about reversing obsessions in clinical psychology? $\endgroup$
    – Seanny123
    Nov 9, 2015 at 2:48
  • $\begingroup$ I trieing to hate fishing because every time I have a chance to do it it gets screwed up $\endgroup$
    – Luis
    Jan 14, 2018 at 4:39

1 Answer 1


I think most of "loving" and "hating" happens on unconscious level or conscious but automatic level. Aaron T. Beck noticed that thoughts were not as unconscious as Freud had previously theorized and called them "automatic thoughts". I don't see any reason for someone to start hating football but also you can get bored for watching it for 20 years.
But you have techniques, exercises and therapies that can help you love yourself, start hate smoking or stop overeating for example.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be used for solving current problems and modifying dysfunctional (inaccurate and/or unhelpful) thinking and behavior.

  • $\begingroup$ As the wiki article you link to says in its opening paragraph, neurolinguistic programming is a largely discredited pseudoscience and is unlikely to belong in any scientific discussion. $\endgroup$
    – Krysta
    Jan 5, 2015 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, it is, but I know person that stopped smoking after treatment. And in my humble opinion has set of good techniques that help people in many ways. So should I edit the answer and delete NLP? @Krysta $\endgroup$
    – Davidenko
    Jan 5, 2015 at 20:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'd recommend deleting the reference to NLP. It can be hard to determine a causal relationship with complicated behavioral changes (like stopping smoking), which is why rigorous experimental research is needed. Just because a technique seems to work occasionally doesn't mean that it actually works, in the sense that the outcomes are better than what you would get with no treatment. $\endgroup$ Jan 5, 2015 at 21:00
  • $\begingroup$ hey thanks for your answer! So If I get it correct, there are techniques (i.e CBT) that can help one mitigate the effects of his faulty appetites but not outright change them, right? For example, if someone grows addicted to smoking from a young age, it can't be expected that he ever comes to dislike smoking when he indulges in it, but it can be expected that he learns to refrain from it right? $\endgroup$
    – burnedWood
    Jan 7, 2015 at 0:42
  • $\begingroup$ You are correct. CBT can only change how we interpret things in our thoughts but there is no certainty that it will affect our feelings and actions. CBT can help you but it's not 100% efficient method like any other. @burnedWood $\endgroup$
    – Davidenko
    Jan 7, 2015 at 7:50

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