Why “I don’t hate it” is my new mantra

A rubber stamp design with the words "I don't hate it" in the middle.

I seem to have acquired a new catchphrase of late. For the record, it’s “I don’t hate it”. In fact, it’s more than just a catchphrase. It has become a useful way of making decisions. Until recently, you see, we’ve been guilty of procrastinating. A lot.

Particularly when buying things we need for the house. I dread to think of how many hours we’ve lost comparing similar items on multiple websites, only to conclude that we’ll probably just leave it until the January sales.

But my accidental new mantra has put an end to all this. The other day, sick of knocking over cups of tea on the floor, we concluded that we needed a coffee table. We loaded up the first website that came to mind and, after eliminating the flimsy-looking options, were left with a handful of choices.

“What about this one?” asked my wife. “I don’t hate it,” I replied without thinking. So that decided it. No dithering and job done. Hours saved.

It could be argued, of course, that not hating something when you’re spending hard-earned money is setting a pretty low bar. But I would counter that it’s quite unassuming and the antithesis of being materialistic and overly house-proud.

Plus I just can’t be bothered with wasting time striving for perfection when no such beast exists. It also means I won’t be upset when the kids inevitably make their respective marks on it. I’ll just be mildly irritated, which is way better.

My new catchphrase and the sentiment behind it will also come in useful when deciding what to watch on the telly. No more scrolling aimlessly through the worrying number of streaming services we have. We just need to find something we don’t hate. So anything but reality TV and the job’s a good ‘un.

Admittedly, we need to get the kids to buy into our new way of thinking for family film time, but I think it’s achievable in five to six years.

It also goes nicely with my other go-to adage, “Ah well, never mind“. Because, once you accept that a lot of things are inconsequential, you invest a lot less thought in the minutiae of life.

Why not try it yourself? Next time you have a trivial decision to make, consider whether you have strong feelings against the thing in question. If you find yourself saying “I don’t hate it”, you could free up plenty of time to spend on your other silly preoccupations instead.

Well, that’s what it’s done for me anyway.


  1. James Macdonald

    Hi Tom,

    I loved this and totally resonate with this mantra. I think this could be a multi purpose comment for dads.

    Great read.

    James Brighton UK

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