“I don’t have time, energy, or interest in hating the haters; I’m too busy loving the lovers.” – Steve Maraboli
Hater: A person that simply cannot be happy for another person’s success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person. – Urban Dictionary
Haters have existed long before the term was coined. Brutus was Caesar’s hater. Tesla was Edison’s. Michaelangelo was Da Vinci’s . Some were competitors, while others were archenemies.
In the age of social media, haters have the means to make themselves more visible. It won’t take you long to find an Instagram post or article filled with vicious comments. It’s much easier now for haters to spew their venom, because they can remain anonymous and faceless.
For celebrities, having a slew of haters is just a way of life. The truth is that the more you’re in the spotlight, and the more worldly power you have, the more haters you’re going to attract. This attention intensifies when you become more visible.
Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is a prime example. The instant that her name became associated with royalty, she drew in haters from all over the world, from her own family to ruthless tabloid junkies. They pounced on her every weakness and exposed every skeleton in her closet. Their disapproval had racist undertones and included jealous jabs at her appearance.
Fortunately, Markle is able to maintain her composure and put on a brave front. Women like her exemplify the importance of being self-aware and confident about the value that they offer the world. By being assured of her worthiness, she refrains from feeding the haters.
You don’t have to be famous, however, to attract ill-intentioned people. Haters go after anyone whom they think has more than them. They lurk in our workplaces, families, social circles, and even our gyms. The sad reality is that not everyone is going to like you or be happy about your success, no matter how nice you are to them.
Humans are naturally inclined to compare ourselves with one another. As a result, we’re constantly measuring other people’s fortunes, status, and the attention that they receive from others. Some people use this as a source of motivation to excel in their own work, while others experience envy and inferiority which causes them to sabotage and hurt their targets.
In our politically-correct world, most individuals can control their urges and aggression. Instead, they find covert and indirect ways of expressing how they feel. They will hurt your reputation, sabotage your projects, become passive-aggressive, and say things that poke at your flaws.If we’re not aware of what’s happening, they can gobble us up like hungry piranhas. This doesn’t mean that you should be paranoid, but you do need to learn how to spot a hater and learn to decode their behavior.
The truth is, it’s the people who are doing something right that draw the most envy. Whenever we stretch ourselves and step outside our comfort zone, we put ourselves in the arena of life. When we’re out there, we’ll meet plenty of haters, but we must be courageous enough to keep pressing on.
In a speech in 1910, Theodore Roosevelt said:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood.”
It’s still well-worth your time to take precautionary measures that will spare you from the drama of haters. Keep these four things in mind and you’ll master the art of handling them without giving away your power:
1. Get back to balance if you’re triggered: Haters are experts at pushing buttons, and if you’re their target, they’ll find ways to push yours. It’s normal to feel affected by what they say to you.Your reaction may range from mild annoyance to blistering rage. If you’re unsettled by their acrimony, take a time-out and bring yourself back into balance using these steps. If you’re down, reach out to your champions – those friends, family and mentors who believe in you.
2. Don’t confuse critics for haters: It’s easy to misinterpret the feedback of others, especially if you are insecure. In such cases, you might confuse your critics for haters. Listening to your critics plays an important role in your development. Critics give us constructive feedback to help us improve and grow. Haters, on the other hand, have malicious intent. Their goal is to inflict pain and bring us down – they are individuals you need to spot and avoid like the plague.
3. Change your perception of haters: Deep down, haters are an unhappy bunch. Anyone who wants to hurt and inflict harm on another is harboring some kind of unresolved pain. Their hateful ways are nothing but an expression of their deep seated resentment that they project onto others. A technique that always works for me is picturing the hater as a child who was wounded by past experiences. This helps me see their humanness and vulnerability.
4. Respond with strength and calm: Haters want to get a reaction from you – that’s their end goal. The late Wayne Dyer said that how people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours. Like a game of chess, you need to stay calm and calculate your next move as it can set off a chain of events that may or may not work in your favor. You can either ignore them if you don’t think it’s worth responding to them, or you can choose to do so from a place of strength and balance.
When you believe in yourself and are secure in your self-worth, nothing that a hater says can shake you. Your self-esteem is the armor that you need to shield yourself from the arrows flying at you in the arena of life. Always wear that armor, proud and strong.
All my best on your journey,
Reflection Question: How have you handled haters in the past? Would you like to change anything about how you respond to them?
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