Love haters

“Haters only hate things they can’t have and the people they can’t be. It’s just a little thing called jealousy.”

Lil Wayne

Last week I went out to a meal with a friend. This friend is someone who only reaches out to me once in a blue moon because she’s heard a nasty rumor about me. I take such stories with a grain of salt and find them amusing.

There was a time in my life when such rumors would have bothered me. I would have pretended that they didn’t, but deep down, they ate me alive.

At this time in my life, I can honestly say that such rumors don’t mean anything. After years of work on myself, facing my insecurities and fears, what other people think of me no longer matters.

How I dealt with haters in the past

In the past, because I did let such nasty rumors get me, I often found myself engaging in the same behaviors that they were playing.

Yes, I have been a hater in the past.

Yes, I spread rumors and gossiped about others.

Yes, I was judgmental of others.

Yes, I made fun of what others did and said without knowing their whole story.

I am not proud of how I was; I’m not proud of those choices. I made every justification for why it was okay for me to behave like that. However, there is no justification for hateful behavior. It doesn’t matter if other people are engaging in it around you. It doesn’t matter if others are pressuring you. We are all individuals, and we are capable of thinking for ourselves. Consciously trying to hurt someone directly or indirectly is never okay. And just because you’ve been hurt does not mean it’s okay to hurt others.

Why I was a hater

There is a saying, “Hurt people, hurt people.” With that in mind, I learned to approach those attempting to hurt me differently.

Remembering how I felt and how I thought when I engaged in hater behavior, I realized that those aiming to hurt me are no different than I was.

When engaging in hurtful behaviors, it was because, on a deeper level, I wanted something that someone else had. My own limiting beliefs kept me from having those same things.

I was jealous. The person I was jealous of had taken the steps and made an effort to become something I wanted to be, and I felt I could never be.

Instead of facing this jealousy and doing something about it, I lashed out at the person who had what I wanted.

It’s easy to get upset, throw a tantrum, and be a mean person. 

The secret to dealing with haters

I came to a point where I realized I was engaging in the same behaviors as those who hurt me. I concluded that I could not stop others from acting however they chose. However, the way they behaved did not have to be how I had to be. By stopping myself from being a hater I found that the words and actions of those who were haters stopped bothering me.

With this understanding, I chose to stop being a hater permanently.

I followed these steps whenever I started feeling like I wanted to be mean:

  • I paused.
  • I acknowledged the feeling of jealousy, frustration, or bitterness.
  • I asked myself why I was feeling how I was feeling. Was it because of something I wanted or needed? 
  • I dig deeper and ask myself, was this something I am willing to put in the effort to have? 
  • If it was something I was willing to work for, I laid out a plan to get it. If not, I let it go.

This process took a weight off my shoulders and allowed me to be happy for the other person. Often I would also stop wanting what they had because I realized it wasn’t suitable for me or my lifestyle. 

I was left feeling proud of the achievements of others because I now saw all the work they had to put in to get what they had. In turn, I could see my efforts and feel even more proud of my accomplishments. 

As I practiced this more and more I had less desire to be mean. I found myself no longer getting jealous of others. Eventually being a hater was no longer an issue.

Now when I see people hating on others or myself, I also see how their hate acknowledges the effort the person being hated on has put in.

How to deal with haters online

There are haters everywhere, but they tend to be more active online. Keyboard warriors who think they need to put others in their place with a meme or a comment. 

I’ve known some people who have dealt with these trolls by blocking them. While an effective way to get the person to stop directly aiming at you, it is a limiting way to deal with such people.

If you’re running a business or trying to get attention to whatever you’re doing online, blocking every person who has something negative to say will slow down your growth. It also feeds the trolls bringing more in your direction.

Instead, why not try dealing with them in a way that I’ve seen many large companies and influencers deal with their haters. 

Acknowledge your haters 

The way you acknowledge them depends on you and your personality. Don’t become defensive or tell them to stop. Both of these things feed the trolls. 

You can be polite in the way you acknowledge them or use humor. Whatever you do, be lighthearted about it. Haters aren’t taking you seriously, so why take them seriously? 

I have chosen to thank them because they provide me a service by getting me more attention to my work. 

Thank you, haters.

Let them hate

Most of us have engaged in hater behavior at some point in our lives. Whether this was due to our limiting beliefs, insecurities, or social pressure, it doesn’t matter. We are all capable of understanding these behaviors come from a place of hurt and want at a deeper level.

Knowing this, we can deal with our haters with compassion and a smile, as we know they aren’t that different from us. They are human, just as we are human, and no one’s perfect.

How do you deal with haters/trolls? Leave your answer in the comments below!

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