Haters have always been among us, but doesn’t it seem like there are a lot more of them lately? I don’t know if there are more haters, or just that for various reasons, they’re feeling emboldened enough to crawl out of the woodwork.
We probably all know a hater because they’re fairly easy to recognize. The “hater” is the person whose anger and negativity it a palpable toxin. They use hostile and critical comments and behavior to try and bring other people down or to humiliate them. The hater is the person who rarely has anything nice to say, but always has someone else to blame — it’s never their fault, its always someone else who is “an idiot” or “moron.” The hater is quick to lay out how everyone else is doing it wrong or is corrupt/lying/cheating. Of course, they rarely have any factual evidence to back it up and they themselves don’t know how to fix things, so they just lash out at anyone and everyone.
Typically, haters single out people whom they perceive as being different — that difference could be anything from education level, to gender, sexual orientation, race or political ideology, etc. What ever the perceived difference is, haters seem to feel threatened and thus, react by becoming hostile to varying degrees.
How to Identify a Hater
These are just a few signs that you’ve encountered a hater:
- The Disagreeing Hater: this is probably the most common type of hater we see today. This is the person who reacts with anger when you have an opinion that is different from theirs. These folks are the ones who arrogantly believe that their opinions are absolute fact, and anyone who disagrees with them is usually on the receiving end of their ire — they’ll react by calling you an “idiot,” “moron” or some other neanderthal reaction. In essence, they can’t handle differing views and opinions and no matter how wrong they are, they just can’t admit it.
- The Hater Who Hates Everything: they hate celebrities, they hate politicians, they hate their boss, they hate the neighbor — basically, they seem to have a problem with everyone and usually, over absurd notions. This is kind of the extreme hater, because their first reaction when discussing something or someone, is to let you know off the bat that they “hate” him/her/it/them.
- The Jealous Hater: They’re so consumed with jealousy that they tear down anyone who has accomplished something in life. Unable to hear praise heaped upon someone, they lash out and try to tell you why you too should hate ________. This type of hate is also very common today, as we see the newly emboldened haters bashing people for no good reason…an indicator that they’re actually jealous.
There are many other types and characteristics of haters. For me personally, I find that haters are just unhappy, mean-spirited people. I think they are lacking something or perhaps, have suffered some kind of emotional trauma that led them down the path of negativity. We’re seeing haters more these days because they have more of a platform to espouse their anger via social media. I have sympathy for haters, because I think their negativity and bullying is a sign that something deep within it them is askew. Sadly, unless these angry, hateful people get help, it tends to fester and consume their persona to such a degree, that they eventually find themselves isolated and alone.
There are some things to help protect ourselves from haters and here are just a few suggestions:
- Stay calm and respectful. It might seem odd to be respectful, but staying calm and polite shows that you have control over your emotions and won’t let yourself be dragged in. Why get into it with a hater, when odds are great you won’t change them?
- Consider the source. Comments from a hater aren’t really about you, but is more of a reflection of themselves. People who have healthy self-esteem and positivity, don’t need to put others down. When one does that, they’re not just exposing themselves as haters, they’re revealing their own negativity.
- Block them or walk away. If someone is making hateful comments online, block them. If its in real life, extricate yourself and simply walk away.
- Stick with people who uplift. In my humble opinion, one of the best ways to shield ourselves from haters, is to be around good friends and people who are positive and uplifting. We can’t always avoid haters, but we certainly can make sure we have enough good, descent people in our life to nullify the hater’s negativity.
- Avoid politics. A lot of haters are letting their true nature show during this time of heightened political divide. They seem to thrive on all things political and usually try to bring politics into every conversation. You may want to give second thought to having any kind of political discussion with these angry people.
There are many ways to deal with haters and I do think that if one is unsure, seeking the guidance of a qualified professional is always best. Its sad that there are so many hate-filled people in this world and I can’t fathom why there are, but its our reality. I think haters are angry and perhaps very sad people and ultimately, they probably need professional help. But, for me personally, avoidance is the best way to deal with them — I simply don’t allow them to drag me into their negativity and I make sure that their aura doesn’t dim my own.
Read: How to Deal with “Haters” for more information.
“I don’t worry about the haters… They are just angry because the truth I speak contradicts the lie they live.” – Steve Maraboli