Do you have ‘haters?’ You know who I’m talking about - the kind of person who will find fault with pretty much anything. You could be Jesus, Mother Teresa, or Gandhi and they would still find something wrong with you (or what you have to say). Well, if you have haters, then congratulations! You’re doing something right. My grandmother always told my mom growing up that “If your head is above the crowd, someone is always going to try to chop it down.” Unfortunately, she’s right. Luckily, most people in the world are nice. But when that occasional ‘hater’ pops up, what should you do? I'll have some suggestions for you here in a bit. But let me first give you an example from my life.
As many of you know, I am a fairly regular writer for Lifehack.org (the term “Lifehack” means “any advice, resource, tip, or trick that will help you get things done more efficiently and effectively”). I love writing for them because it’s almost like writing a second blog. It gives me another outlet to help people. One of my recent articles has been shared on social media almost 74,000 times. I am truly humbled that so many people liked my article enough to share it. However, this morning I just realized that I had a lot of comments about the article. So I decided to read them. Most of them were positive, but there were a few of them that were pretty brutal. One of them said, “It’s amazing what can pass for a “Ph.D” these days.” And another called one of my points “asinine.” And another one called me an “egomanic.” I think that one was my favorite! Yep, it was. I have been called some things in my lifetime, but NEVER an egomanic! I laughed really hard at that one.
Did it make me feel good to read these comments? Of course not. I’d be lying if I said it did. But after the first initial “sting,” I just reframed it. I realized that these haters probably hate on everything. Not that my article was perfect, but it was written by me. So it’s my perspective and opinion. And anyone who knows me knows that I always encourage debate and disagreement. I don’t shy away from it at all. In fact, I think it helps us grow when we see other ways of looking at things. So I decided to take the high road and reply to everyone’s comments in a positive way.
I thanked them all for reading. And I never, ever, sunk to the level of the ‘hater.’ I won’t lie and say I didn’t want to write a few zingers back to them, but that would do me no good. I write so I can help people and set an example of love. So that’s what I did - I replied with kindness and love. I wished them happiness, success, and Godspeed. I really wish I could be a fly on the wall when they read my reaction. They were probably expecting a ‘hating’ response in return. But they didn’t get it.
Here are 4 suggestions for dealing with the ‘haters’ in your life:
1. Don’t sink to their level.
Rise above it and be the better person. Be an example of positive behavior for them to emulate. They probably won’t, but at least they won’t be able to say anything else bad about you.
2. Don’t care.
The more you let yourself get riled up about their negativity, the more you are hurting yourself. That’s what ‘haters’ want to do – hurt you. So if you allow yourself to be hurt, then you are giving them power. Don’t do that. Own your power and love yourself. Turn your attention away from their ‘hating.’
3. Feel sorry for them.
‘Haters’ aren’t made overnight. They come from a background where they have learned this behavior from somewhere. Perhaps their parents were unkind to them, so they have very low self-esteem. If so, then that’s sad. Be grateful that you are the kind of person who has had a more loving experience in life.
4. Respond with love, kindness, and respect.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “Kill ‘em with kindness.” It works. Wish them well, send them love, and then keep it moving. Don’t give them another thought. Don’t allow them to take up room in your thought processes. Otherwise, they win.
There you have it. My formula for dealing with the dreaded ‘haters’ of the world. They will always be there, but that doesn’t mean that we have to play into their games. It takes two people to play the ‘hater’ game, so just don’t do it. Kindly and lovingly walking away from their game will disarm them and ultimately, make you much happier.
Have a great week, and may it be free of ‘haters!’
3/5/2014 07:10:29 am
I love this blog, Dr. Carol! It is just the advice I needed to hear today. The answer is Always to respond with love and kindness. As humans, it is easy to react, but important to realize that people are responding from the place that they are at and do not all share the same background and were not all dealt the same cards. Thank you for writing this! I look forward to passing this along to others.
3/5/2014 08:19:48 am
I'm so happy you liked the blog, Kelly!! Thank you so much for reading and for passing it on. I hope it helped you and will help anyone else who reads it! :)
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