We all have people who dislike us. Haters. Frienemies, Mother in Laws, co workers who rub you the wrong way, and people on the internet you’ll never meet like this horrible woman who wrote a diatribe on why no only children should ride in the fun carts at the grocery store (yes that happened. Yes she got paid to write it. What a world).
“Hating” can mean anything from verbal attacks & bullying (not cool), to simply disagreeing with someone, to a strong dislike of that person (unavoidable facts of life).
If you’ve ever spoken out, ever taken a stand for anything, ever succeeded in anything, or had the misfortune to sit next to someone who was feeling insecure that one day in sixth grade right after you got your braces put on, congratulations, you have “haters”.
I am “hated on” by some, and I have done and continue to do my fair share of “hating”, so as someone on both sides of the coin, allow me to discuss reasons why people hate, or why I have hated on someone:
Jealousy – Self explanatory. Get ya hater blockers on. Some people will hate you because you have what they think would make them happy. Oh well? Try and be gracious.
Loneliness – Technically this could be part of jealousy, but I’m putting it by itself for a reason: when you’re lonely, everything sucks. Sometimes we try to connect by lashing out. At least fighting with someone is a conversation. Someone hating you is someone having an emotion tied to you. Crappy human connection is still human connection.
Hurt – Was this person hurt by the object of their hate or a part of a group in the past? If that hurt wasn’t resolved, it’ll taint everything. This is something I deal with a lot. Old Paths/IFB churches are notorious for, as someone recently said “Not Cleaning House”. They don’t hold themselves or people within their organizations accountable and they dismiss those who say they’ve been hurt. I hate it, and as a result, I pretty much hate the IFB. I may not hate all the individuals in an Old Paths church, but I surely don’t trust them, and wouldn’t trust them with my daughter. Every argument one of them makes is tainted with “Well yes, but you’re one of them“. I’m not arguing this is healthy, but it does happen, and I’m not pretending to be perfect here.
Shitty Day – Hey, we all have them! And while God in his infinite wisdom created many people who just let that shit roll off their backs, He also made people like me, who are far too quick tempered and bitchy when the situation doesn’t even remotely warrant it. At least I know I’m not alone in my club – see above, the woman who wrote an online article about not getting her favorite shopping cart at the store. Everyone, every. Single. Fucking. Human. Will make a huge personal deal about something insignificant/ take something absolutely the wrong way and lash out, because they’re having a day, at SOME POINT IN THEIR LIVES. If you’ve not done this, you’re lying. Sometimes it goes further than it should.
Ignorance – No, seriously, this is a thing. Doesn’t really matter the subject. Some people have less information than you do, but have formed an opinion that they then take in as part of their identity, based on incomplete or miss information. Try and educate them and…things go poorly. For everyone. Or they have more information than you do, and when they try and educate you…things go poorly. For everyone. Goes both ways.
Fundamental moral differences – What you say is wrong and what I say are wrong are vastly different. And that’s okay. Until one of us tries to tell the other that they’re wrong. This can be seen in everything from mommy tribalness to the great political divide in our nation, where one side is unfeeling selfish bastards and the other is thieving lazy hippies. The important, imperative thing to realize is this – Generally, everyone is living/speaking/believing what they believe is best, and what they believe is right. Every villain is the hero in his own story.
People want to stay ignorant – Ignorance is bliss. I think the easiest example of this in my own life is the Cult of KJV-onlyism I was raised in. If one but considers a little bit of history, and learns but a bit about the Greek manuscripts, and employees merely a smidge of critical thinking, one would realize that KJV onlyism is bubkiss. And yet, some Baptist Preachers will die on that hill, that the King James Version of the bible is the only “real” bible. Okay. You can’t argue with someone who wants to stay ignorant.
They’re terrible people – If you’re a person of color arguing with a Nazi, there’s no having a conversation, walk away. If you’re a white person arguing with someone who keeps screeching that you can’t have an opinion because of “white privilege”, there’s no having a conversation, walk away. Trolls are real, children. And they’re often racists.
You’re just a fucking twat – I’ve been a fucking twat, quite often. I’ve also known some, and called them out on it. I’ve needed to – and I’m sure I will again – humble myself, and consider that just maybe perhaps, my “haters” had a point. And ya know what? Sometimes they did.
When someone is criticizing you, ranting at you on the internet or in real life, calling you a bitch, telling you that you have no idea what you’re talking about, saying this and that and your mom – consider their points. Because they might have a valid one.
This is true for your spouse, your old Sunday school teacher, that stranger on the internet, and yeah, even our kids. I cannot possibly count the times that I thought someone was just “hating” on me, when they were actually pointing out areas where I was morally lacking. Or ignorant. Or bitchy.
Maybe their delivery wasn’t perfect. I am well aware that mine is often not “seasoned with Grace” as Paul would implore us to be (working on it!). To completely dismiss someone’s message because you don’t like the words they used is the height of pride and arrogance.
And to lose out on possible correction or growth because it comes out of the mouth of someone you’ve seen in some sense, even temporarily, as an enemy, is grossly immature. (Past self, I’m looking at you and shaking my head). Weigh what everyone says to you. Neither accept praise nor deflect criticism blindly.
Sometimes we forget that losing an argument doesn’t mean losing part of ourselves and that being wrong doesn’t decrease our value.
So, consider your haters.
Take a moment, try to back away emotionally, and see if they have a point. Everyone has something they can teach you, even if it’s teaching you not to be like them.
If they have a point, reflect. Humble yourself and ask them to explain further. Engage in conversation if possible.
If they don’t? Forget ’em and move on.
P.S. – If you’ve got “haters” for speaking about something that burns a fire in your soul, that you have a strong soul deep feeling you should keep talking about, still pause. Check yourself when you hear a new argument. Then, let that assurance that you are speaking and doing the right thing encourage you. KEEP GOING.