My haters are my motivators.Ellen DeGeneres
This is a topic that has been on my mind for a while.
I actually hinted towards this in my recent podcast episodes (if you’ve been listening) because I’ve had a lot of experiences over the last couple of weeks that have reminded me that people don’t fuck with my success and that they’ll step on my back if it benefits them.
I think we always believe that all haters are blatant, and trust me they can be, but they can also be below the surface. Sometimes the people you think want to see you succeed are really the people praying on your downfall.
I felt like this was a topic that needed more attention because as I continue to grow and evolve, I notice certain people showing their true colors. And I think this is something that everyone has experienced at least once, or is in the process of experiencing. So if you want to know how to spot a hater or get rid of the haters in your life, this blog post might be for you. At the same time, it’s therapeutic for me because I want to get this off my chest. I always said this blog was about being honest so I want to stick to that.
If you want to listen to the audio version of this blog post, you can check it out on Wednesday! In the meantime though, feel free to listen to any of my old podcast episodes by clicking the link on my website or on your streaming platform of choice.
Also, if you know any self-published authors, or if you’re a self-published author, submit your book for a free review! I’m doing this for a little while to spread the word on upcoming writers, so if you want to be featured on my blog and podcast you can sign up using the link below.
Other than that, I’m done with the self-promotion! So let’s get into it, shall we!
Haters & Subcategories
So….what exactly is a hater?
According to Google, a hater is classified as “a person who thrives on showing hate toward, criticizing, belittling other people or things, usually unfairly.”
I think we know what that looks like, especially since most of us are subjected to the comment sections of Instagram and Tik Tok. When people are allowed to have an opinion, they tend to run rampant with it, especially if they can’t be caught. In a world that’s mostly anonymous, it’s easy to hide behind a screen and continue promoting hate.
But the thing is, haters can also be silent too.
I like to classify these subcategories of haters under “fake supporters” and “users”
Fake supporters/friends, at least in my opinion, are the type of people who will act like they support you, but deep down they want to see you fail. These types of people will support you privately and not publicly and a lot of their “support” comes from being jealous and not wanting to come off as such. These types of haters are harder to see because, on the surface, it looks like they are really rocking with you, but they’re not.
Users (at least according to Google) are the type of people “who take advantage of other people or things for their own personal gain” and I feel like this can go hand in hand with fake supporters as well. Haters are haters. They just like to spread misery. But fake supporters can support you and use you too. Maybe they decide to step on your back to get to where they want to go faster. Maybe they constantly take and take, but never give anything in return. And still, act like they’re your friend or want to help you, despite the fact that their intentions aren’t pure.
None of these are easy to spot, especially if it’s someone close to you, but below is a list of signs that might help you avoid them, or cut them out of your life.
Signs Of A Hater
Haters are judgmental AF!
This is a huge red flag.
But sometimes it’s hard to see because we like to confuse judgment with constructive criticism. And depending on your relationship with the person, those comments may come off as “harmless” jokes. However, there’s a difference between judgment and constructive criticism.
Constructive criticism is supposed to be just that: constructive. It’s given with the intent to help someone become a better version of themselves. However, judgment is unconstructive and the main intention behind that is to cause harm to the other person. It’s not there to help you. It’s there to break you down. So how do you discern the difference between a friend (or stranger) that’s trying to help you or hurt you?
Usually, if someone is judging you, they tend to speak in a way that’s attacking you and your choices. So for example, let’s say you want to eat another piece of pizza and in response to this, they say “are you sure you should have that extra slice?” or “are you seriously going to eat another piece?”
This person isn’t constructively saying why you shouldn’t eat the other slice. They are judging you for doing something you want to do in a negative manner and more than likely, this is going to make you feel bad about yourself.
I know this is an easy example and most people are a lot more calculated with how they do things, but if you pay attention to how they’re saying it, you can pick up on if it’s coming from a negative or positive place. There are also a lot of non-verbal cues you can pay attention to like eye rolls, groans when you say something or do something they don’t like, etc.
Another thing you have to ask yourself is did you ask for the feedback? If the timing is wrong or you didn’t explicitly ask someone for their opinion, then they might be a hater. Because haters don’t care about a time or a place to say something negative. They’re just going to do it because they can.
Sometimes they’re disrespectful- blatantly or subtly
Haters love being disrespectful. It’s like they get off from it.
Usually, these types of people will throw “shade” whenever they get the chance and most of those comments are disrespectful. They may undermine you or ridicule you in some way to tear you down and make them feel better about themselves.
This can also mean that they constantly disrespect your boundaries or needs in the relationship.
They can be competitive…but not the good kind
Competition can be a healthy thing! If it’s done correctly, it can help push you past your own limits. However, there’s a fine line between healthy competition and unhealthy competition.
When someone sees your success as a detriment to them instead of as an inspiration, then that’s when you have a problem. If they constantly try to one-up you and step on your back in order to get to where they want to go, instead of working together with you to reach a common goal, then they might not be in your corner like you originally thought.
Your happiness is a detriment to them
Happiness is like kryptonite to a hater.
The last thing they ever want is to see you happy. More often than not, these types of people will focus more on the turmoil going on in your life and they can struggle to encourage you. As long as you’re not surpassing them, then the “friendship” will work.
Maybe they’re jealous of you or so insecure in themselves that they can’t see anyone do better than them without feeling like they have to beat them into submission.
Whatever the reason, pay attention to the people in your life who constantly find joy when you’re sad and never uplift you when you need it. A real friend will want you to be happy no matter what. A hater will keep you miserable.
Nobody likes a Negative Nancy
This goes right back to haters not wanting to see you happy. When you want to celebrate, they want to rain on your parade.
Maybe you receive good news and instead of them congratulating you, they either make it about themselves, don’t acknowledge it, or try to ruin the experience by saying something negative.
Nobody likes having people that you can’t celebrate with, so if you find yourself surrounded by people who force you to censor yourself or you cant feel proud of your accomplishments around them, then you might have a hater in your life.
And some people may celebrate you privately, but can never celebrate you publicly. Or vice versa. This requires some discernment of course because some people may not be overly vocal but that doesn’t mean they don’t love you or support what you’re doing. But if you find yourself noticing that they say one thing, but turn around and judge you or act jealous of your accomplishments, then they were never rocking with you, to begin with. Or if they pick and choose when to show you support, but still continue to use you for your information, then it’s not real.
I have a couple of personal experiences that will help explain this concept more, but we’ll get to that in a few.
They love to play the magician- here one minute, gone the next
Have you ever noticed that when you need them the most, they vanish?
Yes, I’m trying to quote Avatar The Last Airbender…it’s a great show, sue me. But in all seriousness, if you have someone in your life who comes to you when they need something but are gone when you’re struggling, then they don’t give a shit about you.
And if they’re constantly leeching off of you, ‘user’ is their middle name. This is because they have something to gain from you, but they’re too selfish to give anything back in return.
Relationships should always be 50/50 so if you find yourself putting in most of the work or if that person is always using you to benefit them, then you might want to start looking at them differently.
Green with envy
And last but not least, haters are always green with envy.
It’s the main reason why they feel the need to belittle you and use you because they’re jealous of you. Or insecure. Obviously, you have something that they wish they could have.
My Personal Experiences
Ah yes. Now we’re getting to the real tea.
I’ve dealt with haters and all their subcategories before so I have plenty of stories to choose from.
When it comes down to haters, I think the most recent example that I can recall is when I posted a poll on my Instagram (you can follow me @kaethewriter) about one of my blog posts. I also posted about the episode that was soon to follow and I asked people if they were excited. So a simple “yes” or “no” answer.
Of course, I got two ‘no’s’, and most of the time they don’t bother me because usually, they’re friends who just want to troll or strangers who don’t have anything better to do with their lives. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see votes from people that I talked to a few times, but I wasn’t that close with.
I guess in my mind, I couldn’t fathom why they would hate on me when they kind of knew me. It didn’t really make sense. Especially, since they could’ve just scrolled past the story if it was that big of a deal. It takes more energy to be negative.
So I have acquaintances that are haters, which is sad, to say the least. Crazy enough, they still follow me so it makes me laugh to know that even though they’re hating on the other side of the screen, they still want to be nosy because they know I’m going to do big things.
Of course, I have way more stories about haters who used to be closer in my circle, but I’m going to save the details for my episode. Only so I don’t make this blog post too long.
As for fake supporters/users, I’ve had a lot of romantic relationships where they acted like they supported me, but really didn’t. However, I’ve told these stories a lot so if you want to hear some of them I probably have an episode or two about them.
But I did have an incident recently that showed me I still have people like that in my life. I have this friend who I’ve known for a little while and when we first met, they were super supportive of my candle business and we were both on the same wavelength in terms of our goals. However, as you all know, I just started my podcast and I slowly began to notice that a lot of that original support faded away. They would publicly support other people but never took the time to support me like before unless it was private. Now, this bothered me a little bit but not enough for me to say anything or even feel compelled to write this post.
But this changed when they decided to use me for information on how to start their podcast (mind you they barely support mine, and they hadn’t spoken to me in weeks prior to this) and took the credit for the information I provided them with. It’s been a week or two since then, but not once have they shouted me out or at least said ‘hey this is who I learned this from, check her out.’
Maybe to you guys, I might be overreacting, but in my eyes it made me feel used. Slighted even. Especially since this individual never started off like that. And especially since I would never do that to them. I’m not that type of person.
They pick and choose when to support now and they used me to gain something. They stepped on my back to get further along and they’re reaping the benefits. It makes me sad because I’ve worked hard to get to where I’m at today and I’m usually a helpful person. I don’t gate keep. I want everyone to succeed equally. So it breaks my heart when people don’t have that same mindset and think it’s okay to use me as a doormat.
So sometimes the people in your life may not always start off as haters, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the capacity to become one. You just have to always pay attention to how they treat you and the moment that changes you have to decide how to handle that.
I would say that all the haters in my life have hurt me. I’m not going to deny that because I always want everyone to support what I’m doing, but the reality is, not everyone will. And I have to be okay with that.
So now, I use them as motivation to keep going. I never want to give them the satisfaction of making me feel less than. And now I’ve cut most of them out of my life. I have more people who support me under my belt than those who don’t so in hindsight, I’m blessed.
However, I still think it’s important to be aware of some solutions on how to deal with haters or cut them out of your life effectively.
Solutions & Advice
Don’t take it personal
Of course this is easier said than done, but usually haters have something going on in their own head that they need to deal with. That isn’t your responsibility to figure it out.
So if you still think the relationship is worth salvaging and maybe you’re not quite ready to confront them, I wouldn’t take anything they say personally. Just know the place that it’s coming from and continue moving accordingly. Because at the end of the day you’ll be growing and making boss moves while they stay stagnant and miserable.
Communicate with them and set boundaries
Now if you’re bold, I suggest going with this approach. I think in order to make it through life and maintain your relationships, you have to know how to communicate. Yes, even the good and the bad.
Again, this is only if you believe the relationship is worth salvaging and it’s bothering you enough that you feel the need to express it. You don’t have to be rude, but you explicitly state how they’ve been hurting you and set boundaries for the friendship going forward.
If they really care about you, they’ll make an effort to change. And if they don’t, you’ll know when they continue to do the same shit you told them not to do.
Keep yourself at a distance
Maybe you don’t want to cut them off right away, but you also know they’re not going to listen to your concerns. Your best bet is start distancing yourself. Stop including them in your life and keep it pushing.
Either they’re going to disappear like they should or they’ll notice you pulling away and realize that they need to change in order to keep you as a friend. Of course I wouldn’t do this unless you already told them how you felt before. Otherwise you’re not giving them the opportunity to prove themselves and that isn’t fair.
Cut those hoes off
Now if you’ve exhausted every effort and they still want to be a hater, then cut them off. Remove them from every part of your life.
Sometimes we have to remove the people that are no longer serving us. You’re not a bad person for prioritizing yourself first, even if people want to act like you’re the villain for doing so.
Protect your energy- find people who want nothing but the best for you
Let those experiences be a lesson on who to keep in your life and who to remove. Protect your energy and look for people who want to support you wholeheartedly, who want to see you succeed and who want to see you happy. Even though it seems like those people don’t exist, they do. And it’s a beautiful feeling to know that no matter, someone has your best interests at heart.
Haters suck, but they’re part of life. You can’t control other people but you can always control how you react to them. I hope this post helped you in spotting the haters in your life or on how to avoid them. This was a bit of a long one, so congratulations for making it to the end and thank you!
Until next time!
-The Writer Chick