Haters. We all have them, quietly circling around us like vultures, waiting for us to fail. If we pay attention them, if we empower them and let them know they impact us, our minds can trick us into thinking that we will actually fail.
I’ve identified the three types of haters that live on the periphery of our lives. Acknowledging that they are there, and committing to the two suggestions I will share with you, will minimize their impact on you. In fact, they may even make you stronger!
The Obvious Hater
The obvious haters are people that just don’t like you. They know it, you know it, their friends & your friends know it. For whatever reason, they just don’t get you. No matter what you do, you won’t change their mind. And you know what? It’s fine. It’s no big deal. Not everyone has to like you, and not everyone will like you. Trying to win over the obvious hater is a futile effort. Why would you try? Perhaps your ego doesn’t like the idea that not everyone likes you. This is something you will have to accept. I’ve always taught our sons, “We don’t go where we aren’t wanted.” There are too many people in the world that do get you, that see your value, that appreciate the gifts you bring to so many. Focus on them.
The Under-the-Radar Hater (The Frienemy)
The under-the-radar haters are people that may act like they like you – to you and to others – but they really don’t. Perhaps they are jealous, or they consider you threatening in some way to their own success. They may publicly support you, but you know differently. It may be your instincts telling you the truth, or it may be past conversations & experiences you’ve had with these people that showed their true colors. Either way, you know what’s what. You know where you truly stand with them, even if others think otherwise.
For these haters, who I like to call Frienemies (people that show up as friends but really aren’t), always remember where you stand. Never lower yourself to their level, so always act professional and respectful. But know the truth, and for your own well-being, you must live according to the truth.
The Conflicted Hater
“Hater” may be too strong of a term in this case. The conflicted hater may be someone who has been in your life for a long time, or perhaps came into your life as a result of a specific circumstance. You have a strong, trust-based bond, and you’ve always had each other’s backs. However, as you’ve both grown and evolved, perhaps you’ve gone in separate directions. I’ve seen this happen when one friend has lost a lot of weight, and new activities, people, & experiences come into their lives. The other friend doesn’t quite know where she fits in. She doesn’t know how to react to the new version of her friend. Or perhaps one friend has recovered from a difficult life crisis (a death, an illness, a divorce), and is thriving again. Her friend may not know how to find joy in her friend’s life because she may not be in the same place. In business, perhaps one is enjoying a lot of success, and her friend doesn’t know how to manage that. Personal change & growth is hard on a relationship that has been steady and static for a long period of time.
In these circumstances, it is important to consider the history you’ve shared, and work to preserve the friendship. Our friends who have been with us through thick and thin are treasures. Those relationships are not disposable. They are the threads of the tapestries that weave around our hearts, our souls, and spirits.
The Two Rules of Engagement for The Three Types of Haters
Two rules of engagement apply to all three types of haters:
1: You are in control of you. You can only control yourself and your reactions. You can not control the feelings, thoughts, or actions of another person. You can not make someone like you, or make someone happy for you. You alone determine how much these haters influence your life. They do not decide that. You decide that. How much are you empowering your haters?
2. Always choose compassion. Every moment of every day, we can choose compassion, and our haters need it more than anyone else. Those that have hate, resentment, contempt, and jealousy in their hearts are in pain. These feelings stem from hurt that they have endured. Somewhere along the way on their journeys, they have been scarred. They have been made to feel that they are not enough. Those people in our lives that get pleasure from the pain or failure of others are deeply in need of love, healing, & compassion. Plus, forgiveness of others is the greatest gift we can give ourselves, because it frees us to love fully.
Remember that the way others respond to us is not a reflection of us in any way. It is a reflection of how they feel about themselves, and how they engage with the world around them. When we know that the daggers that others throw at us are coming from a place of pain, we can deflect them with compassion. Every day, we can choose compassion over hate.