Haters, haters, haters…
Haters are people who hate us for no apparent reason, who are nasty and mean to us, who wish bad on us. They can be found anywhere — at home, at school, at work — and every single one of us, at some point in our lives, has confronted a hater.
The question is: How to deal with haters? In order to answer it, we first need to find out what makes a hater a hater.
Usually, we believe that haters just lack empathy, so we choose to call them ‘evil’ or ‘bad’, thinking that they have nothing better to do than create trouble for other people. This is an oversimplified interpretation, however, that does not allow us to comprehend the true nature of a hater.
The first thing to be understood about haters is that they aren’t actually evil, and that, no matter how unjustified their behavior might be, they have their own reasons for acting the way they do. Let me explain.
People who are constantly expressing hatred haven’t found love in their lives. They have been through tremendous difficulties with past relationships and have been emotionally traumatized. As a defense mechanism, they choose be hard on people. This way, they’re trying to protect themselves from any possible threat that might come toward them from others, so as to avoid undergoing painful experiences similar to those they had in the past.
Another thing to understand about haters is that they behave in a hateful way because they continuously desire people’s attention. Due to the traumatic experiences they’ve been through, haters experience a sense of inner emptiness, which makes them feel sad and miserable, and they are constantly trying to fill that emptiness with the attention of others. By behaving in a hateful manner, they are attracting a lot of eyes on them, and that way they are boosting their ego. And the more attention is given to them, the more food their ego has to feed on. Their ego is just like a parasite; it’s able to survive only at the expense of others — it draws energy from them so that it itself can live, and that energy is attention.
Now back to the important question: How to deal with haters?
Usually people who are faced with haters mistakenly think that they can effectively deal with them by calling them names, insulting them, fighting against them in one way or another. Not surprisingly, they only achieve to make things worse. The way they react is just like pouring oil in fire with the intention of calming it, or like drinking salted water to quench their thirst. When we fight haters, we are giving them just what they were looking for in the first place — attention — and, not surprisingly, the cycle of hatred never comes to an end.
What I have found is that all that haters really need is an emotional hug. Hence, when dealing with haters don’t try to go against them or look for opportunities to revenge them. There is no need to fight, argue, or prove anything to them — except, of course, if you’re being hurt or threatened by them. In many cases, all it takes is to just show good intentions towards them and create as much loving space as you can that will allow them to feel secure and calm in your presence. In this way, it is possible to help transform their hatred into love, their envy into friendliness, their negativity into positivity. Of course, this tactic doesn’t always work, but it’s worth the try before resorting to anything else.
In the journey of life, we are all seeking love, but during its course some of us get stuck in hatred. Realizing that our haters need love just as much as we do, we should treat them with respect and compassion, and assist them as much as we can in finding what their hearts deep down long for. If we practice otherwise, we are bound to fall into the same trap of hatred.