It seems that there is always some one commenting on what others have said, done, look like, etc. Rarely are these comments positive or encouraging. This is especially true when people from differing points of view begin to engage. There is a lot of finger pointing and calling out of each other’s flaws. Haters are those that demonstrate prejudice. Prejudice means we are pre-judging someone or something. It is always wrong to judge before knowing someone. Sadly, the media is full of examples where this is going on. Even writing this blog, I was looking at different posts about haters. There were many “how to” posts to help deal with haters. Most had some good advice, but others even talked about sending back some of the same attitude. Tit for tat never works. So here is what I think:
1. Those doing the hating often have issues way beyond anything doing with us. In fact, it almost never has anything to do with us. We just happen to be the nearest target.
2. Haters generally operate out of fear. There is this underlying fear that they will be exposed as not being good enough…rich enough, smart enough, strong enough, masculine or feminine enough. You get the picture. Being fearful is too vulnerable so they lash out.
3. Haters are reacting instead of responding. Reacting is a knee jerk action that is often emotionally charged and impulsive. Responding can also be emotional but there is a reflective component. It’s the moment or two taken to first think about the situation. Both happen so fast, but the outcomes are vastly different. Reacting lashes out, calls names, losses control. Responding seeks clarification, asks questions, tries to see both sides.
Next time you are in a situation where you need to deal with haters remember this blog. We do not have to tolerate or accept what they are doing but we can come at them with compassion. We can thoughtfully create a response that will engage them and enlighten them. It’s tough but a few seconds of thinking can lead to more meaning dialogue and a whole lot less destructive speech and action.
Until next time….
Change. Discover. Transform.
Carla Carter, Ed.D., LCPC, CMPC, EMDR Certified

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