The antidote for fifty enemies is one friend – Aristotle
It is not unusual (particularly in today’s world of the social media where anyone and everyone is “entitled” to be vocal about their opinion on other people’s lives) to find those who seem to hate on others for no apparent reason. And no, you don’t have to be a celebrity to be under the scrutiny of the magnifying lens of the public. On the streets of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other virtual communities, there is no escaping the internet trolls who feel the need to project their insecurities and negativity onto you.
In the same way that there are two sides to a coin, it is practically impossible not to have some category of people who simply cannot be happy for another person’s success, and would rather point out even the most seemingly invisible flaw in them instead. Just like there will be those who truly acknowledge and appreciate the achievements of others. The fact is – haters do exist. What matters is how we deal with them. My interesting observation in perusing the timeline of a number of people is the disturbing fascination and almost cult-like obsession with the haters! It is not uncommon to see someone thanking God and some allies for success achieved and in the same breath recognizing and sometimes throwing a shade at both real and perceived haters (and maybe it is not entirely wrong to do so), but if every post on Facebook, picture on Instagram and tweet on Twitter is about the hater, then there is something wrong with the one being hated on or at least with their mentality.
The question is…why do we dwell so much on haters? Why do we feel the need to respond to every Tom, Dick and Harry who decides to get under our skin on a whim or by virtue of some petty jealousy or some sort of dissatisfaction with their own lives? I agree that it may be difficult to turn a blind eye to a clear calumny against one’s person, especially coming from someone who knows little or nothing about them, but has chosen to make it a duty to knock them down a notch for no justifiable reason. But, as hard and as illogical as it may sound, the best way to deal with a hater is to ignore them! What many don’t realize is that the hater is an attention seeker. Responding to one who seeks undue attention only fuels their “fantasy” further because that’s what they want…attention! Starve them of it and they will most likely leave you alone.
At other times, many of us are just deluded by assuming that we have so many haters. No, it is not possible to be totally devoid of inspiring some level of hate from enemies who disguise as friends or random individuals who for some strange and often times inexplicable reason choose to attack us verbally, but on many other occasions we tend to think more highly of ourselves than we should, thereby presuming that we are being hated on. The truth is that most people are too caught up with their own lives and challenges to even think about genuinely hating on other people. Often times, the people we refer to as haters are those who are just naturally flippant with their tongues and make snide remarks only because it is in their DNA to do so. The majority of people whom we tag haters are either genuine critics or jobless individuals seeking recognition.
It amuses me when someone who should know better gives power to the hater by trying to think up a perfect response to a scathing remark (even though this may be necessary sometimes) as opposed to the more effective way of totally blanking them out and focusing on the far more important task of bettering themselves in every way possible. For what better way to shut haters up than by doing and achieving that which they thought we were incapable of achieving? Besides, there are those who truly love us with all our imperfections and are always there regardless of the circumstances we may find ourselves. Why don’t we focus on the people who really matter? And even if we didn’t have even one friend, thank God for family!
It doesn’t matter how you choose to live your life – whether you are rich or poor, single or married, loquacious or taciturn, good looking or not-so-good looking – whatever you do, someone will judge you for it. When this happens, remember the very apt words of Winston Churchill “You will never reach your destination, if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”