You might be at your wit’s end with those haters who put you down, talk trash about you in public, or just generally make your life harder. They’re annoying, no doubt -- but, believe it or not, they also serve a purpose in your life. You don’t have to wish for more haters in your life, but here’s how to learn to handle them in both your personal and professional life.
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1. Haters gonna hate
You might have heard the phrase "haters gonna hate" once or twice, but here’s what it means. You can’t control what other people do, even if they’re horrible people who are clearly in the wrong. The only person you can control in this world is yourself -- so why spend your time focusing on the negative, ugly, hateful things in this world? Focusing on the good and on loving your enemies is the only way to improve the world.
2. Motivate you to do better
In some way, you have to thank your enemies for being the way they are. Thinking about how awful they’ve been to you can make you work even harder to succeed in the face of adversity, if only to be able to say "I told you so" in the end. And even if you don’t get to say it, your success will be proof enough that you were right, and they were wrong. So why hate?
3. A cry for help
Some people will treat you badly because they have been treated badly themselves. Others don’t know any other way to get attention. You might find it hard to "love" your enemies like you love your family. However, you can at least try to give them that "compassionate" type of love that sees them as vulnerable people who are crying out for someone to pay them some attention. It is important not to give them the type of attention they’re used to getting -- that negative, hateful type of attention -- but instead, give them compassionate, open dialogue that shows you’re a caring person.
4. Valuable lessons
Your friends and family will probably be less likely to point out your shortcomings or to tell you when you’ve messed up -- but not your haters. They’ll be brutally honest about what you’ve done wrong and when you’re churning out less-than-stellar work. You can learn something from that, can’t you? That reason alone should be enough to convince you why not to cast your haters out of your life completely, and to learn to love them for who they are.
5. People will talk about you
If you’re in an industry that depends on you getting some level of notoriety, your haters are once again doing you a favour. If they’re talking about you on Twitter, they’re ultimately sending more people to your Twitter feed. If they’re slamming you on TV, they’re putting your name in the front of people’s minds. So let them put their negative energy on you -- because that means other people will also have energy directed your way. All publicity is good publicity!
When it comes to dealing with your haters, resist the urge to react and allowing them to "win." By changing your thinking about their purpose in your life, you can spare your sanity and move onto focusing on the things that deserve your full attention.