Chris here taking pinkish finger to sun drenched keyboard here in sunny Florida to write to you about haters.
When I first started out in the blogosphere, I got some pretty nice gigs writing for popular websites. I got a lot of attention and many shares on social media.
With popularity came the inevitable haters.
This was disturbing to me because what I wrote was supposed to be helpful to people, to give them insight on a problem they were trying to solve or to suggest ideas for fun. There was never anything nasty or bad tempered or offensive.
But the haters came out.
At one point, I wrote a blogger that I was studying under and asked about it. He said “It comes with the territory. Just move on.”
And this was great advice.
But what disturbed me the most was that I just couldn’t understand why haters do what they do so I sat down and figured it out.
First off, haters are in pain mentally as is anyone who has but a slight grip on sanity. Haters are unstable and mentally negligible. Anyone unfortunate enough to live around one can attest that they are borderline or completely sociopathic and it is very difficult to be happy or even survive their vicinity.
Those who are in the greatest pain mentally, take on the personality of the one who inflicted the pain initially, even a long, long time ago. And the hater doesn’t even know it. So as time goes on, haters do their magic on others and when enough haters have worked someone over time and again, another hater is created. It is like Night of the Living Dead.
One could feel sorry for them but they are just so damned nasty that it is very difficult to dredge up even a modicum of sympathy, especially when they are attacking you with some of the bitterest bile you have ever experienced.
Knowing about a hater’s mental state does not make it any more pleasant to be attacked by them.
So what are haters trying to accomplish?
Well, part of it has to do with an inflated sense of self importance or perhaps an inferiority complex. The hater is trying, in some way to position himself as equal to you. He thinks that by attacking you, he can be equated in the minds of others as being as important as you are.
If you have created a persona online or in some area, a hater thinks all he has to do to create his own persona is to attack you to all of your followers.
And he has a point. He can do that BUT ONLY IF YOU FIGHT BACK.
Once you fight back, you have just plunged yourself down in the sty with the pig.
The correct strategy in dealing with haters, unless there is an actual physical threat, is to ignore.
Recently I read a book called “Be Obsessed or Be Average.” by Grant Cardone. It was a great book and it talks about how to be great and successful at whatever you do.
As I read this book, with my eyebrows flying up into my hairline from time to time, I realized that here was someone who was very much like me.
The difference was that he had never bought the lie that you had to ask permission and make sure everyone around you was all ok with you being successful or writing about something or saying something or helping someone, or, or, or.
While reading this I recalled the times the cops showed up while I was singing on the sidewalk and shut me down even though I had a permit. I had been shut down by cops about 7 or 8 times in total. I realized all the times I had had to defend myself against people who had “critiques” of my performances even though they had never played a gig in their lives and would likely shit themselves if they had to stand up and even talk in front of an audience.
I could go on and on with the covert and overt attacks I have had on me and I thought I was the only one for a long time. Slowly and inexorably I started neglecting my violin which sat lonely in the corner covered in dust. I stopped writing songs that moved people. I stopped performing because I did not want to face off with the cops even one more time.
But mostly I did not want to think that some unknown person hated me so much without even knowing me that they would call in the law on me to stop me from making music and creating a wonderful atmosphere for the people who were coming downtown on the weekend, shopping in the store that had hired me or eating at the outdoor cafe next door.
Finally I stopped.
In his book, Mr. Cardone gave me back permission to speak out, to make music to not give a big fat rat’s ass what other people think and for some reason it really hit home this time.
What he went through in life was what I went through but he never quit. And as a result he is a multimillionaire.
By the time I got through the book (It only took me a day and a half. It is a fast read, packed with great information) I sat there wondering what I had been doing rolling in the gutter fighting with guttersnipes when I should be up in the clouds fighting magnificent dragons.
I might just as well roll in an ant hill. It makes about that much sense.
I had people tell me that it comes with the territory but it never sunk in until recently. It took me seeing how my survival has suffered and how, given my attention, these people would kill my hopes and dreams and ultimately me if I let them.
That is a pretty big sin but it is a sin for me to allow it to happen no matter how I feel about it.
I also realized that the more haters you have, the better you are doing. It is only the really popular and really successful people who get haters, because why would they bother hating on you if you weren’t doing anything or making some kind of splash?
If you are like me and have stopped singing, stopped talking, stopped laughing or just stopped, I (yes, little old me) is here giving you permission to go out and make some noise. Go make a big splash somewhere and create a big effect. Make people NOTICE you. You probably will get haters and if you do, let me know and we can ridicule them together.
Now if my word is not good enough, get a copy of Grant’s book. You will have two mighty powerhouses giving you permission to take your life back and make it what you want.