On Haters and the People Who Love Them

Hey all! Typically I’m a non-confrontational kinda guy. I don’t really try and ruffle feathers because some of y’all take this internet thing too seriously and I’d hate to have one of you run up on me in the streets talking that “I can’t believe you said that” mess. I ain’t trying to hear it. But I do want to tell a simple truth to a lot of people that might be out there and otherwise oblivious to the fact.

I heard a good sermon about “haters” on Sunday from one of the youth ministers at church which is surprising because I think the term “hater” is the most overused and, dare I say, ridiculous term in modern day urban vocabulary. Haters have been the inspiration and the term of choice for T-Shirt Slogans (Haters Make Me Famous), for radio hosts (Make Your Haters Your Motivators), and for fantasy made up words by R&B artists (“Hateration”) but I doubt quite seriously if anyone that uses the term sincerely knows what a hater really is. Truthfully I don’t either, I’ll give it a stab though. In my opinion a hater is someone that does everything that they can to discount an effort that you are trying to make for yourself. At every turn the hater is trying to take your work and twist it into something that that others will see as unimportant. The hater’s sole purpose is to make your life a living hell by simply by not liking what you like.

I’ve been called a hater before, not because I spread rumors about them or their family or for one of the deep inset reasons listed above on why a hater is a hater; rather, I was called a hater because I believed in my heart of hearts that Mos Def was a better lyricist than Young Jeezy. Another time I was called a hater is because I sincerely thought, and not because of some vitriolic PETA endorsed reason, that Mike Vick is an overrated QB. And that’s what this hater term has been watered down to; it’s no longer about the destruction of an agenda or a full scale assault on your dreams and ambitions, now all you have to do to be a hater is to have a differing opinion than someone else and –Voila! – you’re a hater.

Tell a Pepsi fan that Coke is better? Hater.

Say that a BMW is better than a Mercedes? Hater.

Think Sade is better than Mary J Blige? Hater.

That’s right, it takes nothing to be a hater, nowadays. You can be a hater now for what ten years ago was called being original or a free thinker! It’s for that reason that I’ve always enjoyed the opportunities I’ve had to be called a hater because I’m not a lock-step lemming type of guy that’s gonna like something because everyone else is gushing about it. But this isn’t even the main thing, the main thing is that a lot of people that wear the shirts, make the slogans, and sing the songs decrying their apparent haters are severely overstating their self worth.

Before you start talking about all your haters I think you have to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my agenda? What am I doing in life that is worthy of people stopping that agenda at all costs. The person stealing your paperclips from your cubicle is not evidence that you have a hater.
  • Is my power and influence worth people trying to take me down? Am I a leader that can inspire rampant change throughout a community or nation or did I just get my idea that I loved shot down in a planning meeting at work?
  • Is it that deep? Is someone legitimately seeking to dismantle my hopes and dreams and discount my ambition or did someone just say that they didn’t like something you said?

Fact of the matter is it’s highly likely you don’t have any haters at all, what you have is a problem with people that don’t like everything that you like or agree wholeheartedly with whatever your flighty agenda might be at the time. Further, it might be a slight possibility that you’re overstating your own worth by putting on that “Hi, Hater” T-shirt or thinking at all that you are on a pedestal high enough to have your own personal gaggle of haters. You want to know who has haters? Presidents. World leaders. CEO’s. The occasional athlete or actor/actress. Wealthy people. All legitimately hated on in most cases. What you likely have is someone at the workstation next to you that didn’t like your shoes. Perception is everything; I only ask that you temper yours.

Hmm, guess this makes me a hater, huh?

~thanks for reading

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  1. Well said. I can say that once (maybe twice) I have had a legitimate hater. Someone who at every opportunity tried to taint or destroy everything surrounding me. I never quite understood it…I’m totally awesome (in my own eyes) but not at all accomplished or influential enough to be worth that level of effort for whatever satisfaction they got from it. But I didn’t stock up on “Hater-wear” because they so weren’t worth the energy.

    I say all that to say, people who talk about having haters simply WANT to be great enough for someone to care to “hate” on them and people who actually have haters simply don’t care. Your examples are great ones. I look at President Obama he should wear a “Hi Haters” t-shirt DAILY but he handles it with grace, bursts their bubble on the sly with class and keeps it moving onward to given them even more to hate on.

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