Dealing with Haters

How to deal with the people in your life that can't handle your success.
hater: Urban Dictionary
A person that simply cannot be happy for another person’s success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person.

Hating, the result of being a hater, is not exactly jealousy. The hater doesn’t really want to be the person he or she hates, rather the hater wants to knock someone down a notch.
Susan: You know, Kevin from accounting is doing very well. He just bought a house in a very nice part of town.
Jane (hater): If he is doing so well why does he drive that ’89 Taurus?

Let’s imagine that you just stepped out in your fly new juicy couture sweat suit (it’s 2007 and you are a famous pop star in this fantasy, obviously) and you have arrived at an intersection where there is a group of paparazzi furiously snapping away.  You think nothing of it and move on.  The next day, images of you in your fly ass tracksuit show up on the cover of Star magazine with the headline, “She’s letting herself go: The Downward Spiral.”  You laugh as you pass the rack of magazines because you’re on your way to deposit the royalty checks from your last hit album.  That’s called shaking off the haters: Expert Level.

Now – let’s figure out how to apply this to real life.

Identify your haters.

There are two kinds of haters.  There are outright haters; they’re the people who are very vocal about their opposition to your progress.  They usually use sarcasm and bullying tactics to make you feel bad for the choices you’re making.  We actually like these haters.  These haters are easy to spot.  Once you’ve identified hater type 1, make a conscious decision to spend less time with this person.  If they aren’t using their power and influence to make you feel great, why are you hanging out with them?  If they’re someone you can’t get away from, i.e. a family member, take a more direct approach and explain to them that you’re making changes in your life and changes are always tough.  Let that person know that you would like to have their support.  Usually these people aren’t aware that they’re doing it, and I’ve found that if you are open and honest with them, they usually change their tune.

Hater no. 2 is a little harder to pinpoint.  These haters come disguised as friends.  This is the friend that instead of giving you positive feedback about your buff new bod, starts talking about how hard exercise is and they can’t believe you wake up so early in the morning and why would anyone want to do that?  It’s subtle sabotage.  These people are usually not on the same path as you.  As you grow into a better person physically, financially or personally it makes them feel left behind.  I will be honest, I’ve 100% been this friend.  It’s really hard to see someone else doing great when you feel like your life is in the metaphorical toilet.  You don’t have to cut these friends out totally but re-evaluate their motives.  Maybe they’re just having a crappy day and need to vent or maybe they actually don’t want you to succeed.  This is always a possibility.  Sadly, frenemies are REAL.  If you identify a frenemy, back away slowly and begin to focus your time and energy on the friends that really want you to do well.

Find a Tribe

Step two in our “Shake off the Haters” plan is to find a tribe.  This will be your support system.  I’ve been really lucky where I live to have found a group of women who have similar goals to me both personally and physically.  We meet on the weekends to go running and then we have brunch, we go to spin class together and we share healthy recipes.  They’re the girls I call when I have a flat tire, when I feel like I am losing my mind about work or when I just need someone to recommend a good book.  It took a lot of curating to find these strong, sweet, amazing women.  I had coffee with a few frogs before we got to the crew we have today.  We also celebrate our differences.  We aren’t a 100% homogeneous group and we compliment each other really well, I think.  To find your tribe, start with your interests.  I met one friend at a running group I found on  I met another at a Florida State Football watching party.  I met a couple at a book club.  If you meet someone and you think, “She seems fun.”  Pursue it.  It’s a lot like dating, weirdly.  You have to seek out the kind of person you want to share your years with.

Release the Kraken

The last part of dealing with haters is to find your inner strength.  I know we’re getting a little touchy feely here but this is the most important step.  It’s so much easier to brush off rude comments or deal with friends who want to go for ice cream instead of go running if you have a little self-confidence.  Your tribe will help you gain self-confidence by supporting you but you really have to work at it yourself as well.  It is not something you are born with, you can gain it if you don’t have it.  Spend a little time each day thinking about 3 things that went really well for you and 3 things you’re proud of.  Then think of 3 things you’re excited about for tomorrow.  I do this at night right before I go to bed.  It helps me zone in on the positive parts of my personality and helps me understand that it’s ok to take credit for the great things that are happening in my life.  I am in control of my life and that’s exciting.  Every day I feel a little more and more confident and the haters voices get quieter and quieter.

Have you ever had a hater?  How did you deal with it?