About Emotional Mastery

Why you have haters even if you aren’t an asshole

We all have haters. We all have haters. In this article, I’ll tell you why and how to deal with them.

Ed Latimore, author, blogger, and retired pro boxer
Ed Latimore Author, retired boxer, self-improvement enthusiast

No matter how well your social interactions go, how much you accomplish, or how much good you put into the world, there will always be people who hate you. An unfortunate aspect of life is that some people hate when others do well.

It doesn’t matter who it is–people you form close relationships and you offer social support to will hate on you.

It doesn’t matter what you do–co-workers in all fields will hate you, even if you bend over backwards to help them.

It doesn’t matter where you are–people hate you on the internet for your linkedin profile or your tweets, or in real life for your accomplishments and attitude.

We call these people “haters”. If you’ve ever experienced unexplained negative reactions from people, then this is the article you need to keep reading.

What Is A Hater?

A hater is someone who discredits, devalues or downplays your accomplishments.

It doesn’t matter what you do. It doesn’t matter if you do nothing. Someone is going to say something negative about you. You can’t do anything about these people. All you can do is give them something worth talking about.

These types of people are fueled by jealousy and contempt. Your failures make them happier than their own success. To them, everything is a zero-sum game and they only see scarcity and limitation.

A hater is no different than a jealous person in this regard. In fact, the same reason that people are jealous is the same reason why they become detractors of anyone’s accomplishments. If you do well, they feel like something was taken from them–and no one can ever be happy when they feel like something has been taken from them.

Even though it’s all in their head, jealous critics imagine that every bit of progress you make sets them back. For anyone looking to improve their life and make progress towards big plans, the reactions and responses you get from envious people can be huge downer and distracter.

People will always project their insecurities onto you. Haters gonna hate, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

That’s ok because today I’m going to tell you why these people are the way they are and give you some helpful hints for dealing with them.

How to Deal With Haters

The quickest solution for dealing with jealous critics is simple: ignore them and keep doing what you do. If your critics can directly influence your plans, then your plans aren’t ambitious enough and you haven’t even earned the privilege of having haters.

That’s right. You can usually just dismiss them. If you’re bored, you can harass them. If you’ve got nothing better to do, they’re great fun to troll. But I don’t recommend wasting your time or energy on these people because it will also drag you down.

There is no magic wand to get rid of haters. There is no secret spell to win them over to your side. Some people won’t like you regardless of what you do. That’s alright. The world is a big place and negativity loves to make itself known.

For every 1 person who makes their dissatisfaction and disappointment known, there are 100 who are silly supporting you and everything you do.

But Why Do Haters Exist?

Why would anyone criticize the accomplishments of others?

What motivates a hater to hate? And what motivates a hater to hate on you, specifically?

Whether it be through negative comments on social media or downplaying another person’s success, haters always find a way to discredit successful people.

Now if you’re a mean person, success isn’t the reason why you have haters. People aren’t jealous of you because you’re better than them.

You have haters because you’re an asshole. Your success exposes you to more people, and now those people know that you’re an asshole. The following list does not apply to you. You likely need a serious attitude adjustment.

Or even an ass-kicking.

For those of you who aren’t assholes, however, I present the top 5 reasons why you have haters.

Fair warning though: once you understand them, you will no longer feel confused or even dislike. You’ll just feel sorry for them.

Haters Gonna Hate: The Top 5 Reasons Why You Have Haters

1. You have haters because you improved

This reason underpins all of the others. Everyone wants the good life. Few people are willing to do the work necessary to get a good life.

When you work hard and improve, you will get more of the good things in life. Rather than elevate themselves to your level, haters would rather waste time and try to drag you down to their level. The quickest way to get haters is to succeed.

My boxing coach always told me, “If you want a bunch of friends, be unsuccessful.”

It’s not so much that people prefer the company of losers. It’s that unmotivated people can’t stand the presence of anyone who wants more than average. They aren’t jealous of you. They just hate that you remind them of what they won’t do.

Since people aren’t willing to exert the effort required to get the best things in life, they have to believe that you were the recipient of a blessing. Average people will hate you because they think you are lucky. By definition, most people are average.

1973 advertisement for Ayds Weight Loss Plan, "Casanova's Dream Girl"

Self-improvement always makes someone jealous. Photo credit: Classic Film

2. You have haters because people are jealous

Your improvement may bother people who are used to you existing below their level. They may openly campaign for you to get your life together, but they secretly relish their superiority over you.

If you spend most of your time around people who care about you, you won’t have this issue. Close friends and family genuinely want you to succeed. Your casual peers will not because change disrupts the social order they rely on for their self-esteem.

When you move past them on the social ladder, they’ll feel a need to pull you down. Progress on the social ladder is almost always the result of progress in other areas of your life. Not only are you reminding them of what they aren’t doing, they will also feel beneath you.

This–more than anything you actually do–will inspire resentment, envy, and hate.

They will constantly remind you of things you did or ways you thought once the roles are reversed. Their hope is to put you back where you were so that the balance of power is restored.

A Special Type Of Hater: Internet trolls

You see this often with online haters a.k.a. internet trolls. Any time you try to make produce anything of value, internet trolls are quick to give you negative feedback. Anytime you try to make money with your products, online haters are quick shout hateful comments and start name calling.

I’ve got a lot of twitter followers and a great social media presence, and even I’m not immune to negative commenters when I give value. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a podcast, blog post, tweet, or instagram post, these online haters will attack you because you’re doing something can’t or won’t do:

You live your life, help others by giving value, and you make money while doing it. This is enough to incite the online hater mob to try and burn you down.

I wrote the book on not caring what others think about you. Read more about it here

3. People passed on you so now they hate you

You often see this in the romantic realm. Once upon a time, you were interested in a person. This person did not return the interest.

If they’re nice, they friend-zoned you. If they’re savage, they ripped your soul to shreds. You got over it.

George Clooney, Cindy Crawford, and Rande Gerber at the 68th Venice Film Festival

How many of the women who passed on George Clooney are now hating on him? Photo credit: Site Marca

In the meantime, you improved into an attractive person. Now they want to give you attention.

But you aren’t interested because you’re capable of attracting higher-quality people now. You also remember that they snubbed you.

These people morph into a diabolical type of hater.

You’ve elevated yourself to someone worthy of their time, but you don’t want them. Since they missed the opportunity to have you, they get sour grapes syndrome now that the situation is reversed.

They invent reasons why you aren’t worthwhile. This makes them feel justified in hating on you. After all, there must be something wrong with you since you’re no longer interested.


4. You have haters weren’t supposed to become anything

If your life is on a downward spiral, people will write you off. I don’t condemn this because there’s no point in going down with a sinking ship if the captain is determined to destroy it.

If you manage to turn things around after the ship’s been abandoned, some interesting things happen.

Some people will be angry that you didn’t drown. They’ll hate that you’ve acquired a better life. You were supposed to be nothing. Instead, you became something.

This sounds similar to the “surpass people” motivation for hate. The difference is that you don’t have to surpass the person. You don’t need to fly higher; you just have to not crash.

Leonardo di Caprio as Jay Gatsby

Jay Gatsby wasn’t a bad guy. That didn’t stop Tom Buchanan from hating on him though.

These toxic personalities only feel satisfied when others suffer. If you come back to life after being left for dead, they need a narrative to explain why they abandoned you.

Rather than explain that you were a mess and wish you well, you have to remain the bad guy. It’s always easier to hate the bad guy.

5. You stepped away from the nonsense. Haters didn’t.

Maybe you weren’t the captain of the ship, but you were the first mate. Still, it was destined for disaster. One day, you got smart and jumped ship.

For the rest of your days, you’ll be the worst type of human being to the individual or group you abandoned. Even though you acted in your best interest and became a better person, all they can see is that you’re now a traitor.

This is another reason why people remind you of what you used to be or where you came from. This is said to hold you down or to pull you back. If where you came from was trash, the other rats will resent you for escaping the sewer.

Quick Recap Of The Top 5 Reasons Why Haters Gonna Hate

  1. You improved. Haters hate when people get better.
  2. You’re doing well. Haters are over jealous.
  3. You surpassed them. Haters can’t stand winners.
  4. You didn’t fail. Haters wanted you to.
  5. You evolved. Haters didn’t.

This list is not exhaustive, but if you’re experiencing unexpected hostility—especially from people you once or still do consider friends—these are the most likely reasons.

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Ed Latimore, author, blogger, and retired pro boxer
Ed Latimore Author, retired boxer, self-improvement enthusiast

Further Reading

6 steps to letting go of a f*cked up past
Ed Latimore’s Forgiveness Quotes
4 signs it’s time to end a friendship
How to be chill in 5 steps