Whoever you are and whatever you do, you’ll never please everyone. We all have faults for critics to target, but even someone who is practically perfect is bound to be intolerable to a select few. Haters are hard to take, but they don’t have to make your life miserable.
It’s not hard to tell when others find you offensive. They might avoid you, ignore you, use sarcasm, or even be hostile. Knowing how to deal with it is another matter. Whether their behavior is justified or not, you can use the opportunity to improve yourself.
Identify the offense
When someone doesn’t like you, try not to make assumptions or act impulsively. Swallow your pride and take an unbiased look at the situation. Without being confrontational, try to understand how the person might be feeling and what it is they have against you. A mutual acquaintance might be able to help you with this.
Sometimes the vibes we register as hatred are simply a person’s prickly defense mechanism. Many people are cautiously suspicious of others, and may express it to a greater or lesser degree — with some letting criticism flow freely.
Take heart in knowing that some people are never satisfied, although you should consider whether their criticism is valid. If they point out an area where you can improve, accept their insight with gratitude and rectify your shortcomings.
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To assume all criticism is valid, however, would also be a mistake. Opinions differ, and you need to use upright principles to judge whether they are sound.
Are you at fault?
Although it is uncomfortable to feel unwelcome or rejected, it gives us an opportunity to examine our own behavior. Rather than getting angry or upset, consider whether you said or did something inappropriate to earn the cold shoulder.
If an apology is in order, you have the power to make things right.
Is it personal?
If our behavior was above-board, perhaps it’s not a personal dislike, but a general one. Haters might focus their dislike against people of a particular nationality, occupation, political party, race, social status and the like.
Understand that this could stem from a negative experience, their upbringing, or limited education. Closed-minded people may be difficult to deal with, but by putting your best foot forward, you might help change their mind about your classification, and gain a new friend in the process.
Is the hater jealous?
Sometimes people seem to hate for no reason at all. One may be doing their very best to be likable — and indeed have many friends — yet there will be people who can’t stand them. Jealousy is often at the root here, as they have something the hater doesn’t.
While you might ease the tension with a little self-deprecating humor, the onus is on the hater to improve their character in this situation.
Take the high road
Be your best you
As mentioned above, you can’t please everyone. For whatever reason, there will always be some people who don’t take kindly to you, and you may have to deal with them on a daily basis at work or at school.
Regardless of their behavior, you can still be respectful and considerate to promote a stable and harmonious environment.
If someone is hostile toward you, do what you can to avoid an altercation. Consider the consequences before reacting, and don’t give them a reason to exert force. Avoid contact if necessary.
If you must cooperate with the person, keep your bearings; focus on your task and prove your worth. Should conflict be inevitable, call on a neutral third party as a mediator. Authority figures are often helpful in settling disputes.
Let go of anger and frustration
The pain of being treated unfairly can generate an onslaught of negative emotions. Anger, anxiety and frustration can lead you down a road of suffering if you let them take hold. Keep the proper perspective, and remember that one person’s opinions don’t define your character.
Keep your cool and focus on what you should be doing with your day. If your mind strays towards negative emotions, remember the value of kindness, patience, and forgiveness. If you can look past their faults, you have elevated your own character.
Don’t let someone else’s hate bring you down. Spend time with your friends and family to boost your confidence, and share what’s bothering you with them if you need extra support.
Feeling hurt is natural and not something to be ashamed of. Be patient with yourself as you process difficult emotions, and always try to find the good in any situation. You can view valid criticism as a chance to improve, and unfounded criticism as a way to strengthen your character.
Most importantly, avoid becoming a hater yourself. As the saying goes, “Two wrongs don’t make a right,” and adding fuel to the flame will only intensify it. Accept the truth that the only person you can really change is yourself.
- Positive Ways To Deal With Negative People
- Self-Help Tips to Tackle Negative Thoughts
- The Power of Mind – Negative Thinking Can Have Serious Consequences
Ila Bonczek contributed to this article.