How to Not Be a Hater

Living in this modern world rich with beautifully curated images, seemingly perfect lifestyles, and popular changemakers could turn anyone from a lover into a hater.  According to Webster’s Dictionary, a hater is a negative or critical person; a person who greatly dislikes a specified person or thing.

We’ve all had hater moments, but it’s a slippery slope that can easily turn bitter and ugly. Hate is a strong word, but so is envy, and envy is a normal emotion. When you envy someone you’re not simply jealous. You actually feel rage, resentment, and a longing to have or be someone else. Jealousy is a precursor to envy minus the anger. It’s easy to slip into envy from jealousy, and this is where becoming a hater begins.

It’s important to acknowledge and process the hate because like all feelings it provides valuable information about what’s really going on. Feelings of hate serve as a reminder that something deeper is at play within yourself, and looking inward to uncover that something is essential for your own health and wellbeing.

Hate is inevitable, but it’s also draining and toxic. It pulls from your focus, contentment, joy, and productivity. Lost energy equates with depression, which means that spending time hating people you don’t even know could land you in a state of ill health.

Anytime you go to a place of hate the body is triggered to feel stress. It doesn’t know the difference between you looking at an Instagram photo and feeling resentment, or looking squarely in the eyes of a bear.

The first step in moving through negative hater emotions is understanding how they hurt you. Being a hater never feels good, but sometimes it’s hard to stop. If you don’t feel the hate then what are you left with? Feelings of shame, unworthiness, loneliness, and more. Sitting with these emotions is a lot harder than simply talking shit about who or what is triggering you. 

So how does one move on from being a hater?

Clean up your world
start by eliminating or reducing your exposure to all of the things that provoke the feeling. This might be posts, people, images, or even friends. Stepping away and giving yourself a chance to reflect is essential to determining why you even care.

Develop a loving kindness practice
It sounds hokey, but there’s a sense of empowerment that comes from being able to love and be kind to those we don’t like. No one says you have to like everyone, but it is important to learn to be kind even in the face of hate. Here’s a place to start.

Own your truth
Dig in and come to understand your feelings of unworthiness and shame. A strong sense of self is the best protection against feelings of envy and hate. Knowing your own worth, purpose, and value allows you to witness others in more authentic and real way.

Find a new tribe
As much as you may be drawn to pretty and fancy people you love to hate, be sure to fill your world with those you admire and love. It can easily seem like there’s no one out there who’s grounded and authentic, but there are. Keep it real and you’ll start to organically draw those you are destined to be with.

Learning to not be a hater is your contribution to a better world. The change begins with you, and taking your power back, putting it where it can create new and better energy, and working on living an authentic life are all things that make the whole world a better place.

Andra Brosh, Ph.D., BCHN