Haters Aren’t A Thing

Hater (n.):

  1. a person who says something less than overwhelmingly positive about another person
  2. a person who disagrees with another person.

***

In the age of Twitter and 24-hour news cycles and 12-year-olds playing with apps created by porn stars who got their own reality shows, both regular people and public figures are overexposed to other people’s opinions. We have more free time than any other previous generation, so we spend it on our dumb thoughts and feelings instead of manual labor and tedious chores. In the old days you could expect to spend your day harvesting crops by hand and washing your entire family’s clothes on one of those bumpy thingies in the river and nursing your husband back to health after he was wounded in a duel. Now, there’s some form of technology that will do all that for you.

In history there were actual feuds. People shot each other over petty insults and went on genocidal rampages and had charged, ugly political and racial rivalries. Some of that still exists today, but the attention given to it pales in comparison to that of made-up celebrity feuds. Nowadays if one public figure says anything remotely negative about another public figure, it becomes a “feud” which causes subsequent “backlash” and “outrage”! The truly unsettling result of this is that the person who makes a less-than-glowingly-positive remark, regardless of their intentions or the validity of their opinion, is immediately labeled a “hater.” And now even unimportant people like you and me have adopted this feud mindset and started attributing conflict with others as just blowback from “haters.”

If you don’t like those movies then you’re a hater or if you don’t think his team will win the championship then you’re a hater or if you make fun of him for cheating on his wife then you’re a hater or if you think her second album was better then you’re a hater or if you don’t think vaccinations cause autism you’re a hater. Who are all these hater people? Where do they all come from and why are they so awful and mean, amirite?!!

The answer is twofold: First, haters don’t actually exist. But if you insist that they do, then everyone is a hater.

Hear me out…

  • Maybe your “haters” have a perfectly legitimate reason to be “hating” on you. Maybe you made a bad decision or your career has taken a turn for the worse or you are starting to tweet really erratic, weird stuff. Maybe you were actually a huge jerk and cheated on them or wore the same outfit at a party on purpose or stole their idea for The Facebook and you deserve some hate.
  • Maybe your “haters” are actually providing constructive criticism as opposed to your two-faced best friend or your publicist or who is just a Yes-man. Just because someone doesn’t love everything you do doesn’t make them your enemy.
  • Or maybe there are actual “haters” out there who are jealous and negative and just want to see you fail. And if that’s the case, making a show about trying to avoid them or how you “don’t care what they say” just legitimizes their behavior so maybe you should shut up and just go about your life.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are all haters. Everyone who thinks critically and has genuine opinions and isn’t terrified to share them, that is. I’m a proud hater–I don’t have to like everyone and everything and I can disagree with others without losing my mind. And when people criticize me, I don’t dismiss their opinions.

Except for when my husband makes fun of Lord of the Rings. That opinion is wrong and bad and he’s just a big fat hater.

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