While everyone has a hater, it is hard not to let their words or actions get under your skin. You can choose your reaction to them by simply being present and acknowledging that you are not what they say. In my past, I have reacted with words or actions that counteract theirs and a back-and-forth would go on until a bridge was burned. Looking back, it was not the best way to handle the situations.
First, we must accept our responsibility in how this person came into your life in the first place or that you could not control your ‘feels’. Many times friendships and romantic relationships end in nasty tug-of-wars. For example, when he/she cheats the first time and you know that you will not be able to get past it. If you stay in that relationship, it is time to be an adult and own responsibility, respect your boundaries and stop checking their phone. Also, when you catch a friend in a lie or, my hugest deal breaker, talking about you behind your back, confront it, respect your boundaries and let that friend go. None of this has to be dramatic. When we own the responsibility of our situations, we can’t become a victim to other’s wrongdoings.
Second, don’t let negativity in. A lot of the time, as human beings, we have a need or desire to ‘help’ or fix people. It may surprise you to know that human beings are not broken. Therefore, they can’t be fixed. When we let in someone else’s negativity and bad situations, we often are not equipped with the coping mechanisms to get involved ourselves and do not possess the ability to maintain our boundaries. When we let someone else’s problem in our life, it consumes the friendship or relationship and ends up being its demise. Only let positive things in and expect only positive things back.
Third, let the words roll off. In a trip to the Mohammad Gandhi Museum, I had this profound experience. Even Gandhi, a man that promoted peace and justice, had haters. Actually, a man shot him to his death. People talk negatively about a celebrity’s hair and clothing with negativity like it in some way affects them and their life. These are extreme examples, but never forget that everyone will have a hater. What speaks louder is how you react and let those words and actions affect you.
Additionally, never sacrifice your principles. When you know that something is wrong, it is ok to say that you do not agree and step out of the light. You don’t have to fight every battle you see because most of them are not worth it in the first place. Choosing battles that you know you can fight helps you stay balanced and saves that energy for the battles that truly matter. If you are a fighter, this will be hard for you, but it will help you sleep better at night. Simply, involve yourself with people that fuel your fire, not burn it out.
Lastly, remember that you are in control of your life. You have the keys and potential to unlock any door you wish. It is ok to let people go. It is ok to end relationships and friendships when they are not working. There are certain ways that ending those relationships will help you to not have loose ends and will manage the amount and level of feelings that are, and will be, hurt.
We all have family or friends that just try to bring us down. The thing that we often forget is that we have the power to say, “No.” There are so many times in my life that saying that one word would have spared my reputation, maintained my sanity and made my life better. In acknowledging this, I have learned that my flaws are some of my best traits and my passions can be some of my worst flaws.
Regarding loving myself, it took a lot of hate for me to understand and appreciate what love is. In loving those that spread negativity and hate about me, I learned to love myself. Sometimes, we have to just simply feel blessed that we caused a reaction or that we were heard at all. Loving yourself is the best gift you could ever give the world. In this blessing is what leads to my love for my haters as it is those that teach me who I don’t want to be.