“Your biggest supporter is a stranger and your biggest hater someone you know” ~ Heath Ledger

HOW to deal with haters: those you perceive to not like, love, or care about you.

Who or what are haters? Haters are people that project hate in various methods, forms and via variable means. It may be the internet, gossip, passive aggressively, obviously, or insidiously.

Haters you may know: Clicky groups, bullies, cyber bullies, trolls, individuals who just seem to be in great dislike of you, and even family members and loved ones who just seem to slide under your skin with the little backhanded stabs at you, dressed up as civil communication. To be clear on this, I think it is important to define the difference between hate and constructive criticism. Constructive criticism can be super beneficial, for feedback, guidance, knowledge, wisdom and to initiate positive change. In NLP there is presupposition, or principle, there is no such thing as failure or mistakes, there’s only feedback. Constructive Feedback or criticism is crucial to positive change. Or when we think of uncomfortable conversation or criticism from quality friends or inner circle peeps. These are the situations where friends will talk shit to your face, tell you how it is, and defend you and talk highly of you behind your back. The opposite of haters. Examples of hate: Say you post a photo on FB & people pass comments. You post a selfie, and someone has a dig at your appearance, something that cannot be changed, i.e your nose or chin. OR you post a video of things that you have done and perhaps some of the comments have a slight critical content to it. Do the comments contaminate your thoughts or contribute to productive thoughts? Does the feedback hinder you or does it feel like it is constructive criticism and can help you? Is there an emotive narrative? OR perhaps the comment has been posted to hurt you? If you are picking up that vibe that it’s more than likely critical than constructive then you do you have a hater and in the words of Taylor Swift, Haters gonna hate hate hate hate.

Hate Projection: To introduce you to a bit of psychobabble and drop a psychology bomb about projection, meet Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. Carl claims, people hate on you because they hate this part of themselves, AND they resent that part of themselves. So they are projecting that hate by expressing it onto someone else because they absolutely hate that part of themselves. (Make sense) Hate can often stem from insecurity, jealousy, and envy. They hate that they are feeling that way, so they express it by hating on you. Quite often in our society we experience a lot of hate on the internet via various social media platforms, which is why it makes it so difficult for our younger generation to decipher appropriate social conduct and behaviour. People hide behind keyboards and phones saying what they want because there’s no risk of actual physical confrontation, so expressing negative thoughts and feelings is made so much easier with the detached internet method.

In my opinion, and from my experience the backhanded smiling assassins who project their hate are the worst. You can have hate coming from loved ones, family & friends, you can have hate in the workplace, and in your environment. Loved ones may take a sneaky stab at you largely because of their relationship with you. A subtle and micro attack, covertly getting a little backhand in communication using a bit of cloak and dagger. Often, they won’t realise they’re doing it, that they’re attacking you in that way. For some, family and or friends unconsciously are not entirely aware they are doing it. It can be delivered in a way considered almost passive aggressively. Often if a hater sees you doing well & they might not be doing well themselves, they are not just going to consciously lash out, they’re not going be like “oh he’s doing well, and hey I’m doing shit, so he's a shit head.” It more often is a result of situations like the following, for example, if you're fit, healthy, and exercise often - you allocate time to running, swimming, gym’ing etc. You could be the subject of dissatisfaction because some people around you, be they friends, or family are not. If you have a reasonable amount of money and others around you don’t, you can often be a target for passive aggressive statements, like “oh yeah .......... can pay for it, he has plenty of money.” The passive aggressive type of delivery can often be the worst when it comes from the people that are close to you. The damage builds up over time because it’s so backhanded and often unaddressed, we are sometimes unaware of the damage that it’s doing. For me, I often think I’d almost prefer someone to literally walk out and in black-and-white say “you’re a f$&king c$&t” rather than receive an injection of progressively sneaky comments. But that's the thing, we don't get to pick the way someone hates on us, it's the complete opposite of kindness. All we can really do is take responsibility for our own actions and respond rather than react to the shit that is being flung our way. When hate is delivered subtlety and from someone you care about in that context and repeated over and over again it can be very damaging to our psychology.

So what do we do about it? First things first, everything starts with how we think and how we decide to think about the haters. This determines how we feel emotionally and therefore how we react, the actions and decisions that we make regarding the hate that is being generated. Often when you’re being hated upon or spoken about negatively it means you’re being noticed. It can mean that you’re out there you’re being seen, heard, watched and potentially it can mean you’re becoming successful. In this situation, if the hate is delivered from someone in your inner midst, quite often it is coming from their insecurity, their jealousy, their envy - and whilst we've identified this to be their emotional projection, their story that they are essentially feeling less than you, or insecure about their situation, and launching it at you. This too contextually could be taken as a compliment. So congrats being hated on!

You're going about your business, staying in your lane, doing your thing. Perhaps you're being noticed and doing something well. Being hated on can actually mean you’re on the pathway to success. If you take a second to reflect on it, ask yourself, what can you actually take from the hating and what can you learn from it? True role models don't hate but appreciate: You will notice and find that truly successful people won’t be seen hating on others around them. You don’t see successful business people hating on people in their industry. You don’t see established athletes generally hating on other athletes or people. Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey didn't become famous spending their time trolling and hating.

Flipping hate on its head: Turn the negative energy to an advantage. Let haters motivate you. Let it be the greatest driver that you have ever experienced, this is the best one. It can become the hottest motivational flame that’s ever fuelled your vision or mission. It is important to note, hate is not actually about you at all. It says more about the hater than it does about you. “What Sarah says about Mary to Sue, says more about Sarah, than it does about Mary.” And to be honest what people say about you is none of your business. Stay committed to your perspective of yourself and situation. Don’t let other people’s opinions define you. Take a step back from the situation and take it as a compliment that people are investing enough time to flick shit at you.

Remember two of the four agreements. Don’t make assumptions and don’t take shit personally, this is a potent reminder for me. And finally, it is a true test of character to look someone in the eye, know what they have said about you, or that they have gone out of their way to hurt you, but YOU choose not to return the hate despite how badly you may have wanted to, or felt they deserve it.

It takes ZERO effort to belittle, berate, insult, spread gossip about someone or launch our stuff someone else's way. Yet, having the ability to step back, pause, observe and factor in what is actually going on for someone else takes immense strength, clarity of thought and compassion. Particularly when you may have been on the receiving end of some of the less desirable acts mentioned above. A real positive that can be taken away from dealing with haters is that you get to DECIDE to turn unsavoury situations of hate around to your advantage - and in doing so enhance your own emotional intelligence. It is an opportunity for personal growth to become brave and courageous. You get to build your ability to lean into conflict, face it head on with kindness, integrity and an appreciation for the life lesson!

In summary: Make sure you don’t hate. Appreciate! If you do hate, be aware of what’s going on for you. What has been triggered in you? Refer back to Jung's model above.


1. What can you learn from hate? Does it have merit?

2. You may be doing something well, you're getting noticed and you may be on the path to being successful.

3. Successful, happy people don’t hate on others. They don’t spend their time hating. The people who are hating are generally not doing well in themselves, and can be projecting it your way. Take a step back from it.

4. Flip hate on its head - Let it MOTIVATE YOU LIKE NEVER BEFORE.

Jamie MilneJamie Milne

Jamie is one of the Sunshine Coast's respected, leading strength and conditioning coaches, and a reputable results-based force in the field of psychotherapy and self-development.