The Anatomy Of A Hater: Keep Your Friends Close, Not Your Enemies

by Grant Miller

Someone once said that if you don't have any haters, you won't have any achievements. There is another truth that should be attached to that phrase: If you don't identify your haters, they will successfully stop you from achieving your dreams.

When identifying a hater, there are three questions you must ask: First, do the haters only like you when you're average? Second, are they upset when you succeed? Third, do they fight for your losses instead of their own victories?

If you answered "yes" to all three questions, you have haters in your midst. Expel him or her from your presence as soon as possible. Here’s a more in-depth guide to identify a hater:

1. Do they only like you when you’re average?

This question applies to some of your childhood friends; the ones you have known since you were a little kid who cried when you scraped your knees. We were all equals back then. We went to the same schools and the same high school dances and worked the same minimum wage jobs.

Once those college acceptance letters came and you got into schools that were more prestigious than theirs (whatever that means), their attitudes changed. Instead of congratulating you, they stopped hanging out with you. When you did speak, they are critical and make uncharacteristically snide remarks.

You think that you might have offended them, and you did. You offended them by doing something they didn’t believe themselves to be capable of, and for that, they hate you.

This example applies when you graduate from college or grad school and get a well-paying job while your childhood friends are back home, doing the same thing they’ve been doing since you graduated from high school. These people place limits on themselves and apply those limits to you.

If they didn’t, they would have to accept that you worked hard and earned the life you have, which in turn, implies that their limits aren’t real and they just didn’t do enough. Life is not that simple, but it is for people who only like you when you’re average.

There isn’t much that you can do to change their minds. No matter what attachments the two of you may have held before, it’s time to move on and let these people go.

2. Are they upset when you succeed?

During your first week in law school, you decide that it’s time to get bold. You will raise your hand and answer questions in class. After all, since you’ve been answering questions in class since kindergarten, you don’t think it’s a big deal. So, when the professor asks you a question, you take the plunge.

Every time he or she calls on you, you get the question right. After class, you walk out feeling accomplished because you did the reading, took good notes and you earned some participation points for your grade. As you walk to your locker, you notice one of your classmates giving you some of the meanest stares you’ve seen in a long time.

When you approach another classmate to ask how he felt about the class, he turns his back on you mid-sentence. You don’t get it. What could you have done wrong? Nothing. You just had a good day and the haters can’t stand it.

People often confuse this with being competitive. It’s not. A competitive person pushes him or herself to succeed but never hates when you do well because he or she is too focused on personal success.

Unless you’re this person's direct opponent, your achievements are not of his or her concern. If you do something great, the competitor will probably forget about it and get back to his or her work.

If someone hates you just because you had a good class, got a good grade, landed a great internship or got hired by a great employer, it’s because this person hates him or herself. This person feels inadequate in life and your presence is a reminder of those insecurities.

Much like the friends you had back home who only liked you when you were average, your success offends this hater. Spending time with this person would be a mistake because you will gain nothing positive to your life from the relationship.

3. Do they fight for your losses instead of their own victories?

Remember the competitive person I described? The one who is working hard every day to improve? Well sometimes, someone can hate your success so much that he or she spends more time and energy and ensuring your failure than achieving personal success. Of all the haters, this person is the worst of all.

This person is the single sister who hits on your fiancé when you’re not looking and then congratulates you and asks about the wedding date. He’s the friend who tries to cock block you when you approach a woman at the bar and then smiles, pats your shoulder and wishes you better luck next time.

This person sees your failure as a personal success and will fight to make that failures continue to happen. You usually won’t know what this person is doing unless someone tells you or it’s too late and the damage is already done.

Think of this person as a sniper who shoots from a distance. Unless you know where to look, you’ll never see the bullet coming in time to duck for cover.

When dealing with this form of a hater, you must make sure to tell the hater absolutely nothing of value. When he or she asks how you’re doing, just say that you’re doing well and add nothing more, as any information you share will be used against you. This person is looking for details to sabotage your success, and if you talk too much, the hater will likely to succeed.

Unfortunately, you’ll find haters everywhere as long as you continue to live right, work hard and meet your goals. If you find that your friends turn more negative as your life progresses, drop them. They are no longer your friends.

If you ever get the impression that someone feels angry about your success, don’t spend any more time with him or her. These people are cancerous limbs in your life that you must amputate.

Don’t play around with the haters. Expel them from your presence and make it a point only to spend time with positive people who improve your life while you improve theirs. You cannot afford anyone else’s company.

Be smart, identify the hater and cut him or her out of your life. Haters don’t waste any time in attempting to ruin your life, so you should not waste any time to defend it.

Photo Courtesy: Warner Bros./Goodfellas