It’s important to know the distinction between criticism and hate, because if you classify everything as hate, you’re throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
What is Criticism (aka Constructive Criticism)
Criticism is when someone points out a flaw in you or your idea using logic and is usually accompanied by some kind of rational advice to help you improve.
The spirit is positive, non-confrontational, and comes with valid reasons and observations. It’s analytical and tells you why you’re wrong and doesn’t involve ad-hominem (i.e. attack your person).
The person who is criticizing you wants to see you improve and get better.
What is Hate
Hate is when someone is trying to hurt you or put you down and isn’t accompanied by reason or logic or any advice to improve.
It usually has a negative or sarcastic tone and comes with attacking your person and is meant to lower your confidence and spirit.
The main feature is that haters do not offer reason or logic for why you are wrong. There is no substance to the words, it’s only a mixture of disrespect, mockery, and character attacks.
Examples of Criticism
Here are some real examples of what criticism looks like:
When someone saw me play tennis as a kid (I was a chubby kid):
Hey, I saw you play tennis the other day and I noticed that you were completely exhausted after the third round. You should focus more on your conditioning.
Or when I was 16, my father told me to consider people’s feelings more when I speak (incidentally, it’s also great advice):
When you talk, you are too blunt and you end up hurting people’s feelings. You need to learn to convey your ideas more tactfully, because people do not remember what you said, but over the long run, they do remember how you made them feel. Besides, if people are hurt by what you say, they are going to disregard whatever you said anyway.
Notice that in both the examples above:
- It was in good spirit.
- It had a valid observation behind it.
- They provided feedback and wanted me to improve.
Examples of Hate
In contrast, this is what a hater sounds like:
Don’t read this book, it was written by a white male. (i.e. attacking the person, no actual logic provided.)
Or things said to belittle you or make you feel subpar: You can’t be a writer. What are you, Plato?
Implying that you’re inferior and intrinsically not good enough to do or achieve something.
Hate is mean spirited (although sometimes disguised as “I’m only looking out for you”) and is entirely unhelpful.
What are you even supposed to do with someone who says “You can’t be a writer. What are you, Plato?“? Stop writing because you’re not Plato?
It has no purpose outside of breaking your self-confidence and spirit and making you feel inferior.
A lot of this stuff stems from envy and the fear that you might succeed and become better than them.
Hate also covers people who say things like “LOL” or “you suck” followed by no argument or reason, as if them saying “LOL” automatically makes them right and you wrong for whatever unstated reason.
Also know that people who try to shut you up using buzzwords like racist, sexist, misogynist, whateverophobe without offering reasons for why you’re wrong are also haters.
All of those words are character attacks and attempts at trying to censor you disguised as virtue and morals.
You can debate with logic and facts, you cannot debate someone who’s calling you a misogynist because they don’t like what you said and want to make it sound like you’re an imbecile.
People calling you these words are haters and must be dealt with accordingly.
How to Deal with Haters: Ignore completely or Fight Fire with Fire
In an ideal world, haters would not exist. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world. You must learn to use mockery to deal with haters.
When someone is attacking you, you cannot deal with them using reason – you can only attack them more. This deserves its own article, but I’ll cover it here in short anyway: Fight fire with fire.
Do not take a knife (i.e. logic) to a gunfight (i.e. emotion).
Like the Roman General Pompey said, “Don’t quote laws to men with swords.”
When you’re dealing with a hater, you can either 1) Completely ignore them, or 2) Attack them back.
This is doubly true on social media.
When someone calls you a misogynist, for example, if your reaction is along the lines of “here is why I’m not a misogynist” then you lose because reason does not work on the unreasonable.
You must fight back. Claim to identify as a woman and accuse them of being transphobic.
When someone says “You can’t be a writer. What are you, Plato?”, say “With that mindset it’s no wonder you’re such a loser”.
Or if you want to be more polite, “Damn, I would not want to live with your mindset.”
Either ignore them or attack them back. Make them seem like the imbeciles.
Harsh’s Thumb Rule for Handling Haters
In real life, completely ignore haters. Talking to them is a waste of your precious time.
Focus on yourself and let success make the noise. Who cares when someone doesn’t like you when they have to live their life seeing you do 1000x better than them?
On social media, you also generally want to do the same thing i.e. ignore and block them, except fight back how I told you from time to time to keep people engaged and make the algorithm bring you more followers.
If they have a large audience (tens of thousands of followers), fight back, mock them, and destroy them – it’s free publicity for you.
Small hater like a guy with 20 followers? Block.
Big hater with 100,000 followers? Fight.
We fight when there’s something to gain, I.e. fighting the big accounts is publicity, fighting the small random people is stupidity.
Why Haters Exist
Unless you’re an asshole, having haters is not your fault.
Most people who hate you out of nowhere have something wrong going on in their own lives – it could be dissatisfaction, loneliness, envy, resentment, etc. and they’re lashing on you.
It’s them, not you.
Remember that successful people do not become haters. Successful people do not put people down or discourage people from trying new things.
The people who become haters have nothing going on in their lives. They’re broke and live a life of frustration. That’s why they become haters.
Hating is a trait of the losers and the failures and the crabs.
The loudest boos always come from the cheapest seats.
Keep that in mind. When someone hates you, there is something wrong with them, not you.
And my brothers, keep winning!
Hope this helps.