How to Deal with Haters - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog


How to Deal with Haters

Is there a way to inspire less hatred in others, or is it simply something we have to live with?


Over the years, I’ve come to the realization that, if you stand out in some way, having haters is inevitable. There are people out there who approach others with love and benefit of the doubt, and there are people out there who snap to judge, like to put people in boxes, and have very little empathy. That’s just how the world is. If you don’t fit in, there are people out there who will notice and decide they hate you without even giving you a chance — without even having met you.

Years ago, a slimy online tabloid wrote some stuff about me that wasn’t based on reality. In fact, the three writers were all based in San Francisco and had never met me, nor had they talked to any of my friends. They still found me fair game to write about, and since they didn’t know me from Adam, and didn’t have any actual context, they made stuff up, including supposed encounters, which I know for a fact I never had. For example, they said that I was at a cocktail party and kept talking about my career, starting from the beginning each time someone new came into the group I was fictitiously talking to.

Now, if they’d ever met me or talked to any of my friends, they’d know that what they wrote is pretty much the opposite of my actual character. In fact, one of my least favorite things is talking about myself or my career. I’ve never been one to volunteer info about my career and, when asked, my stock answer is “I have some internet companies”. Their unwarranted tabloid posts did hurt, don’t get me wrong. But then I got some great advice (from the best advice giver of all, Mr. Richard Branson). He said that the best way to deal with these haters is to ignore them. He said I shouldn’t give them power over me, and I shouldn’t give credence by responding. I took his advice and felt much better.

How to Deal with Haters

The unfortunate thing I’ve found is that the more you prove haters wrong in hating you (by just generally being a good, kind person), the more entrenched they get in their hatred. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but it has something to do with the way these people’s brain works. Basically, they don’t want to admit to themselves that their initial assessment was wrong, so they fabricate reasons to hate you that aren’t at all based on reality. There have been some really fascinating studies done on this.

The trick is to, as much as possible, find the positive in every bad situation. What’s the silver lining? There’s always some lesson or upside, if you look hard enough. Then, focus on it. As long as you’re focusing on how this situation is helping you grow, the hater can’t touch you. I know, easier said than done, but it’s a worthwhile exercise.

“He who wants to persuade should put his trust not in the right argument, but in the right word. The power of sound has always been greater than the power of sense.” – Joseph Conrad

How to Deal with Haters

I was given some sage advice yesterday, which I think might be helpful, but I’m not sure how to avoid doing this. I was told that when I give advice, it can be off-putting. Let me explain: I come from a family of activists. I’m an activist through-and-through, in my blood. This is because I am an empathetic person. Overflowing with empathy, in fact. To the point where it hurts me sometimes. It started when I was little, and I picked up worms off the sidewalk as I walked to school. I gave my allowance money to charities that help animals, instead of buying candy or clothing. I cried each and every time I saw an animal get hurt in a movie (ok, ok… I still do…). The bottom line? I instinctively care about the lives of people and animals I’ll never meet.

So, when I am at a friend’s house and I see that they’re using a moisturizer that I know causes cancer, I tell them and suggest alternatives. Not for any reason other than my genuine concern for their health. When we’re at a restaurant and I ask if they’d like to know how foie gras is made, it’s because I think highly of them — I think they’re the type of person what will want to know, and will understand that we all need to do our part to lessen the suffering of innocents — especially those of us who so easily can.

How to Deal with Haters

I’m still not sure how to change this aspect of myself, or to make it easier for others to digest. I don’t want to simply not say anything, because I feel like that would mean that I have less integrity with my love and convictions. But at the same time, I don’t want to risk alienating people.

Then again, maybe going through life trying not to alienate people is futile, no matter how hard we try. No matter what, people are going to take things the wrong way sometimes. Haters are gonna hate. And while you can’t fight fire with fire, maybe water isn’t the solution either. Maybe the best way to deal is simply to let it burn and walk away.

How do you deal with haters?

A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she spends most of her time in France, NYC, London and Switzerland, and travels extensively around the world. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 92 Comments

  1. Laura Harris

    I’m wondering what’s your stance on deleting comments?! I’m pretty sure you’ve experienced or received comments from haters whenever you publish new articles. I guess you wouldn’t want to add fuel to their fire, but do you let the hateful comment remain?

  2. Zoe Sawyer

    My usual response to hater is NOT TO RESPOND. But I just found myself responding to a hater online earlier today. I aimed for respect and chose my words carefully as I usually do when I post anything online.

  3. Kaitlyn Liddell

    This article resonated with me. “Criticism” is self-hate turned outward and I think it’s best to give my haters “more” of what they hate.

  4. Eliza Radecki

    I’ve never heard of Urbanette before but I was directed to this article when I was in search of articles on bullies. But I’m glad I read this article! Thank you for the positive vibes!

  5. Melody Nguyen

    Thank you for your words of wisdom! I enjoyed reading your article!

  6. Cara Lee

    I found this article when I was doing a Google search on toxic people as I have been on the receiving end of some horrible antics and couldn’t figure out what I did wrong.

  7. Alena Martin

    IGNORE!!! I know. It’s a lot easier said than done, but it’s one of the effective ways to deal with haters. You can’t always pay attention to the foolishness people say about you.

    • Yuliya Bruce

      I think you should listen to what the haters have to say, but don’t take it to heart. If you think you can improve based off of their feedback, great! Just don’t take the negative emotions connected to their statement to heart. Consider the words, and if they’re unworthy, ignore it.

      • Jesse Wyss

        I agree – best to ignore. Haters say things that will do nothing but ruin your day, so with that heads up, be prepared to ignore!

  8. Jurik Smith

    If you think too much about it, you might find yourself believing the negative things haters say about you. When haters hate, and what they say is neither constructive criticism nor positive feedback, it has no value to your life. What’s the point in getting all bent out of shape by something someone said that you can’t even do anything about?

  9. Selli Coaze

    Thank you for sharing this effective way to deal with haters that will not only make me feel better, but it‘ll also make them think twice before hating on anyone else.

  10. Veola Sancho

    Haters look for the smallest mistake or hiccup, then attack, never acknowledging any of the positives. They’re critical of everything, envious of you, and unhappy with themselves, to say the least, I am dealing with hatred so many times a day so thank you for posting something related to overcoming hate.

    • Hena Taylor

      No matter what you do and how well you do it, there will always be someone there to rain on your parade, so it’s important to learn how to deal with haters. Don’t sweat it, girl!

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