Ever met a person who has a passionate disdain for successful people? Somehow, they manage to find (or imagine) every teeny flaw in a person’s character, their personal life, their business– or whatever– anything at all just to say, “I just don’t like so and so.” Usually, the target of their dislike is someone wildly regarded as being at the top of their game. Meanwhile, the hater just keeps hating. While everyone is entitled to dislike whomever they choose, when it’s done in such an irrational way, it becomes clear to me that these individuals are suffering from extreme insecurity. This actually makes me sad.
Let’s be clear here. I’m not referring to people who have good reasons for disliking someone. I’m not even referring to people who occasionally dislike people for no good reason or for reasons they can’t explain. Who I am referring to is chronic haters.
While I’m not formally trained in analyzing folk, I have learned a thing or two about people through 44 years of observation. And what I’ve observed is that chronic haters tend to become so after a lifetime of repeated failures, insecurities and unresolved personal conflicts. When I hear them randomly trashing successful people…for no other reason than they exist…I actually have learned to pity them.
What I see in these folk is resentment. I feel like they feel as though another’s success actually magnifies their own failures. This makes me incredibly sad and I’ve even contemplated pointing this out to one or two haters before, but another thing that I’ve learned in life is that unsolicited advice is often received as criticism. I wish I could nudge certain people into at least questioning whether or not my theory applies to them and to do something about it if it does, but I don’t.
If you’re one of these people, I do hope that you’ll question yourself deeply. If I’m wrong, great…but, if there’s an inkling of truth that my theory lives inside of you, please, for the love of everything sacred, do some self-work and dump the haterade. While you may think you’re only expressing an opinion, what others are often hearing is a broadcast of your own insecurities.
Now, I’m not saying that you have to embrace everybody and that you can never disagree with or dislike a person ever again in life. What I am asking of you, however, is to ask yourself a few soul-searching questions in order to get real with yourself.
1. Am I in any way jealous of this person, their success, their power or their popularity among others?
2. Do I resent this person for excelling in areas where I feel I have failed?
3. Am I making up reasons to dislike this person or am I, in any way, projecting some of my own “stuff” onto them?
4. If I were in this person’s shoes, would I be pleased with my own accomplishments?
If you answer these questions honestly, you may discover that your dislike of the other person is actually a dislike that you harbor for yourself. Don’t worry, we all have our issues to work through, but if this is your issue, please don’t avoid the opportunity to work through it. Here are a few tips to help you get past this:
1. Realize that you can be and should be effective right where you are and that doing so makes you successful. Career accomplishments are nice, as is having lots of friends and loads of money to spend. But what really counts is what you do, right where you are and for whomever you can.
2. Being able to acknowledge another person’s accomplishments actually makes you a happier, more respected person.
3. Become inspired. Instead of ridiculing others for living their best lives, use what you see of their success to motivate you to accomplish your own goals.
Now, if none of this applies to you, feel free to click yourself elsewhere. If you’re still reading this, however, chances are that something about this conversation resonates with you. If so, take this as a wake up call and embrace it as an opportunity to do better for yourself. You deserve to be your best!
Thanks for your time,