how to deal with haters in life

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Kevin Mangelschots

There will always be negative people who nag about every little thing we do, no matter what we decide to pursue in life.

Whether you try to please everyone, or be as authentic as possible, they’ll always be around. That’s because the issue lies with them, and not necessarily with you. They project their own weaknesses and insecurities onto others.

But what we can influence is how we respond to haters. Let me explain how.

My 20 best tips for how to deal with haters in life

Illustration of a prohibition sign with the word “hate” written on it. This indicates that hating on others is forbidden.

  1. Analyze if you’re dealing with a hater

    Just because someone’s outing their criticism doesn’t automatically make them a hater. That’s why you need to analyze whether they’re straight up hating, or actually giving you advice.

    Critique should be taken in stride, as there’s often a lesson to be learned there. Our loved ones sometimes give us harsh, yet true critique which we should take to heart in order to improve our lives.

  2. Accept valid criticism, discard the rest

    Dealing with haters can make it hard to discern what critique is valid, and what is not.

    That’s why you should study the criticism others are giving you. Is it true? Are they saying those things for your wellbeing? Are they trustworthy? Do they like you? Do they want the best for you?

    All of those are valid questions to figure out if the criticism is sound or not. Accept and examine valid critique, discard all the rest. Never internalize the hurtful comments of those who are simply projecting their negativity onto you in order to put you down.

  3. Ask if there’s a lesson to learn

    The quote, “never assume that every critic is a hater. Not everyone is hating on you. Some people are telling you the truth” written on a blue background in white letters.

    You should attempt to learn something when the critique is valid, even if it’s coming from someone we don’t particularly like.

    If they’re simply hating, then you should skip this step because they’re not saying it to improve your life, but simply to drag you down along with them. Needless to say, these are not the kind of people we need in our existence.

  4. Ignore them

    One of the ways to respond to haters is by simply ignoring them. This might seem counterproductive, but silence is golden, and can be an extremely powerful tool to convey your emotions.

    Chances are that they’re hating just to get a response out of you. The more emotional and animated you are, the more they will typically enjoy it since they accomplished making you upset.

    Ignoring them can make them bored quickly since they’re not getting the reaction they were hoping for. Nevertheless, it’s also possible that they take this silence as a sign of weakness, and go even further by making more, and increasingly severe comments as well.

  5. Walk away

    A man walking away through the grass.

    Walking away can be an even stronger signal than disregarding them since it shows you’re unafraid to take action. It shows that you won’t put up with their actions, but also aren’t willing to give them the satisfaction of answering with an emotional response.

    Thus, walking away can be another tool in your arsenal to deal with haters. The more uninterested you are and seem, the more effective this technique will generally be.

  6. Cut them out of your life

    Cutting people out of your life isn’t always possible since our cynics can be at work, or in our recreational circle.

    Yet, it’s probably the most efficient way to cut out toxic people. Simply break ties with the people who are negatively impacting your life. Don’t contact them, and block them on social media platforms and your cellphone.

    That way, their negativity won’t spill over to your life.

  7. Block online haters

    Illustration of a prohibition sign saying, “access denied.”

    The best way to deal with online haters is to simply block them, so they can’t contact you anymore.

    People often end up posting negative comments online due to the perceived anonymity and safety that the internet provides. This makes them less afraid, in addition to the typically fewer consequences that bullying others online brings along.

    That’s why trying to catch them, or talking things out is mostly less effective on the internet. Especially when they’re doing so without showing their true name, which is something people who are engaging in negative, forbidden actions do most of the time.

  8. Don’t get emotional

    Once you get emotional, you lose. You show that the other party has control over your feelings, thoughts, and thus, your mental state and actions.

    That’s why you should control your thoughts to keep your emotions in check. It’s okay to feel annoyed about what they’re doing, but you can’t let them control your thoughts. This kind of people are simply not worth your time and effort.

  9. Don’t take it personally

    Quote saying, “if they don't know you personally, don't take it personal.”

    Cynics nag on you because they’re unhappy with themselves. They’re merely projecting their own feelings onto others to put the blame on you, and to not feel miserable alone.

    That’s why you should never take it personally. Because that means that others who don’t want the best for you have control over your emotional state and life.

  10. Be respectful

    Don’t lower yourself to their level. I’m not saying that you should tolerate their blatant disrespect, or that you’re not allowed to defend yourself when required.

    But whatever you do, don’t resort to making petty remarks yourself, or hating on them because that would simply mean we’re just the same as those we dislike.

  11. Kill them with kindness

    Illustration of a heart with the quote, “kill them with kindness” written on it.

    Another underrated instrument is to kill them with kindness, since they’re making those negative remarks in order to get a response out of you.

    Remaining stoic and reserved can make them upset because they can’t get a reaction out of you. And there’s nothing they hate more than people bettering their life while being unbothered by their negative quips.

  12. Realize that they’re projecting their own feelings

    Skeptics are simply projecting their own feelings onto you as if they’re holding up a mirror. Yet, ironically, they typically don’t realize this simple fact.

    It’s much easier to transfer our own imperfections and insecurities onto an external source instead of taking ownership and accountability for the mistakes that we’ve made.

    That’s why you shouldn’t get mad at their inability to take responsibility, although it might be bothersome that you’re paying for their personal weakness.

  13. Stick to your guns

    You should absolutely stick to your guns if you’re sure you’re in the right and have done nothing wrong.

    Haters might try to convince you to change your ways and doubt your own sanity by gaslighting you. But no matter how much they try, you shouldn’t give in when you’re not in the wrong.

    Don’t apologize, and don’t allow them to make you believe like you’re the crazy one who interprets everything the wrong way, because that’s their typical go to technique in order to get you to comply.

  14. Take it as a compliment

    Having haters means you stood up for something. It also implies that you’ve probably been true to yourself. People are too different from one another to have everyone like you, and that’s why it’s useless to pursue being liked by everyone.

    Instead of getting mad, be glad that someone takes the time and puts in the effort to attempt to put you down. Even though they’re trying to do something negative, it simply means they’re jealous of something you have, and that’s why they’re being so antagonistic.

  15. Use haters as fuel

    Illustration of the quote saying, “let the haters be your motivators.”

    Instead of allowing them to have a detrimental influence on your mentality, use them as fuel to improve your life. Do you really want to prove them right by staying where you are instead of bettering yourself?

    Never let skeptics run the course of your life. You are in charge, and only you control the direction you’re going in.

  16. Successful people don’t need to put others down

    Think about it for a second. Why would content, successful people put in the time and effort to hate on someone else? That’s plainly a waste of effort and energy since it does literally nothing for them personally.

    That’s why content folks don’t engage in such despicable behavior. Only those who are dissatisfied and unsuccessful live vicariously through the enjoyment of putting others down.

  17. Make them aware of their actions

    Engaging in confrontation by making them aware of their actions can work, but is most likely going to make them defensive while simultaneously shifting all the blame on you.

    Of course, there’s a difference between positive and negative conflict. And an attempt should be made to resolve the issue, rather than enlarging it.

    It’s always worth a try, even if it doesn’t work. At least you’ll sleep well at night knowing that you tried to talk it out as civilized adults.

  18. Get used to it and accept it

    The quote, “accept how you feel but don't let your feelings rule you. You are in control” written in white on a grey background.

    There have always been, and there will always be haters in life. You can attempt to fight it, but that doesn’t change the fact that some people are so miserable and jealous that they make negative comments to those around them.

    You don’t have to like it, but you can learn to accept it. Rather, try seeing it as a positive such as that you stood up for something, and using it as fuel to improve your own existence.

  19. Don’t apologize

    Apologizing is something that courageous and self-aware people do

    However, you should never pardon yourself when you didn’t do anything wrong. Not just because that’s disrespectful and dishonest to you, but also because you validate them and their warped views by excusing yourself.

    Chances are large that they’ll try to gaslight you into apologizing by employing the victim mentality by blaming you, and acting like you’re the crazy one.

  20. Don’t try to please everyone

    You can’t make everyone happy in life, no matter how much you try to. Even when trying to please everyone, some would still dislike you for the simple fact that you’re trying to make everyone content.

    People pleasing is a negative trait in life. Especially when trying to make those happy who are trying to make our world worse instead of better.

    Stand up for yourself. Only try to do good for the people who are worthy and trying to improve your existence too.

How to deal with haters at work?

Image of multiple employees having a conflict at work.

Learning how to deal with haters at work is the same as how you would generally deal with them, except certain strategies such as cutting them out of your life entirely isn’t always a possibility. That’s because you might be “forced” to work together with them on a daily basis.

These are my best tips to deal with them effectively:

  1. Ignore them

    Ignoring them is probably the most effective way to deal with them since they’re not getting any attention, and you’re not giving them the satisfaction of getting riled up. What they often want is getting a response out of you, and it’s no fun to them when you remain unemotional.

    Don’t interact with them if you don’t have to. The less you have to speak and deal with them, the better.

  2. Only talk to them about work

    Cutting them out of your life entirely is typically not possible at work. Oftentimes, you will have to work together on a consistent basis to clear the tasks at hand.

    That’s why you should only talk to them about work, and nothing else. Keep things professional and formal. The less information you give them about your personal life, the better since they’ll probably use that as ammunition to hate on you.

  3. Set clear boundaries

    Image of two people's feet facing each other, but being separated by a yellow line, indicating that's the boundary.

    Setting clear boundaries is always important to be respected, but even more so at work when you’re going to be stuck working with each other, or generally being in each other’s vicinity.

    Talk to them about what they’re doing that you dislike, and tell them what your plans are for working together professionally. It’s alright to tell them that you only want to interact with them when work requires it, but that you’re not interested in engaging in small talk with them.

    They will probably take this as an insult, but that’s their problem. As long as you communicated the message respectfully, then you don’t have yourself to blame.

  4. Avoid them if possible

    If you don’t have to work together directly, then you can just avoid them. Aside from cutting them out of your life entirely, this seems like your next best bet to mitigate the detrimental impact they have on your life.

    Regardless, this isn’t always doable. Specially not if you work together at a small company, or in a small team of people. At larger businesses, this might be a possibility, and certainly something you should consider doing.

How to deal with haters on social media?

Image of a person typing hurtful comments online on his laptop.

  1. Try to engage in respectful and empathic conversations

    Always try to engage in respectful and empathic conversation with other people, whether it’s in real life, or on social media.

    Sometimes, this simple act of showing respect can already deescalate the situation and reduce/eliminate bullying behavior entirely. Nevertheless, true haters will probably not be deterred or swayed that easily by peaceful words.

    If that’s the case, then we need to take more drastic alternatives.

  2. Delete them

    Deleting them serves the same purpose as cutting them out of your life entirely. It’s your best bet to get rid of them permanently without having to deal with their pestering behavior.

    Deleting them doesn’t allow them to project their personal insecurities and weaknesses on you. Hatred will never enhance anyone’s life, and that’s why it’s something that’s best avoided.

    Don’t get goaded into an argument by trying to defend yourself because that’s what they actually want most of the time.

  3. Block them

    Illustration indicating that someone is blocked from using the internet.

    Deleting them isn’t always enough to stop their irritating actions since they can still contact you on most social media platforms.

    But blocking them will do the trick perfectly fine. It prevents them from contacting you again and trying to drag you down along with them.

    Most online social media platforms will not notify the blocked person, so they’re not even always conscious of the fact that you did so.

  4. Ignore them

    Ignoring them might make them give up since they’re not getting the desired result, which is getting you displeased.

    But again, they might take your silence the wrong way and think you’re afraid to say something back. That’s why it’s possible that they see you as an even easier prey, and hate on you more intensely than they did before.

  5. Hide hurtful comments

     

    A man using a phone in front of a window.

    Hiding hurtful comments means you can’t see their messages anymore. Thus, you can’t get riled up any longer since you can’t visually see these negative comments.

    Yet, that doesn’t mean that they can’t post any new messages. Someone who takes the time and puts in the effort to write a hateful comment will most likely be willing to do so again. This speaks volumes about them, and not in a good way.

    Still, that means that hiding hurtful comments is only a temporary band-aid most of the time, and more actions will typically be required to stop these negative remarks altogether.

  6. Tell them how their comments made you feel

    Responding honestly and telling the cynic how their comments made you feel might make them quit their negative actions if they have any sort of conscience.

    Most of the time, their negative comments are deliberate, which imparts they did so with the intent to hurt others. But sometimes, people aren’t aware that they’re hating on others.

    If that’s the case, then letting them know that their words can harm others can make them feel bad, and make them stop as a result.

  7. Establish boundaries

    Establish healthy boundaries by telling what they can’t do, and what you won’t accept from them. Tell them straight up that if they continue their antagonistic actions, there will be consequences such as blocking and deleting them.

    This can make them back off, but will most likely annoy them to the point of anger and annoyance, which means they will only post more unkind comments.

    If that’s the case, then blocking and deleting them is your only, and best course of action to make them stop once and for all.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

How to ignore haters?

Image of a person holding up a sign saying, “ignore the haters, you are awesome.”

  1. Don’t give them any attention

    You absolutely need to learn how to ignore haters if you want to accomplish anything worthwhile in life. Whatever you do, there will always be those who don’t like your guts, and want to see you fail.

    And there’s no better way to disregard skeptics than to not give them the time of day. Act like they’re air, and like they simply don’t exist.

    What critics most often want is to rile you up to get a reaction out of you. They particularly enjoy if you get defensive or angry, since they know then that they’ve gotten to you, and consequently, that they have a sense of power over you. Be it how you think, feel, or behave.

  2. Deflate them

    Deflating them isn’t exactly the same as ignoring, seeing as you’re actually responding to them. However, you do so in a manner that denies them the gratification of having control and power over your thoughts and behavior.

    Simply responding dismissively or poking holes in their miserable attempts to control you can be enough to deflate their confidence, and deny them the satisfaction of controlling you.

  3. Get rid of the supporters of the bully/don’t give them an audience

    Most bullies and haters do so out of low self-esteem and insecurity. In order to boost their own confidence, they typically want an audience to gaze at all that fake bravado they’re putting on.

    That’s especially true if that audience consists of people who support them, or who are negative themselves, seeing as they will often play along and victimize that one person to feel tough.

    That’s why cutting them off from their support network is such a powerful tool. Because once it’s man on man, they’re a lot less assured, and won’t mouth off in the same manner as they would if they have back up.

Is it OK to ignore the haters?

Illustration of a white heart with the word “okay?” written inside, and a blue heart saying “okay.” underneath it.
 
It’s perfectly OK to ignore the haters, since their only purpose is to criticize you, while bringing nothing to the table that benefits you.
 
But beware, certain people might mistake your silence for weakness and increase their negativity in order to get a reaction out of you.
 
If that’s the case, then you will inevitably need to react firmly in order to draw a line in the sand to establish, and guard, your personal boundaries.
 

How to get rid of haters?

  1. Cut them out of your life

    Obviously, cutting them out of your life is the single best thing you can do to get rid of haters altogether.

    Although this isn’t always possible, it’s the most permanent solution there is.

    This is the option that I would personally opt for if possible, since skeptics bring nothing but negativity, and we don’t need them around to drag us down along with them.

  2. Ignore them

    Funny illustration saying, “ignoring you is beginning to hurt.”Haters typically try to rile you up to get a reaction out of you. Ignoring them denies them the satisfaction of seeing you annoyed, which means they would’ve succeeded in what they set out to do in the first place.

    In some instances, brushing them off can be seen as a weakness. As if you’re too afraid of talking back, or responding to their blatant disrespect.

    If that’s the case, then you should absolutely draw a line in the sand, and tell them to respect your boundaries.

  3. Avoid them

    Avoiding haters serves the same purpose as ignoring them, and that is to deny them the gratification of watching you getting emotional.

    It’s an effective trick, but at times, it’s simply impossible to avoid them like at work, to give an example. Still, if cutting them out of your life isn’t a possibility, then avoiding them as much as possible so that they don’t interfere with your life too much is your best bet.

  4. Change your environment

    If you’re forced to work together with them at your work, when playing sports, or because they reside in your circle of friends, then changing your environment might be the only solution to get rid of them for good.

    Nevertheless, this isn’t something that should be taken lightly, seeing as it’s a big decision. It’s possible that you end up losing not only the skeptics, but also good friends if they’re in that social circle too.

    That’s why you should analyze what the best possible solution is for you personally, since there’s not a one size fits all solution.

How to respond to haters?

Illustration of two clip arts responding to one another.

  1. Respond respectfully.
  2. Be logical and employ common sense in addition to rational thinking.
  3. Ask questions to figure out why they’re hating, and where they’re coming from.
  4. Be truthful. Explain how their comments are making you feel.
  5. If all else fails, tell them to quit.
  6. Tell them your personal boundaries, and what line they can’t cross.
  7.  Tell them that their actions will have consequences if they keep up their negative quips
  8. Take action by blocking them, deleting them, or cutting them out of your life entirely.

Conclusion

Image of the word, “conclusions” written on a black backboard with white chalk.

Having critics means you stood up for something, which is a good thing. While we can’t avoid them, we can learn how to deal with haters in our life.

The most important things are to not take it personally, and to prevent them from having a negative impact on your life.

Getting emotional just shows they have control and power over your existence. And no matter how you slice it, people who don’t want the best for you simply aren’t worth your time and energy.