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The Only Way to Stop Haters From Ruining Your Life

The Only Way to Stop Haters From Ruining Your Life

“Haters’ gonna hate, hate, hate” song lyrics pop into my mind when I think about jealousy. This song takes on jealousy and haters in a light hearted way; to simply shake it off. However, it’s not that easy to shake off haters and jealousy. We all have a tendency to take negative comments to heart, even when we don’t know the person well. Everyone deals with haters and jealous people. Even Mother Theresa had criticism and hatred directed at her. It doesn’t matter who you are or what positive influence you are trying to make it the world; haters will always exist. Nobody is exempt from jealousy and hatred from others, we are all subject to its cruelty during life.

It can hurt even more to have a friend who is jealous, because the actions and emotional expressions of a jealous person are not kind or loving. When it comes from a friend or loved one, we take it more personally. However, you need to understand that their jealousy is caused by their own underlying issues and it is not your fault.

Most jealousy is rooted in feelings of inadequacy

The person sees something in you or another person that makes them feel that they aren’t as good. It could be real or imagined, but the feelings of inadequacy are projected through negative thoughts or actions. Jealousy emerges as a reaction or solution to those feelings of inadequacy. For example, a woman may be jealous of her friend who makes more money, has a nice car, and designer clothing. Rather than being happy for her friend’s success this woman feels that her income, car, and clothing are inadequate by comparison. She may feel like a failure in life because her success is not even on the same scale as her friend and they graduated at the same time with the same degree.

Instead of dealing with these underlying feelings of inadequacy, the jealousy turns into little digs and insults when they are together. The jealous friend makes comments such as “it must be nice to get a new car every two years” and “wow, that purse must have cost enough to feed a small village for a month”. Those comments that are coming out of jealousy may make the jealous friend feel better momentarily, but they don’t address the underlying feelings of inadequacy and thus the jealousy will continue until the problem is addressed.

Even if the jealous friend begins making more money, or gets a better car and clothing, she will find a new friend to be jealous toward or something else with the existing friend to be jealous about, because the inadequacy is the driving force. Jealousy is a powerful force.

However, there are ways for a person to handle a jealous person that can help disarm a jealous person or prevent oneself from being exposed to jealous comments and actions. There is not a one size fits all solution to dealing with jealousy and hatred. Each situation is unique and needs to be handled accordingly. Below are some tips on how to deal with jealous and hateful people.

Delete, delete, delete

The era of social media has made it increasingly easy for people to hide behind their computer screen to hurl insults and jabs at people they know or even do not know. Much of these insults are coming from the person’s jealousy which is based on their own feelings of inadequacy or dissatisfaction with their own lives. They take to social media and they have a protected platform by which they can insult others.

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There is power in the delete button. If someone is saying something negative about you on your personal page or forum then delete their comments. If their behavior persists, then unfriend or block the person. If you don’t have the ability to delete their comments, then block the person, so you don’t have to subject yourself to their comments. They will no longer be able to see you in the online forum, so they will have to turn their jealous comments and hatred toward someone else.

You don’t have to tolerate online bullies. Delete them, to prevent yourself to being further subject to someone else’s jealousy that is based on their own insecurities. This is especially helpful if the person is not related to you or is simply an acquaintance. If it is a person in your life that you feel you cannot block on social media then you need to talk to the person about the issue head on.

Take the Issue head on

There are times when you cannot delete or avoid the comments of a jealous individual. No matter how you try to disarm the person by changing the subject, it doesn’t stop them. In those situations, the best option is to talk with them about what is happening.

Do not approach them at a time when you are angry, such as when an altercation or bout of jealousy has just occurred. Talk to them when you can be completely calm, rational, and you know what you want to say. Have your comments ready before you approach the person, so you know your talking points and have thought about their possible reactions. Talk to them in a way that you would want to be talked to, using kindness and empathy.

For example, if your co-worker is always calling out your mistakes in front of your boss, then approaching your colleague by saying “why the heck are you throwing me under the bus in front of the boss all the time?” may not cause a nice reaction. Approaching the person in such an abrupt and rude way is likely to cause a defensive reaction that will be equally if not more unkind. Instead, chose a kinder approach and you are more likely to get a response that seeks to understand where you are coming from and they are also more likely to recognize how you are feeling. Such a statement you could use in this example would be “I feel bad when you tell the boss things that I do wrong and it is affecting our working relationship, which I want to be a positive relationship”.

Taking on the issue of jealousy head on is especially important when it comes to family and close relationships. You want to improve those relationships, so let the person know that you are coming to them for that reason.

Remind yourself that it’s them and not you

Take a step back and pause when you are getting treated unfairly because of someone’s jealousy. Remind yourself that it is not you that has the problem, it is them. Their jealousy and underlying issues are causing them to act this way. Try not to take it personally. It is easier said than done. However, if you do pause and take the time to analyze why they may be acting jealous, you can begin to understand what may be motivating their behaviors, which then makes it easier to digest the circumstance.

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For example, if you have a family member who is jealous of your family vacations and makes rude comments about how much money you spend on your vacations you can reflect on her life situation. Her husband is out of work and they are unable to take vacations for the time being. She has jealousy that is actually based in her own sadness that she can’t take vacations like you are right now. Recognizing that her feelings of jealousy are actually rooted in sadness and not any actual hatred toward you can make you empathize with her life situation. Your reaction can thus be more empathetic.

Perhaps you realize you shouldn’t talk about your vacations in front of her since it is a trigger point for her at this time. Life changes, and someday they may be taking vacations again soon. When she comes to tell you about her vacation then be the bigger person by listening, giving her positive responses while she talks, and restrain from telling about your latest vacation unless she asks you about it.

Being the bigger person is never easier, but with practice it does come more naturally. What you will discover over time is that people will naturally be more drawn to you when you are interested in talking about them and not yourself. Their jealousy will subside because the focus has been turned toward the positive that is happening in their life and not lack thereof because they are comparing themselves to you. 

Being the bigger person is especially important with family and close relationships. If you want your relationships to thrive, then show them that you love and care for them by talking about the positive in their life and avoiding anything about your life that may trigger their jealousy. The less you can talk about yourself, unless asked, the better, especially when it comes to someone who has jealousy issues with you.

Disarm them with positivity

Knowing that a person’s jealousy is rooted in their own insecurities, self doubt, and feelings of inadequacy can help you be more understanding and change your reaction when someone acts out in jealousy toward you. If a friend makes jealous comments toward you because of how perfect your home always looks then disarm them with a positive comment. For example, you could say “your garden is much prettier than mine, you certainly have a green thumb that I don’t have, its nice that we all have different strengths and abilities”.

Providing them with a compliment and also acknowledging that differences exist and that is normal and fine will help ease their own insecurities. You can’t compliment someone into happiness, but you can help disarm their negative comments that are rooted in jealousy if you provide them with positive feedback.

It is not always easy to compliment someone, especially if it is someone that your are not close to or you do not find them very likeable. However, it is empowering to them and to you when you practice positivity. It makes them feel better by helping them recognize the positive in themselves. It will also make you feel good when you help make someone’s day and life a little brighter.

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Words carry power. Being a positive influence in the world, especially when it comes to a person who feels like they are less than you, is a powerful force. Help others to be better and do better by focusing on the positive, especially when negative comments are coming your way. If you are able to practice this method of disarming a jealous person it will become easier and more consistent over time. You will find that they will in time return the favor with compliments toward you and others. Showing love and using positive words to encourage can be infectious, so spread it among many and your community and world will become a better place.

Ignore and avoid

There is a slim percentage of this world that simply does not change no matter what tactic you use to disarm or disengage their jealous behaviors. These haters will hate you because you are too perfect, then they will hate on you the next day because of your faults.

You can never do right by some people. These people, once you recognize who they are, should be limited or cut out of your life. You don’t need someone who is continually trying to tear you down in life. Their own insecurities may be so deeply rooted that only professional help will help change their ways. Their behavior, if it is impeding on your life, and your attempts to make them stop have not worked allow you to cut ties with the individual with more peace of mind.

There is no rule in life that says you have to be friends with every person you know or encounter. There are some mean people in this world who will always be dissatisfied by their own life and thus insult and hate on others constantly. Don’t get sucked into their drama and insults. Avoid them, change jobs if the situation is severe enough that it affecting your mental well being and attitude in life. Don’t allow this type of person to be disruptive to your life. You have control over your life and who you spend time with. Anyone who is continually hurling insults at you out of jealousy is not deserving of your time and energy. If it is a family member, you can limit your time and exposure to the person. If you feel like you need to be around them in order to spend time with the whole family, then avoid direct interactions or make contact as brief as possible. If do interact, remind yourself again that their comments are based on their own unhappiness in life and have nothing to do with you.

You cannot control the way they act, but you can control how you react to this person. Chose the higher ground, which is not reacting to their negativity. Although it will still not be pleasant, not giving them the satisfaction of seeing you upset can help you get over the situation more quickly and move on to more pleasant people and conversations. Don’t allow yourself to get cornered by a person you know is jealous of you, because the outcome will not be good. If you need to simply cut off the conversation and go somewhere else in order to avoid their comments, then do so, because you don’t need to allow yourself to be subject to anyone’s abuse.

Limit your exposure to such a person or cut them out entirely, because you are worthy of loving relationship. There are many people in this world. You don’t need to stick with friends or relationships that are salted with insults based out of jealousy. Life is too short and there are plenty of people in this world who do need a good friend or relationship. Eventually people who act this way out of jealousy will change if and when they realize nobody wants to be around their negativity.

Keep being you

Sometimes having haters is a sign that you are doing things right in life and are successful. People who are jealous of you know that you are doing well and they want that for themselves. Rather than investing their time in making their own lives, better they try to bring others down. Their insults, criticism, and hate are directed at those who they know are better than them, so they try to look for faults in those people so they can think they are better in one way or another. Their jealousy is rooted in their own failures and inadequacies in life.

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Don’t allow these people to bring you down. Keep being you and keep being successful. Don’t allow someone else’s own failures to bring you down or prevent you from pursing your dreams. Often having people that dislike you in life is a sign that you are doing a lot right which is exactly why people don’t like you. You will never have favor with everyone you encounter. People will dislike you, especially when you remind them of their own shortfalls or failings. That’s part of the deal in being successful. The more successful you become the more you will find people will become jealous and thus negative commentary will be coming your way.

Do all you can to avoid, disengage, disarm, ignore, or cut these haters out of your life. However, it is not completely unavoidable, so when it does happen don’t allow the haters to stop you for what you are doing in life. Keep being you and remind yourself that their comments are based on their own failures and dissatisfaction with life and have nothing to do with you personally.

    Focus on relationships that encourage

    You can not make all people happy. There will always be people who will be jealous or hateful to you. It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone has haters. Rather than focusing on changing these people to like you, focus your time and energy on those relationships that are encouraging.

    There are plenty of people in this world who are good, positive, and loving. They show love to others in their relationships because they treat others how they also want to be treated. Invest your time and energy with these type of people because they are of high value in your life.

    The haters should be kept at arms length or further if possible. Don’t allow the negativity from hateful, jealous people to have power over your life. Chose to be close to people who encourage and support you and your life endeavors. Be of encouragement to those you love too. You will see that the encouragement and love become increasingly symbiotic which can be empowering for everyone involved.

    You determine who you allow to influence your life. If you spend a great deal of time with someone who exhibits jealousy toward you, then you will not feel uplifted or encouraged. Seek out the relationships in your life that uplift you, encourage you, and help you become a positive influence in the world.

    Relationships are powerful, so make sure yours are rooted in positivity, encouragement, and love. Forget the haters and deal with them only when needed.

    More by this author

    Dr. Magdalena Battles

    A Doctor of Psychology with specialties include children, family relationships, domestic violence, and sexual assault

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    Last Updated on March 30, 2020

    What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

    What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

    Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

    You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

    This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

    What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

    According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

    Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

    There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

    How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

    When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

    Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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    1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

    One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

    The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

    Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

    2. Be Honest

    A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

    If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

    On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

    Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

    3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

    Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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    If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

    4. Succeed at Something

    When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

    Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

    5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

    Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

    Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

    If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

    If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

    Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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    6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

    Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

    You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

    On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

    You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

    7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

    Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

    Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

    Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

    When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

    Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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    In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

    Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

    It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

    Final Thoughts

    When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

    The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

    Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

    Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

    Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

    More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

    Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
    [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
    [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
    [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
    [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
    [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
    [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
    [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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