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How to Make Your Haters Like You

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How to Make Your Haters Like You

Having haters is a part of life. Hate comes in a variety of forms and can come from friends, family members, coworkers, classmates, associates and even random internet trolls.

Haters are the ugly side of success. If you have anything going for yourself, you’ve experienced hate. Whether you are intelligent, thin, curvy, in a relationship, single, have kids, or love your job, you are going to have haters. You hear the snide comments, see the random side-eyes, read the hateful comments under a social media post. You feel the tension when you try to discuss a recent win with a friend and then you find out that there are people dogging you behind your back.

Most people will tell you to just ignore your haters. They say that it’s just a part of life that you have to learn to deal with especially if you plan to do big things. And while that is accurate and sound advice, there is a way to turn some of your haters into friends.

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The magic of asking for a favor

The quickest and easiest way to turn a hater into a friend is to ask them for a favor. It’s a well researched psychology technique called the Ben Franklin Effect[1]. When you ask people who dislike you to help you out, it shifts their perception of the relationship and makes them view you as a friend instead of a foe.

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      Favors are for friends. You don’t usually do a favor for an enemy or someone you deeply dislike. It all has to do with cognitive dissonance. According to cognitive dissonance theory,[2] there exists a tendency for people to establish consistency in their beliefs, values and opinions. When attitudes and behaviors become inconsistent, dissonance occurs.

        The brain needs to eliminate the dissonance. The brain behaves as an outside observer. It continually watches and evaluates your actions and then contrives explanations for why you do what you do. Dissonance occurs most often in situations where an individual must choose between two incompatible beliefs or actions. So, in this case the reasonable belief is that favors are for friends. When you ask a hater for a favor, you create dissonance and the hater has to change their perception of you in order to perform the ask and eliminate the inconsistency.

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        Asking for a favor is also a subtle form of flattery. Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People suggests that requesting a favor allows the hater to feel that they have something we don’t. It levels the playing field in their mind. It also makes the hater feel admired and respected. They then not only want to help you but will also begin to see you differently. The hate dissipates.

          Turn haters into friends

          Asking a hater for a favor requires humility and a bit of thought. The favor should be something small enough that it is easily performed but not so trivial that it seems more of an insult than a favor. This means that you should consider the strengths, weaknesses, intellect and ability level of the person you are asking.

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          If it’s someone you don’t know, keep the ask simple. Borrowing some change at the vending machine or some other small item, asking them for assistance with an app on your smartphone or asking them to recommend a restaurant or other establishment are all great favors to ask for.

          When you make your request, remember to ensure it sounds like you really need the favor and value the person’s help. Keep your tone humble and your body language open. And be sure you express your appreciation and gratitude for their help.

          This technique is not just for haters. It works well with people you may not know well such as a colleague, mild acquaintance and even your secret crush. The simple action–making a small and reasonable request–can be the catalyst that transform a hater into a friend.

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          Experiencing hate as you work to become your best self is inevitable. Turning every hater into a friend isn’t a practical goal but you can befriend some. Simply humbling yourself, and asking for assistance in the form of a favor, is the first step in changing them from foe to friend.

          Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

          Reference

          [1] The Science Dog: The Ben Franklin Effect
          [2] Instructional Design: Cognitive Dissonance (Leon Festinger)

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          Anna Chui

          Anna is the Chief Editor and Content Strategist of Lifehack. She's also a communication expert who shares tips on motivation and relationships.

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          Last Updated on November 18, 2021

          10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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          10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

          We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

          A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

          So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

          • honest
          • reliable
          • competent
          • kind and compassionate
          • capable of taking the blame
          • able to persevere
          • modest and humble
          • pacific and can control anger.

          The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

          1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

          All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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          But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

          2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

          How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

          I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

          “The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

          Abigail Van Buren

          3. How does this person take the blame?

          Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

          4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

          You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

          5. Read their emails.

          Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

          • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
          • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
          • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
          • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
          • Too many question marks can show anger
          • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

          6. Watch out for the show offs.

          Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

          7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

          A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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          Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

          8. Their empathy score is high.

          Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

          People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

          9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

          We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

          “One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

          Stendhal

           10. Avoid toxic people.

          These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

          • Envy or jealousy
          • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
          • Complaining about their own lack of success
          • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
          • Obsession with themselves and their problems

          Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

          Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

          Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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