Monday, August 9, 2010

Hating on the haters.

My husband once accused me of being a hater which totally threw me.  Especially as he was interrupting a rant on how much I hate haters.  He was of course referring to my constant need to analyze and critique just about everything and everyone.  It's just how my brain is wired.  But I still never thought of myself as a hater.  To me a hater is someone that cannot stand to see someone else succeed, shine, or enjoy life.  And who feels the need to tear them down, often over quite a trivial matter & usually from a distance.  And without admitting why they are doing it, often not even to themselves.

When I use the word hater, I am not referring to the original term, "player-hater".  (If you hate the game, of course you are going to hate anyone who plays it?!)  But that term began to extend to anyone who was just jealous of someone else's success, and the fruits it bore them.  Of course, haters will protest that they are not jealous.  That the object of their scorn is asking for it because of their stupidity, flashiness, pretentiousness, ostentatiousness, arrogance, etc.  Of course, it is understandable to dislike people who we deem as having those traits.  Except of course, disliking someone is not the same as hating on them.  When I dislike someone, I just avoid/ignore them then forget about them.  More often than not, people hate on people with whom they do not come into direct contact often, if ever.  Hating on someone is usually not the same as hating them.  And you don't hate on people who aren't more successful than you in some way, right?

NZers, I believe, have a special affinity towards hating on people.  Possibly because we were colonized by the English (nobody hates like the English), we have always had it in for those Tall Poppies.  We can handle people succeeding as long as they are and continue to be identifiable as down-to-earth and humble and not from Auckland.  You don't even need to be more successful to be hated on in this country, you just have to be different.  And if you are, and don't appear to be miserable about it, then people treat you like you are just being difficult.  We even hate on people for trying to do the right thing now.  We are so much harder on those who are trying to make the world a better place then we are on those who are clearly out only for themselves & even appear to have it in for us. 

And what's so great about being humble anyway?  One of my biggest pet peeves is false modesty.  I'm not that fond of arrogance either but I don't automatically equate it with confidence.  To be successful, you have to believe in yourself completely and ignore all the people who have a million reasons why you will fail.  The truly talented often just don't have the time to be worrying about whether they are coming off as likable and just a regular person.  I am all for taking other people's feelings into consideration but not to the extent of censoring how you really feel and what you really want to do.  I say, we all just live our lives and let other people live theirs.

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