I was having a conversation with a friend of mine and he said “you always see people on Facebook talking about their haters, but you never see anyone admitting to being a hater. Who are the haters?” I thought this was an interesting question. Do the people who hate and wish ill will to others realize that they are envious or negative? Who is a hater if no one would ever classify themselves as a hateful person. If no one classifies themselves as a hateful person how would anyone know they are a hater? How would I even know if I’m a hater?

Is a hater a person who doesn’t cheer you on?

My friend thinks that maybe a hater is a person who doesn’t cheer you on. I can’t say I totally agree with that. Sometimes friends do things that I can’t support. It’s not that I don’t love them, but I can’t stand behind their choices, beliefs, ideas, or dreams. I have a friend who wants to be a rapper. He is absolutely terrible. I do not support his rap career because I feel he has other talents that would be better used in other ways. I wouldn’t say that not being supportive is necessarily an indication of a hater. If I have a friend who is selling a product, and I don’t like the product, I don’t think that’s being a hater.

I then said to my friend “Perhaps a hater is someone who does not have good intentions or does not have your best interest at heart.”

My friend disagreed with this. He feels that most of us start with good intentions, but somehow something happens and the way we feel causes us to be overcome with envy even if the envy is momentary. You might want to cheer on your friend who got a new home, but when you just got evicted that can be a challenge. The way you feel about your situation is bringing about feelings of unhappiness for your friend

That made me think if this is true then we are all some haters.

No one wants to admit that they have these feelings. It is seen as a weakness to have hateful feelings, but I think we have all had moments in our lives where we have had momentary envy for another person. It doesn’t have to be big. It could be small. I have lupus and when I am sick I have chronic fatigue. There are times that I wish I had the energy to get up and do what I see other people do. I sometimes wonder why is a person who is perfectly well so lazy, and I who wish I could do so much have limitations.

What would be the difference then in being a hater or having an envious moment?

I believed that the difference would be stopping and correcting yourself. If I make smart comments to my friend about not making the most of their physical ability, that’s a hateful comment. I can sit with myself and work through these feelings.

A friend of mine told me once that a friend of hers got a raise at work. She was happy for her friend, but being that she wasn’t in the exact spot that she would have liked to had been in financially at the time, she felt a little jealousy coming on. She said she stopped herself, she had her moment to deal with her thoughts, and she moved on. She went out and celebrated with that friend because she was happy for her and she wasn’t going to let her envy overcome her, ruin her friendship, or ruin her outlook on her future.

What about those who want haters?

There is a saying that goes “let your haters be your motivators.” I don’t like this saying. It is not good to purposely try to put other people in a place of envy or jealousy. I can’t understand a person down and out because they don’t have something, and when they get it the first thing they do is try to rub it in the face of another sister as if they didn’t struggle without it. You don’t need to show people that you are successful to make yourself feel adequate, and you should not be a stumbling block for your sister.

People will hate you organically. They won’t need any help. Be motivated by your goals. Be motivated by your heart, your mind, and your ethics. I feel that too often we look to the left, right, media, our pastor, or mama, etc, etc to define what is success for us.

The happy person knows that they have reached their goal when they realized there is always a new goal to reach.

The moral of the story is you will probably have feelings of envy at some time in your life. You don’t have to make that smart comment, you don’t have to deflect, and you don’t have to cave into the negativity. There are times when momentary feelings make us say things that we ought not say to someone that we love. To not be a “hater,” we have to be the person that takes that moment, deals with that moment, and doesn’t put negative energy back into the atmosphere at that moment.