Haters gonna hate, right?
I dare you: scroll down your Facebook or Twitter feed for five minutes and tell me that you have not seen a single person calling another a hater, racist, bigot, leftist, sexist, cis white male (since when should that be an insult rather than a statement of fact…?), or anything. If you succeed, please trade me your friends list. I’m glad to pass on the joy of lovely folk throwing these words around at everyone everywhere at any time.
I swear, I am so sick of it. I have my reasons, though, and I am ready to present them, if you want to stick around. I do. And now that this whole haters drama is not only something teenagers do on the Internet but the way in which grown up, respectable people with a decent chunk of responsibility for the future of the world use to communicate with each other… I think it may be the right time for more voices like mine to pop up.
‘Haters’ are not a new thing
Sometimes when I tune in to the TV news while visiting someone who actually still owns a TV, I feel like they think they have discovered a new type of person, bred from the filth of the 21st century and completely unlike its ancestors. A hater, if we agree to stick to the mainstream definition, is a completely new phenomenon, a token of its époque.
I have a very controversial opinion on that topic. You see, I firmly believe that so called haters were always around, it’s just that we used a few other words to describe them. Asshole is one that immediately pops into my mind. Insensitive douche may be another, although sometimes it is all less about the insensitivity and more about the stubborn refusal to listen to the other side.
… but people who cry wolf are more common than ever
Because 9 out of 10 times people who are called haters are not even doing anything bad.
Yeah, I pulled that statistic out of thin air, but in the land of hate-calling, that is not an unusual practice anyway. It just feels like it, based on the hundreds and hundreds of Internet and real life dramas I have seen.
We are raised to believe that all we are and do is the only right thing and that therefore everyone who dares to disagree is either just jealous or… a hater. I have talked about this before, you know, this conviction that we should always unconditionally approve of what and who we are. And this is directly connected to the idea of a hater.
Sure, in our lives there will be people who abuse us. I wish that was not pretty much a given, but it is. We should not treat it as the norm, however, and do things to oppose it. But name-calling may not be the best way to go about it.
But living in a bubble where everyone who criticizes us is a hater is probably the worst thing we can do to ourselves. People will disagree with us. People will not like us. People will think what we say or do is wrong or stupid or at the very least boring. If they didn’t, we’d be in for a very unexciting ride.
And this whole idea of people existing just so that they can abuse you is very… self-centred. Nobody cares. I said it before and I will say it again. No-bo-dy ca-res. We all relive our pain over and over again, but more often than not, the people who hurt us forget about it within the blink of an eye.
Everything is hate and hate is everything
Nothing kills a discussion like calling out a hater, real or not. There is no response to it. No argument can be presented after that, because regardless of how well prepared and logical it is, anything a hater says is invalid.
You know, because he/she hates.
And so many things are hate nowadays. So much wolf crying. And you know what happens to the boy that cried wolf, right? The true wolf arrived and no one believed him.
Sometimes I do meet a true ‘hater’. And guess what their response usually is. Everyone is a hater now.
And it’s true. I am a hater. You are a hater. My mum is probably a hater, if someone ever recorded her in front of the TV. Every one of us can be accused of hate if only once in our live we dared to express a negative opinion. That’s where this whole haters agenda has got us to. A caricature, a parody, a joke.
So much hypocrisy over here!
And what often escapes us is the simple paradox that comes from an even simpler question: why do we call people haters? Well, because they offend us just for the sake of hurting our feelings. Because they are abusive. Because they say things that should not be said. Because they hold views we find inappropriate and decide to express them, which some of us consider acting on them too.
We call people haters because they try to hurt us or shame us.
But what does calling someone a hater achieve in of itself? Is it not exactly that? Is it not name-calling, labelling, shaming, hurting another human being? If it wasn’t, we would not choose to defend ourselves this way. It would be ineffective.
Eye for an eye, you say, but at least in my book that is not the right way forward. We cannot win against bullies by bullying them back. That’s not fair. Someone doing something wrong does not justify another person doing the same thing – it is still wrong.
And right now calling someone a hater (or a racist, or a insertwordhere-phobe) is by far the single most ostracizing thing one can do. No one listens to haters. They are not TRUE members of a society. They just hate. Instead of trying to mend the scars that we as a society have inflicted upon ourselves for generations and generations, whatever they are, we just build more walls and divides ourselves into us and them, over and over again.
Decent people suffer because of this madness, too
Call me cruel, but there are two things that annoy me about this whole hate business more than someone’s broken heart though. The first one of them would be how often I encounter essays or blog posts or videos of interviews or even people I talk to in real life starting their point by saying: I don’t mean it offensively.
Sure, I am aware of how often people use the I am not racist, only to hide behind it something extremely racist. I get it. But there are genuinely nice people around who are scared to express their opinions because they may accidentally be offending someone.
When did this become the norm? What happened to the good old innocent until proven guilty? Our default should not be: this person is trying to hurt me. We should not assume everyone out there is trying to get us. We should believe in each other.
And here my young idealism strikes again, I know.
Hey, I do it sometimes apologise in advance or say that I didn’t mean anything bad. I am guilty of letting the haters crowd dictate how I think or talk or dream. I assume everyone is going to read too much into what I write. I suspect them, they suspect me, when does this madness end?
You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means
Here comes my second problem.
Back at uni I used to take Russian classes; partly because I wanted some easy credits (and it was weighted as much as Quantum Physics, come on, everyone would do that), and partly because I did really enjoy it. The vast majority of people taking the class were either Bulgarian (and you thought I was cheating) or otherwise Slavic, but there was the occasional rare sight of an English person showing up.
There are a great many things one can learn about a nation through its language. Sooner rather than later we have arrived at likes and dislikes and the pesky little word hate has popped up. Surprisingly for all the non-Brits around, it took our teacher a few weeks to finally get through to her English students and explain to them that no, in Russian one cannot just use the word hate willy-nilly.
In Russian the word hate still has a meaning.
The same as in Polish – one would rather say I don’t like it or I don’t fancy it or I can’t stand it or something like that rather than I hate it. Hate is a powerful word and a powerful emotion too, but in the English language it has become more of an old piece of cloth that one wipes the floors with. Which is quite scary, because what is one meant to say if one does indeed HATE something?
Hate is a feeling I don’t usually talk about because for me it means way more a strong dislike. There is one person in the whole world I could say I hate –it took me years to get to the stage when I can actually admit it and I am not sure I will ever forgive myself for it. Because hate comes with guilt too, with feeling like the worst person on Earth, denying someone their thousandth chance, although everyone deserves one. Irrational, I know, but that is what hate is.
You know what isn’t hate? Telling someone their hair colour sucks. Telling someone they are wrong. Logging into your Twitter and writing All girls are stoopid LOL.
But what do I know, I am a hater myself.
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