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How to Deal with “Haters”

What is a “Hater?”

“Hater” is a label used to refer to people who use negative and critical comments and behavior to bring another person down by making them look or feel bad. These hurtful and negative comments can be delivered in person, online, or in texts and apps. Often, the comments and behavior are repeated over time. Haters are often anonymous (especially online) but they can also be acquaintances, peers, or people who were once considered friends. Hateful, critical behavior is another form of bullying or cyberbullying. Like bullying, hater behavior is something that a person does – it is not who they are, and it can be changed.

Often, haters pick on people whom they perceive as being different from themselves. Being the focus of negative and critical comments can be upsetting and trigger feelings of anger, hurt, and confusion, and cause the person being criticized to question their self-worth and behavior. If the negative comments are posted online, it can also make someone afraid to use their social media accounts or feel ashamed of what is happening there.

Many children and teens don’t want to be a part of negative behavior like name calling, criticizing, bullying, and cyberbullying. Dealing with haters isn’t that different from dealing with bullying and cyberbullying. Teens who feel overwhelmed by all the drama on social media will often unfriend or unfollow people online to disengage.

How to Deal with Haters

Ignore it. Walk away. Don’t react or respond to negative comments. If it continues, there are other things you can do. If someone threatens you, report it to a parent, teacher, or other trusted adult.

Block online haters. If someone is making negative or hateful comments on your posts or account, or is cyberbullying, block them. If they’re threatening you, tell your parents, report it to the platform, and take screenshots.

Be kind and respectful, even to haters. It shows that you’re in control of your emotions and that you aren’t letting negativity bring you down.

Stick with supporters. Having a friend nearby if you think you might encounter a hater not only makes it less likely that an incident might happen, but also means you’ll have positive reinforcements just in case.

Remind yourself that comments from a hater are a reflection of them and aren’t really about you. People who feel good about themselves don’t need to put others down.

Understand criticism can be a sign of pain. People sometimes lash out because they have other life struggles. Negative comments may have nothing to do with you.

Acknowledge your feelings. Talk to a trusted adult or friend and get some encouragement and support.

Keep being you. Keep moving forward, pursuing your interests, and being who you are.

Content last reviewed on October 07, 2019