The Daily Stoic for September 17th, “Dealing With Haters”.
“What if someone despises me? Let them see to it. But I will see to it that I won’t be found doing or saying anything contemptible. What if someone hates me? Let them see to that. But I will see to it that I’m kind and good-natured to all, and prepared to show even the hater where they went wrong. Not in a critical way, or to show off my patience, but genuinely and usefully.”
—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 11.13
Hate. As soon as you put your opinions out there, you are subject to hate. Especially if you write on a blog -like this one-, you will attract followers and haters. That’s only natural. If you are on social media -especially on Twitter- then there’s a good chance somebody will be in disagreement with you or your opinions.
The fact that the network gives you certain anonymity encourages this kind of reactions to the opinions of others.
Dealing With Haters
So how do you deal with hate?
I would say that’s one of the most important things I have learned from stoicism. Not really caring about what others think of me or my opinions.
Today’s stoic meditation affirms:
“the Stoic does two things when encountering hatred or ill opinion in others. They ask: Is this opinion inside my control? If there is a chance for influence or change, they take it. But if there isn’t, they accept this person as they are (and never hate a hater)”
I would go even further. There’s a big difference between criticism and hate. There’s a difference between a justified complaint and hate. Hate is just hate. It’s never rational, or even logical. It’s just a visceral reaction. It shows more about the person that is vomiting their hate upon you than about you or the thing they are complaining about.
So, when you receive a hate comment on a blog, on Twitter, at work, or from a random stranger on the street… just take a deep breath and consider that this hate has stolen a lot of time of the life of someone. Do you want it to steal time from yours too? No. You don’t really have time for that. Use that time to enjoy life.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Dealing With Haters”, discusses hate. In my view, hate should not even be given our attention for a single second. Every minute we spend with it, it’s a minute we’re not enjoying life.