You Might Be a Closet Hater – How to Stay Positive

As soon as you create or do something worth caring about, at least 10% of the audience won’t like it and 1% will FUCKING HATE IT.  This cannot be avoided.

This is based on my 100% unscientific research on Reddit voting and comments.  Totally anecdotal.  But I challenge you to find me a post that has higher than 90% upvote ratio.  A rare beast indeed.

When you think about it, it’s totally reasonable for those 10% to disagree with any given point.  They may think it’s not helpful or just want to move it out of the feed.  No problem there.

But read the comments and you see something more aggressive.  1% of people won’t just disagree.  They’ll loathe it like the Antichrist and massacre the author.

Check it out

Reddit hate

That’s from one article that happens to be popular on Reddit at the time I’m writing this.

Don’t stop creating because of hate

Unfortunately when taking feedback, we don’t focus on the 89% of positive.  We don’t even focus on the 10% of disagreement.  We immediately focus on the 1% of hate.  It creeps inside.  It makes us doubt ourselves.  I can personally testify to that.

Don’t.  Do not let the hate brigade fence in your life.  There is NOTHING you can do to please everyone.  No matter what, at least 10% won’t like what you do and 1% will try to destroy it  — you have to tune them out..  This law appears to be built into the fabric of the universe.  It doesn’t matter how “good” your art is.  People WILL hate.

So forget them.  Don’t even waste a drop of emotional energy on spite.  Just focus on the bigger and sometimes quieter group of people that appreciate what you do (like the 900+ upvotes for said article).  And then focus on your art.   Or your self-improvement.  Or whatever creative endeavor is drawing their ire.

Get this through your head: as soon as you do anything worthwhile, there will be backlash.  Take it as a good sign.  A milestone.  You’ve taken a stand and broken the cycle of blending in.  You’re doing something worth caring about.

Are you a closet hater?

So don’t let the hate into your life.  It sounds simple enough.  But, guess what?

Chances are YOU’RE a hater in some aspect too.

Don’t believe me?  I present to you exhibit A:

bieberNo one in America takes more hate than Bieber (okay, okay, maybe Obama).

His first hit single racked up 3,300,000+ downvotes on YouTube.  If every man woman and child in Uruguay downvoted him, that wouldn’t have done it.

Bieber downvote

When was the last time 3.3 million people showed up on your Facebook Wall just to tell you how much you suck?

Who the hell are these 3 million people who went out of their way to show up on Bieber’s YouTube channel to express their distaste?  Don’t they have families to love, hobbies to pursue, a laundry list of things they need to do to better themselves?  For chrissakes, the kid was 15 when that song came out!  So why the vitriol?

Short answer: Because hate makes us feel powerful.

Bieber is the perfect target.  Check it out:

  1. You’ll never have to look him in the eye and confront him. (internet forums, anyone?)
  2. When you hate anything popular you get to indulge in self-righteous indignation.  It’s like crack.
  3. Bieber represents the low brow, the corporate, and the consumerist.  By hating him you automatically assume a position of superiority and sophistication.
  4. It absolves you of the responsibility of achieving mass success.  You don’t have to ascribe his success to countless hours of hard work, but rather to some nameless, faceless corporate machine that has chosen him for stardom while leaving the real talent–i.e. you–behind.

No one forces anyone to listen to Bieber.  And if they did, it’s not Chinese Water Torture.  It’s Bubblegum Pop: annoyingly dull at worst.  But people, maybe you, rev themselves up to DESPISE it.  They get their rocks off on the superiority.  It distracts them from their own shortcomings.

Fuck that.  Don’t be a hater — it’s just poison.  It’s energy spent dragging down others that could be spent improving yourself.  Define yourself by what you stand for, not what you despise.


I know I feel this way.  I wish this were true.  But I still catch myself hating and I try hella hard not to.  I’d bet good money you’re still a hater, too.

Maybe you don’t hate on Bieber.  But I bet there is THAT ONE SONG that you just get righteously indignant about.  Or maybe you shit on Tim Tebow?  Kim Kardashian?  NASCAR?  RPatz and Twilight?  Country music?  Republicans?  Democrats?

Consumer society and how it is destroying the world?  Do you have road rage?  What about internet forum rage?  Politics rage?  Sports rage?  Mainstream music rage?

Maybe you think the hate makes you strong.  But ask yourself: “How is my hate, my negativity, my rage contributing?  Is it making the world a better place?  Or am I just making other humans who are all just as confused as me feel crappy for having an opinion different than mine?”

Save your hate for the Hitler’s and Stalin’s of the world.  How about, for everyone else though, we just place them on a range from LOVE to “whatever, don’t really care.”

You don’t have to like or support Bieber.  If you don’t like his music, that’s fine.  Just don’t venture into Hatetown.  The structural Haterade will survive without you. 

The worst hate you might be committing

Bieber has 1,000 people that will shit on him more than you could.  I’m sure he’s developed ways to tune them out.

But for fucks sake, if your friend or loved one sticks their neck out on the line to try something new, to sing at karaoke, to talk to a girl, to quit their job and become and artist – PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE show some love.  Because they fucking CARE about your opinion.  Your judgment can literally change the course of their life.

I’ve said before that people resist change.  Well guess what?  You’re people.  You have the same wiring as everyone else who unthinkingly pushes back on your dream, on your tepid attempts to try something new for the sake of growth.  Recognize your own anti-change behaviors and swear you won’t unleash them on anyone you love.

Support your friends and loved ones as they change their lives.  Drop the hate.  

How to be more positive

I recommend the 21 Day no Complaint Challenge.  The basic rules are:

  1. Wear a rubber bracelet or rubber band on one wrist
  2. Any time you complain without immediately following up with a solution, snap the rubber band into your wrist and move it to the other wrist
  3. Any time you criticize, move the band to the other wrist
  4. Try to make it 21 days without moving the band
  5. Try to go forever without moving the band

That’s all.  Make yourself aware of your bad behavior and set up a small punishment.  It’s incredible what an impact such a small thing can have on your life.


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5 Responses to “You Might Be a Closet Hater – How to Stay Positive”

  • really enjoyed this article! (1 small tip: add a line that indicated when this post was written or if i am too stupid to find it, please let me know where there is)

  • “But I challenge you to find me a post that has higher than 90% upvote ratio. A rare beast indeed.”

    Reddit has a system that automatically puts fake downvotes on posts for whatever reason. Any post with enough upvotes WILL have a ton of downvotes too.

    Just sayin’.

  • The hate stuff used to get under my skin and I would dwell on it for days, now it gets a few seconds of my attention and then I move on. Can’t do anything positive for someone whose high point of the day is spewing hatred. You just got to remember that hatred is a slow poison that destroys the vessel it’s stored in.

    • Dead on man. I used to want EVERYONE to like me. Realizing that a portion of people are gonna hate as long as you do something cool is major for freeing yourself up to really do something amazing.

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