5 Ways To Handle The Haters: What To Do When People Don’t Like You

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It was a blog post about Chick-Fila sauce that made me think about the haters.

A simple, well-written metaphor, that compared personal taste for which dipping sauce to use for your nuggets (Ketchup, Polynesian, or the author's favorite-Chick-Fila sauce) and why people choose differently. The author used the metaphor to amplify the point, that no matter how hard we try, we can't always be the sauce of choice for everyone.

Some people hate Ketchup. Some people hate Polynesian. Some people hate Chick-Fila sauce. Some people hate all three.

And some people just hate. The haters can't help themselves.

But we still try, don't we?  We want everyone, everywhere, to like us every-bit, as every other person on the planet. We bend over backwards to be nicer. We extend extra effort to appease the haters. We go out of our way, to try to figure out the right recipe we need to be, so that we can be included in their inner circle.

Instead of putting this energy into those that love us, support us, and sing our praises every day, we willingly gift it to those who will never choose Ketchup over Chick-Fila sauce.
So how do we handle the haters?

So how do we handle the haters? Here are 5 tips to help you bear and accept the knowledge that some people just don’t like you.

1. Acknowledge the Hurt. We are human. We have feelings. We are biologically programed to live in communities because our survival depended on it. Identify the feelings you are feeling (rejection, failure, insecurity) and name it. Then recognize that the “feeling” is not a fact. It is just a feeling. It will pass.
2. Examine the Truth.  If someone came up to you and stated “I don't like your blue hair” (and you don't have blue hair) would your feelings be hurt? Probably not. You don't have blue hair. You might just assume their judgement is a little “off” (or that they are a little crazy) and move on. Try that mode of thinking when someone says or acts like they don't like you.  They just don't like your non-existent blue hair.
3. Are They a Known Hater? Mean girls or mean boys, for whatever their personal reason, exist. It's their modus-operandi. As a result of their upbringing, (background, personality, life-experiences), they are just haters. You are not going to change them and you are certainly not going to win them over. Identify and move on.
4. Ask Yourself if This Matters. Your co-worker not liking you and your spouse not liking you are two totally different problems. If this person is on the periphery of your life, and not in your inner family circle, does it really matter if they like you? You can still work together and not be best friends. Maintain civility and respect in your collaborations and do the work. Your emotional intelligence will grow as you learn to move beyond feelings . Most of all,  you will find it doesn't really matter.
5. Keep The Distance. Only engage with a hater as much as you absolutely need to. If you don't need to, don't. Maintaining a healthy boundary will help you keep perspective and limit their toxicity. Sit on the other side of the room. Engage with people who fill your bucket and share your values. As a result, their opinion will matter less.

At the end of the day, some will choose the Ketchup, some will choose the Polynesian, and some will choose you- the Chick-Fila Sauce. Your perfect mix of savory and sweet will be the best thing they have ever tasted and, as a result, they will want more. Your job is to keep it coming.

Be you. Be original. Be that awesome-sauce.

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This article first appeared on www.LeadershipElevateHer.com

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Angela Hosking
Eternal-optimist Nursing Healthcare Administrator with a passion for leadership, and change management. Known for igniting and maintaining a motivated work culture, building strong, collaborative, influential work-teams and producing quality outcomes . Influential Leadership Speaker. Blog Author of LeadershipElevateHer.com which is dedicated to growing and empowering women leaders in corporate culture by teaching effective coaching skills to maximize the teams they are building. Independent Contributor for Huntington Post and LeadX.org.