Today's post is a follow-up to last week's post about the best reasons to hate a person. As I mentioned in that post, I am not without haters in this world. The power of the Internet, however, is that the haters don't hate in secret. They gather together and express their hate online, and you might even find out about it and be forced by your own morbid curiosity to sit and read the thoughts of a bunch of angry critics who hate you and feel the need to spell out all the things that are wrong with you.
This can be hard to read. It can even be upsetting.
But, after emerging out the other side of the Tunnel of Hate, I have gained some insight that I would like to share. Some thoughts to help you keep heart if ever you should be confronted by this kind of bitter criticism.
Here are the best ways to handle your haters:
Ignore the haters
This is the mature course of action.
I am not mature.
Win over the haters
You can try, but you won't succeed. Humans despise admitting they're wrong, and they loathe changing their minds. If they've decided you're hateable, there probably isn't anything you can do to change that. So this course of action is pretty much a waste of time.
This leaves us with the only proper course of action:
Plan to elaborately catfish your haters, but then give up almost immediately because it turns out that your haters are the most ponderously dull people ON THE PLANET
For the tech challenged, we begin with a definition: in the online world, to "catfish" means to take advantage of the anonymity of the Internet by pretending to be someone other than yourself.
By pretending to be not-me, I would be able to join in the ranks of my haters, pull some shenanigans, and then write a hilarious blog post about the whole adventure once it was through.
My plan was fairly simple:
1 - Join the forum of haters under a false name and ingratiate myself with them
2 - Stir the pot
3 - ???????
4 - Win over the haters
5 - Write blog post filled with clever wordplay about how the haters still hate me but they also like me as long as they don't know I'm me and the fact that they like me (despite hating me) really takes the sting out of how much they hate me
I had the blog post already half-written in my mind. It was going to be head-spinning and clever and we'd all have a good laugh about it.
But things didn't work out that way.
Here is the story of what went down when I attempted to catfish my haters:
Phase 1: Ingratiate myself
Phase 1 was a rip-roaring success. I joined the haters' forum and introduced myself as a fellow hater. I made my avatar a Paint picture of a winged dong, which naturally gained me a lot of fast friends.
Who wouldn't want to be friends with the creator of this masterpiece??!
I then proceeded to pop into various threads and let loose some wicked one-liners. The one-liners earned responses such as "this just made me LOL" and "LMAO I just spit out my coffee!"
I was in.
Phase 2: Stir the Pot
I continued my plan by creating a thread that I knew would lead the haters to bitch about Me. (from now on, the original Me will be capitalized, while the catfish me will not be. Try not to get lost.)
Sure enough, the haters were unable to resist the urge to start talking smack about Me. This was important, as I needed to figure out exactly why they hated Me so much, lest other-me accidentally do the same things and re-earn their hatred.
There were three main reasons why they thought I was the biggest pile of dung to ever live: 1 -- because I crave attention and positive reinforcement, which leads me to do things like write a blog and attempt to entertain people. I knew this reason was total bullshit, as not only do I not write a blog, but I actually hate positive reinforcement, and entertaining people makes me so angry I rage-vomit harder than a T-Rex with norovirus.
Go ahead and type "LOL" in the comment box on this post. See what happens.
2 -- Because of this post, which I wrote from the hospital after Audrey was born. Apparently, taking a few minutes to type out a couple paragraphs while I waited for more Candy Crush lives was unacceptable
3 -- Because morons do not understand hyperbole. I have complained before about how frustrating it is when people don't understand that hyperbole can be used to comedic effect, and yet that is the biggest reason why the haters hate me.
Imagine for a moment that you are much, much dumber than you actually are. Now imagine that this dumb version of you were to read a post similar to this one, in which I asked if it was appropriate to consider divorcing Jesse because he touches me with his hobbit feet. Being a moron, you do not get that this post is exaggerated for the sake of humor; instead, you take it 100% literally and find yourself disgusted. "I can't believe what a nightmare bitch the chick who wrote this is," dumb-you says. "She actually wants to divorce her husband because he touches her with his feet. She deserves to be alone!"
This is the main reason the haters hate me. I wrote a funny post about a strange gift I had received, and they took it literally and frothed with misplaced rage. Because ... morons.
Once I realized how idiotic the haters' reasons for hating me were, I started to feel both better and worse. Better, because the reasons suck and are not anything I feel badly about or feel that I need to change. But worse too, because, well ... I don't know, I guess I didn't expect the haters to be so ... stupid. I was hoping for some high-level snark on a par with STFU Parents or Regretsy (may you rest in peace). My entire plan was predicated on the assumption that my haters would be like this:
But instead, they turned out to be a bitter, shrew-like version of this:
My plan began to crash down around me. How was I going to make magic happen with only these fools as raw material?? 'Twould be impossible! I sat for long minutes debating what to do; how best to alter the plan.
But the fools made the decision for me, by proving themselves to not only be dumb, but boring as well. The thread that I had created to stir the pot suddenly turned into everyone listing what kind of car they drive. I mean this quite literally -- they all leapt down to the comment box to let the rest of the forum know what type of vehicle they own.
This conversation went on for three pages. I tried shaming them back on topic. I tried mocking them back on topic. No dice -- these epic bores were determined to share this information no matter how little anyone cared about it.
I noticed another thread where the group liked to gather and make fun of people's typos. Because what could be more fun than laughing at someone for misspelling "bachelorette"?
I can think of a few things that are more fun than that, actually.
In still another thread, one of the Head Haters got serious, kicking off a really interesting conversation by dropping this truth bomb on everyone:
Holy shit, good thing the Internet is anonymous, or you could end up on some government list for plastering opinions like that out in public for everyone to see.
Also, if you couldn't tell from my sarcasm, the conversation that this comment started was at least as boring as the list of car makes and models. Because everyone just agreed. Which, f***ing of course they did -- there was nothing to disagree with.
And don't even get me started on the thread that was supposed to be snarking on a really hideous dress but that instead turned into a bunch of idiots arguing about whether lakes or oceans are scarier to swim in.
Guess how long this conversation went on? Four pages now, and it's still going.
I realized I had to get the hell out of there. The minutes of my life were ticking away, being sacrificed at the altar of these dullards' idea of an interesting conversation.
Suddenly, I understood exactly why they hate me so much. They hate me because I would never engage in this kind of conversation. I would never spend hours of my life debating such pointless nonsense. I do my best to be entertaining at all times, and they don't have the first clue how to go about doing that. My sense of humor baffles them because they don't have one. I will never win these people over, because I can't stop myself from trying to be funny, and that will keep pissing them off whether it comes from Me or me.
So, what did I learn about handling haters?
If someone wants to hate you for being you, try not to worry about it. Because it could be a lot worse. You could be like them.