How not to deal with haters


Like most kids, I was bullied. My voice was weird, I was chubby, I needed to give another kid money when they asked etc. What I realised in adulthood is that while I've developed some great confidence, I still have yet to shake off the remnants of my adolescent self-image.

When I blogged I was happy, until I started getting harassed by someone. I'm sure most bloggers have dealt with hate so they can relate. To me it felt like, I had stopped getting bullied after high school and as soon as I graduated from college, it started again. I understand an element of why I got flack. I had gained my confidence back because my peers at fashion school were amazing and accepting so I was a little more impulsive and quicker to make mistakes. I became like the girl I used to be when I answered questions in class before being told by other kids to shut up. I was visible and made no apologies for it. How I dealt with it is not how anyone reading this should deal with it. 

I began to edit myself to try and get the target off my back. A target however, is a twisted compliment. Any Survivor fan will tell you (shoutout to Abby) that threatening players get targets put on their backs. Sure, everyone is pissed at the girl who pours the rice on the fire but keeping her around won't ruin anyone's chances of winning at the end, keeping a good player around, will. Survivor analogies aside, instead of embracing the fact that I'm a polarizing individual, I tried to do everything in my power, short of leaving the internet completely, to remove that target. 

I drafted tweets to alter them later, I wrote posts that I'd never publish, I didn't show off awesome achievements, I became super inactive on Facebook and upped my privacy settings so that no one could get any ammo. I ended up with a stack of things to share and no one to share them with. This translated to my real life where I was a try-hard, hoping not to piss anyone off or make too much of a scene. Anyway, people-pleasing is a great way to actually please no one at all. Sure, someone might think you're nice or think you're stupid, but basically, you become a very bland, non-person. I'm angry with myself that I allowed 'haters' to get to me. Who people hate is another topic altogether. I don't think that anyone is disliked simply because they are the bee's knees and everyone is just jealous but I do think that it's a waste of someone's time to give the people they loathe, attention. Anyway, I gave in to my critics, giving them exactly what they wanted: for me to be extremely cautious, for me to second-guess myself and essentially, for me to become a non-entity. 

What a fail. See, if you're true to yourself, not everyone is going to be thrilled but if you're phoney, you're being a way shadier person. I don't know about you but I'd rather take someone at face value than wonder when a saccharine person is going to snap. I'm going to stop pandering to the knowledge that I might not be able to curry favour with someone. Trying to disappear from haters' radars isn't going to magically appease them. I'll crack jokes when I want to, I'll state my opinion even if it's dumb at the time and I'll be true to myself. Being ourselves is the best way to learn how to be better. If you have a bad work ethic, you'll soon fix it when people don't take your shit and if you impress someone with a skill, you'll soon devote attention to it.

If people choose to write me off then they just won't get to know me. I've been called every name in the book when I've been trying to please people so I feel pretty liberated knowing first hand, that you can't please everyone. At least next time someone calls me a bitch, I'll be honouring my character and hey, maybe I'll deserve it once in a while and get to learn from it. Life is a work in progress and I believe that as long as we're not hurting anyone, we should all do our best to find happiness. We won't find it however, in making ourselves invisible.     

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