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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A Family of Haters

Do you remember the Seinfeld episode where Elaine is dating a guy who was a bad breaker upper? She was warned going in that he had a history of behaving in a very salty manner after breakups. But she figured he wouldn't be the same way with her. Sure enough though, when she broke up with him he smiled at first but then told her she had a big head and he didn't want to be with a big-headed person anyway.

That guy was a member of the Hater family, known as Sour Grapes Hater.

It's only fair that since the word "hater" was introduced to us by way of hip-hop culture many years ago, that we get a hip-hop definition of it. According to Hater Magazine, whose motto is "When disliking isn't enough," hating involves making critical observations of your surrounding world.

Critical observations are fine when they're constructive. Haters simply criticize, because they don't like something about you. And that dislike tends to be rooted in the fact that you have something they want, or are doing something they'd like to do but can't. Sometimes they dislike you just because you seem to be content with your life, and they don't like contentment.

So the Hater family is large. There is also Blocker Hater, whose mission it is in life to keep her girlfriends from connecting with interested guys. There's Downplay Hater, whose mission is to remind you that your accomplishments don't really mean that much in the grand scheme of things. Then there's Back-handed Compliment Hater, who offers every kind word with a caveat that suggests your good look/good work/good deed/accomplishment is OK, but it could've been better. Finally, there's the family patriarch, Hardcore Hater, who isn't satisfied unless he/she is the center of attention, you demonstrably admire him/her, and his/her good fortune is garnished with your misfortune.

We all know at least one member of the Hater family. A trademark of theirs is comparing your accomplishments to theirs - a maddening habit to have to put up with, but even worse if you're the friend they've chosen as their "Under Achiever Mirror." If you're that friend, then the Hater, when feeling low self-esteem, will look at you and hope you reflect their perceived superiority back onto them.

Let's talk Haters this week - not Haters only, but at least once a day. Right now, I have to call a friend to consult him on how to deal with a old grizzled member of the Hater family I encountered a couple of days ago.

I'll post this afternoon on "which" member that was and how to deal.

2 Comments:

  • I am so glad to have found this confirmation. After speaking about my years of encounters with haters at a men's rally just this weekend. and my take was that I with-held my contributions as far as sharing my skills with the hip-hop /Generation X group and now I am ready to retire leaving no children of my own behind by choice, taking all my technical experiences with me and certainly destroying all my artwork before I go. And you know what? One person told me I've done grave injustice to humanity for doing this. And I said "Good". Remember a planed is a place of deception, We are all a part of nature and nature always balances herself out. So to the haters, I hope you can spread yourselves thin enough to mentor all your mis-guided and fatherless kids, be the comforter to your aging and lonely whores and pull your own selves up by the boot straps. because this old fart sure don't give a dam'n about you after having had my cake and ate it for the past thirty-eight years.

    Signed,
    Lil Punk-ass Mother Huffa

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:54 AM  

  • u suck

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:56 PM  

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