I am happy to say that we have defined "hater." I think we can all agree that a hater is someone who begrudges you your success or happiness or contentment. A hater will listen to your announcement of a promotion at work and then downplay your boost as not that big a deal. A hater is the buddy who will see your interest in a woman and when you're out of earshot drop her "hints" about you that might kill her interest. A hater is the girlfriend who sees you trailing TP on the heel of your shoe but doesn't tell you as much before you approach that guy you really like. A hater listens to someone compliment you and then earnestly tells that person giving the compliment that he, the hater, deserves higher praise than you.
A co-worker of mine is a world-class hater. This person - gender intentionally omitted - spends an inordinate amount of time scoffing at other reporters' work and saying things like "I once wrote an article about that very same topic...only better." Who knows why he/she does it?
We spent nearly a week last June discussing on this blog who haters are. But what I don't think we got into enough was what motivates a hater. It's easy to say haters are jealous or insecure people. Those are givens. But I think it's deeper than that.
Anyway, what prompted this mental review were an email and phone call received recently from a friend who moved away. This friend left South Florida for the... how do you describe the weather/atmosphere of the North East?
The email was essentially several inches of "I'm sorry you're 'stuck' in Miami. Your life would be so much better if you were in New Jersey." Jersey? For real? The phone call was more of the same: "You must hate life and want to kill yourself. How can you stand living down there?"
I'm being facetious in how I paraphrase what my friend wrote/said, but seriously if you really feel bad for someone that they "can't" live in as nice a place as you, do you tell them how terrible you believe their circumstance is? Isn't that kind of mean?
Now, you have to believe me when I tell you that I wasn't offended. My feelings were not hurt. Maybe if I'd had a thin skin. But if anything I thought the message and the call were funny, 'cause I really believe this friend means well. He cares about me, the way you care about a buddy with whom you've tipped pints and shared laughs. But he's a classic hater. Sometimes subtle, but definitely classic.
This is the friend, who when I bought a new car commented that it was nice but he could never drive something like that, because, essentially, it wasn't up to his standards. A friend who described my house as OK for me, but not to his liking. A friend, who earnestly, sincerely told me that maybe one day I'll do better professionally and find myself on his level. The friend, who when I said I was getting my little "swimmers" checked out to make sure they were fit for procreation, told me with a straight face that his little swimmers were the strongest ever and that a doctor once told him his swimmers could do the back stroke to the promised land.
Why are some people haters? Seriously, I want to study them like lab rats.
Again, don't tell me simple jealousy or simple insecurity. What makes 'em that way?
Tell me your hater stories and why you believe your hater behaved so.