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  • Mirai Fox A Week in Tokyo 54

Dealing with Haters Part 1

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Mon 2010/05/31 13:20 JST
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Its a lovely evening so thought we would go walkies around the Lalaport area at Toyosu - a nice place for shopping, food and an evening stroll.
While we're out n about, I thought we'd have the usual chit chat. Tonight I'd like to talk about 'haters'. I've encountered quite a few in my time and you may have too.

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Haters are folks who hate your very existence for no apparent reason. There you are just minding your own business when a hater appears and starts to do or say things that get on your nut. I used to get depressed by these folks for a while until I realized that they all were a piece of the jigsaw puzzle that was needed to get me to where I am now. We actually need haters.

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I'm going to talk about two particular haters and how they indirectly helped me.
One was a half Korean/Japanese classmate at university who was native-ish Japanese but didn't learn Korean as a child.
During class I spoke to him as a friend but learned from others how he would suddenly bring up the subject of "Hey you know that Danny? He's such an idiot. Why does he need to learn Korean?" I was surprised to learn how much he hated me!

One day in class, while I was struggling reading some Korean text, he suddenly stood up in class and shouted (in Japanese) "Look! Why don't you just study more! You are keeping the whole class behind!"

The experience left me embarrassed and shaking with anger. It's an experience that I don't purposely choose to remember but can recall it like it was yesterday. I read somewhere that emotional experiences can be easily recalled because when one is emotional, some sort of hormone is released which makes it easier to remember experiences and fixes that time and space in memory - this is the reason why most of your emotional memories (sorrow, happiness, anger) can be replayed clearly. Me not an expert on the subject or terminology though.

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Was depressed about the experience but the sadness and anger wasn't doing me any good. I decided to use that energy instead to focus on improving my Korean just as the guy suggested. Spent every ounce of my time learning new grammar patterns and absorbing myself in the language just like I did when learning Japanese. A few weeks after the experience, my effort was beginning to pay off.

The teacher would basically be going over grammar patterns from the textbook that we done homework from but I made sure that I studied a few chapters ahead and also made the use of other text books.
I would be asked to complete a sentence using some new grammar pattern but I would always use new stuff which I studied on my own.

"Very good! Danny! Chal Haesumnida! Everybody, repeat after Danny..." I felt like a kid back in primary school being praised by the teacher for being able to spell "d-o-l-p-h-i-n."
That guys face would stiffen up and turn bright red as he clenched his pen which dug deep into his notebook and I made sure that he didn't have the pleasure of me not looking at him. I guess those who laugh last really do laugh the longest.

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The next hater was a lovely piece of work. We were both hired at the same time and he was chosen to be my boss. Everything seemed to be going well until we started to work with each other. He didn't have any previous management experience and took the "I'm-your-boss-so-shut-up-and-listen-to-what-I-say" model. I had just started out in my career and was fine with that and had no problem with taking orders.

I've always been the one to take initiative and tend to do stuff which I think will benefit the company even though its not necessarily in my job description.
My boss however was the type who just wanted to get work done and go home. He really had no passion for what he was doing. I initially heard him arguing with the General Manager that 7,000,000 yen wasn't enough to support himself, his wife and two kids. I'm guessing that he felt his pay didn't cover managing a subordinate who wanted to do stuff outside his job description.

One day, after reporting back to him on a project that the General Manager was pleased with, he slammed his fists on my desk and shouted "Stop Fu*cking wasting my fu*cking time!" - it was another one of those "in-front-of-everybody-(including-the-cute-office-ladies)" thing. I remember blood rushing to my head and feeling dizzy after. Never been so humiliated in my life. The office was silent and the air tense with the other employees not knowing how to react. I was in tears.

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Feeling sorry for myself wasn't doing any good so I started to look for solutions. By this time, I had also felt that I was outgrowing my role and It was a small company. I soon realized that I needed to explore opportunities outside.

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I started to meet with recruiters who introduced me to many companies. Meeting with these folks helped me grow quickly. My network started to grow over night and I also learned many interviewee techniques. For job positions which I've turned down, the prospective employer would always want to keep in touch. I still keep in touch with recruiters/head hunters and some of them still ask me if I'm available or know somebody who is ^^;

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I also started to learn what my market value was given my skills and experience. Knowing your market value is essential in making a successful career for yourself.

In the end, I had placed myself in a different company but before I left my current company, they fired my boss - not only for treating me like poo on the shoe but also for several other counts of professional misconduct.

I was young at the time and while I knew I was outgrowing my role, I didn't take initiative to look for external opportunities until indirectly pushed by my lovely boss. I thank him for being a piece of my life jigsaw puzzle.

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These days however, my haters are mostly of the online variety.
My theories as to why folks start to hate you are:-

- Human instinct is to protect him/herself. You see this reaction if somebody falls over - their arms naturally extend to protect them from the fall. If a human feels threatened by your existence, they may try to harm you directly or indirectly.

- Humans with low self esteem may find that attacking you makes them feel better about themselves as it 'places them above you.' I notice this *a lot* on the Japanese Internet. Many folks in Japanese society are given the "I'm-your-boss-so-shut-up-and-listen-to-what-I-say" treatment - needless to say that they feel like poo on the shoe when they get home. They then proceed to take it out on people/companies on the Internet with foul language. This form of gang bashing is known as "Matsuri" which literally means "Festival" - a group of folks having a good time bashing others.

- Many humans hate the unknown. And because something is unknown, the only means a hater has to protect themselves is hatred which they try to use to expel you.

I also personally experienced this form of hatred at school too. I lived many of my years bullied by a particular person - the guy who I mentioned before who wanted to smash my head in with a metal bat. I was a quiet weak child who was brought up with foster parents who bullied me at home too - didn't exactly leave me feeling confident at school. Haters took advantage of this fact to make them feel better about themselves.

- Some humans may 'blame' you for how well you are doing at school or in society and see you as the cause of their current predicaments. You do well because of your hard work while others want your abilities (or what you have) by doing nothing. Jealousy is a trait that can even be seen in animals but if they could learn how to feel good about themselves, they need not be jealous of anything or anybody.

- Some humans hate you for not being how they want you to be. In their mind they have already decided how certain sets of humans should behave and when you are being just you and not behaving as they expect, they will hate you because you are not meeting their expectations. They could possibly see this as a threat to them because they don't know how to handle people who are not in their presets.

- Another reason why humans may choose you as a target of hatred is because they use you as a benchmark to 'do better' than you. This is annoying and a compliment at the same time ^^; I see this going on between companies. A particular company that I worked at hated another company and used them as a benchmark.

- Some humans may hate you due to some sort of misunderstanding. I always employ and encourage open communication especially for sensitive topics. If the hater is somebody you care about, take the initiative to try to find out the cause of you being hated as it could be something over something very silly indeed.

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My observations of haters are:-
- Haters linger - they want to know what you are doing/saying and this probably goes back to my theory of them perceiving you as a threat. If you are online, they will visit your site regularly and if your hater is a real life offline hater then they will try to find out what you are up to - could be through mutual friends.

- I have come across many haters who start to believe that things you say or do is directed at them. My theory is that they either want you to acknowledge the hatred that they have for you or gain sympathy or recognition from peers - they so this by picking out something you say or do and believe it is directed at them somehow. This probably makes them feel special which could stem from them blaming you for their current position or situation in society.

- Haters will let as many people as possible know how much they hate you. My theory is that they try to recruit the sympathy of fellows which makes them feel wanted and recognized.

- Online haters never use their real name - they usually hide behind an online identity. Being 'invisible' means that a hater can poke n tease at you without you knowing who they are and this may give them extreme heightened levels of pleasure which may make up for their distress at their current predicament in society.

- People who are initially friends can become your best haters. I have experienced this behavior on and offline. I had a few previous colleagues who started off being friendly and turning into monsters! But at the same time, I knew initial haters who turned out to be incredibly good buddies too.

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So how about me? Who do I hate? Well I used to hate Ichiro (yes Ichiro ^^;) after I saw a clip on TV of him being horrible to fans who traveled to Seattle from Japan to see him. I feel like a complete pratt thinking that I used to hate somebody who is so far away from me and who I don't even know. I don't hate anybody these days because hating people does not really do anything for me. Hating somebody uses up time and some form of life energy which I would rather be using to focus on my own life.

So what should you do about that person at school or work that hates you for no apparent reason? Well there is a reason they hate you but its probably because you are just being yourself and you should never have to change yourself to please them. I tried to change myself to please my bullies by asking them to punch me - they punched but I was never part of their clan and glad I didn't end up like them. Many of my 'friends' ended up turning to the dark side of the force and bullied me to be part of the clan. They never studied and many of them started to do badly in their studies.

If you are on the end of being hated, have a look at some of the reasons above and hopefully there will be some comments of advice too which will help you deal with your situation. You should continue to focus on the things that you need to do that contributes to *your* life. Its still day one for all of us and we are always learning and growing in this game of life. Haters may initially get on your nut but should realize that they are there for a reason and that fate has made them into a piece of your jigsaw puzzle that slowly gets completed as you go through life.

Society has all walks of people and we would never be able to successfully get through life without experiencing haters and learning how to deal with them. Remember that we need haters to help us grow and that they are in your life for a reason. You must work out what that reason is and learn how to deal with them. By understanding that its most probably because they are jealous, scared or need attention will help you define how to deal with them.

What you must not do is spend large amounts of time worrying or thinking about the people who hate you. This is your life and not theirs. You should not waste your precious life on people who hate you and focus on your beautiful life that you have ahead of you.

If you are happy, passionate about what you do and enjoying the variety of life then you will realize how insignificant haters are compared to the wonderful life you have.

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Soooo, the takeaways for this evening is...
- We all need haters. They are invaluable to learning how to deal with similar folk in the future.

- Haters may initially get on your nut but the more haters you experience, the more easily you will be able to deal with them.

- Learn to deal with haters but don't waste your precious life on them - focus on *your* life.

- Learn to deal with haters but never get depressed over them. Do not let them get the better over you.

- Haters can sometimes be a message from fate prompting you to do something.

- Variety is the spice of life. Sometimes the spice has a sharp bitter taste, sometimes its sweet and fragrant. Life would be boring without challenge or variety. Haters are only part of the challenges that we need to experience in life.

Nearly forgot to add that you can find some of these pics in the Wallpaper Pool.

Tokyo · CEO Mirai Inc
http://www.dannychoo.com/profile

Director for Culture Japan. Creator of Mirai Suenaga. Member of the Japanese governments METI CIIC.
経済産業省クリエイティブ産業国際展開懇談会委員。
テレビ番組カルチャージャパンのディレクターと司会。
twitter.com/dannychoo
facebook.com/dannychoodotcom

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