Haters going to hate on me anyway

Just about everybody has them. Nobody wants them, but if you don’t have any at all, odds are you’re doing something wrong. In fact, some might say it’s better to have more than less of these.

What am I talking about? Haters, of course.

What is a hater? For those who are not familiar with the term, a hater is somebody who loves to hate. They are somebody that you may love to hate simply because they spend all of their time trying to take others down a notch or two by any means necessary. Combine those two concepts and you’ll instantly form a mental Rolodex of all those names and faces you’ve encountered in your life whom you’ll never forget simply because they irritated you with their penchant for spitefulness.

I remember once in the seventh grade when the junior high football team in McLean, Texas, was playing flag football for some off-season exercise. The pads were off, which meant no tackling, which also meant my football skills increased exponentially. I was no longer afraid to go up against the star defensive back on receiving routes because, after all, if I did happen to catch the ball, I couldn’t be tackled.

I was bringing down the ball left and right. I even made a couple of touchdowns, but all I could seem to hear was my teammate and classmate, Kevin Smith dishing out zingers like “I don’t remember any of these miracle plays coming out of you in the regular season,” and “Oh man! Great catch! Too bad you weren’t there for us in Fort Elliot.” That kid was driving me nuts that day and he managed to eclipse my joy with his snarky comments.

Don’t get me wrong, though. Kevin was one of my best friends in junior high, and is still someone I consider a dear friend. But Kevin could hate with the best of them, and when he and I were hating on someone or something simultaneously, like we sometimes did, we did an excellent job at it.

And so the haters I encounter from time to time in my adult life don’t phase me so much. I understand the gratification that comes from belittling somebody else as I’ve had plenty of hating experience myself. It’s just so much easier to scrutinize someone else’s shortcomings than to try and improve my own.

So to all you haters out there in the world, I beseech you — keep sipping that “Haterade,” if you will. It keeps the rest of us on our toes. Our haters make us greater.