If you’re a hater and you know it —clap your hands👏🏾👏🏾!!!
Yep. That’s right! I’m the kind of woman that looks at another woman and thinks: “ugh…what makes her so special?”
Though it rarely sounds like that, my haterism is usually disguised as more rational excuses than questions per se; something more along the lines of: “ yeah, well she comes from a two-parent household” or “statistically, lighter tone women are given more opportunities than us darker women” or “of course she wrote a book, she graduated from…[inserts any college]!”
From a distance, these statements could appear as a harmless competitive habit, but nah, these acts are born from our own insecurities and are pure ha-ter-ism at its finest. The kind of ha-ter-ism that you know really says more about YOU than the person you’re attempting to hate.
And sadly the hate usually comes at the expense of our closest relationships.
For me there are two types of ha-ter-sim: the ‘okay’ and ‘not okay’
‘Okay’ haterism is lighthearted and playful, overall well-meaning. Might have some slight truth to it but it’s not used to keep people small, belittle them, or compete.
‘Not okay’ haterism is competitive, judgmental, and rooted in our own lack of self-love, self-worth, and self-awareness.
For example, your friend just booked a flight to Puerto Rico and invited you to come along, but you can’t get the time off work. You voice your harmless envy, “Ugh, I’m hating! I wish I could go. Have fun without me.”
…this is the ‘okay’ kind of hater.
If you start devising a plan to blow her plane out of the sky because if you can’t go, then no one can.
…that’s the ‘not okay’ kind of hater.
Alright, I know... a bit extreme.
But if that same friend says “Guess what!!! My book is coming out at the end of the year!” And you search through your mental Rolodex of excuses and assumptions, begging your brain for a decent thought that makes you feel better about her success or your perceived lack thereof.
…that’s the ‘not okay’ kind of hater.
I tend to lean in the ‘not okay’ region of haterism more often than not, so I started a book club.
I believe it’s never too late to learn and grow; the reality is I was a shitty hating ass friend. But this didn’t have to be my forever.
Some friends may defend me and say I’m just being hard on myself, and my EGO would love to side with them. But here’s the thing, when the excuses start to annoy you and an attempt to justify the behavior falls flat…that’s the sign that change is needed.
I knew it was time:
Time to be the kind of friend, I so often expected from the very friends I hated on.
Time to revisit the childhood moment that shaped this part of me and redefine it for the Kellye I am and desire to be today.
Time to come face to face with the parts of me that habitually judge and compare myself to other women.
Time to go in and connect with mySELF and let her know she is WORTHy.
I’ve discovered that the root of my haterism was in my assumptions of what other women’s success/happiness meant about me.
Knowing that I cringed at the thought of really wishing another woman well, I consciously created a book club that encourages connections, uplifting of one another, and promoting each other's ideas. A place where I’d have to be an active participant in the well-being of OTHER women. Five other women to be exact.
This was scary, especially at first. I’d been a hater for so long that not hating felt like taking long cold showers. Uncomfortable as fuck! Unless you’re into this kind of thing, then in that case, still uncomfortable as fuck.
This book club gave me the practice I needed to not be a petty hater for the rest of my life. I could work every week with concerted effort to monitor my judgements and comparisons around these women, my friends.
The book club helped me develop healthy habits in community with other women, women that look like me. This was a place where I can review my thoughts around a great idea, good piece of news, or interesting insight shared without comparison. I learned how to listen, to praise, and check my ego, and later reflect on why it felt so hard every time.
All of this focused effort has been very rewarding.
Prior to starting the book club I would mask my haterism, issue a half-hearted compliment and pat myself on the back for being able to do even that.
Today, I say with humility and an open heart that I am a hater that started a book club to heal myself, and as a result, less of a hater.
I believe this is what is meant when people say ‘we create our own reality.’
Yeah, I could have decided to remain a hater and keep rowing upstream in most of my female relationships but I figured I’d be less petty and see what actually being a true friend felt like…and I gotta admit, everyone should start a book club!