Be a Considerate Hater

Haters gonna hate, and that’s okay. It’s important to have opinions–it’s how we express our identity, exercise our autonomy, and react to music that makes us want to vom.

But there are different ways to hate on something you don’t like, and how you choose to express your feelings matters. Because the things we like to hate on (music, movies, books, magazines, TV shows, etc.) often matter to people in deep and emotional ways. Hating on something that someone else loves (see image) is a thing that maybe you might want to consider a bit more carefully, especially if that somebody is your friend.

I mean, I suppose you might want to insult your friend in that friendly, joke-punch, “Haha everything you like is terrible! Yay friends!” sortof way. But most of the time, we care about our friends and we don’t want to be intentionally mean to them. But how, then, do we hate on things our friends might like without hurting their feelings? Good news everyone! It’s very simple. Be a considerate hater.

Instead of saying “That book is terrible,” say “I hated that book.”

Instead of saying “Maroon 5 sucks,” say “I really can’t stand Maroon 5.”

Instead of saying “‘2 Broke Girls’ is the worst show of all time,” say “Watching ‘2 Broke Girls’ makes me want to saw my face off with a rusty spork.”

See what I did there?

Instead of making a blanket “This is awful” statement, tell us your reaction to the awfulitude in the first person. Because when you say that something is awful, that’s stating your opinion as if it was an ultimate and singular truth. That invalidates your friends’ opinions because however they feel about it, no, it’s awful. It is, because you said so. Expressing your opinion as fact is a little bit douchey, and more likely to shut down discussion rather than open one up.

Thing is, people have different tastes and preferences. People enjoy different types of things for different reasons, whether it’s “Teen Mom” or Haruki Murakami, “Avatar” or Brad Paisley. And they’re allowed to, dammit. Not everyone has to agree with you. But it’s important to remember that just because you hate country music or opera or sushi or Nickleback (yes, even Nickleback) doesn’t mean it’s unequivocally bad. There are people out there who listen to Nickleback and it just sounds fucking great to them. The same way someone else might listen to Regina Spektor and it just sounds fucking great. Or the way that someone might listen to Lil’ Wayne and think “What is this goddawful noise?” and someone else might listen to opera and go “Yuck!” Diversity!

I’m not saying you shouldn’t hate. Hatin’ is fine, but be a considerate hater. When you hate on something, don’t state your opinion as fact. Hate in a way that expresses your opinion as opinion, thereby validating the differing opinions of others. If you’re not sure how to do this, just start with the basic format: “I hate ___ because _____.”

Boom. You’ve just created a dialogue.

One thought on “Be a Considerate Hater

  1. CTUAlmeida7 is a YouTuber who states his opinions as facts, and he gives no evidence for any of his arguments in his rants.

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