Anyone who is open about their health and fitness with friends and family deals with at least one thing; haters. Unfortunately the holiday season is one of the most common times to encounter one of these haters in the wild. Holiday parties, children’s school programs, work functions and even shopping gives them the opportunity to come out of the woodwork.
What is a hater you ask? These are the people who are always on your case about your commitment to health and fitness and the role they play in your life. You may not recognize them at first. Haters are usually disguised as people who are either giving you advice or their opinion. It may not be until later that their comment of, “I would never want to waste that much of my day on a workout. I have more important things to do” sneaks into your subconscious and makes you either hair raising mad or begin to doubt yourself.
I’d love to tell you that you will never encounter one of these opinionated people but I would be wrong. Instead I’m going to offer up a few tips on how to deal with them either in person or on social media, where they like to hide and hate from afar.
Kill Them With Kindness
At one point or another your mom probably expressed the effectiveness of this tactic to you. I generally like to deploy this particular approach when I encounter a hater in person. It is the best way to leave the situation without causing a scene or making anyone else around you feel uncomfortable. Take the comment I mentioned above for example; hearing that from someone in person would not be my idea of fun. Laughing it off while telling the person it is something you enjoy and that an hour long workout is only 4% of your day, is a great way to make a joke of it while letting the person know that you don’t think you are “wasting” your time.
Invite Them To Join You
Now this one is kind of gutsy and can totally go bad for you so fair warning. Most of the time haters are just hating because they are masking their own insecurity. They don’t really think you are “wasting your time” with your workouts but simply don’t think they could find the time to fit a workout in their busy schedule. One of the best ways to shoot down a hater is to invite them to join you. Throw out the invitation to them to come with you to the gym the next day, or explain to them how much you enjoy your home workout and tell them they are welcome any time to drop by and try it out with you. When you offer up this invitation, make sure to make it all about you and how much it changes your life and not that you think their holiday sweater is a little too tight.
Turning the other cheek is obviously the most passive option in this situation. Brushing off hurtful comments can be difficult but also an effective way to deter a hater from pressing the issue. During an in person encounter, try changing the subject or addressing another person within your group to avoid responding to the comment. Haters are trying to get a response from you so don’t give them one. Negative comments on social media can easily be deleted. Don’t allow said hater to influence anyone else by leaving their comment for others to see. Delete it and forget it. Remember, hating is always about the hater and not about you.
Stand Up For Yourself
I tend to reserve this option as a last resort or as a response to something particularly nasty. The key to responding to a hater is doing it without attacking them. Be mature about it but let them know that you don’t appreciate their comment and that you are proud of your hard work and dedication. Do your best to calmly let them know that you don’t care what they think about your habits. Remove yourself from the situation if you feel like you are about to explode or say something you’ll regret later. Because at the end of the day, haters are gonna hate.
Will these options work for every situation? Nope. But it is a good place to start when you are put in a position where your very first instinct is to get defensive. Think for a short time before you respond to someone who is being rude about the fact that their comment is coming from a place of insecurity and that they are likely jealous of your dedication and commitment to becoming the best you possible.
If you are struggling with your weight loss journey or are just looking for some accountability, I’d like to extend a personal invitation to join my free Facebook group that is officially launching today! Join us for support, tips and community!