The Inner Hater

This is one of the most astute, sharp and dope video bloggers out there, Jay Smooth, talking about his little hater:

Recently I expounded upon the evils of haters.  You know, the folks who criticize, demean, devalue and just plain hate on the contribution we are trying to make to the world.  I wrote about what might motivate them and, in general, about where we can send haters and their judgements.

Now I want to turn our attention to a far more evil, insidious, crafty and effective hater– our inner hater.

I had been planning to write about this for a couple of weeks.  Recently, I’ve been doing some profound work with clients on identifying their own inner haters.   Then just yesterday I had an experience that deepened the wisdom I’m gaining about these gremlins.

I was a guest at my friend Eve’s dance fitness class and was asked to lead a song.  Now mind you, Eve is one of the best around.  She is open, charismatic and warm– plus she is ON FIRE.  She makes the studio feel like a nightclub– booty shakin’, droppin’ it like it’s hot, whinin’ it up, and all that.  So here I go to lead the class with my song and I could immediately see a few faces drop.  Yes, I had encountered the inevitable haters. 

First I panicked.  Then I thought- Hey, I just wrote about this! I’m not gonna let this affect my groove.  I was singing to myself:  Fuck you haters.  You come up here and try it if you know better.  (And of course, I didn’t notice all the other folks who were having fun– just the one or two assholes who were making faces and talking shit in the middle of an exercise class.)  I made it through until the end of the song.  I scored a victory– no one knew I was afflicted by the haterade that morning.  No one except my inner hater…

My inner hater got activated by the one or two haters in that class.  She started with:  You should have chosen a different song.  That song was wrong.  Then it was:  You are too chubby.  People only want to see  exquisitely fit people leading a fitness class.  Finally it was:  You’re a fraud.  You are not as cool or wise as others think you are.  You should just give it up.  Don’t expose yourself.  You shouldn’t ever do a guest song or ever sub someone else’s class.  You suck.

Deep shit, huh?  I must admit, I have underestimated the power of my inner hater.  I somehow forget that I will likely be in a lifelong battle relationship with her.

I am cultivating courage in my life.  I work at choosing to act (or dance) in the face of fear or ridicule.  I am learning how to stop paying so much attention to the haters and their critiques.  And still, the inner hater is strong in me. 

My inner hater is cunning.  She comes across sometimes as wisdom, as cautiousness, as being realistic.  When really she is trying to keep me safe by avoiding risks and playing small.  Her number one motivation?  Fear.

My inner hater whispers.  Her voice is hard to identify.  I have to pay really close attention.

She’s operating from an outdated script.  One that is based on an old battle.  A battle to survive and stay safe– at all costs.  My inner hater believes she doesn’t deserve to be loved unless she conforms to certain edicts.  And the more I grow, the more I identify the old rules that no longer serve me, the sneakier my inner hater gets.  Even as I write this, she’s whispering: Nobody cares.  No one will read this.

So, I wish I had some quick-fix.  Some stellar advice about how to conquer the inner hater once and for all.  I do know that some practices including identifying the inner hater, naming it, describing it, telling it thanks, but no thanks or telling it to get the fuck outta here.  And while this process is not for the weak-willed, a relationship with our inner hater is not devoid of compassion.

Here are some ways I’m learning to work with my inner hater:

  • Become more aware of the voice of the inner hater.  What does she try to convince me about who I really am?  What message gets repeated?
  • Notice what I do when she arrives.   Do I feel more fear or more love in her presence?
  • Begin to question that voice.  Am I going to heed her advice?
  • Let an alter ego step in.  What does my wise self have to say about this?  Is it time to ask for the help of my self-care warrior?

12 thoughts on “The Inner Hater

  1. I think that because we *always* hear our inner monologues, we tend to think that must be the Truth. But not everything we say (out loud or in our heads) deserves to be recorded or even acknowledged. (The latest sexting situations prove this!) The internet has made it even more obvious that not *everything* people think/say/do should be recorded – that’s for sure.

    Whenever I tell people that I’m shy, they (almost) always respond with some form of “I never would have guessed that about you.” *I* know I am, but when I pretend I’m not, it makes for a much more pleasant day. It’s only people who know me really well – maybe two or three people – who nod slowly in the background with a quiet: Mmmmm Hmmmm.

    And besides, I know a few things. And I know that you are as wise and cool (in that order) as people think you are.

    1. thank you for illuminating the fact the we perceive the rants of our inner haters as “the truth”. and you also point to the fact that when we are not honest and introspective about our true feelings (living lies) folks can get into some pretty compromising (and embarrassing) situations.

      muah, for the affirmation. i feel like such a bozo sometimes but i must remember that i can be wise and cool at the same time– embracing all of it! xoxo

  2. If I didn’t know better, I would think you were residing part-time in my head.
    My inner hater has been gnawing at me for the past few days.
    After reading your words of wisdom, I am able to trace the origins of her emerging this time. Now I have to calm the bitch. She’s too annoying and has been taking up far too much time and space in my life.
    Thanks Elo…much LOVE!

    1. much love to you Linda! isn’t our inner hater so annoying? and i know you to be a brave and deeply committed woman who will put her in her place! xo

  3. Yes. This makes so much sense. I realize that much of my inner hateration has originated from hurtful words and comments said to me in childhood by family and friends. I’ve taken what they said and written a whole, running monologue fueled by current day haters. Thanks for featuring this information. Time to re-write the script and play a different song.

  4. yes Ann-Michelle, you nailed it! most of our inner hateration is internalized external haterism. this is an important first step in working with our inner hater. that voice can also be a defensive response to difficult circumstances– playing small so we can stay safe. looking forward to witnessing you sing your new tune! xoxo

  5. Pingback: You | eloiza jorge

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