The other day I was listening to The Breakfast Club and Angela Yee made the comment “If you ain’t got haters, you ain’t poppin’.” At first, I resonated with the statement with shouts of praise and Amen! (and let’s not forget the snaps). We’ve all heard this saying time and again in different forms. But then it hit me—Is this really true? Must one have people gunning for them to be deemed successful?
I recently took a course that touched on the topics of Takers, Matchers, and Givers. To keep things short, takers use others to get what they need, usually, without returning the favor; matchers give and take based on how much others give to them and take from them; and givers tend to give without seeking reciprocity. Now I’m not just bringing this up to list off my learnings in the world of academia. Givers, though they may seem like the type to “finish last” because they seek the benefit of others, are the group on top of the success ladder (Note: Givers also end up at the bottom of the success ladder if they are not strategic about the ways in which they give). Why? Many reasons factor into why being “the nice guy/gal” works out in your favor, but one of them is that givers tend to have support from all sides because people recognize their selfless nature, even individuals who originally pegged them as potential threats or did not see the value in their selfless acts. Is that to say that one does not have to have enemies to be successful?
Well, yes and no. Yes, because it is possible to gain support even from your so-called adversaries and transform them into allies. Others may not agree with you all the time, but they see the good nature in who you are and are willing to back you when the right time comes. No, because human nature can inevitably lead to the creation of enemies in your life. Some would even argue that if some people did not have “haters” they would not have had the fire they needed to rise above their own expectations. Enemies can be your encouragement.
All this has made me realize the importance of defining the naysayers in your life and using your situation with them (wisely) to elevate yourself. There is value in being a giver. There is value in seeking compromise first. There is value in being selfless. But even after those things, you can’t please everyone. When it comes to those you cannot please, ask yourself 3 questions:
- Why is it I cannot please them?
- How much do their opinions matter to and define me?
- If we can’t see eye to eye, how can I use this situation to elevate myself positively?
So it is (kinda) true: If you ain’t got haters, you ain’t poppin’. But recognize that “haters” should not be the first option. And for those for whom slander persists, use their backlash to prosper, profit and progress.