As you go down your journey of self-improvement, you’ll find that very few people are willing to grow with you. It’s a sad fact of life, but most people don’t want to improve.
Most people are content just clocking into their mediocre 9-5 job, going home to their mediocre wife who they settled for, and watching the game while sipping a few beers.
When you embark on the journey of becoming a better man, you’ll often be faced with tough decisions. One such decision is how to deal with friends who refuse to grow with you, and even worse: friends who become your haters.
This is one of the most common problems that I see men struggling with—from friends who think it’s “dumb” to get in shape to friends who think it’s “weird” to go clubbing and meet girls, you’ll encounter all kinds of people in your life who don’t want to grow with you.
I’m using the term “hater” loosely here, so I figure it’s time we shed some light on just what this means. Broadly speaking, a hater is someone who is jealous and/or resentful of who you’ve become, who you’re striving to be, or what you’ve achieved.
That being said, there’s varying degrees of haters. Some people in your life will actively try to stop you from achieving your goals. They’ll shit talk you behind your back, bully you to your face, talk down on your self-improvement activities, and do everything in their power to belittle you.
Others (and this is more common) will simply scoff at your attempts to improve. They won’t really do anything to proactively stop you, but they won’t really condone what you’re doing either. This is probably the most common, and lowest degree of being a “hater.”
Typically friends who refused to grow with you end up in this category, but sometimes they can stab you in the back and become obsessed with stopping you from succeeding. I’ve experienced both to a degree, and it’s important that you learn how to deal with each type of hater.
All haters are motivated by two interrelated emotional states: jealousy and resentment. Jealousy is when they see you doing something they want to do, or having something they want to have, and get all butthurt about it. They want your success for themselves.
This jealousy eventually evolves into resentment, which is a more extreme form of jealousy with a quality of anger. Rather than simply being jealous of your success, they actually despise you for it. They resent you for being more successful for them, and sometimes feel that you’ve “left them behind.”
Haters who are motivated by jealousy are the most common—especially when you start learning game. Years ago, I went to a party with some friends. A mutual female friend had come to the party as well, and it was pretty obvious that she wanted to fuck me instead of anyone else there.
My “friend,” let’s call him Jerry, was very distraught. He had feelings for the girl, but she was repulsed by his neediness. To be honest, I felt bad for the guy—we’d spent a lot of time hanging out, and I knew what it felt like when a girl rejected you. So even though I could’ve fucked this girl, I declined her offer.
Rather than being thankful and seeing my sacrifice however, Jerry grew resentful. He started shit talking me behind my back, spreading rumors, and actively trying to push me out of that social circle. This is an example of a hater motivated by resentment.
He was so angry at me, and so terrified of me having more “game” than him, that he literally bent over backwards to socially ostracize me from his friend group. I’m not going to lie, it hurt—I didn’t even do anything wrong, and in fact I’d actually tried to meet Jerry half way. Yet, such is life.
Most of the haters that you’ll experience will be men, simply because most of you are men. If you’re a woman reading this website (yes, they exist) then simply take this for what it is. Men get extremely jealous when you start learning game and dating beautiful women, ESPECIALLY if you go out with them and get more attention.
That example I gave in the previous section? That was male envy. Rather than seeing my sacrifice, and being thankful that I’d felt empathy for him, Jerry grew resentful and envied what I had and what he didn’t (game). Never underestimate what a beta male will do to sabotage you.
You will experience a lot of haters as you continue to grow and improve yourself, but for some reason men get particularly resentful and jealous over women. I’ve had guys lie to my face about girls—guys who I thought were my friends. I’ve had guys smear my reputation behind my back, to proactively cock block me.
You wouldn’t believe the type of rumors that I hear sometimes. I’ll hear through the grapevine that some guy said I was a “player” in an attempt to make women disinterested in me, but ironically enough this actually has the opposite effect. If he studied game he would know that.
From an evolutionary biology perspective, there’s typically two strategies that people (both men and women) have when it comes to attracting a mate. The first strategy is to simply let your attractiveness speak for itself. You don’t get jealous, resentful, or angry—you’re just content in who you are.
In other words, this is called being an alpha male. It’s what my entire “7 Strategies” eBook is based off of—employing tactics, techniques, and principles into your life that will make you so attractive that you can simply be yourself and draw women into your life.
The second, and more commonly used evolutionary strategy, is to denigrate the competition. This is why girls will call other girls “sluts,” and why they’ll gossip behind their backs. It’s why guys will spread rumors about other guys who are “players,” and “aren’t good” for women. This is denigration of the competition.
The first strategy is almost always exhibited by the higher value individuals. A truly beautiful woman doesn’t need to slut shame other girls. A truly confident and successful man does not need to shit talk other guys behind their backs. True alpha males do not denigrate other men, but rather try to lift them up.
Denigration of competition, the second strategy, is typically exhibited by beta males. They know that they’re not good enough to beat the other men fair and square, so they resort to sneaky underhanded tactics like reputation smearing—this is the true mark of a loser.
Unfortunately, denigration is an evolutionary reproduction strategy for a reason—it works, well, sometimes at least. I’ve had plenty of guys use this strategy on me, and do you know what’s kind of ridiculous? Some girls actually fall for it—and I’m not going to lie, it does piss me off sometimes.
Yet something gives me inner peace, do you know what this is? It’s the fact that high quality people KNOW the difference between these two strategies, if only on an unconscious level. Attractive women can tell when you’re shit talking another guy because you’re insecure. Guys can tell when women do the same.
High quality people know that only losers shit talk others for the sake of mending their broken ego and soothing their insecurities. Where a dumb, or “low quality” girl might fall for the second strategy, a high quality woman will actually be turned OFF by it.
Think about it like this: when a girl is out getting dinner with a guy who’s confident, wealthy, successful, and adventurous, do you think he’s shit talking other guys? When he sees some good looking guy walk by, do you think he says things like: “Wow, what a loser. Look at his shoes, they’re only worth $300—mine are so much nicer.”
OF COURSE NOT. He doesn’t care, because he doesn’t need to care. High quality women (and men) understand this. They understand that people who talk down on others are really coming from a place of weakness, and they’re doing so because they feel THREATENED. This is the essence of a hater.
Now, to come full circle—what exactly do you do with haters? Well, the first thing you need to do is figure out what level of hater you’re dealing with. Are they proactively trying to stop you from succeeding, or are they just neutral/indifferent or slightly disapproving?
If they’re proactively talking down on you, smearing your reputation, and trying to stop you from achieving your goals, then it’s time to cut them out of your life—at least for the most part. I still see a lot of old friends even if they aren’t very successful. Do you know why?
Because success isn’t all that matters. I don’t care whether someone has $500,000 in the bank or not—I would rather hang out with someone who’s dirt poor, but who’s cool, fun to be around, has a positive attitude, and is open to learning and doing cool shit. This is literally most of my friend group.
Some of my other friends, such as the ones who proactively try to stop me, I don’t see anymore. I’ve actually had a few of them try to shit talk me on this blog before, but what do I do? I ignore it. Don’t feed the trolls. Don’t feed negative energy with more negative energy, unless you absolutely have to.
This is the general rule with haters: if they’re proactively fucking you over, then simply ignore them or aggressively stomp out their bullshit. Block their phone calls, block their social media, do whatever you have to in order to cut contact with them. People are petty and will drag you down if you let them.
“How do I make new friends, Jon?” you might ask. Believe me, I’ve been there—it’s hard to make new friends, especially when you get past college age. The good thing about self-improvement however, is that it’s extremely easy to make new friends when you’re into it. Seriously, like it’s ridiculously easy.
The reason why is because you always attract what you are…this is the 4th energetic law of the universe. When you’re focused on getting better at LIFE, you immediately resonate with others who are in the same boat as you. That’s why every time I go to a self-improvement seminar I always walk out with like 10 new friends.
The best way to make new friends, who will actually support you and grow with you, is to network through mutual interests. For me, this is going to “PUA” seminars, self-improvement talks, free speech rallies, and other events that I enjoy.
This may be different for you, but the overarching principle is the same. Do things you enjoy, and meet people with similar tastes. Seriously—whatever it is that you enjoy, just do more of it. It may be harder to find good friends in certain areas than others, but with time you’ll be able to do it.
Dealing with haters is a critical part of being a self-actualized man. You’re going to encounter many bitter, resentful, and jealous men on your path to success—but there’s nothing you can do to change them. Once they’ve made up their mind, it’s time for you to move on.
Don’t try to save them. They don’t want to be saved; if they did, they would do it themselves. Be very careful with who you let into your life, because in the words of the immortal Jim Rohn, you are the average of the 5 people you hang around the most.
All in all, life is short, so don’t let haters get to you too much. Sometimes you’ll have to squash them out and take aggressive action to get rid of them, but for the most part, just ignore them. Success is truly the best revenge—this is something that I’m coming to realize more and more each day. I wish you guys the best, and I’ll see you next time.
Jon Anthony is a dating coach, fitness expert, and self-improvement guru. He dropped out of college to start Masculine Development in 2015, and has since been self-employed, helping men across the world achieve their best lives. You can best reach him on social media, or via email for questions.