Dealing with Hate


Chief Sam DiGiovanna

Photo courtesy Landon Jensen.

The article below is from Harvey Mackay and was originally published here. Given the current times we are living in, with so much division and anger, I wanted to share it with you. No secret haters live among us at work, our neighborhoods, on the streets and even in our homes. If you are reading this I have a request: That you to circulate this among those in your agency as well as family and friends. We need less hate and more compassion and understanding of one another. Mr. Mackay identifies on how to deal with hater’s in his article below.

Like an old barn, many of us have been around a long time.  We’ve withstood a lot of life’s storms, bad weather and hard times, but we’re still standing, even though we find ourselves leaning to one side from time to time.

The danger comes when we lean toward anger, bitterness, hatred, cursing and a lot of things we shouldn’t.  We need to prop ourselves up away from these leanings, so we will stand straight and tall again.

This little analogy is particularly appropriate for our times, as we see so much hatred and anger all around us.  Those emotions cause so many problems not only in society, but also personally.  Hate blocks clarity, clouding our judgment and causing us to be more impulsive and aggressive.  Anger can lead to unacceptable actions that we immediately regret.  Rather than enabling us to see possible solutions, we become so entrenched in our own position that we become irrational.

Experts say chronic hatred and extreme anger can add to our stress and take a toll on our physical and mental health, including blood pressure, liver function and stroke.  Apply that to a business, and the results are financially devastating.  The cycle is deadly.

Psychologists say that carrying hostility around can kill us.  Wishing evil on someone does more damage to us than to the objects of our anger and hatred.

Joseph Thomas Ph.D., a practitioner, teacher and consultant in Chinese medicine for more than 25 years says, “Hatred affects everything it touches … Hatred loses its power when we as individuals and collective units encourage flexibility of mind and body as a valuable asset to all of life.”

Hate has a way of bringing out the worst in people.  Whether used as a means to cover up feelings of fear or pain, hatred can quickly become all-consuming.  If hate can be taught, so can love.

Most of us have experienced feelings of hatred at one time or another.  If you have wronged someone, you should make amends or at least apologize.

Remember that hatred blocks clarity.  It causes you to be more impulsive and aggressive.  Hate prevents you from seeing things that may be beneficial in solving problems.  But attacking someone just because of who they are is destructive at every level.  Learn to let hatred go, and instead look for positive points instead.

On the reverse side, you will encounter people who dislike you for petty reasons or out of jealousy.  But don’t let that unjustified hostility get to you.

WikiHow offers up some great suggestions on dealing with haters.  When you are on the receiving end, your response can often diffuse a bad situation.  Beware if you recognize yourself as the bully.

Ignore them.  Bullies try to provoke a reaction, so don’t respond.  Don’t engage them in any way.  If the hater physically or verbally assaults you, get another person or someone in authority involved.  Try not to provoke bullies.

Project confidence.  Self-confidence is your best defense against a hater because they start to realize they can’t get to you.  Stay positive.

Avoid haters.  Don’t hide, just stay away from situations where you might interact with haters.  If you must confront haters directly, explain respectfully where you’re coming from.

Prove them wrong.  The best way to quiet a hater is to show them up.  If they say you can’t do something, do it well.  Let their hate fuel your ambition.

Nip it in the bud.  When you see a situation escalating, remind the other person that you are willing to work together but only in a respectful atmosphere.  Let them know you have no intention of tolerating anything less.

As poet Maya Angelou said, “Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.”

An old Cherokee told his grandson a Native American legend about a battle that goes on inside people.  He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.  One is evil and filled with anger, envy and hate.  The other is good.  It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about this for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one I feed.”

Mackay’s Moral:  Don’t let hate seal your fate.

About Chief Sam DiGiovanna

Sam DiGiovanna is a 33-year fire service veteran. He started with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, served as fire chief at the Monrovia Fire Department and currently serves as chief at the Verdugo Fire Academy in Glendale, Calif. In addition, he is a regular contributor to NBC News 4 Los Angeles.  Sam also serves as Executive Vice President of Fire Operations at CORDICO INC.