Haters Got To Hate

 

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The Naked Gamer is a regular opinion column that strips back the superficialities and looks at the flesh underneath. If you’ve got a topic you’d like discussed, drop columnist Kris Green a line! If you like Kristy’s work, don’t forget she’s co-host of our Flash Point podcast.

 

The funny things about opinions, is that there are no right or wrong ones. This is why I label all my opinion posts very clearly. I am in no way thinking my opinion is the right one and I do constantly change them when new experiences and/or evidence becomes known to me. So I start off every opinion article with a big label which means everything below is purely based on my own thoughts and feelings at the time of publishing.

So with that in mind, one of my little pet hates at the moment is how quickly the internet twists words and meanings. Once upon a time, a noob was a derogatory term used to mean someone that thought they were awesome at a game but really sucked. A newb (short for newbie) was a new player. Now somehow a newb is no longer used and everyone just calls everyone noob no matter what they are (normally in a way of saying ‘go away’).

I feel the next term to go down the sink is ‘haters got to hate’. It isn’t exactly the best catchphrase in the history of the internet, but it used to mean when someone makes a negative comment for absolutely no reason. An example would be what I saw recently on the Rift twitter feed, when someone replied to one of their tweets with ‘I’m surprised this game is still around. Good job I guess.’ It’s like, really? really? You are tweeting on something you don’t care about just to show your utter disbelief that something you don’t care about it still around? What’s the point? How was that constructive?

The term used to be a way of blowing off someone’s opinion when that opinion was baseless. I can go around talking about everything I hate in the world but I don’t because it’s not constructive or useful. When I talk about things I don’t like, it’s because I want to talk about the reasons why I don’t like them.

Sadly now though, ‘haters got to hate’ really just means I don’t like your opinion and want to ignore it. Which in itself is fine. I don’t care or expect people to agree with me all the time. In fact I love it when someone comes to me and says they disagree and we can have a conversation about why. I find echo chambers to be frustrating and annoying, so please challenge me! I love changing my opinions, especially the negative ones.

I do offer this promise though. I am not going to change my opinion just because you believe I’m wrong. I promise that if you want to talk, I will listen and try my best to understand your position. I will not call you a hater just because you think I suck.

I always find it weird when I am labelled a hater just for having a different opinion. I’m not a hater – I hate hating things. I try and see the positive in everything but I also understand that I can write something which is 90% positive but the moment I get to the but section, it will be seen that I hate everything. We focus on the negatives and it’s really not a nice state to be in.

I spent years with terrible low self esteem. Not that I am loving myself completely now, and my ego still goes between nonexistent to low – but I am better. I know what it’s like to focus on the negative. I would cry after a performance review if my manager gave me even one piece of constructive criticism because that meant I sucked. It didn’t matter that they had spent 40 minutes praising me and only bought up one tiny thing.

This of course is an impossible state to live in. If we focus on our negative points all the time, then we will always be negative. If we focus on only improving the bad things about ourselves we will forget to celebrate the good. I remember when I first got into being active in gaming communities and got a regular section on a podcast. One guy came into the forums and just laid out a lot of crap things about my segment. Not that my bit was terrible, he was just a sound guy and well, my sound quality was crap. I knew then that I was ready to move forward when I listened to his advice, I removed all the bad things and just focused on the parts where I could improve. I couldn’t change my voice but I could change my equipment and I learnt a heap about sound recording.

I could have taken his words as ‘haters got to hate’, because let’s face it, he wasn’t actually being nice about my shortcomings. Instead, I focused on the positive things (even though they were unspoken) and worked with him to correct the negative. To this day I still use the advice he gave me to record podcasts, streams and videos.

Haters aren’t always hating for the sake of showing hatred. Sometimes we just need to look past our own defensive walls and see what is actually being said. If someone is just being a dick for the sake of it, then feel free to ignore it but just be careful about labelling people haters, because sometimes they are just people that passionately care.

I have experienced people hating on me for no reason that I can see or for other things like my perceived gender. I have also seen people hating on me because they are passionate about something or someone and I really love seeing that.

This world needs passionate people that are prepared to be seen negatively in order to improve our society. It is a fine line to walk and I am thankful for these people every day.

[This piece originally appeared on Kris’ own gaming blog]

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