Is it me, or does it seem like the more successful you become, the more positive you try to be, the more compassion you exude the more you’re faced with negativity? It’s like the universe says “hey you’re getting close to actually being somebody. Let’s throw a hatin’ ass person your way!” A few days ago, I was having a conversation with friends about the subject. We’re all in our late 20s, mid-level in our careers and are very ambitious.While talking about certain obstacles we’ve encountered while pursuing our dreams, we noticed a commonality: Negative Nancys and Hatin’ Harolds.
Looking from the outside, you could say that one of my friends has it all. With an increasingly impressive resume, she’s one of the lead producers for a big-time television program. She has a wonderful relationship with a man who loves and supports her dearly. So when she was offered a prime position in LA, nothing but congratulatory messages and claps should have followed. She got that but not without the haters providing their two cents.
“You sure you want to live in LA? It’s expensive as hell to live there. What if you lose your job?” She had barely accepted the gig before her “friends” introduced foul smells in the air. They had something to say about every aspect of the decision. After they commented on the distance, they moved on to her relationship. Her boyfriend lived in Chicago and they planned to do long distance.
“Girl…you know how men are. Long distance relationships are code for ‘you do you and I do me but we pretend to be loyal.’ Don’t expect him to be faithful.”
It was ridiculous how some of her “friends” hated on her achievements! In their minds they were being “real,” but to my friend and the rest of us, they were just being real a-holes. So for my friend, moving to LA couldn’t come fast enough. Unfortunately despite being thousands of miles away, she wasn’t able to escape the madness. Her new role came with many challenges, including mandatory work with a passive-aggressive micromanaging boss who was just promoted. So here she was in all aspects of her life being combated with Negative Nancies.
A few of my other friends, myself included have found ourselves running into similar problems, and it all seems to occur as we experience any evolution and growth. No one was concerned about anything that we did when we were lower on the totem pole, but the minute our talents and worth is recognized, then people want to start tearing us down. The reality is that the world would be a hell of a lot better if people just supported each other, put jealousy aside and got stuff done. But that would be too much like right.
Everyone isn’t going to be happy for your success, or in your corner. We can’t control the Negative Nancys & Hatin’ Harolds who will forever be around. But what we can control is what we share with them and how much time we spend with them because even the smallest hint of negativity can be contagious and smothering.
As equal opportunity haters, it’s not just you that they talk crap about. That’s how you know it’s something within themselves that they’re not satisfied with; an internal struggle and a lack of confidence in their own abilities. My friend got more than a taste from those who she was supposed to be able to rely on the most and oftentimes these people are your toughest critics.
In their own little way the Negative Nancys and Hatin Harolds think they are helping you by “just looking out for you” and “making you a better person.” The problem is that the main person they need to be focusing on is themselves and their situation. I’m not saying diss that friend who always has something negative to say…or that relative that calls and always wants to pull the “woe is me” spiel. You can try to bring it to their attention, but chances are it’s in their DNA to be negative. You know how you may not answer the phone when you’re on a date or on vacation? Just be “on a date” or “on vacation” more often. Trust and believe after the stories I swapped with my homegirls, we’re gonna be “busy” a lot more frequently!