Why “Fuck the Haters” is an Overrated Mentality (Or, How To Own Being Weird)

I used to think god had given me the gift of prophecy. Even now, as an atheist, I experience strange phenomena that stoke the fantasy that I am indeed a literal witch with untapped psychic powers. Statements like that are why I don’t get asked out on a lot of dates (sigh) any dates.

I know I’m strange; and when I’ve doubted it, other people have let me know. Perhaps it’s human nature for difference to stick out to us so starkly that we can’t help but remark upon on it, even briefly, with delight or contempt. But since weirdos are humans, and humans are famously fragile creatures, we tend to latch on to the contempt.

We’re designed that way. Except for (socio/psycho)paths, we’re all wired with the need to be accepted and valued. Our very nature compels us to crave warm, lush waves of love or appreciation. And since we’re human, and humans are famously greedy, we want that love or appreciation to be universal, bestowed upon us by everyone.

It’s an unfortunate state of being. A curse, if you ask me. Breaking its dark magic is one of the biggest steps you take on the perilous journey to liking yourself. And coincidentally, it’s also one of the biggest steps you take on the delightful journey to accepting you’re a “weirdo”. (Spoiler: they’re the same journey.)

Most of us recognize universal approval is impossible. However, we attempt to rectify our need for it by focusing on the ridicule we receive from folks who don’t get us. I mean, social media and the blogosphere are rife with sentiments that are synonymous with “fuck the haters.”

For the past ten years, we’ve cemented the idea that the emotionally rugged individual is the ideal. We frame strength as one’s ability to “piss off the haters”; to win against ill wishes, and to thrive on making the people who dislike us angry and jealous.

But that still feels too much like feeding into all the scorn directed at your weird. I think breaking the curse of desiring universal adoration is better fought by relishing in your quirkiness and learning to treasure the fuck out of the people who have gifted you their affection and gratitude.

Why waste time centering contempt to your being when you can revel in the delight of folks who not only tolerate but enjoy, say, your stories about being a prophetic witch? What’s better than being yourself? (Even when the cost is not getting dates 😪)

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