A mere six months ago, I started watching Game of Thrones. If you would have spoken to me at any point up until then, I would quickly and happily tell you that the show sucked ass. No, I had never seen it. No, I didn’t plan on watching it. But something about the way everyone in the office would murmur about White Walkers and fucking dragons made me sick. So, I hated it. And I didn’t just silently hate it. I hated it boldly. Loudly. Annoyingly.
It wasn’t until I shattered my ankle and was on bed rest for a good third of my 25th year, that I broke down and watched it. I had already been through The Office six times. Had polished off Gossip Girl for the third time. Wasn’t ready to rewatch House of Cards and wasn’t depressed or aroused enough to rewatch Mad Men. I needed something new, and I figured, what the hell? I can watch a few episodes and still tell everyone how lame and totally manipulated for ratings that it was.
Of course, that didn’t happen. As soon as the sex mixed with the violence and the nerdy af fantasy, I was all in. No, I’m not in love with the show. Hell, I usually don’t even watch it live. But I like it. I have a few favorite characters, of which I actually know their names (like that one! Tyran! And the girl, Aryn!). And I don’t regret watching it. So, why did I hate it for years and years and years even though all of my friends said I’d like it since I have the interests of a virginal, magic-obsessed teenage boy?
Because being a hater just feels so damn good.
Recently, it was stated that not liking things doesn’t make someone cool. It was, obviously, directed at us haters who go about our days hating the things that are universally loved by everyone else. Not a fan of bacon? We’ll let you know. Think The Bachelor is complete trash? We’re here to ruin everything you love. Hate Harry Potter? Go fuck yourself.
Still, while I can’t argue whether or not hating things literally makes us cool, that doesn’t exactly matter. Because hating things makes you *feel* cool. It makes you feel superior. It makes you feel better than everyone else.
If you’ve never walked into a group of people who mindlessly love something just because other people love it, and tell them that their opinions are invalid, you haven’t, truly, lived. Hearing them all whisper excitedly about what happened on last night’s episode only to stop when you walk up, eager to cue you in. They’d ask in hushed tones if you’d watched yet, and in a loud, confident voice, you’d tell that then you’d never watch that show because it is, in fact, for fucking losers.
No, the truth is, it’s not so much that we hate the joy and happiness of other people. I mean, sure. That’s part of it. But what we really hate is people just liking something because other people like it. From the chronic hater’s perspective, it’s fine to like a variety of things. Hell, we support it. It’s even fine to like things that other people like. A big fan of Stephen King novels? Great! We get that. Love pizza? Fuck yeah. Who doesn’t? Hit up Starbucks most days? It’s a little basic but whatever — we’ll accept it. What we don’t like, is when people act like sheep and just decide to like or love something because it’s on trend. You love Starbucks? Good. Tell me about your favorite drink. Why it’s better than Dunkin. Why you can’t just make a cup of coffee at home and not go into crippling debt at 25. We’re happy if you love something, and we’re even happy if it’s something other people love, as long as you can back it up. Why do you like wearing chokers? Because they feel comfortable cutting the circulation off of your neck, or because some Kardashian wore one once? If we hate something, we’ll sure as shit tell you why. We’d just like the same in return. We’d like to know why you really, truly love something, and not just because Twitter tells you to.
In the end, there’s a reason people want to be a wolf instead of a sheep. The wolf is brave. The wolf stands alone. The wolf isn’t afraid to hurt some sheep to let the world know that The Bachelorette is actually a really annoying show. So, why does the wolf do it?
Because the wolf can. Because something about telling people that pizza isn’t that great or Tom Hanks isn’t a good actor creates an excitement in our bones. We thrive on the attention. The drama. The crushed spirits and outraged faces. Because hearing the same types of people mindlessly loving the same types of things and broadcasting it in the same types of ways on the same social media platforms make us go crazy. It makes us turn feral. Our politeness goes out the window as we say things like, “only little bitches would spend their Sunday night watching dragons fly around.” It’s mean, sure. But holy shit, it is a rush. If you haven’t tried it, now is the time. One taste of the hater life, and you will never, ever go back. Tell people Forrest Gump sucks. Brag about how you don’t have a Facebook and you think it’s for weak social climbers. Say that Halo Top is for people with low self-esteem. Whatever it is, sing it loud and proud for everyone you love to hear and get offended over.
Because at the end of the day, haters are the ones people listen to. Not because they want to, but because we fucking make them. What is all comes down to, is that no one ever listened to the boy who cried sheep. .