How To Stop Haters From Hating You

Lucky Penny by Untemplater.comThe Boston attacks are a stark reminder of how much hatred there still is for America. Sadness has turned to anger as the country pulls together to understand why and move forward. It’s been more than a decade since 9/11 and yet I still think about what happened all the time after being on the top floor of WTC 2 for a conference just months before.

There are an estimated 7 billion people on Earth today. If only 0.1% of the population hates us, that’s still 7 million people who might very well be ready for war. We are a rich country full of opportunity, yet not everybody can have our same opportunity. The more successful we become, the more risk we face. The more we act as the world police, the larger resentment grows.

Whenever I meet someone in person, I do my best to downplay anything I’ve done that might seem successful. It helps that I’ve removed myself from corporate America and no longer have the desire to compete for money or status. I’m acutely aware of the widening gap between the haves and the have nots thanks to an unlevel playing field. The undercurrent of anger flows strongly through society, ready to drown anybody who is perceived to have more. Hate is part of the reason why I recommend everyone align themselves with the middle class. Blend in so that nobody can target you.

When I believe in something strongly, I will tell you so. If you demonstrate kindness, I will try to show more kindness. If you attack my honor, I won’t hesitate to defend it by confronting you and kicking your ass. What’s the point of studying martial arts for so long anyway? I do enjoy the occasional conflict if there is an intellectual debate. It’s when things start getting personal where I draw the line.

When you have what someone wants but can’t have, you’ll undoubtedly encounter some sort of conflict. One quick check at the background of your haters will reveal they have the most insecurities about themselves. Maybe they are lonely or work a deadend job they can’t escape. Constantly comparing ourselves to others is a sure fire way to zap happiness from our souls.

STRATEGIES FOR LESSENING THE HATE

I’m going to provide some common scenarios where hate can rear its ugly head. In each scenario I’ll offer up some suggestions to help deal with your haters. Hopefully as the economy gets better, there will be structurally less hate going forward.

Getting Good Grades & Getting Into College

Congratulations for being a great student! Unfortunately, if you happen to do very well in school, you will likely get picked on to no end by other students who can’t compete. It’s important to never tell anybody how much you study after school. Shrug off your good grades to easy classes and nice teachers.

When classmates start wondering how you got into a good college, tell them you have no idea. Do not reveal all the time you spent working on your essays, summer internships, extracurricular activities and so forth. Tell them, “Even a blind squirrel gets lucky and finds a nut sometime.” They will still be envious, but at least they will appreciate your humility and focus their hate on another student who doesn’t show humility.

Please never feel ashamed about getting good grades. Try your best to get the best grades possible so you have the most amount of opportunities upon gradation. Think about what type of people give you peer pressure for doing well in school and why. I can assure you that many of these folks will regret not trying harder 10 years from now. Be proud of your accomplishments.

Getting A Job

There are around 24 million unemployed Americans today and many more around the world struggling to find employment. If you have a job, you should consider yourself lucky and treat your job as if you won the lottery. Do not complain about a crappy bonus or a lack of promotion when so many people would do anything to be in your shoes. Remember to also never speak ill of an employer if you ever want another job again.

You can say you got your job due to connections, but chances are your peers will resent you even more. Instead of telling them about the hundreds of resumes you sent, the dozens of networking events you attended, and the long job fair lines you waited in, just tell them you have no idea why someone would take a chance on you. Mention how your job is demeaning and does not utilize any of your skills. Tell them you fully expect to get fired after the three month probationary period is over.

Because you realize many job applicants were either never responded to, or rejected from the job you hold, please never take your occupation for granted. Your job is likely the most important way to build wealth in your life time.

A Healthy Income

Unless you have a big ego or are really insecure, never explicitly tell anybody exactly how much money you make if you earn more than your peers. If all your friends make between $50,000-$100,000 and you make $75,000 a year, it’s not such a big deal to compare notes. But if you happen to make $150,000+ a year, then either lie about your income or keep your mouth shut.

It’s hard for people to contain their envy, no matter how close you guys are or how hard you tell them you’ve worked. Your friends should have no clue what your real income figure is because you’re spending 1/10th of your income or less on a car, you’re not telling everybody on Facebook about your awesome vacation, and you’re not bragging about all the expensive things you’re buying. Be rich, but act poor.

Sometimes you just can’t help but have a healthy income since some industries pay more. For example, if you graduated as a Electrical Engineer from MIT, you’re likely making $75,000 your first year out of school. If you join an investment bank or management consulting firm, you might even make more. Your income is a function of your job. Clearly not everybody can make the same amount of money working the same number of hours. But your haters aren’t going to give you the benefit of the doubt, so it’s best to keep your income vague. If you are interested in industries or occupations that pay six figures, here’s a post on how to earn six figures at almost any age.

Early Retirement

We’ve got a great term in the early retirement world called the “Internet Retirement Police.” The IRP are those who have not yet retired, but create strict rules about what retirement is to try and discredit your retirement. There is also an implicit assumption that their lives are better than yours even though they’ve got to work for a living. Kind of weird isn’t it since you’re free? Maybe if they graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Early Retirement Studies (doesn’t exist), or actually provided their own financial situation for credibility, early retirees might bother paying attention, but they don’t, so whatever they say doesn’t matter. It’s like someone who isn’t a millionaire teaching you how to be a millionaire. I have no idea how the IRP knows anything about retirement given they aren’t retired.

The best way to get early retirement detractors off your back is to say you are unemployed. You’re not lying since you don’t have a job. Try not to say you are an entrepreneur or a consultant because that’s when they’ll try and nit pick further. As soon as you tell envious people you are unemployed, their competitive juices wane because obviously having a job is better than not having a job, right? Just don’t tell them about how big your financial nut is and all the fun you’re having. Emphasize the negatives of early retirement, such as loneliness, boredom, and living on a tighter budget.

Another strategy is to make it seem like you are so busy that there’s no way you could be retired. I don’t want anybody to actually think I’m retired because that would mean I’ve lost a step in my writing production. Early retirees understand that working a job that doesn’t provide tremendous satisfaction is soul-sucking after a while. Hence, it’s best for early retirees not to brag about their freedom since it’s a direct assault on a worker’s happiness.

Sports

The world reveres super athletes. If you happen to be skillfully gifted in a sport, don’t reveal how much practice you do. Instead, attribute your skills to divinity or genetics. Everybody knows that elite athletes are some of the most optimistic and competitive people around. There’s a reason why some of the world’s top organizations specifically look for athletes and folks who have served in the military. Athletics teaches teamwork, discipline, perseverance, and drive.

If you don’t believe you can beat your opponent, then you are doomed from the start. You not only must believe, you must also let your opponents underestimate your abilities. Use luck as reasons for your talent. Tell them, “My legs are as thick and ugly like old tree trunks,” “I’m slower than a herd of turtles through peanut butter,” or “I got so lucky scoring the hat trick,” to make them feel better and lower their guard.

Deep down, you understand that talent alone doesn’t get you to the top of your game. You’ve got to practice, practice, and practice some more with the hope that your body and mind are healthy when it comes time to compete. If you get good enough, perhaps someone will recognize your abilities and give you a chance. Imagine all the talented kids around the world who are never given the opportunity to shine. Don’t let your talents go to waste!

Investments

Whether you’ve made money in real estate or the stock market, remember this one phrase, “Bulls and bears make money, pigs get slaughtered.” So much of investing is luck, it’s almost laughable. Because it’s very hard to consistently beat the markets, most pundits including myself recommend folks invest in the long run through index funds. Of course there are some supremely gifted investors who consistently outperform the markets and make great fortunes. Names such as Bill Miller, Julian Robertson, Peter Lynch, and Warren Buffet come to mind. Stay humble like Warren. Sure you can spend hours visiting company management, combing through analyst reports, and reading 10Ks, but don’t mention it. Admit that luck plays a huge part in picking the next Google and avoiding the next Groupon!

My friends and I have lamented we wish we joined the workforce in the mid-90′s instead of the late 90′s so we could have the capital to make huge money during the internet bubble. Instead, we failed to make our millions quickly and experienced a tumultuous decade for stocks. We stopped feeling sorry for ourselves after realizing we could make just as much money buying puts, shorting stocks, and investing in the real estate bubble.

Anybody who invests for a long enough period of time will lose money. It’s the reason why you see older investors much more humble than younger investors who’ve only experienced bull markets. If you haven’t even experienced one boom bust cycle, please don’t start spouting off how much you’ve made and how fail proof your methodology is for retirement. Take a look at the proper allocation of stocks and bonds by age.

Fitness

If you happen to be fit in America, you’re quickly becoming a minority. My friend Nancy is 5 feet 2 inches tall and weights 100 pounds. She constantly gets mocked by other women who try and make her feel bad about her weight. I witnessed the putdowns with my own eyes during lunch one day when one woman said, “Oh look at Nancy, she should just buy clothes at the kids section to save money,” to an eruption of laughter.

Another woman chimed in, “Nancy, you should eat more so you can buy professional work clothes.” These women were not exactly in good shape, and I could tell they were annoyed Nancy was so much thinner than them. “You should eat more” and “You should eat less” are equally as offensive to certain people.

If you so happen to love working out and watching what you eat, blaming lucky genes might enrage your heavier friends more. Instead, just talk about how annoying it is to sweat so much because of your high metabolism. Be up front and tell your detractors how everybody is always giving you a hard time. You may also even want to show your strong support for Obamacare, which expands insurance for some 30 million uninsured people. Because obesity is linked to all sorts of illnesses, it is logical to conclude the healthy will help subsidize the less healthy with a universal healthcare plan. How can your bullies be still mad at you for saving them money down the road? OK, maybe this is a slap in their face, but it might be worth a shot.

Good Looks

You’re either good looking, average, or unattractive. Only about 10% of the population is considered attractive. Go ahead, take a quick survey next time you are standing in line for a double cheeseburger, or when the lights are still up in a packed movie theatre. There just aren’t that many attractive people. 80% of the population is average looking, or “doable” as guys like to say. While the remaining 10% of the population are “undoable,” or hideous.

If you so happen to be good looking, you’ll get a lot more attention from everyone. People will give you the benefit of the doubt and some will bend over backwards to help you. Everybody knows that all else being equal, better looking people get paid more, receive more promotions, and have more selection of mates. Unfortunately, you are going to get a ton of haters from the other 90% who despise you for taking away their crushes, their jobs, and perhaps even their happiness! It’s always a trip to observe a woman check out another attractive woman who enters the bar from head to toe.

A great way to deflect attention is to wear a bear suit to hide your looks. Rarrr! And if that doesn’t work, just dress down with unkempt hair, simple clothing, no make up, a baseball cap, glasses, or whatever that hides your true beauty. I’ve found women are particularly unkind to attractive women in the work place. Dress down and blend in. Good looking men don’t seem to run into as much hate for their looks as women do for some reason. Perhaps it’s because men simply care less about our looks which we can’t do anything about (washing our face and getting a haircut is the extent of our beauty regime), so we focus more on what we can control, which is our humor, wit, and financial status.

Hobbies That Turn Into More

Blogging is one of my favorite hobbies that allows me to eat ramen noodles every day. Yeah baby yeah! For the first three years, bloggers, friends, colleagues, and some readers have called me “lucky” for having such a platform. Initially, I was a little offended. Nobody sees how long it takes to write decent posts 3-4 times a week for over 160 weeks in a row. Nobody sees the research I spend, or the countless revisions that still lead to common typos and gramatical errors once a post is published. All they see is the final product, all the comments, and the sometimes tremendous amount of social media support that occurs at the end.

Instead of challenging my detractors, now I just say they are right. I am extremely lucky to have so many enthusiastic commenters who share their wonderful thoughts. I am lucky search engines send traffic my way in the hundreds of thousands a month. I’m lucky readers will occasionally share my work with their friends. Not everybody can make a living online because not everybody can be as lucky.

If you’re interested in blogging, start off by spending 2-3 hours everyday after work writing unique posts and commenting on other sites. I promise you will find success if you write three to five, 1,000+ word articles a week for three years in a row. If you are lucky to have an engaging personality or plenty of interesting real world experiences to draw from, even better! Persistence is key. As reference, this post is over 3,000 words long and took over six hours to write. All six hours were spent before 6:30am and after 11pm so I can do all the things I want to do on vacation.

LUCK IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT FOR SUCCESS

For 11 years in a row I saw my little hand written note taped on my monitor at work saying, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” My father told me these words after I spoke to him about all the work place stress I was feeling after 9/11. I’m so lucky to have supportive parents to encourage me not to give up.

I’m lucky an employer gave me a chance after I screwed up in my teens. I’m lucky my mind allows me to write thoughts online to be shared to the world. I’m lucky readers support some of the things I recommend so I can eat. I’m lucky to have grown up in third world countries to witness the amount of poverty that scared me straight early on. For all the things I wish I had, but don’t, it’s OK. Just being able to live in a free country is a blessing.

There’s one thing my haters don’t know and that is I really appreciate their hatred. Without their hate, I would be so much less motivated to work hard because I’m so easily satisfied with what I have. I’m happy with good enough. As a result, I sometimes pursue hatred through controversial posts, confrontational comments, and direct challenges when I’m feeling demotivated. I want to get down and dirty so I can feel alive again.

Because I’m lucky, I never want you to feel unlucky. If it makes you feel better by attributing anything I’ve done to luck, know that you are right. When you are speaking to people who show animosity towards you, emphasize luck as the most important factor to your success. Never attribute your hard work and risk taking as reasons for why you are successful. There are countless other folks who work just as hard but can’t get to your level. Maybe even apologize to them for your good fortune. Good luck and may you never surrender!

Readers, how do you deal with your detractors? Ever use hate as motivational fuel to try harder? Is America always going to be hated upon? How much is showing off a reason for why other folks might hate you?

Photo: My lucky penny, FS. 

Related posts:

There Is No Monopoly For Being Rich

Workplace Bullies, Comebacks & Fighting Back

The Best Way To Lose Weight And Get Out Of Debt

Regards,

Sam

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

You can sign up to receive his articles via email or by RSS. Sam also sends out a private quarterly newsletter with information on where he's investing his money and more sensitive information.

Subscribe To Private Newsletter

Comments

  1. Brick by Brick Investing says

    Haters are a fascinating breed indeed. I use to try and avoid haters but now I welcome them. As Kat Wililams said, “if you have haters you know you’re doing something right.” I definitely agree with some of the situations you have pointed out. I have down played my abilities/success on multiple occasions simply because I chose to fit in instead of fly above the rest. Soaring eagles are awesome but make for easy targets as well.

    • JayCeezy says

      Marvin, quick Katt Williams story…you have probably been reading about his troubles in the past year (a quick Google search will bring you up to date, if you haven’t).

      Anyway, I am at the airport at 5:45am for a 7:00am flight, and the TSA line is horrendous. A tiny man in a hoodie and dragging a giant suitcase, trots by everybody in line just serpentining as if he had every right to do so. It was not a big deal, most everybody thought he had forgot something or was going to catch up with someone. But then he jumped right in front of the line ahead of the very next person and 200 people in line saw it! Wow, we all started grumbling and murmering, but we all did the “TSA math” individually and we all just sucked up an amazing rudeness. I have never seen a linejumper in the U.S., it is a kind of third-world behavior I’ve only seen overseas. Punchline: it was Katt Williams; the news the next day had an article about his arrest and bail, and he was leaving town immediately. Crazy thing is, the TSA Agent saw him do this linejump but did nothing. Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game!

  2. sendaiben says

    Hi Sam
    Long time reader, first time poster. Love your stuff, but don’t completely agree with what you say in this post. I think it’s mostly sound, but envy is not the only reason some people hate the US. The fact that it has spent/is spending trillions of dollars invading other countries, killing people in other countries (particularly with drones), torturing people, kidnapping people, and sending people to other countries to be tortured and killed (extraordinary rendition) has a lot to do with it.
    I’m not saying it justifies violence, but if my friend or family member or even countryman were killed by a US drone attack I can imagine it turning me to hatred. Likewise if they were tortured or detained indefinitely with no charges or legal protections.
    I really hope the US political system can wake up soon because from the outside it looks like it’s turning into a military dictatorship with no respect for law or human rights.

    • JayCeezy says

      SendaiBen, 2 years ago when Sendai was devastated by a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami, the U.S. Military came to help with “Operation Friendship”.

      That doesn’t sound like a military dictatorship with no respect for law or human rights.

      • sendaiben says

        Hi JazCeezy
        Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-American :)
        The Japanese people are extremely grateful for the help that their friends and allies provided in their time of need. That’s the tragedy, that the vast amount of good that the US does is drowned out by high profile policies that are viewed as evil in much of the world (Guantanamo, torture, drone attacks, suspension of legal process).
        I’ve only been to the US once, but the contrast between the friendly and welcoming people I met everywhere I went and the arrogant, aggressive, and rude immigration and security agents at the airport was telling. That is the face the US is increasingly presenting to the world, and I don’t think it serves the interests of the American people.
        I hope to visit again soon and see more of your beautiful country.

    • Financial Samurai says

      There’s no doubt that the US has frequently overstepped its bounds in world affairs. Who appointed us to be the world police? I think our country’s intentions are good, but whenever you deal with large numbers, even a tiny percentage of errors can cause large absolute errors.

  3. JayCeezy says

    Wow, great post! Thanks for sharing your philosophy. While it may seem like ‘false modesty’ in some cases to call one’s success “luck”, I think it is a very effective way to deflect. There is no point in confronting or explaining, when you already know there is nothing you can say that will change the feeling of the Hater. They are ‘shamed’, because they are comparing their life, status, and results to yours. That is a no-win situation, and I try to remember that whenever my little Green Monster rears its head, too. But I do feel the idea of detachment from Haters is the right way to go; there is nothing in it for me to try to change anyone’s mind, or “argue with idiots.”

    *”I can assure you that many of these folks will regret not trying harder…*” This is really true. I am one of those who does regret it, and am also ashamed of my resentment towards those who were measurably successful right away. Part of the reason I liked college so much, and would have stayed for 7 years like Van Wilder if I could afford it, was that we were all “equal.” Once graduated, there were guys like me struggling and un/underemployed, and the superstars who had studied and “practiced, practiced, practiced” their way into a great worklife.

    One recent TED talk by Timothy Ferriss also deals with the subject of Haters. You can find it by Googling “Timothy Ferris – Learning to love Haters”. (I’ve stopped linking stuff away from the FS site, if people are interested they will make the effort to find it; but in the meantime, click, click, click on FS!)

    The gap between haves and have-nots will continue to expand. Robert Reich wrote a great book called “The Future of Success” and he talks about the increases of 3rd-world lifestyles, compared to 1st-world lifestyles (which are synonymous with Western lifestyles, no other type of society but the open West allows this type of wealth, health, and freedom). Obama (and Obamacare) policies are intended to “shrink the gap”, even if they penalize the very top contributors to society.

    FS, you have written great posts on the ‘happiness’ of socialist countries where everyone’s lifestyle is similar (like the lawyer who is a tour guide on weekends and lives in a small apartment, not unlike her blue-collar neighbors), and also the burden of taxation and responsibility placed on top earners. My thought is that this isn’t going to change, and will only accelerate. Anyway, thanks for your site and this timely post. Brush off the Haters, and let a Player Play!

    • Financial Samurai says

      I’ll take a look at that TED talk by Tim. Thanks for the suggestion. Yes, in college we are all sheltered from the real world. It’s only after college that everything falls upon us to succeed or fail.

      I plan to visit more socialistic countries this summer again with a couple buddies and report back in a couple posts. I’m looking forward to it!

  4. Chris says

    People who don’t understand you’re approach or what you’re trying to do will naturally be skeptical. I’ve found the more secure and confident I become in my pursuits, the easier it is to brush off the naysayers!

    When it comes to investing, particularly in Real Estate, I’m finding most people flat out don’t understand it and are more of the Guardian temperament type and therefore want to reside in their safe bubbles of existence. It takes a unique personality to research ideas and then take on risk and press forward with a vision.

    • Financial Samurai says

      Yep, how we respond to hate is also a reflection of our own self confidence as well. Things get easier and easier over time. It’s something 20-something year olds can look forward to when they hit their 30′s.

  5. cinsf says

    Someone once told me that I am lucky that I have a talent for work. Mindboggling. I should feel sorry for her since she just doesn’t have my “talent” for working long hours, being patient with difficult people, and pursuing education in my off hours.

  6. Pauline says

    So much work just so you can pretend you aren’t the person you really are, and haters can kind of like you! How about owning what you have accomplished and simply explaining it took some work to get fit/successful/good at your job?
    Who wants to be loved by haters anyway?
    There is a fine line between bragging and telling things the way they are, but I don’t think we should lie to minimize things we should be proud of.

  7. Untemplater says

    There are so many different kinds of hate. The kind we tend to encounter most often stems from jealousy and insecurities as you discuss in this post. There are a lot of people who lash out at others because they are miserable inside and don’t know how to be happy with themselves or were never taught proper social skills from their parents. We don’t need much to be happy but it takes some people a lot longer to recognize this. I’m all about keeping things simple and doing what I can to spread peace and positive energy and support to others.

    • Financial Samurai says

      It’s an early year. Can’t say, otherwise I might get a lot of hate :) One of my passions when I was in college was collecting coins. I’m kind of mad b/c I have these incredible 4,000-5,000 BC shovel coins from China which I CAN’T find! Argggh.

      • Mike Hunt says

        I collected coins as a kid. My collection started with a 1798 penny in pretty good condition. It is surprisingly large.

        Unfortunately it is stored at my parents place and currently cannot be found. Aaargh! I feel the same frustration.

        Humility is the key to life.

        -Mike

  8. Romeo says

    “If your friends aren’t your biggest motivators then you’re hanging around the wrong people.” I deal with detractors by keeping this in mind.

    I try not to explain myself, but sometimes it’s hard when someone challenges me because many of them, at some point, could have made similar choices. I usually never explain the sacrifices that I had to make in regards to education, family, finances, career, diet, exercise, etc., to get to where I currently am, but no way will I shrug it off as “luck.”

    The other day I was called a narcissist. My response was, “if I cared about what other people thought about me I wouldn’t be who I am today.”

    As usual, great post.

  9. krantcents says

    I know they are out there, but I choose to avoid them. I have my circle of supportive people in friends, family etc. I think the only time I recall some of these detractors was when I was young(er) such as high school. I am sure there must have been other times, but I do not recall any of them ever saying it to my face.

  10. Shilpan says

    I echo what Pauline has said. Seeking conformity from those who don’t blend into your belief system is like appeasing to someone who has a knife at your neck. Why achieve anything if you have to live like a cave man? I understand your rationale, but instead of embracing those who are on the treacherous, slippery slope leading to despair and stress, don’t you think it’s better to tell them the truth and help them get back on the road of prosperity so that we have less violent world for all of us?

    • Financial Samurai says

      Perhaps you and Pauline are misunderstanding my point. Be rich, have fun, live it up in your private time. Just don’t be so public about how rich your life is is all I’m saying.

      It’s really pointless to fight with your detractors b/c it’ll just make them more mad. The best action is to focus on continuing to better yourself and use their hate as motivation.

  11. Allison says

    The only thing I could have to brag about on this list is my size–I’m healthy and what I might call smallish-average, but in my family the women tend to be a bit bigger. My mom often mentions the small size of my waist (positively), and my sister-in-law has weight and health issues. My usual response is along the lines of “It won’t last!”

    That way, if it doesn’t, I won’t be disappointed, and in the meantime I don’t appear to be sucking up praise that I haven’t had to work for. I’m still young, and without children–I truly expect it won’t last, but I hope to maintain it if I can in the future.

    No matter what a person has bragging rights for, it’s always best to maintain humility. Not only will it keep haters at bay, but if one should fall from grace, it won’t be too painful to look people in the eye afterwards.

    • Financial Samurai says

      “It won’t last!” is a GREAT response to being more fit than your close relatives. Nice job. Live long enough and some bad stuff will happen. Hence, keep low key is a good thing.

  12. Bobby @ Ban Excuses says

    I like the line “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” Rings true in a multitude of occasions.

    You may want to check out the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. It shows how luck is often a factor in being extremely successful.

    • Financial Samurai says

      Hi Bobby, I’ve check out the book. It’s so true, and to deny luck as a big part of success is arrogance. I have a funny story of Malcolm where I pissed in a urinal right next to him in Hong Kong. If only I can find a picture…

      • Bobby @ Ban Excuses says

        Also, I love how you use your haters as motivation so often. I’m just starting to realize that this motivational factor is one of the greatest available. It’s such an amazing feeling when you do something that the “experts” said couldn’t be done.

  13. Financial Samurai says

    As an unemployed fella, I struggle to get by every single day due to a lack of income. Although I’ve discovered we need less than we think to be happy, it’s still stressful not having the same amount of income you are used to. Despite the struggles, I still try my best to push on through and treat survival as a game. I rely on the good graces of others to survive as I don’t have much. Hopefully folks don’t think FS is an early retirement blog given how many topics we have here. Based on the states, I would say less than 10% of the comments and posts relate to early retirement.

    You can take a look at this post for my passive income which I know isn’t much. I’ll have a new update by this summer. I am very lucky to have loved ones who are willing to care for me during tough times. In fact, I would say that I’m nothing without them. Take a look at the post, “The Secret To Early Retirement.

    • Sambuca says

      Whew, thanks for clearing the air by sharing ‘the secret’, that was before I started reading, and it’s an interesting post and comments there to boot!

  14. Cat Alford (@BudgetBlonde) says

    Sam, you remind me a lot of my dad (which is a good thing!). He is famous for saying “Never tell people what you have or where you’ve been.” He taught me the art of good conversation, which is essentially allowing the other person to tell me all about their job/travels/gadgets and me saying how nice that sounds, where did they eat, how are they loving the new car, etc.

    I think the lessons you mentioned are spot on, but they are also extremely challenging. I’m working on letting a lot of these go. The one that is the most challenging for me is defending my work. My family is full of professionals and with my husband in med school, most people are really interested in what he is doing. They ask a lot about him and they make a lot of assumptions about my life or what my life will be once he is finished school. So, I’m working on being (quietly) proud of my accomplishments and trying not to worry so much that people aren’t taking me seriously/thing I’m some sort of bimbo trophy wife.

    Also, “The harder I work, the luckier I get” is going to be one of my new favorites. The sticky note on my desk says “Discipline is doing what you don’t want to do when you don’t want to do it.” When I’m tired after work and I don’t want to write 4 blog posts, I do it anyway, and I’m always glad I did.

    Thanks again for the great post.

    • Financial Samurai says

      Sounds like a good dad Cat! I’ve got to work on “never telling people where I’ve been” as I’ve share my travels several times before.

      I hear you on your challenges, and potentially the stereotypes that come along with your situation. But a couple things, #1 You went to W&M, so obviously you ain’t no bimbo! and #2 You’re building your own business slowly but surely with your own two hands. Building something on your own is no joke and something to be extremely proud of.

  15. Shaun says

    I like to think I don’t hate people for hard work. I think back at all the people I’ve detested to this point in my career and life and I think the common theme is beating me through shortcuts being what causes me to hate you. Eg you’re getting promotions even though you are terrible at your job because you’re best buds with/banging the boss etc. I can’t remember hating a guy who out-worked me or was just better than me at something though. I have tended to make friends with the people who are better than me at stuff rather than enemies.

    I used to have a little bit of jealousy for people born particularly well off or good looking but as I get older I realize those things are temporary (I may eventually make more than my born-rich friends, and my high school qb peaked in high school). Time eventually balances those things out, without other skills good looking people get ugly and rich people get eaten by inflation.

    I don’t think you should be ashamed of success. I think people appreciate success they just don’t want their own shortcomings rubbed in their face all the time. You don’t need to hide what you do you just need to avoid forcing the knowledge on people who don’t want it to begin with. Or even worse a let them eat cake moment where you imply they should do something that has no meaning in their reality. Eg telling somebody who lives month to month they should take a year off to enjoy life or something really dumb like that.

    • Financial Samurai says

      You know you got me thinking about who I’ve hated in my career, and I can frankly say I can’t think of anybody.

      The guy who gave me a hard time at my first job out of college gave me the hard head to get through the next 11 years at my next job. He was also someone who gave me a chance to have a job, so I can’t hate him.

      The rich guy(s) who use their connections to advance can’t be blamed b/c everybody would have done the same thing.

      The guy who showed favoritism over his own kind can’t be faulted either since cronyism is everywhere.

      The guy who jacked me on my bonus the last year, I can’t blame him or them b/c the industry was hurting, I did better than average the year before, and they gave me the courage to engineer my layoff, negotiate a severance, write a book, build this site, and live a life of freedom!

      I’m not ashamed of success. I just don’t want to rub it continuously in anybody’s face in person (hence modest car, non flashy clothing, etc) or highlight my life too much. For example, I’m currently on vacay for a couple weeks. Nobody needs to know about my adventures b/c they are pretty irrelevant.

  16. The Financial Blogger says

    Hey Sam,

    Unfortunately, when you succeed, some people hate you for that. Since USA is a symbol of success, other countries will hate them for that. Their military situation is a great example of how this country is in a catch-22:
    When they take action in a country, USA is blamed for doing “military dictatorship”. But when they do nothing for a country with civil war, they are are blamed for not going!

    Personally, I don’t really much attention to haters. If the only things they have to do in a day is to hate, I pity them. I guess it’s easier to hate people for what they do than trying to do it yourself ;-)

  17. mydropinthebucket says

    I live in a country where most people use favoritism and shortcaming to achive goals and progress in their job and life. I think you are right for what you wrote in the article, but that behavior is not applicable here. For example, if I did what you suggested, people might think I am just another recommended person who doesn’t deserve what he has because I haven’t earned it honestly (which in my case is not true at all) so I cover it by saying it’s just luck.
    Instead, I tend to promote what I do and how I do it, and the very hard work it requires to go ahead and achive results, in order to get people understand this way of living and working is possibile and right and full of satisfactions. I don’t care much of hate, if there is any, because I am proud of myself for living by my honest hard work and,despite all, achiving more success than others.
    By this I mean that, even you may be right in general to belittle oneself’s efforts in order to avoid hate, context may be defferent in different places and enviroments so one should behave accordingly to that.

  18. The First Million is the Hardest says

    There are just far too many people in the world to be liked by everyone. No matter what you do or how hard you try there will always be “haters”. It’s best just to brush them off and keep focused on with what you’re doing.

    Luck is an interesting premise. There is no doubt it plays a role in any sort of success, but I’d be willing to bet most people attribute far too little of their own success to luck. While someone on the outside will usually attribute far TOO MUCH of someone else’s success to luck. It’s all about having perspective I suppose.

    • Financial Samurai says

      I’ll agree with you there. I also think I’m guilty of attributing too much of my progress to effort as well. Writing this post helps me come back to earth and count my blessings.

  19. retirebyforty says

    “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” – That’s a great motto. I will remember this one and teach my kid the same thing. I don’t pay much attention to hater.
    I think my motivation come from the inside and other people don’t change the way I feel much.
    For early retirement, I tell a lot of people that I’m not working right now… It’s just easier than explaining myself and getting into a debate.

    • Financial Samurai says

      It really is the most motivating and memorable quote I’ve ever come across.

      You’re lucky you have powerful internal motivation. Mine is like a 8 cylinder engine with two broken cylinders. Need outside motivation to get them all firing a lot of times.

  20. Jeremy Noel Johnson says

    Sam, this is interesting. I have people in my current social circle that now think I am made out of money because I was a little loose in saying how much I allocated in investments and what we paid in cash for a few home improvements.

    I used to think that we should all be transparent and share exactly what we earn in $$, but I’m quickly realizing that the perception of others is outside my control and very quickly I could be viewed as “money bags” even though I don’t feel I’m rich by any means, just trying to cover my basis and be a smart investor/business owner.

    My view is to be more humble about things and focus on what is difficult for me and what my fears are when others talk to me about money (or other things). I only have a few peers in my social circle (family and friends I talk to in person), that make what I do, while most not working at all, or work only part of the year.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Financial Samurai says

      Hi Jeremy, good to hear you’ve become more low key. I remember when you first started years ago you were somewhat much more outspoken about your attributes, correct me if I’m wrong.

      Being IDed as the friend with money is no fun. Who wants to always be expected to pay for everything?

      • Jeremy Noel Johnson says

        You are correct Sam. I used to be very transparent and outspoken about everything. Even in regards to my net worth, which I published on my website, but I realize that caused more problems than not, so I won’t be doing that again.

  21. Mike says

    The thing that I found that helps me deal with haters is to continue working towards my goals of financial independence (usually through alternative means like side hustles). They are going to hate regardless of whether I help them with their problems or focus on my goals-and my goals tend to win since the only person I can control is myself (I had a high school cross country coach that told the team that repeatedly). If you continue working towards your goals and get used to doing the time, eventually you can turn most people.

    • Financial Samurai says

      I’ve found that once someone hates you, they’ll continue to hate you no matter how much you’ve achieved your goals. Achieving your goals and proving them wrong actually serves to hate you more, but by that time, they’ve probably moved on to someone else they’ve hated.

      Hence, a good strategy is to just tell them that you’ve failed to make them happy, even though you’ve succeeded beyond your wildest dreams.

  22. Jose says

    This sounds so anti-social but I could honestly give a crap what others think about me. Either accept me as I am or get the hell out of my life. I am in complete agreement with one item though, I never, ever, ever discuss my salary with anyone but my wife and my boss!

  23. Jules@Faithful With a Few says

    I think in everything it is important to remain humble and grateful for the talents and blessings we have. We can be proud of what we have and do without being boastful and throwing it in people’s faces. I have dealt with this in my weight loss, I don’t talk about it unless someone asks me. I’m doing it for me, not others. I don’t want to ever think that I am better than someone else.

  24. STEVEN J. FROMM, ATTORNEY, LL.M. (TAXATION) says

    There is something really sad about this post and the strategies you suggest. Being dishonest with yourself is not good for one’s self esteem, but it may be necessary in the world we live in. We are not far removed from 1947 world of Jackie Robinson shown in the movie 42. So I grudgingly agree with your advice but it makes me sad for so many reasons.

    • Financial Samurai says

      It’s not being dishonest with yourself, it’s being dishonest with those who hate you. There’s a big difference here. As far as I’m concerned, those who hate you don’t deserve anything.

      There’s also another point to this post which I need to emphasize: Have a great time and enjoy your success with folks who love you! Just don’t be so overt about it that folks start getting jealous.

  25. Grace says

    I love your posts Sam (aka Financial Samurai). I especially liked your previous post on how to deal with bullies. This was also a very popular article according to Google. I like your insight too. Your chances of good luck are increased with hard work and discipline!!!

    The only thing I disagree with is allowing haters any satisfaction or appeasement. Maybe I just find it annoying to have to appease haters at all to begin with because they don’t deserve any kind of satisfaction. It’s an affront to my pride. If I had to work hard for something, I think it’s equally valid to tell the hater that you had to work hard and if they wanted to work as hard then by all means they would be in the same place as you are. (Aka call them out for being lazy.)

    I felt so strongly about this I commented.

    • Financial Samurai says

      Ahhh, but Grace, eventually your haters will find out what a success you are. Then they might just blow a fuse! How gratifying would that be as you continue to enjoy your success? :)

  26. Jon says

    You have a good post. I wish it wasn’t true or I didn’t have to follow this, but unfortunately I do. I have gained a lot of haters at my work place to the point of them making my work life miserable. I am in the military. The last few weeks I have really humbled myself and it seems to have gotten some of them off my back. My issue is a big portions of my haters outrank me and try and step on me, and the other portion are my peers who will lie on me, cheat, or do whatever to get better annual evaluations than me. They see me doing my best and demonstrating skills in just about everything they can’t do nor do they even try to do, and they set out to tarnish me. I have one more test to get my bachelors degree, and I got my associates just last year. I am smart, good looking, artistic in both music and drawing, athletic, charismatic, kind, and confident. I have a technical job in the military and am very good at it. I think people get jealous and feel stupid around me. They try to keep me from all the female students that come around, because the girls will ask for me and tell everybody they think I’m cute, and I have no interest in dating any of these girls, nor would I. This especially pisses off men senior to me in rank who view themselves as a don juan, when the girls swoon over me. I know all this sounds stupid, and my post may sound arrogant, but believe me I am not arrogant and I am a kind person. I’m not even that good looking, but I don’t hit on girls and try and show off like they do. I would do anything to help people and feel good when they do good, achieve things, or are even better at things than me. I don’t get jealous or understand it, so it took me a really long time just to recognize how vain and jealous people really can be, and since then I down play everything I do, I don’t correct anybody talking about stuff I know to be false. I have to hide I almost have my bachelor degree, because a lot of people that out rank me do not have it, or they do, but see I will pass them in life or be at their status shortly. Its all just a big headache to me, but since I have humbled myself and downplay every success I have that they see, and keep a secret the successes they don’t see away from work, my work environment has gotten better and the wolves have backed off me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *