Because I know that you make up just a teeny tiny portion of the people reading this, it's unfair to address this letter to you. So...
According to Wiki: “Haters are identified as people who offer solely negative criticism to others, without justification. Haters deal in negative cognitive bias, prejudicially arriving at a conclusion first and then drawing in their reasons afterward, refusing to alter their conclusion with exposure to the opinions of others. Haters are frequently thought of as imposing their self-hate on others."
"Urban Dictionary: "A person that simply cannot be happy for another person's success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person".
Now that that's out of the way... contrary to what you and some others may think, I actually need you. Before you scrunch up your noses and ask why anyone would need haters, I'll give you 5 reasons why.
1. They keep you very driven. As they say, if you have no fire under your ass you're not going to run fast. Haters keep you from getting too comfortable. Remember that comfort is the enemy, comfort makes you lazy, uninspired, comfortable... And then you begin to lose that fire, that drive... And that's the pathway to mediocrity, or worse yet, failure.
2. They fuel your resolve: They don't only drive you and keep you on your toes, they remind you that they're waiting for you to slip, to stop, to fall, to drift into oblivion. And you, you know you cannot give them or anyone that satisfaction. So at those times when things get hard, when inspiration wanes, when the body and mind weaken, when you want to give up, they're a motivating factor. Some times they are "the" motivating factor. You have no idea how many times I've thought of wrapping it up and then I remember that person who's so bothered by my existence, my blog and everthing I represent. Then I sit up straight, lace my shoes and keep running. I just cannot give anyone that satisfaction.
3. They keep you grounded; You really need haters yo! You need them to stop the success from getting to your head. Some times the applause can be so loud it becomes deafening and you begin to get high on the adulation. You need those scathing words to bring you down from cloud nine, back to earth. You need them to keep you grounded. Why do you need to be grounded? Well I'll tell you. Because you need to stay driven, stay hungry, stay focused. Remember that when you're at the top there's no where else to go but down. Staying at the top is an even bigger struggle than climbing to the top. So you see, you cannot afford to get comfortable. Remember #1; comfort is the enemy.
4. You need their honesty; Haters can be the most honest critiques that you have. Your friends, fans, lovers and admirers, because of their affection for you, would sometimes shield you from the truth when all you need is that hard truth. Haters don't care about your feelings or emotions, in fact they live to bruise your feelings and emotions. Therefore, when it comes to criticism they will not hold back. Now, remember that not all criticism is negative or false even. Some of the best decisions I have made in my life and on my blog were based on some caustic comment someone made. But I was wise enough to sift it, pick some painful truth out of it and improve on myself/craft. You cannot grow without criticism.
5. They actually make you feel great about yourself; Once you're able to recover from the initial sting of their words (for those who still get stung), you begin to wonder why this person really takes the time to spew their hate on you. And then you realize, no one wastes time on a nobody! If you're nothing, you affect no one, you threaten no one, you bother no one. But, when you're somebody, then you do. Remember that when someone tries to bring you down it is only because you're above them and they know it. You simply cannot pull down someone who's beneath you!
...Really, if you've got none then you're doing something wrong. Remember that no one bothers with a nobody. Yet, know that if you're pursuing your goals simply/solely because of "haters" then you're obviously on the wrong track, chasing the wrong dreams and choosing the wrong goals. They should be among your least motivating factors.
How to deal with them; Simply remember that it's not about you. You read that line from Wiki's definition; Haters are frequently thought of as imposing their self-hate on others.
Most times we see haters as people hiding behind the screens and abusing the gift of anonymity, yet not every hater is faceless and unknown. Some haters are "friends", colleagues, family members. My friend's mother continues to tell her she will amount to nothing, and everytime she gets a new job or an opportunity, momma never misses a chance to make jabs at her and bring her down (what a mother, right?). There are those bosses that just rubbish everything you say or do, they find absolutely nothing good in you, some times they verbalize their hate and tell you you will remain an underling. And there are those acquaintances who continue to talk smack and try to tarnish your name and give people reasons to dislike even your best efforts... They come in all forms. Have you ever had to deal with a hater? Tell us about it, tell us how you handled it.
Lastly, please know that not everyone who dislikes you, your product or what you stand for, is a hater.