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Characters to Know: The Hater

Both in life and in literature, there are always unpleasant individuals. They may serve as the wrench in one’s plans, the bully, or the antagonist. Here are a few characteristics of the Hater type:

  • habitually puts others down

  • constantly fights for the spotlight

  • typically envious of what others have, wanting it all for themselves

Such people destroy the peace and amicability around them through sheer negativity.

The negative emotions of Haters are generally directed at a particular person, or a group of people.

  • The Hater sees the individual or the group as a threat

  • The Hater hates himself/herself and focuses that negativity on others

  • The Hater secretly wants to be the one/s he hates and attacks them through envy and malice

  • As Haters usually want to be in the position of the person/s they hate, they are trapped at a level well below the person/s they hate.

  • Haters are most annoying as they always find a flaw in something positive.

10 Essential Characteristics of a Hater

  1. Totally self-centered

  2. Judgmental

  3. Hypocritical

  4. Is domineering and controlling

  5. Engages in loud whiny conversations, on the phone, on the bus or where others can hear

  6. Complains about everyone and everything.

  7. Is a bully who will find something to criticize about everyone no matter how hard people try to please

  8. When a hater makes a mess of things, it is always somebody else’s fault

  9. Constantly worries and is anxious

  10. Has little to no self-confidence

Behavioral aspects of a Hater

The Hater is also known as the “Envier” type who cannot be happy about another person's success.

  • Haters are most annoying as they always find a flaw in something positive

  • Out of an entire conversation, the hater will pull a negative point out and continue to dwell on it just to make someone feel bad

  • Haters are pathetic characters as they are overwhelmed by insecurity and bask in other people’s flaws to forget their own

  • The only reason haters point out another’s flaws is because they want the other person to be doubtful about his/her capabilities.

  • Consequently, a hater will never give constructive criticism which is a way of making someone feel better and positive

  • Haters always think they know more than everyone else

  • Haters are pessimists who always anticipate the worst even when things are going right for them

  • Nothing can make them smile

  • Haters are serial whiners who believe the whole world is up against them

  • They are never able to try out new experiences as they fear discomfort, challenges and failure

Caption: The target of the hater often never sees the betrayal coming.

Shaping the Hater persona

When writing, build your Hater character based on the people you have read about or people you know. Highlight truly evil acts, and making the hater someone the reader will detest.

  • Over time, a hater’s behavior exposes the truth, and onlookers gradually understand the repressed perverted admiration of the hater towards the person s/he hates.

  • Remember not to give your hater too many likable traits such as stylishness, competence, or courage. Make them just functional enough to appear a loathsome character.

  • Create the hater as an underachiever who sees no possibility of a better tomorrow.

  • The hater barely thinks of possible change because s/he does not look beyond their real or imagined misery.

  • The hater’s approach to life is similar to ‘being stuck in a dark tunnel.’

  • A hater will have limited experiences in life, and cannot recognize or appreciate joy, passion, beauty, and excitement.

  • The hater is often close to their target - a relative, co-worker, or associate in a friends’ group.


In Life: Take, for instance, what Tonya Harding, former American figure skater did to her rival Nancy Kerrigan, in 1994. The former hired a hitman to club Kerrigan’s knee so she would be unable to participate in the Olympics.

Caption: Left Tonya Harding, Right Nancy Kerrigan Source:

In Literature: Draco Malfoy, arch-nemesis of Harry Potter. Malfoy uses ridicule, sabotage, and physical aggression toward Potter. Character traits include Scorn, contempt, envy, and elitism.

Caption: The adversarial nature and aggression of the Hater can extend for months and even years. Source:

Choose a common trigger to highlight in your writing:

  • Gradually move the hater the target. Determine how the hater will position himself/herself as a saboteur. How will the hater hurt the target?

  • Hatred will ultimately destroy the hater, used detailed imagery.

  • How is the hater expelled? Are they banished? Imprisoned? Meet an untimely end?

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