New Study Reveals How Haters Make Friends

Haters are drawn to one another like moths to a flame, and their hatred of you is that flame.

Here’s what we already know: A typical hater is harmless, he doesn’t wish ill on you, but rather, he just doesn’t want you to be so happy. Haters are incapable of being happy for your success, and thus they live to expose a flaw in your game plan. So, if you think that you’re all that, a hater will enter your world to remind you that you are not.

And now researchers have discovered how haters manage to find other toxic people to roll with.

According to a recent study, “Interpersonal Chemistry Through Negativity: Bonding by Sharing Negative Attitudes About Others,” published in the Journal of Personal Relationships, the shared hatred — of you — is the glue that bonds haters together.

Graduate student Jonathan Weaver tested this theory with undergrads in a blind study. The students filled out questionnaires and indicated which professors they did not like. Afterwards, a mediator handed them a questionnaire of a different student, and revealed that the student also didn’t like the same professor. The students who hated the same professor felt as if they knew each other better.

Jennifer Bosson, a social psychologist at the University of South Florida, and her colleagues authored the study on negative friendships. “It’s not that we enjoy disliking people,” Bosson, reported. “It’s that we enjoy meeting people who dislike the same people.”

Shared negative attitudes is key; two people can become fast friends by finding a third person to hate, the hatred of the third person develops trust, and that trust develops the kinship.

How does hate blossom into friendship?

The reason is this: You are expected to play nice to make a friend, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all,” is the golden rule. But to step outside of society’s rules and openly share your hatred about someone, develops an instant trust.

For haters, the bonding process is twofold: They speak of their dislike of you, and are frank about it, so they can be trusted to be frank about other things, and, if two people dislike you, they have shared values, and thus, they will like each other more. That process is called “Negativity Friendships.”

And, alas, the hateration ensues and is widespread.
According to the Urban World Dictionary, the term “haters” first appeared around 2003. Today, a “Google” search produced more than 27 million hits.

The proliferation of hater-based websites such as, and, make a sport of knocking folks down a peg, and obviously, building new toxic friendships among themselves.

But don’t let it get you down, go-getter, haters are always gonna hate.

Zondra Hughes

Deputy Editor, Rolling Out

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