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What To Do When Everybody Hates You And You Want To Die

What To Do When Everybody Hates You And You Want To Die

I’ve been blogging for a little over three years now.

If you don’t know who I am, then just know that my mission in life is to help men reclaim their power and feel ok about being a human being.

And a huge piece of my work is helping them show up with love, compassion, authenticity, presence, sexual power, and the utmost integrity in their relationships with women.

I am a man who worships and adores women.

So if you are a woman who gets triggered by the fact that I help men “reclaim their power” or that “I help men master their relationships with their women and their work” then suck a dick. Literally. Your husband, boyfriend, or partner will be much more likely to return the favor.

Anyway, I usually average around 100 visits a day here on my little corner of the internet. That number goes up to around 1000 on a day when I post a blog.

Last Tuesday, I wrote a little blog post about a game that my girlfriend Liz and I played after breakfast and in this moment it’s gotten over 155,000 views.

Which means that a little over 100 times more people than usual read my “Fuck You Spiritual People” post.

My usual blog readership is a mix of internet entrepreneurs, authors, life coaches, shamans, sex experts, world traveling nomads, public speakers, and my friends from various conferences and events I’ve attended like Burning ManWorld Domination Summit, SXSW, Awesomeness Fest, and The Conference For Men.

Also mixed in there are my friends from my hometown of Tucson, Arizona, some friends from the MBA program at The Ohio State University, and a handful of friends I made while working in Human Resources at Johnson & Johnson.

So I really wasn’t prepared for this article to go viral like it did. Nothing that I’ve written has ever gotten more than 20,000 views (besides this one little post I wrote called I Love Women).

But in this process of writing this post and living through the week after it, I learned a very valuable lesson.

One that might save your life.

So here’s what to do when everybody hates you and you want to die.

But before I go into that, I want to tell you a quick story.

You see, when I was young I grew up as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

You might recognize them from their Saturday morning visits to your place of residence when you’re trying to sleep in. Besides the UPS guy and the occasional kid selling candy, they are probably the only other people who have knocked on your door in the past five years.

Despite growing up without celebrating any holidays and having to knock on doors every Saturday morning in a suit and tie while my friends watched cartoons…

I had a picture perfect upbringing.

My father came home every day after delivering the mail at his job with the US Postal Service and we went to the park together as a family. My parents never got a babysitter for their anniversary dinners. We did everything together as a family.

I still kissed my parents on the lips deep into elementary school.

My parents have said “I Love You” to me thousands of times. I think I even slept with them in the same bed until I was nine or ten. I don’t know for sure though. My memory gets a little fuzzy anywhere before the age of 30.

I’m so grateful that I was born into the family that I did. In many aspects, I won the parental lottery.

But when I was in my late teens, I first started to think about killing myself.

Because as kind, gentle, and God-fearing the Jehovah’s Witnesses are, they also have a strict disfellowshipping process for anyone who leaves the organization.

Which means if you choose to leave the organization or get caught doing “something bad,” you will be shunned, and everyone in the organization is commanded to ignore you. And since you aren’t allowed to have any friends outside of the organization, it means you lose your entire social foundation.

Your friends, your family, your everything. Every single one of them.

Which meant that when I started masturbating at the age of ten or eleven, I knew I was a “bad boy.” When I finally had my first girlfriend as a senior in high school I knew I was a really bad boy. And when I finally had sex a month before my twentieth birthday I knew I was a really, really bad boy.

And the whole time I was worried that in any moment “they would find out” and I would lose everything because I was a “really bad boy.”

For most of my early life I hated myself. I just got used to the feeling.

But when everybody else started hating me too, that’s when I started to seriously consider ending my life.

Somewhere in between the ages of eighteen to twenty, I suffered what still remains one of the most painful memories of my life.

All of my friends were hanging out at a local fast food restaurant and I drove over there to meet them. There were about 20 of them inside. All of my best friends, many of which I had spent most of my life growing up together with.

I’ll never forget what happened when I pulled up and walked inside the restaurant.

All of them got up and walked out.

I just sat there by myself wondering why all of my friends hated me.

And in that moment all I wanted to do was die.

You see, it had gotten around that I had a “worldly” girlfriend. A girlfriend who wasn’t part of our religion. Which meant I was “bad.” Which meant I was a “bad association.” Which meant they weren’t supposed to hang out with me anymore.

“Do not be misled. Bad associations spoil useful habits.”1 Corinthians 15:33

That scripture still makes me cringe every time I hear it.

And that’s when my thoughts of ending my life got really strong.

I found one of my old journals a while back. It reads like a serial killer wrote it. Dark, scary, extremely sad, and full of graphic descriptions of murdering people in my church and committing suicide in front of everyone.

Here’s an excerpt from that journal from December 26, 1999.

Suicide Notes

Kind of creepy huh?

You probably wouldn’t expect that from the guy who’s first book has a picture of him with his arms outstretched wearing a unicorn shirt.

But that was me.

I numbed out frequently with alcohol and prescription drugs. Occasionally I cut myself to externalize all the pain that I felt inside. The only time I would cry was when I got really, really drunk. Which was pretty often.

And do you know how I made it through?

I don’t know either!

But miraculously I did.

I somehow survived driving drunk or high hundreds of times, taking enough pain killers to knock out an elephant, and operating from a place of complete and utter disregard for human life, especially my own.

Fast forward to today and I live in a two bedroom condo in Carlsbad, CA just minutes from the beach, highly successful men pay me thousands of dollars to support them in their businesses and relationships, my girlfriend has every amazing attribute of a woman that I could possibly ever want all wrapped up in one adorable little package, and I somehow have six pack abs despite hardly working out.

Life. Is. Good.

But somewhere buried far down below the chiseled pecs, I still have a scared little boy who is terrified of people not liking him.

So when I started to receive the comments from that now semi-famous blog post, that little boy got scared that he was going to lose all of his friends and he was going to be left sitting all by himself in a fast food restaurant alone wanting to die.

Fuck You Uno

Fuck You Dos

Fuck You Tres

Fuck You Cuatro

But the good news is that now I’m not an emotionally handicapped man-child anymore.

Now I have tools.

Now I have awareness.

Now I know what to do when everyone hates you and you want to die.

Here’s how I handle hate mail, violent communication, insults, and direct threats.

Here’s what I do when it feels like everyone hates me or is against me.

Here’s what I do when I’m so overwhelmed that it feels like there is no way out.

Pay attention. It might save your life.

 

1. I Cry

This is the magic bullet to 90% of your emotional problems. I promise you.

Men are killing themselves at a rate three to four times that of women because somewhere in their upbringing they decided to believe the societal lie that “men don’t cry.”

I cry all the time.

Granted the work that I do and the conversations that I have put me face to face with the world’s most painful situations on a daily basis, but we could probably all use a little more crying.

Crying is simply a process that your body goes through to release grief in your body. Which comes after any loss. Loss of a loved one, loss of your safety, loss of an identity, or loss of a dream.

Would you ever stop pooping for a year? Or hold in every fart for the rest of your life?

Then why would you ever hold back your tears?

In my yoga teacher training, I remember one of our teachers telling us to never hold back any kind of release that your body naturally makes.

A lot of us forget that crying is just a natural part of being human and nothing to be ashamed of.

In fact, we are so afraid of crying that we take all sorts of drugs to make the crying go away.

I like having my body as clean as possible, so I just choose the direct route to letting go.

Cry.

 

2. I Ask Myself, “How Can I Find A Way To Love This Person?”

Now this is getting into some serious bodhisattva shit here, but any time I find myself judging, hating, criticizing, or wanting to hurt someone, I ask myself a simple question:

“How can I find a way to love this person?”

For example, to the man who called me a “fucking annoying fake guru,” I love you.

I get it. I don’t trust those annoying fake gurus either. Sometimes it blows my mind that people even read the stuff that I put out on the Internet. Do you know how hard is it to spell hrostoski.com?

Thank you for reminding me about the man that I used to be in my early twenties. The man who didn’t trust anybody with any kind of authority.

In fact, I still have some trust issues with the gurus, which to be quite honest is holding me back a little in my ability to grow my business. Especially those marketing gurus.

Thank you for giving me an opportunity to walk my talk though.

Loving the people who love me is easy.

The growth comes by finding a way to love those people who hate me.

 

3. I Make A List Of Everything That I’m Grateful For

“Wait, I thought you were the “fuck gratitude” guy?”

No, I’m just the “give yourself permission to feel all of your emotions” guy.

Gratitude is the bomb!

I start almost every phone call with my clients, interns, or friends with a quick check-in where we each share three things that we are grateful for in that moment.

All of our energy shifts and we jump into the business at hand with open hearts.

So when you’re staring rock bottom directly in the face, give yourself permission to scream, yell, punch some pillows, or weep on the bathroom floor.

And then write down a list of 30 Things That You’re Grateful For.

It’s like the best anti-depressant ever without all of the harmful side effects.

 

4. I Don’t Let Them Shit In My Living Room Anymore

Last year I emailed Erika Napoletano, one of my friends and creative role models, a question about how to handle haters on my website.

She wrote back a response that I’ll never forget.

Erika Napoletano Is The Best

“Never forget that this is your house and no one can come into your living room and shit on your rug without your permission.”

What incredible advice.

I choose who I hang out with on a regular basis.

I choose who I follow on social media.

And I choose to let people comment openly on my blog and Facebook posts.

Any time anyone is attacking you, remember that you always have a choice!

You have the choice to walk away at any time and declare firmly that, “I’m sorry but I love myself too much to allow you to treat me this way.”

So stop following your annoying friend on Facebook. Block him if you have to.

If anybody harasses you on social media, block them immediately. I do.

Stop hanging out with your so-called “friends” who only put you down and make you feel wrong for the choices you make.

Walk (or run) away as fast as possible from toxic relationships. I know, some of those relationships are hard to walk away from. Especially if they are Mom and Dad, a boss, or a business partner.

But how much longer are you going to allow them to treat you like that?

Remember, you and only you are responsible for how other people treat you.

Be a warrior with your boundaries.

 

5. I Find Refuge In My Community

After a long day of fighting in the trenches, I find refuge in my community.

I find it in the arms of my woman as I lay my head down on her lap on the couch, recounting the day’s breakthroughs and victories.

I find it at bonfires, barbecues, dance parties, or dinners with my friends who are also on the same mission. People who are spending their waking hours making the world a better place are pretty amazing to relax into.

I find it in the Facebook groups that I run, the Skype chats with my friends from all over the world, and the loving text messages from friends who I haven’t seen since the last conference we’ve been to.

There is no way I could do this on my own.

I have an army of support behind me.

And I lean upon it regularly.

If I didn’t, I’d probably kill myself.

How did I build this epic community?

One relationship at a time.

 

So there you have it.

If you’re going through a tough time right now, then congratulations for being a human being!

I’m right there with you my friend. And the good news is that you will never have everything all figured out. So stop trying to reach the imaginary finish line of life.

Yes, there will probably always be a group of people that hate you.

And in fact, the more successful you become, the bigger that group will get.

But don’t let the haters slow you down.

Destroy them with Love.

And keep on fighting the good fight.

I Love You my fellow human.

###

PS – The moral of this story has nothing to do with blaming our parents, our religion, or our upbringing for our current life’s circumstances. It has everything to do with taking a stand once and for all for your life. You got this!

[Photo Credit]

 

  • Nina

    You’re a supernova! Yeah, you received those hate comments, but you saw the goods. Now you’re reaching a wider audience of men (and women) and tell them it’s alright to cry :) Let it out everyone.

  • Jennifer

    Thank you. I have had days and will probably have days again when I will reread this to help me see I am not alone. Actually, the “fuck you” game made me feel better today, I didn’t play it but the idea of it helped me change my perspective.

  • Louise

    When you’re done crying your heart out, I find that dancing helps a lot too. I did a massive air guitar and weird facial expressions plus funny leg moves to that “I’m just a teenage dirtbag, baby”-song a couple of days ago, and it just relieved my heart. I imagine a good Bruce Springsteen-song would do the same. Anything with energy, guitar and drums. Then, just move your body. And look silly. It takes a lot of weight off of your shoulders.
    Orgasms are great too, obviously, but if you don’t have time for that/are not in a place where sex is possible/are not comfortable around your body and sexuality, dancing wildly kind of does the same.

  • Mutty

    I love all this shit! thank youuuuu good men you are. Inspiring!

  • http://rehabrevolution.blogspot.com Pamela

    I interrupted a much-needed bout of journaling about this precise subject (how no matter how much I claim to ignore/take with a grain of salt all the negative critics and Negative Nancies in my life I still inexplicably care what they think deep down) to read this post. It spoke to me with the resounding voice of God.

    . . . but seriously, thank you for sharing your demons. That’s some major societal trauma there and I honor your courage for telling us. I, for one, loved your viral post (despite being someone who is usually overly offended by the F word!) because I saw exactly what you were trying to say.

    This will probably be the best thing I read today, so, thank you again. This is amazing.

    Much love to you! You have a new fan :)

  • Charis

    I first became aware of you with your “Fuck You” post. It really resonated with me, but I wasn’t aware of why until I read this post. I was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses until a couple years ago. I wish I would have left when you did, but I waited until I was almost 40. There will be people who hate you for growing and showing them how little they actually understand the world. I recently came to the remarkable realization that haters only come along when you have found a measure of success. Otherwise, they wouldn’t even know you exist. So count your blessings. Congratulations on being successful enough to draw the bad with the good!

  • Sharmaine

    Love you, Mike! For being who you are :)

  • Crusher

    Your share regarding childhood and those feelings you had is important. You should examine those experiences a little further, consider how it relates to kids today and write about that, rather than suggest you don’t know how you got over it. — i’m sure it’d be relative to your clients too.

    You’re an interesting guy and I enjoy reading your blog. Yet, beyond “Fuck it”, please watch the over generalizations around your experiences. Some people can’t just walk away from some situations. I work in international development and interact with people in hospitals who face problems that help put our challenges in true perspective. I want to keep reading your stuff and feel you’ve got some cool growth to come. Not that I have all the answers, that’s for sure!

  • Nancy

    Thanks for sharing your experience, it rang true for me too being raised in the JW cult. Sad but true, glad you found your way out!

  • Jewel

    Erika is right, for every hater there are many more that love you.

    I shared that post on my Facebook page and this is what I said;

    “This goes to the top of my list of favorite things.”

    Thank you!

  • helen

    Love this and your ‘fuck you’ article.
    I’m starting to write myself about my life experiences and how I got through them.
    So thanks for the heads up and your inciteful sharing,
    and Kudos to you for loving your haters.
    Haterz gonna hate!

  • http://www.connieville.com Connie Trowbridge

    Everyone has already made some excellent points so I’ll keep it simple…Thank you for all that you do. Many, MANY of us greatly appreciate it. You give us courage and inspire us to be as authentic as possible.

    You fucking rock!

  • Dee

    Really, really brilliant and inspiring post. Bravo.

  • http://www.hungerforhappiness.com Shannon Lagasse

    Mike, you fucking rock and I adore you with every ounce of my being.

    I’m with you in the whole “I don’t have friends, everybody hates me” point. I called that an eating disorder.

    And there are times when people will talk shit about the way I dress or the way I speak, and sometimes I contemplate just giving up. Because that seems like it would be easier than facing this shit from people even more so than I do now as my business grows.

    But it would be so much harder to live a life without purpose, which is why I’m so grateful for this blog. Puts the haters in perspective and reminds me that there is always something to love about these people, always a lesson to learn.

    And while it fucking sucks to take the ownership of it all the time, I can’t imagine going back to being an ignorant victim.

    Keep shining bright, Mike, and putting your shit out there. You are needed. Your work is needed. <3

  • Joëlle

    Hi,
    I live in a sort of secluded community, we all live in teh same building and take decisions for everyone by a vote of the majority.(I do have my own appartement). However, lately people are on a revenge spree against me for making them respect the rules at one point or another… I now know what it feels like to be wrongfully accused and to have innocent pay just so that they can get to you(which I find sooo sooo worng)anywho I do pray for them all the time and it’s not easy. So thanks for confirming that my steps to handle this, well at least one other person in the world shares them. Don’t feel so alone anymore!
    God bless
    Joelle

  • Christina

    ☺sweet, you rock from my heart to yours.

  • Guest

    Your authenticity and bravery are inspiring. You, and others like you, are renewing my hope that men can evolve and break free of the jails in which our society / culture tries to imprison them. Thank you. By the way – I *loved* your “Fuck You Spiritual People…” blog and have sent it out to all of my friends and family. How fucking cathartic.

  • sara

    Thank you. My husband, who I brought here from the PI, left me and my daughter and wants a divorce. It is nice to know it is ok to vent. I wish he would have talked to me. But maybe this is good thing. I can focus on my kids. It is hard to be alone after having everything i always wanted. I hope that someday he can take your advice and grow up emotionally.

    • http://www.hrostoski.com/ Mike Hrostoski

      Yes. It’s ok to vent. It’s ok to cry. It’s ok to laugh. It’s ok to sing.

      Everything is ok. :)

  • Janet O’Donoghue

    Fuck, thank you and thank fuck for you!

  • Alison

    I have kept trying to put my finger on why I may like some of your root philosophy, but utterly dislike your methodology. I have concluded that it is entirely cultural, and from a purely American standpoint that raises my hackles. Your upbringing as a JW is essential to this American cultural brainwashing that makes even inner peace a territory that has to be conquered. I am American, but with a deeply rooted British cultural background and Anglican upbringing that has gravitated my personality to a much gentler manner of addressing others and living in the world, while being no less ruthlessly effective- but only when it comes to fact and reason.

    Your methodology is chaotic, confrontational, conquering…and most importantly, a con. The most American thing about you is your resemblance to Tom Cruise’s Frank Mackey character in “Magnolia”, and your ability to take that methodology and apply Werner Erhard’s philosophy- another used car salesman who made a million turning Alan Watts’ wisdom into a corporate formula. Making a million dollars shouting the secrets to life to money-hungry middle-class American douchebags is just about the most douchebag American career you could possibly have. In all honesty, everything you write is proof as to why the great Richard Dawkins, in his ability to set American religious douchebags raging, does so while being perfectly kind, reasonable, gentlemanly, factual and English.

    Alan Watts was once an Anglican priest, and his civilized manner and gentle way of being was essential to being so effective in his discourses and his book sales. Though he was much more well known than you, I am quite certain he was considerably poorer. Richard Dawkins, an atheist, has a much more recognizable name than yours as well. Even Werner Erhard has had to acknowledge the need to dial back on calling everyone an asshole who has paid money for his overpriced seminars.

    Whatever it is that American “power men” find appealing in you, is something that I thankfully find totally lacking in British men…who are no less powerful, and no less pragmatic. In fact, considering how the civilized Dawkins can anger rich American megachurch pastors in just a few minutes of discourse, I am fully convinced that it has less to do with him being a civilized atheist, and more to do with Americans being confrontational douchebags, fixated on money, who are always right about everything, even when wrong.

    But then, my upbringing was most assuredly -not- Low Church, which certainly explains the difference in methodology between you and Alan Watts.

  • Nancy

    I just stumbled across your Fuck You Spiritual People post which led me to this one. Both are great, btw, but I am curious to know if your family shuns you now? I too was raised a JW and know all too well all those feelings you talked about. I was never disfellowhipped though many people treat me as though I was, including my brother and his family who believe I am an apostate (which, by their definition, I am). So I am curious… where you able to leave and keep your family?

  • MonGuf

    This article is a mental and spiritual prostituiton that sadly people
    refer to as “bravery” and “authenticity”. You know that person who post
    screenshots of emails , post and his own suicide letter(!) for all
    strangers to see, must be pretty desperate. Pause and question his
    motives. Surely he has a purpose . And you want people like him to
    “coach” you and even waste your valuable time reading this blog ? What
    society did we create – everything for sale, human interaction, emotions ,thoughts , soul
    .Sad

  • mimi

    I am reading through the comments and I am seeing how some of it may connect to what you wrote. In reality, most people would never go through with sharing what you have publically, unless they have attained some fame(and I suppose that also brings an inkling of self confidence, or perhaps it is the other way around). But I get it. Because in some ways, I am and was there, where you were. I enjoyed reading both the blog post and the comments, though I will admit that the recent two baffled me. But I suppose that is the purpose of this platform: to freely and honestly express ourselves. At the end, it is up to the reader to decide and choose how to respond.

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