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 Man, World 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.
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.
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.
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.
“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!