Marmite – Do People Love You or Hate You?

Marmite – Do People Love You or Hate You

The last few days I’ve been listening to and enjoying Chris Moyles’ programme on Radio One. For Comic Relief, he set about trying to break the world record for the longest broadcasted programme. With 52 hours on the radio in one go, that’s a lot of Chris Moyles. And he did it!

Chris Moyles is a regular visitor in our bedroom each morning as at times we found ourselves chuckling along. He’s joins us as we wake up and is there again as I’m driving to the park to take my dog for a walk. I used to find him obnoxious, annoying, sexist and rude. But my wife got me into him, and now I have to say there are moments when I laugh out loud and love their banter. I enjoy the simplicity and stupidity of their laughter. It reminds me of the inane conversation I’d have when I was in the sixth form when people just enjoyed being. Listening to Chris Moyles helps keep everything else in perspective- I can’t believe I just wrote that! He’s just a whole load of fun and reminds me that work really isn’t the be all and end all.

So when I wanted to see how much money had been raised as part of his record breaking attempt, I logged onto Twitter to do a quick search. Than I saw it. Marmite. Lots of it. Loads were loving what he was doing. But I was surprised by how many people were spitting acid at him. Like they really disliked him, calling him insult after insult. Now that I loved him, I was surprised to be reminded that lots didn’t.

Like Marmite, you either love him or you hate him.

More often than not, if some people passionately love someone or something you can be sure others will passionately feel the opposite: Obama, Wayne Rooney, Mark Zuckerberg.
I’ve made a mistake in the past in wanting to be loved by everyone. It has affected decisions I’ve made, to try and not upset people by what in hindsight was the wrong decision. I’ve been used to having such good solid friends, that it became a bit of a drug to feel on good terms with all people. That’s just not possible.

I always loved Bono but others thought he was too full of himself.

I always loved Jeff Buckley but others thought he was just miserable. I always loved Braveheart but others hate Mel Gibson. Curb Your Enthusiasm. Oh Curb Your Enthusiasm. I mean how can you not love Larry David?

But there’s Marmite (and I love Marmite by the way), Bono, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Braveheart and Chris Moyles are all very successful in the way that many would judge success. They have found themselves to be comfortable in their own skin. But equally I had a teacher called Mr Elliot, who didn’t care what people thought of him, who was the best teacher I ever had. Some loved him, some didn’t. He focused on helping people play to their strengths and he wasn’t afraid to put himself out there and get overly enthusiastic about music and performing with passion.

I spend a lot of time with comedians and I’d always thought they would have skin as thick as hippos. But my friends would explain that actually comedians, though confident, do often have a deep level of insecurity. Some do look hippos, and they always realised that making girls laugh was one way of getting ahead in life. Yet, when performing, they are able to let go and allow themselves to be put into the space of being hated.

Sometimes not being afraid about being hated, and being true to your talents creates far more space to fully engage and be loved by those that matter. Yes, you can play it safe, try not to offend anyone, try not to upset anything and try simply to be good.

Lots of businesses are good and lots of businesses do well but lots of businesses are ignored.

Businesses can’t survive if their ignored.

Seth Godin in his book The Purple Cow, references the need to stand out. You need to be exceptional, different, outstanding and unique (like a purple cow), so that people remember you or your business and want to connected with you. Remember as soon as you allow yourself to be different, you’re going to rub some people up the wrong way.

When you’re loved for being exceptional, you may find yourself hated… but it’s less likely everyone will ignore you. So focus on playing to your passions, on growing your life into the niche that is right for you. Let go of the fear of being disliked, being misunderstood and being misrepresented.

One thing I’ve noted is when I’ve met people who say they don’t care what other people think of them, their often ignorant and horrible specimens of the human race. This is not encouraging you to be obnoxious. If there’s real flaws in your character, than work on them. And if you’ve made mistakes, say sorry. It’s still important to be warm, generous spirited and life with a healthy value system.

But even still others will take issue to you. You may be ridiculed, mocked, loathed, scorned, spurned and even hated. You think I’m being overly dramatic. Name one highly successful or fruitful person (however you define success) in society who doesn’t have their hate club (even if you can’t see it on the surface).
Don’t be afraid of being hated; you may just find it releases you from the fear that holds you back.

Alternatively, if you don’t ever want to be disliked, play it safe. And for fear of any negative associations, don’t let anyone know you like Marmite.