Updated: Mar 7
Originally written on 06/30/2018 at 06:19.
The most common reason that makes insecure people hate is finding out that you are much ahead of them when they thought you were dumber or lower than them. Their prejudice could be a result of you being new, poor, minority, etc. Since they started out treating you unfairly, they don’t want to feel like they were wrong/unreasonable/immoral for doing so. Instead, they look for reasons to justify their hating you (cognitive dissonance). People don’t change their behavior to match their attitude. They change their attitude to match their behavior. They look for things they can hate you for. They try to find out things they can attribute your success to (a rich family, connections, luck, etc) so they don't feel bad about being so much behind you. If they can’t find anything, they make cheap attacks. They try to ruin your reputation. That you worked hard is probably the last consideration on their mind because it implies that they did not work hard. Most don’t want to accept that they are wasting away their lives doing dumb shit.
Therefore, when you meet people who expect you to be dumb, you have no option but to play along until they get to know you deeply. Until you reach a positive relationship, it is pointless to say anything. Their empathy for you must overshadow their prejudices. They must first have faith in you before you reveal the truth, for truth is omnipresent. Faith only allows man to see it.
Something wonderful happens in this process of their getting to know you. They get to see that you are just a normal person, who was born no different. The reason you achieved more is simply that you worked hard. I was not luck or something extrinsic. Once they see you grind, they will feel inspired. When they see the causal link between your achievement and your work ethic, they will change their position. In fact, they will find in themselves a new respect for you. If don't play along when they first mistreat you, you are bound to be hated.
We get to see this dynamic between Vegeta and Goku. Vegeta started out thinking
Goku was weak and treated him unfairly. His prejudice was a result of class differences. He was a proud prince, and Goku was a low-class soldier. He started hating Goku only when he discovered he was much stronger. His prejudice was a mere illusion. Goku treated him exactly how he should have. Later in Buu saga, he tried to hide his power from Vegeta because he did not want him to hate him. He even lost his battle with him. He knew Vegeta’s jealousy was misplaced. Goku didn't go all out until Vegeta found out about Super Saiyan 3. By that time, he had discovered why Goku was always ahead of him. It was not by chance. It was because Goku learned from every battle. He fought to improve himself. Vegeta, however, fought only to terrorize and kill. Once he realized that Kakarot deserved to be no 1, he quit hating him.
People either hate or follow those they consider smarter, though to hate may be easier than to follow. To the dumber, they offer rejection. A genuine friendship seems possible only when people consider you just as smart as they are (Kosinski, Schwartz, Stillwell, Youyou, 2017). Therefore, don't come across as smarter, even if you think you are (though I would encourage humility).