Nick Viall is one of the most divisive figures in Bachelor Nation’s history. He is widely known as a villain, yet he has also had several moments of redemption throughout his four “Bachelor” franchise experiences. In a June 8, 2022 “Call Her Daddy” Spotify exclusive podcast interview with Alex Cooper, Viall opened up about how he learned to stop letting his haters drag him down.
How the Hate Began
As “Bachelor” fans know, Viall was first introduced to TV audiences on season 10 of “The Bachelorette,” starring Andi Dorfman. He got the first impression rose and ended up coming in second, losing out to baseball player, Josh Murray.
Viall returned to the series in season 11, where he landed in the runner-up position once again, this time with Kaitlin Bristowe. In both seasons of “The Bachelorette,” many viewers labeled Viall a villain.
He first received derision after he outed his intimate relationship with Dorfman on “After the Final Rose” in 2014. Then, in 2015, Viall angered fans because he “had beef with several of the other dudes on Kaitlyn’s season,” reports Flare. Viall was also criticized frequently for his “oversized ego,” as one Reddit user describes it.
Although he was able to mend his reputation somewhat after appearing on “Bachelor in Paradise,” and then becoming the actual Bachelor in season 21, Viall still deals with a lot of negative criticism on a daily basis. Even his relationship advice podcast, The Viall Files, where he tries to help others navigate their love lives, has received harsh comments. For example, one detractor posted on Reddit, “Nobody should take ‘Dating advice’ from a 40 year old man who is dating a 22 year old.” The poster is making reference to Viall’s girlfriend, Natalie Joy, who joined the Spotify podcast about halfway through.
The Hate Really Messed with Viall’s Mental Health
Viall told Cooper in the podcast interview that fans “always want you to talk s*** about other people,” and they like to do the same online. When Viall was on the show, there was not much support from producers in terms of helping the participants deal emotionally with all of the negative feedback, he told Cooper. However, he thinks it has gotten better since then.
According to Viall, cast members have learned to lean on each other for support. Viall found himself talking through his anxieties with fellow “Bachelor” star, Ben Higgins. He explained, “We went through it, we relate to each other and we’ll call each other especially when we’re like, ‘Man, f*** I’m struggling. I’m caught down a rabbit hole looking at s*** people are talking about me.”
Viall admitted that he always had problems with being a people-pleaser, and with trying to get everyone to like him, which he partially attributes to being one of 11 children. He confessed that according to his therapist, birth order really matters. Viall was the oldest boy, and the second oldest child.
For Viall, his people-pleasing personality made it particularly difficult to mentally process how others were viewing him, and what they were saying about him. He explained to Cooper that if you believe the positive, you also have to believe the negative; “and then you’ll go down that rabbit hole and it’s just such a toxic thing. What other people think of us is none of our business, but we’re exposed to everyone’s opinions of us.”
How Viall Has Learned to Handle the Negativity
Viall feels lucky that he got negative criticism before he got praise because he thinks it helped him gain perspective. He has stopped trying to prove his critics wrong because that gives him an empty feeling. “Chasing that dopamine hit of validation,” Viall asserted, makes him feel “almost hung over.”
He thinks that trying to get everyone to like you is a futile endeavor and not one that people should be pursuing anyway because “then you, at some level, are trying to adapt to everyone’s personality and you’re not really being your truest self.”
This attitude has helped him develop a “soft spot for villains…Because I’m a big believer in whether it’s on a reality TV, or in life, if everyone likes you, then you’re not authentic.” He believes that you have to be your true self in order to be happy, and if you are your true self, you are always going to have detractors because “we’re all different.” You just cannot let it bother you because you cannot control what other people think and say about you.