Have you ever had to deal with people online who seemingly take great joy in pointing out your flaws, inadequacies, and imperfections?
“I really liked you until you started to sell me something.”
“You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“You make all your money stealing from people.”
“I hope you get cancer and die.”
Ah, the inevitable haters. One of the many things that come with having a personal brand.
Don’t get me wrong. For every one negative comment, you’ll get many positive comments. But that doesn’t mean that one harsh comment won’t cut deep.
The internet has forever changed the way that we interact with people. For those who have a message to share, this is great news, but it also comes at a cost.
It wasn’t too long ago that if you wanted to get your message out into the world, you would need to be featured in established news media organizations.
Today, we have access to billions of people across the world and your message now has the opportunity to reach individuals of diverse cultural backgrounds, with vastly different opinions.
The thing to keep in mind is that negative pushback comes with the job title. Your passion for your message must outweigh the fiery darts that your haters are sure to throw.
But don’t let that scare you away. The bolder the message you are sharing, the more opinions and real conversation are bound to happen.
“Focus on impact, not approval. If you believe you can change the world, which I hope you do, do what you believe is right and expect resistance and expect attackers,” – Tim Ferriss
This is a good thing. It means people are paying attention to you and your message.
Many people fear public hate so much that it stops them from ever hitting “publish” on their content.
On the flip side, those who have been in the business for some time often grow weary of spiteful comments and messages and are quick to throw in the towel.
It’s time that we manage our expectations around these haters.
When you come across the online haters and trolls, here are a few things to keep in mind before you succumb to your urge to fight back and make matters worse.
1. Identify, Are They Critics or Haters?
This is a very important distinction!
Not everyone who is negative towards you is going to be a hater. And it’s important that you know the difference.
Constructive criticism should be looked at as a way for you to grow and improve upon what your followers are noticing about you and your message.
It should motivate you to continue working and enhance your craft. Constructive criticism shows a level of care from the individual leaving the comment, review or message.
In short, constructive criticism:
- Points out the action or what was said, but does NOT attack the person
- Is heavily supported by facts/logic
- Gives a person a chance to correct mistakes and allows room for improvement
- Builds someone up, even if it may sound a little harsh
- Requires observation before criticism is given
- Helps build an idea
- Tries to educate
Haters, on the other hand, will:
- Attack the person, not the argument
- Respond impulsively
- Point out negatives, while completely disregarding the positives
- Result in unfiltered, biased and insensitive opinions
- Tear down opinions, suggestions, and ideas
- Cause embarrassment
In a nutshell, haters and trolls are people who use their freedom of speech and privilege for the wrong reasons. They use their speech to intentionally hurt another.
2. Keep on Keepin’ On…You Can’t Please Them All
Knowing the difference between a hater and a critic is crucial to understand as it determines the way that you respond to various situations.
What you need to keep in mind when you run into a hater is the best way to silence them is the keep doing what you’re doing.
Haters want their hurtful messages to stop you and your message. But you’re simply above that and have too many other great community members that need your message.
Don’t let the haters and trolls be the reason that your message doesn’t reach the people it’s meant to.
If you’re trying to please
everyone you’re going to end up pleasing no one…. including yourself.
Remember the 30/30/30 rule. For every piece of content that you put out there, 1/3 will love your content, 1/3 will hate it and 1/3 will just not care at all.
It all comes down to the proper management of your expectations.
Make the choices that are right for you, people are going to criticize you one way or the other.
So keep doing you.
Make the hatred your fuel, not your kryptonite.
3.) Keep a folder of raving reviews
When you do get the hateful comments it doesn’t make things any easier.
But being proactive about the feelings that you may encounter ahead of time could make all the difference in your response to the situation.
Keeping a folder of raving fan reviews for the hard days will help to take feelings of hurt and change them into feelings of gratitude and thankfulness. Remember how far you have come and why you started in the first place.
Instead of focusing on the negative focus on the good.
“Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.” – Rachel Hollis
4.) Kill them with kindness
Negative and hurtful reviews may sting, but there is still ample opportunity for you to at least try to win back the individual.
The best way to deal with haters is to be kind and just agree to disagree with them. Resist the urge to argue with them… that is what they want you to do!
Remembering that, “Hurt people hurt people” is key. View negativity as an entry point for grace.
“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” – Dale Carnagie
Instead of pointing out someone’s negative energy, try using alternative tools like humor, appreciation, and playfulness to shift the energy.
Just take it as another challenge to introduce positivity to the scene. Not only will this skill help the person you’re dealing with, but it’ll also help you develop your leadership skills AND your capacity to start movements.
Take the high road.
You never know what someone could be going through. Chances are, your haters just need a reminder that good people still exist in the world.
“My favorite thing in the world is responding to hateful messages and seeing how fast I can change their mood.” – Abdul Dremali
5.) Intake Management
You’ll need to set up a roadmap for yourself and establish clear business boundaries if you ever want to have a chance at overcoming haters.
Seasoned experts have trained not only their mindset but also their teams with specific protocols when it comes to dealing with trolls and haters.
They are protective of their communities and realize that they can’t show up for their followers if they aren’t able to personally combat the negativity.
Train your team and develop a process that protects you from the worst. Have them filter constructive criticism and deal with haters separately.
If you know certain conversations and/language are a trigger for you, use the filtering tools available in most social platforms to block the negativity.
“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember, the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.” – Zig Ziglar
Know your boundaries and protect them. Know your protocols and stick to them.
There is no magic formula for indefinitely ridding of haters altogether.
But with proper mindset management, robust processes and an undying love for your mission to fuel you, you’ll be able to wade through the worst of what haters could ever throw at you.
You aren’t in control of what others say, but you can control how you respond. It doesn’t mean that the comments won’t hurt….it just means that you won’t let the haters win.
So how do you deal with the haters? What have you found most effective to drown out the negativity?
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