How to Deal with Haters
These are some of the comments that I got on my social media pages during the past month, and as somebody with a pretty big following; I get similar messages every single day. When you're trying to build your brand and grow your business; this is what happens to you: Hateful messages, and they HURT! Yes, hateful messages hurt, and their negative effects sometimes last for days and months! And to make things worse; we humans suffer from "Negativity Bias" which means that things of a negative nature affect us much stronger than neutral or positive things. So even if you get a hundred positive comments on a post and just one negative comment; that negative comment stays with you longer.
In this video I'm going to share with you why hateful behavior happens online and what you can do about it.
Before I go any further let me clarify something: when I'm talking about haters, I'm NOT talking about unhappy clients or customers that may rightfully be complaining about your service or product. Obviously, if I get such a comment; I'll make sure that my team follows up with that unhappy client and goes the extra mile to win them back.
Also, I'm NOT talking about constructive criticism coming from a well-meaning contact. So, if a friend, a family member, or some well-meaning person gives me some constructive criticism; I take it to my heart and I use it to improve myself.
So, when I'm talking about haters; I'm talking about people who don't even know you and come out of the blue and spew hatred.
Please be aware of the fact that it’s rarely about you. They know nothing about you or your work. They are not trying to fairly assess the quality of your product and service. Let me give you an example: Harry Potter is undoubtedly one of the most successful series of books ever written. But when you go on Amazon, you see a lot of one star or two star reviews. So, please be okay with the fact that you cannot please everyone even if you're the biggest hit in the world.
Now, let's see why hateful behavior happens.
1- So, number ONE: hateful behavior happens mostly because of ignorance. The people who are judging you negatively have misinterpreted some of your actions, or they are just assuming something false about what you've done. For example, when people tell me that: “You were just a language instructor; how come you have become a business coach? You are trying to scam people out of their money!” Obviously, they don't know the fact that that I always share my story of moving to a new country, changing careers from a language instructor to a business consultant, and the fact that I went through a rough period (several years actually) to make success happen for me as a business consultant in a new country. I'm not trying to hide my past! The only thing is that they don't know it yet
Or some people tell me: “you're just another business coach who is trying to get rich by teaching people how to get rich!” And obviously, these people have had a bad experience with a coach or consultant or an expert in the past that has affected their view of the world and they're trying to just generalize it to everyone out there.
2-Number TWO: sometimes jealousy is the root of the hater's behavior. When you're moving and shaking, when you're trying to make success happen for you, you are the embodiment of their unfulfilled dreams! They are seeing you as somebody who is putting in the time, the effort and energy to make your dreams come true, but they are sitting on the sidelines! So, even though there is nothing wrong with what you're doing, with your effort to grow your business and build your brand, and make success happen for you; they are hateful, and they're judging you negatively.
Now let me give you some simple steps to handle negative judgment and haters in general:
1- Number ONE: Please don't be one of them! Yes, negative messages and negative comments hurt, and you might want to retaliate! Please don't! Because if you reply to those comments to those behaviors angrily, you literally become one of them!
2- Number TWO: Empathize! Don't get me wrong! I'm NOT trying to say agree with them. You don't necessarily have to agree with their point of view. Just try to empathize, put yourself in their shoes, and try to see the world and the situation through the lens of their eyes. And I know this is really difficult, but I guarantee that if you do that, you will digest the situation much better and you will release the hurt sooner rather than later.
3- Number THREE: Ignore or block. I've realized over the years that the best policy to deal with negative comments is to just ignore or block them. So, when you reply back to negative comments, and you try to justify; you are just adding fuel to the fire and it never helps you. Haters just crave attention and by replying back to them you are giving them just what they need. So either ignore them completely or block them altogether. I have a zero tolerance policy on my social media pages. I consider my social media pages like my home and I don't like somebody to come into my home with their dirty feet put their dirty feet on my table and spew hatred on me. I'll just kick them out.
4- Number FOUR: Take it as a positive sign! When somebody gives you a negative message; honestly, that shows that you are being noticed. If you weren't doing something that matters they wouldn't have cared! So, take it as a positive sign that you're being noticed, and that what you're doing matters and people actually care!
5- And finally, number FIVE: Focus on the right things! At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to feel at the effect of life, and feel angry, and want to retaliate, or you just ignore, block, empathize and move on.
As Viktor Frankl once famously said: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing. To choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances.” So jump out of the hole, focus on the road ahead, surround yourself with people who like you, and continue delivering value to people who matter to you the most.
My name is Dr. Shahab Anari, and if you need help to get more clients, build your brand and become the authority in your field; please contact me at northstarsuccess.com.
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