PRO TIP: If you can’t be bothered to read 1,000’s of words right now, you can watch the video a few paragraphs below or listen to the podcast episode right here. ????
*Don’t worry, there are zero references to Taylor Swift within*
It’s scary to create things for a living. Whether you build websites, write books, share your thoughts online, or craft handmade cup warmers, creating something original and sharing it with the world is daunting.
And it doesn’t matter how many times you do it either. Every time you release your new baby to the world you’ve got butterflies in your stomach.
In the end, it comes down to fear. Fear of judgment. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of looking weird. Fear of standing out. Fear of being alone in your thoughts and ideas.
And fear of haters.
We’ve all had them. They’re everywhere. Leaving nasty comments on your blog posts and pointing out your flaws for the world to see. And the bigger your audience is, the more haters you’ll get.
It’s amazing how powerful negative emotions and attitudes are. They suck us in. We can have a mountain of overwhelmingly positive feedback with one nasty comment, and what do we focus on?
Yah, but why didn’t they like it?
I don’t have a large audience, but I’ve still had my fair share of haters over the years. Here’s how I’ve learned to deal with them.
Remember that they are in the minority
Instead of focusing on the one or two people who hated what you made, spend your time interacting with the people who loved it. Surrounding yourself with the right people is crucial to your success and happiness.
Use humor to deescalate
If someone is hating on your stuff without providing any logic or reasoning for it, don’t be afraid to throw some sarcasm back their way. You don’t need to be a jerk, but you can also show them that you’ve listened to, and disregarded, their pointless hate.
I recently wrote an article on why I quit Netflix. It set a record for the quickest hate comment I’ve ever received on a post. (woohoo!)
First off, there’s a couple of things I loved about this comment.
- Mrs M sounds like too sweet of a name to be sharing such a mean sentiment. All I can picture is this adorable little old lady taking 20 mins to angrily type this out on her Dell Desktop PC.
- “Sorry, no offense but *insert offensive thing here*”
You should never ignore comments on your blog posts, regardless of whether they’re positive or negative. (This, of course, doesn’t apply to truly offensive comments that should simply be deleted.)
If someone took the time to get in touch with you, you should respond.
I don’t mind that Mrs M has an opposing viewpoint. In fact, I encourage it. It allows for better discussion. But she could have made her point without devolving into silly little insults.
It’s pretty clear to me that she wasn’t interested in sharing her opinion and starting a discussion, so I wasn’t going to take it seriously.
Thank them for taking the time to read your stuff, then dismiss their hate with just the right amount of snark. That’s how I like to do it.
Some people just really want to hate
Maybe their life sucks right now, or you caught them at a bad time, or perhaps they’re even jealous. Some people are just begging for a reason to hate something.
Woof! Let’s break this down a bit, shall we?
- “This article teaches nothing!” *three sentences later* “This article actually teaches something.”
- I don’t live in NYC. Not sure where she got that idea. Perhaps she didn’t actually read the article?
- “Debt wasn’t even that high.” Man, if $14,000 is nothing to her then I would like to have her job.
- She oversimplified all 4 steps. But when you’re trying so hard to make a point, you tend to twist words to validate it.
Now, I could look at this and be sad about my myself. Or, I could look at those 4 points and see things for what they are. Someone who is genuinely unhappy and needs others to share in her misery.
And hey, she got 14 people to agree with her! But that’s a small group compared to the hundreds of people who liked and shared my article.
People are quick to jump to conclusions
We live in a very frustrating world that only seems to get worse every day. People are tired and angry. Many are searching for opportunities to vent. Sometimes, they choose you.
It’s been well documented that most people don’t even read an article before commenting on it. You can’t do anything about that. It’s the world we live in now.
So, take it all with a grain of salt. Read comments and get feedback from people who actually read or tried what you’re offering.
If everyone agrees with you, you’re not trying hard enough
Or to put it another way, you’re playing it safe.
Everyone has their own ideas, thoughts, and opinions. Naturally, they’re going to clash sometimes. And that’s a good thing.
What kind of a world would this be if everyone agreed on everything?
Sounds pretty boring to me.
See it as an opportunity to improve
You will never nail it on the first try.
If you find the majority of people dislike what you’ve made, talk to the ones who will give you constructive criticism. Hating for the sake of hating produces nothing of value. Those are the real haters.
Find out why your audience didn’t like it, what they would have done differently, and what they would like to see instead.
Then use it as your fuel to do better next time.
Don’t let fear of haters stop you from creating
There’s something special about creating things. We were built to create. It’s in our blood.
Whether you’ve got an idea for a new business, blog, book, painting, recipe or taco drone delivery service (patent pending), just start working on it.
Haters will come, and they will go. And what you’ll be left with is something special that you created with your own two hands.