Cyberspace if full of idlers and cyber bullies. While you are online to do constructive work like promoting your brand, you will encounter all kinds of people with different agendas. Anticipate and prepare for interactions with haters, because while you have an online presence and are dealing with customers, you will inevitably have to deal with them.
The five businesspeople of The Oracles share some tips on how they keep their sanity and reputation intact.
1. Pay No Attention
Getting emotional distracts you, and messes up your productivity. Strengthen yourself, and you will be able to ignore haters without being hurt. Encourage your team members to develop a thick skin, ignore comments and understand that it is not usually personal.
Haters don’t believe in themselves and their worth. They have given up and try to discourage you from doing the things they could not achieve themselves.
You are in an arena as a player, and haters are spectators. They know nothing about what you are doing, or what it takes. They are not qualified to give you useful advice. They criticize what they lack the capacity to do.
Get your feedback from other businesses, happy customers and objective people. Develop the mental strength to keep yourself focused no matter what is said. But do differentiate between random haters and those with a genuine customer service issue - it does your brand good to listen to criticism, if it is based on a problem you could improve for the good of your entire customer base.
Know yourself and your goals, and you will not be distracted.
Grant Cardone describes haters as the fuel that inspires you to push even harder towards your goals. When they say you cannot do it, you whisper to yourself; ‘watch me!’
2. Show Them How to Win
Critics are usually people who will not bother finding out the truth about something. If someone does not have information, then (according to critics) it means it cannot be done.
Set clear goals, and keep going no matter what. Eventually, you will have tangible and rewarding results, and other people will try to copy you because you have been so successful.
Haters are full of fear and insecurities, and nothing infuriates them more than seeing people succeed. Your vision and courage are painful to them, so ignore the comments and continue having a positive impact.
3. Criticism Can Mean You Are Successful
Work on developing a healthy belief system. You believe in what you do, and you love it, so do not allow haters to ruin it. If you are not sure about yourself, haters will get to you and make you doubt yourself. Focus on becoming more secure, and being genuinely proud of what you do. Invest in yourself and your skills, and haters will not be able to create self-doubt. Every person who has done anything extraordinary has attracted haters, so keep doing what you are doing. Having no haters would mean that you are not doing anything worth being noticed. You are doing something worthwhile, and that is exactly why they are jealous of you.
Tom Ferry says he does not give power to critics, because everyone is entitled to their opinions.
Focus on giving people value and on staying on top in your field. As people get results from the value you give them, you will be so busy celebrating your success you will not remember haters. As you are celebrated, the voices of haters are drowned out.
4. Do Not Give Them Attention
Never take criticism personally. It is about them, not about you. Com Mirza advises the strategy of grouping people into three categories:
- Those who are indifferent; they don’t give a damn about who you are or what you stand for
- Those who do not like you; for doing what they could not, or being the competition
- Those who love you, and everything you do and stand for.
Identify which category someone falls into, then respond to them accordingly. Haters are happy when they upset you because that makes them important.
Choose to give a vague response that gives away no emotions, or simply ignore them.
As much as it might be difficult to ignore when attacked unfairly, practice ignoring the comments until it becomes natural. People will get tired of being ignored and go elsewhere.
Responding to haters gives them the attention they are looking for, motivating them to keep at it.
Instead, give your attention to your fans and supporters; those who love and believe in you. Do not disappoint them by getting involved in fights with haters instead of giving them what makes them love you. Your attention belongs to those who have your back, if you give them the value that endears them to you.
Do not give haters power. Just wish them peace, and keep doing your thing. After all, everyone is entitled to an opinion.
5. The Problem is them, Not You
Haters have something they do not like about you, but you have no problem with it yourself. Aj Rivera deals with haters by keeping in mind that it is not about him, but them. Always stay focused on your path and the choices you have made in life. Those are your choices, and are happy with them.
The world is full of variety. Whoever finds fault with your choices is the problem, not you. They have their own choices to make and are not obligated to agree with yours. Everyone has their tastes and preferences, and not everyone shares yours, so do not let it bother you. It is simply impossible to please everyone.
6. How Do You Handle Haters You Cannot Kick Out?
Some haters are people you might not be able to kick out of your life. This happens in online groups and office groups. Opinion leaders are also people you cannot just remove, especially if the crowd that follows them is important to you. You might not be able to ignore such people.
Set boundaries to protect yourself. Decide how many negative comments you will tolerate before you excuse yourself from the conversation. Stick to your rules and leave when they reach that limit. Hopefully, with time, they will do some soul searching and decide to stop attacking you.
Can Haters Be Won Over?
Sometimes haters could have something to contribute if approached correctly, and their energy directed at the right cause. Decide if it is worthwhile to reach out to a critic, but never be confrontational. Let the hater know you value their contribution, but are not comfortable with the way they speak to you.
If the relationship is important to them, they just might choose to change. Calm the emotions by being reconciliatory. “I appreciate your positive criticism, but it sometimes seems a bit harsh. Is there anything I can do to make your experience better?”
Use wisdom and self-control to disempower a hater. When you see them, be the first to reach out to them in a polite way but avoid engaging them. That denies them the chance to attack you.
Study the circles of the hater, and identify friendly people associated with them who you can win over. Get such people on your side, and the hater may become too embarrassed to attack you while people in their circles are in favor of you.
Haters can scare you away from working online, but if you learn to master them, you will have won the war. Have you ever won over a hater? Share your experiences for dealing with negativity.