Why People Will Hate You, and Why You Shouldn’t Give a Damn!This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our Disclosure for more information.
As an entrepreneur, you will spend much of your time trying to create a presence in the business world. You’ll spend hours promoting your products, your services and your brand, all in the hope that people will remember your name.
But as you gain more exposure for your brand, you may also find that you begin to attract unwanted attention. Attention from people that you may or may not know, suddenly challenging you on your posts, being negative on your facebook page, or sending you nasty emails.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I’m talking about haters. You have haters. I have haters. Everyone who chases the dream of success has haters. It’s the part of entrepreneurial life that business school never taught; Haters 101.
Just to clarify, I am talking about actual haters here. People who are insulting, rude and out to hurt you. The comments they make have zero substance (or are outright lies at times!) and there is nothing constructive with what they have to say. This is not to be confused with “negative feedback“; genuine feedback that you may not like to hear but should hear. You can find out how to handle negative feedback here.
There’s no denying that haters suck. If you let them get to you, they can really sap the energy out of you and your business. However, haters can actually be a good thing.
Before you scoff, let me tell you why I think you need to embrace the hate, and just how to successfully deal with haters.
Why Do Haters Hate
My first taste of hater-dom came just one month after my first business launched. It was someone I knew, and actually had a deep respect for (up until that point anyway). It wasn’t a public hate. Instead, the hate came in the form of private backstabbing, badmouthing and general gossip and rumours that I heard from others in the business community.
Of course, there was no substance behind what was said, but it still hurt nonetheless. It lead me to doubt my business decisions, and blaming myself for the hate. Maybe I did something wrong? Does everyone else feel the same way? Maybe I should stop doing this, and do that instead?
Luckily, it wasn’t long before I came to my senses and realized that a hater’s hate is not my fault. And that the best way to overcome it (apart from outright ignoring them), is to understand them.
When haters hate, it has more to do with who they are as a person and less to do with the level of success you or I achieve.
Most of the time, it is because they are threatened or jealous. They fear that you may achieve what they haven’t been able to, or that somehow your achievements will create a negative impact on theirs.Someone else's success does not equal to your failure. Click To Tweet
It’s a vicious cycle really.
Instead of working hard to achieve their goals, haters like to watch others. They focus so much of their energy being negative on the work of others, that they never get any of their own work done themselves. This means they never actually achieve their goals, which in turn will make them even more hostile towards you and other newbies that come onto the scene who are actually giving it a go.
Unfortunately, haters feed off this negativity. It’s easier for them to blame a newcomer, or someone successful, as the reason why they are not successful themselves.
Who Do Haters Hate the Most?
The short answer is successful people. Have you ever seen the Jimmy Kimmel show segment where he invites celebrities to come on his show and read mean tweets people post about them? When people find success, there will always be haters lurking in the corner trying to do whatever they can to bring successful people down. Everything from insulting their work, to picking on their appearance (like the gap in Madonna’s teeth has really affected her level of success in the past few decades)!
So if you are suddenly bombarded with negative facebook posts, or tagged in horrible tweets, or a stranger is starting a smear campaign against you in another group, chances are you are doing something right!
Out of all the millions of hardworking entrepreneurs out there, they’ve picked YOU to hate (for now). This means that you have done something to attract yourself the attention. Perhaps you achieved something they have been working towards, or you received an award or some form of recognition they’ve always wanted. Whatever it is, if you were a nobody with nothing going for you, they probably wouldn’t look twice.
Can You Change a Hater’s Mindset? Should I Try?
The short answer is, no. YOU cannot change a hater’s mindset. That is something haters will need to work on themselves.
What you can do, though, is understand why they do what they do. And know that it’s not your problem, it’s theirs. Obviously, it’s a little hard to “understand their situation” if they’re saying hurtful things about you to your peers or to the general public.
But put yourself in their shoes for a minute. No, seriously.
Imagine if you had that much hatred and jealousy inside of you. That much fear of another’s success. So much so that everything you do is simply a reaction to someone else’s action.
…Someone posts a new article; you do a 3 paragraph rant about their spelling errors.
…Someone claims to make 6 figures in a year; you write a 2000 word blog post about what a fraud they are.
…A new entrepreneur comes on the scene; you call your friends to chat about weird his or her face looks in their promo picture.
Doesn’t it make you feel just a little sorry for them?
Now I’m not saying we should start some sort of “Hug -A-Hater” movement. But next time someone starts slandering your good name on social media or in forums, don’t put too much stock into what they are saying. They’ve already wasted their time and energy on the topic. So why waste your own time by giving it the attention it doesn’t deserve?
Most of the time a response is not necessary. Normal, balanced people can see right through a hater’s outburst and will be on your side anyway. Often, they are the ones who will speak up for you!
But if you must absolutely respond, then do so with as little emotional attachment as possible. Wait a few hours, maybe even sleep on it first, before you respond to ensure you are doing so with a clear and objective mind. Going in when your blood is still boiling from discovering the comment 2 minutes earlier will only cause you to say something you will regret.
With a calmer mind, respond only to the points brought up. Don’t try to change their views or start an argument. Instead, be professional and show the public how cool and collected you are in these situations.
A simple “I’m sorry you feel that way about [my blog/my business/my face/my credentials]. I’m happy for you to [call/private message/skype/email] me directly and we can have a chat about it!”
(Don’t worry, 9 times out of 10 they won’t want to speak with you. Haters like to hide behind the security of internet anonymity whilst publicly humiliating you at the same time. Speaking to you directly won’t give them that satisfaction.)
If handled correctly, this nightmare situation can actually work in your favor. People who see your integrity and poise in such a situation would be impressed and see you as someone to trust and followed.
Work Smarter, Not Harder By…
Not giving haters what they want – your time. The reason why you are successful in the first place is because you spend your time doing what matters, being focused and productive. If you spend time worrying about, responding to and being upset by haters, you are giving them the most valuable resource you have.
If you continue what you do with integrity, ambition and focus, people will notice. Your work will speak for itself. At some point in your career, haters will most likely turn into advocates when they realize nothing they say or do will knock you off track. It can be a rough path to travel until you reach that point. Having critics who aren’t afraid of voicing their opinion is something all successful people learn to endure.
See your haters and the criticism they bring as the price you will pay to live the entrepreneurial dream. They hate you because you are doing something that they can not do. In some ways, that is the biggest compliment you can get in business!