Have you ever found yourself holding back from putting yourself + your amazing offerings out there into the universe for fear of all the haters? Do you find yourself not wanting to go too big with your views + ambitions because you are afraid that someone will try to bring you down? Do you sometimes shrink yourself because you don’t want to ruffle any feathers and don’t want to have to deal with the anxiety that comes with someone leaving nasty comments on your social media feeds?
I know I’ve been in this spot one too many times, and I’m sure many of you can relate as well. But I’m here to give you my top 6 tips for handling the haters/bullies of the world and keep pushing forward with your successes.
1. Remember, it usually has NOTHING to do with you personally.
The reason most people say hateful things usually has more to do with them than it does with you. The naysayers tend to act out in a hostile way when they somehow feel insignificant or uncertain. Hurt people hurt people. It’s typically because they want to find certainty in themselves and to feel of significance the best way they know possible. (You’ve likely seen this a lot during the elections + with the pandemic.) People on both sides of the fence will see posts by people that triggers them and makes them feel unsure about their beliefs or who they are. When a person bashes you, it helps him/her to feel “significant” and gives themselves a sense of “certainty”. They feel like they have all the power back. So like I said, it likely has nothing to do with you personally and everything to do with that person wanting to feel better about themselves.
2. Make criticism your fuel and not your kryptonite.
Give that negativity a little flip and use it to fuel you to move even more towards reaching your goals + your dreams. If someone puts you down and says you are dumb or your views or ideas are stupid, instead of letting that bring you down, switch it to, “I’m going to prove them wrong!” Remember, the haters are usually not the ones with statues or plaques recognizing them for putting people down, but this type of commemoration is usually reserved for the dreamers that push through adversity and continue to flourish.
3. Take it as a compliment
It goes without saying that the more successful you are, the bigger of a target you are to the insecure naysayers of the world. When you grow, you will likely be reaching a larger audience and thus, allowing more visibility to those that are envious of what you have and what they do not have. As you begin to reach higher peaks, you will have to wade through the criticism of those who wished they had thought of what you did or said before you.
4. Create clear boundaries + stick to them.
If your troll keeps trying to push your buttons + bring you down, then it’s time to make sure your boundaries are clear and you keep with them. This may mean muting/blocking/unfriending a person so they cannot continue with these behaviors. Or it could mean having a direct one-on-one conversation and taking a moment to learn/understand their reasoning for the hateful words/actions, then letting them know that you will not tolerate it anymore and to give them the consequences if they wish to continue. Sometimes a person is so focused on themselves + their own inner struggles, that they don’t realize the consequence of their actions, and may actually reconsider them. But don’t expect that you will change them. People can only change themselves. Just know that you did your part, cut the cord, and let them go with love + hope that whatever they are empty of, they will find it so they can stop with the bullying.
5. Remember what you feed grows.
I know, I know, when you feel attacked, it’s only natural to want to counterattack. But what if you chose to spread love instead? While it may not be necessarily towards your hater, find other ways to do good, give love, and help people feel good so that love can abound over hate. As the great MLK, jr once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.” So if you want to manifest more love + kindness in the world, put out more of it into the world yourself.
6. Listen to criticism with an open mind.
Nobody is perfect. Including yourself (I know, how dare I say that! haha). So while sometimes people aren’t always great at putting things eloquently, it doesn’t hurt to question what was brought to the table. What can you learn from this instance? How could you be or do better with what you learned from this situation? We, humans, are stubborn creatures sometimes, but being vulnerable and open to criticism will allow you to grow and provide more to the world and those around you. Also, remember, if everyone is always happy around you, you most likely aren’t stretching yourself enough or making the bold decisions that are going to take you to the next level of excellence. So take that criticism as a sign that you are open to growth and becoming a better version of yourself.