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  • 5 Things I Learned from Haters

    by Megan on August 24, 2011

    Anyone who has a blog, has a Twitter account or manages a community has dealt with haters, aka trolls. It’s an appropriate name because you’re just moving forward, happily publishing things and having conversations and then, bam. Troll. Demanding payment before you can move forward. Luckily, haters don’t just make life harder, they teach you — about yourself, about any brand you’re representing and about life. So here are 5 things I’ve learned from haters.

    1. If you have haters, it means you’re on to something. Think of all the cliches I can spout about this: the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. All pressis good press. Haters gonna hate. Trolls gonna troll (ok, I made that last one up). These sayings exist for a reason, it’s because everyone who’s ever made it has had to deal with haters. And then they got famous and made these sayings. So, go do the same.
    2. Think carefully before going negative. When you see others say nasty things it makes you realize that while, yes, it hurts those they’re putting down, it also hurts them too. That’s not to say you can never say anything negative — but remember that if you post it online it’s like saying it in front of that person’s face. And their mom’s face. Do you still want to do it? Ok, then go ahead.
    3. There are two types of haters. The kind that can be converted and the kind that can’t. How can you tell the difference? Generally, I genuinely try to explain or solve their problem and if it just explodes further I catalogue them as the second and move on. It’s not always easy. I can’t help feeling that if I say that one last thing, then they’ll agree with me. The truth is people have many different agendas and you’re not always going to change their mind. Sometimes, the only way to win is to not get involved.
    4. Keep going. If you blog, write or produce things while keeping the haters in mind, it’s going to suck. You’re going to be afraid to put yourself out there and that’s how terrible content is produced. You have to believe in what you’re doing and let your fans and triumphs lead you forward (ok that just sounded really cheesy, right? But, also, inspiring? Let’s hope so).
    5. It’s OK if still sucks. Despite all my talk of being above it and even seeing haters as a positive thing, I still get hurt when someone says something mean about me. I still get upset when someone talks trash about the company I work for. I can’t control my initial reaction, but I can control what I do. I try to channel that energy into creating something, instead of destroying it.

    Have you dealt with haters? What have they taught you?

    • http://phampants.wordpress.com phampants

      My favorite thing to do in the YouTube comments is to give haters a hug or send something mushy & lovey their way.u00a0

    • http://twitter.com/FrankMcDade Frank McDade

      Though I do enjoy proving them wrong (because of their mostly outlandish comments), I get a bigger kick out of “thanking” them. u00a0One guy used the word “frak” so I went off about how much I enjoy Battlestar Galactica.

    • http://twitter.com/amorsel Mike Morales

      Hmm…so if I agree with this post, you’re right. If I hate on it, I prove your point.u00a0nn+Ku00a0Rhetoricu00a0nnHey, that could be a neat marketing meme. Get people to start using +K as a sign ofu00a0positiveu00a0affirmation. Or even negative (e.g., +K xyzFail)

    • http://www.SamiAri.Net/ SamiAri

      Taking the high-road is my weapon of choice :)

    • http://thesocialjoint.com/ Lucretia M Pruitt

      “Despite all my talk of being above it and even seeing haters as a npositive thing, I still get hurt when someone says something mean about nme.”nnYou and everybody else – don’t let them fool you.u00a0 No matter how hardened by the most callous corners of the Internet the outer shell of someone may seem? Inside there’s just the us saying “what? Why me?” because we all strive to be *good* at what we do.u00a0 No one is really shooting for the middle.u00a0 Heck, even trolls? Not shooting for the “meh.” Which is why the old “don’t feed the trolls” cliche exists. Because a good troll gets a visceral reaction out of you – a so-so one just gets a polite response, and a bad one gets no response.nnAfter reading this, I have a saying that you’ll probably appreciate: “I’m okay with having enemies. It means at the very least, I’m interesting. Boring people never have enemies.”nnIt’s not that I try to create them – the goal isn’t alienation, it’s passionate engagement! But, yeah, sometimes passionate pisses people off.u00a0 Sometimes, just being there breathing does too though… so yep. Right on this with you.

    • http://www.sweeneysays.com Nicole

      I think your last bit sums it up perfectly – it’s all about how you handle the situation. u00a0No matter how hurt or frustrating these things can be, you can never let that dictate your action because you are bound to regret that. u00a0Having the haters and the trolls sucks, but the actions of other people are beyond your control. The worst thing is knowing that you have done something regrettable because that is the part you definitely CAN control.nnI also think it is worth at least taking an introspective look at whether or not the points raised (if there are any) are valid ones. u00a0Even if the message is delivered in a way that is inappropriate or rude, look for the teachable moments where you can.

    • http://www.sweeneysays.com Nicole

      I think your last bit sums it up perfectly – it’s all about how you handle the situation. u00a0No matter how hurt or frustrating these things can be, you can never let that dictate your action because you are bound to regret that. u00a0Having the haters and the trolls sucks, but the actions of other people are beyond your control. The worst thing is knowing that you have done something regrettable because that is the part you definitely CAN control.nnI also think it is worth at least taking an introspective look at whether or not the points raised (if there are any) are valid ones. u00a0Even if the message is delivered in a way that is inappropriate or rude, look for the teachable moments where you can.

    • http://twitter.com/meganberry Megan Berry

      ha nice. I always like to thank people for their patience when they are CLEARLY not being patient.u00a0

    • http://twitter.com/meganberry Megan Berry

      yes, love that. in the end boring is actually (almost) the worst thing someone can call you.

    • http://timberry.bplans.com/2011/09/brace-yourself-success-brings-detractors.html Brace Yourself. Success Brings Detractors.

      [...] I like what my daughter Megan said in 5 things I learned From Haters, on her Part-time Perfectionist blog. This is point one of five: If you have haters, it means [...]

    • Charles Robinson

      I have been participating in online communities since the BBS days. By the time I got out of college and started my programming career and created my first website I already knew not to respond to the trolls. Some people have constructive criticism and I thank them and try to learn from what they have to share. The people who are cruel and negative just get ignored. I take it as a compliment that they feel compelled to try to derail me. It means I’m already on the right track.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=778330244 Jure Klepic

      Do you consider me as one of your newer haters? u00a0

    • http://twitter.com/chrisslatton Chris

      Why would anybody hate on you? I’m personally a fan. And of course Klouts excellent scoring system makes me feel like a kid again, just like I’m back in school! It’s noble work you all are doing. Keep it up.

    • Wandering Wino

      Thank you for this post! I needed to hear some of these things.u00a0