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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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?