Handling the Haters

Updated: Jun 1, 2019

If you are a human being, you'll eventually come across someone who has opinions of you that may not be particularly kind. Unfortunately, the rise of social media has only given these people a screen to hide behind, making them more likely to leave a comment or message that is truly unneeded.

Bailey Livingston Photography, Utah Wedding Photographer

I remember the first hate message I received...you guys, it STUNG. Here was some girl that knew absolutely nothing about me, questioning my character, talent, and intentions. I remember feeling sick, just wanting to change her mind. And yes, I tried to respond kindly, in an effort to make her see that I was an actual human being with actual feelings on the other side of the screen. What happened? She threw back MORE hateful words. Who even has energy to put that kind of negative energy into the world?

So, I learned my lesson quickly, and painfully: the haters are not worth your time.

If you know me at all, you know that I'm podcast obsessed. One of my favorites is the School of Greatness podcast hosted by Lewis Howes. He was interviewing a researcher/crazy successful entrepreneur about negative comments/reviews/feedback online and he mentioned something that has stuck with me. He said that he has interviewed countless people that are the top of their field. Leaders of businesses in a wide variety of fields, many of which have made plenty of money and proven their expertise were all asked the same question: "have you ever left a negative comment on someone else's social media, or hateful review for someone else online?"

Do you know what they said? They ALL said NO. Because people that are out there chasing their dreams, putting in the work to better the world, are NOT about to waste a single bit of energy or time bringing someone else down.

One of my all time favorite quotes by Theodore Roosevelt puts things into perspective when it comes to those who seem to feel the need to criticize and tear down rather than build up.

He said,"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

The next time someone on the sidelines (who isn't even in the arena giving it all they've got, the way you are) decides to throw some hate your way, let it bounce off. Because wouldn't you value constructive criticism from experts that can help you keep moving forward, rather than someone who has nothing other than their unkind opinion to share? Yeah, me too! Most people are just embarrassed to admit that they don't have the same guts to chase their dreams the way you are, and instead are compelled to tear others down to make themselves feel better.

So, I hope this post has given you all a new perspective on all those lame haters out there! In sum, I agree 100% with Dita Von Teese when she said, "You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” So if someone may not love everything you do, remember that their opinion has nothing to do with you, and instead is a reflection about how they feel about themselves.

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