If you do something you are passionate about, devoting a lot of time to it, sooner or later you will encounter haters.
I would like to share with you Elena Shchur’s advice on this subject so that you understand how to act in this or that situation. Elena translated an article by the famous American writer James Altucher, which may be useful for you as a creative person. She has supplemented this article with her own remarks.
In his life, a person often faces aggression, inexplicable attacks, criticism and hatred from strangers, close friends and even relatives. If you react to all this, you can ruin your life, says James Altucher, a famous American trader, investor, entrepreneur and writer, author of many books on self-development and personal growth.
Making strangers hate themselves is very simple: it is enough to have your own opinion, be creative and be yourself. Your hater can be anyone: a relative, friend, colleague, teacher, boss or just a stranger on the street or on the Internet. Former friends can suddenly become enemies. It is necessary to know what to do in such situations. Most haters are invisible, anonymous, they try to get inside your head because they have such a peculiar method of communication.
Example: someone recently left a review of my audiobook.
“This is just awful…the author should never read his own books aloud again. He has a lazy, mooching manner of speech, so it’s very hard to believe what he’s saying. It’s as if there’s no interest in his voice, as if it’s a burden for him to pass on these valuable sprouts of knowledge to us poor unfortunate listeners.”
I’m not on the hunt for compliments. Some people like my audiobook, some people don’t. Once in school, in 7th grade, we were reading a book aloud and when the turn came to me, one girl said: “Oh no! Not his voice…” Maybe she was the one who left the review? No matter what we do in life, some people will hate us, others will laugh or gossip, others will attack us from behind, some will take our money or try to ruin our reputation, some will threaten, tease or intimidate.
So listen up: there are rules to help you defeat haters, anonymous, virtual and real, among coworkers, relatives and those you love.
It’s complicated. I don’t always succeed, but I’m slowly improving. And when I succeed in following these rules, the results in my life improve. I hope you can do it too.
The problem is the hater himself
It’s a bit hackneyed, but it’s true. Behind all anger is fear.
Someone who hates is afraid of something at the same time. That doesn’t mean you should say, “Poor thing, he’s just afraid.” But it is worth noting this fact for yourself.
For example, in the example above, the woman who wrote the review said “poor unfortunate listeners.” Perhaps she is afraid of being poor and miserable, so she hears these words from everywhere. This is her problem in life.
Often people say, “Don’t worry, they’re just jealous.” Maybe. Maybe not. We can’t read their minds. It’s none of my business why someone has a different opinion of me.
But there is something going on in these people’s lives that causes fear. And that fear translates into aggression towards you. They project their own fear onto you. For a short time, you become the monster that has been sitting inside of them. Anger is just a fear that’s been released.
You’re also the problem
A lot of my haters I don’t even think about. But some of them push the right buttons. Some get into my soul by accident. Or not randomly. Like, for example, a relative who knows exactly what buttons to push. If someone finds the right button, I get angry and get defensive. But it’s not because people have said horrible things about me. It’s because underneath the thick armor of anger is my fear that they might be right. I may not even admit it to myself. After all, they were the first to raise the “knife” so I can blame them for everything. But in reality, it turns out that I myself continue to further put that “knife” into myself.
Let’s take the same example again. I pulled it out of hundreds of other examples, not because it was particularly unpleasant. I just realized that I could then tell the story of how a girl in 7th grade made fun of my voice. Maybe I’m actually just really worried that I have some kind of weird voice. It’s important to note it to yourself.
When you constantly mark things for yourself, you at least highlight those things from the endless stream of thoughts. You memorize them and keep them separate in your mind. Therefore, they will be easier to recognize and deal with in the future. And maybe it will even help you learn more about yourself.
The 24-hour rule
If someone attacks you, you may experience negative emotions. If the attacks happen in public, other people may also have unpleasant emotions. They may think, “Jane said that about James, so he must be an idiot.” Attacks can also be part of office politics or personal relationships.
The 24-hour rule works in almost any case. If you don’t respond to the first attack, it will be gone in 24 hours. But if you respond even once, reset the timer. It will take another 24 hours for the aggression to subside in the web of human communication. That’s why some conflicts last for years. Participants register attacks on each other, and it all goes on until one of the opponents dies. And according to Onion magazine, the death rate in the world is consistently at 100%.
The 30/30/30 rule
I had several posts in which I used the same illustration found on the Internet: a woman doing yoga on the beach. I was criticized for always using pictures of sexy women. I was also criticized for using these photos without citing the author.
Then the woman in the photos herself wrote to me. I told her that I had been receiving such comments. She told me her beautiful story, which was included in my latest book. But she also said this: for everything you create, a third will love you, a third will hate you, and a third will remain indifferent. That means you have to do what you love and put the most effort into it. You have to improve every day. And when you get critical feedback, just put it in the basket with one third of the negativity.
I’m always happy when people disagree with me. I have nothing against it.
But often people are unable to express their disagreement and it comes out in a nasty and angry way.
If I can, I delete those people. You can write “delete” in quotes. Sometimes it’s not a blog critic, but someone in real life. I delete those people, too. I don’t talk to people who bring me harm.
What if it’s a boss or someone you are forced to talk to? Then I am indifferent to them. I let them do what they want to do. I nod in greeting in the hallways. I don’t stoop low or ingratiate myself by trying to get them to like me. If, over time, these people are well behaved, I will start socializing with them again.
What if someone is yelling at you on the phone? Just say, “I have to go.” I’ve fallen for this, especially when I was younger, and wanted to yell back. “Why are you doing this to me?!” Those situations were very painful. But they taught me to behave differently in the future.
Hate is contagious
Someone once tweeted, “James Altucher = #humangarbage” (“James Altucher = #humangarbage”). I don’t know why such a tweet appeared. I don’t know who this person is. But for a moment, I was angry. I didn’t follow the previous advice.
I found this person online. He works for a company called AOL. I tried to figure out how to fire him. He made 1 tweet and launched 1,000 thoughts in my head.
The worst thing you can do to your body is put a knife in it. Anger is an emotional stabbing at your emotional body. Some religions say you should show sympathy to your enemies. I don’t. It’s really hard to do that.
The best I can do is recognize that I don’t know this person, and that any additional thought is just another way to stab myself. If I do that, the infection spreads inside me, consumes me. I don’t like stabbing myself.
You’ll never know
I could have reached out to this guy and said, “I just need to know why you think I’m nothing.”
But let’s imagine what you would say in this case on your deathbed. Not once in the history of mankind has anyone ever said at death, “I’m really glad I found out why a stranger thinks I’m nothing.” There is absolutely no need to know that. And even if you eventually find out… it turns out it wasn’t worth it.
Resistance is futile
Let’s say someone has a reason to hate you, but it’s easy to disprove. For example, someone hates you because you are from Rhode Island, but you are actually from Canada. You might say, “But I’m from Canada.” And then you might get: “Too bad.”
Nobody ever changes their mind. It’s hard to change your mind. Quitting smoking is very difficult, almost impossible for many people. Hate is even more addictive, imagine how hard it is to change your mind in this case. Facts mean nothing. Self-defense only makes things worse (see the 24 hour rule).
Even the history of friendship means nothing. You might say: We’ve been friends for 20 years. Are you really going to let this come between us?” The answer will be “yes.” Because people can’t help themselves. Because there’s some fear sitting in them. Because there’s some fear in you. And they’re never gonna get back together.
They look stupid when they make love
This is all you need to know about your haters. If you remember this rule every time you encounter anger and aggression, you can forget about all the other rules.
Hate cannot last forever. It often turns into a slow simmer. The sun that was so bright during the day turns into a purple haze and turns dark orange at sunset. This doesn’t mean that you and your haters are now friends. It simply means that the open wound will finally heal, leaving a small scar and a memory, but no more. It doesn’t matter if you are hated by a betrayer, an ex-spouse, an ex-lover or a blog commenter. The important thing is to learn to take a shortcut.
Some people experience hatred, anger, bitterness and regret for years. Sometimes it doesn’t even take a lifetime to heal the wounds. This is a waste of life. Of course, it has a right to exist too. No one is forcing you to live a life full of meaning, you can safely waste it. And since more people will hate you every time you stick your head out of the sand (and I hope you do), you’ll have plenty of opportunities to screw up your life. Enjoy them.
Sometimes (but not always), hating people means you’re stepping out of your comfort zone. You are creating and growing. But hopefully your wounds are healing faster and faster. In fact, I wrote this post for myself. I hope my wounds are healing faster and faster every day too.
In response to hate, I try to use these techniques and learn more about myself. If I can’t learn anything new, I try not to hurt myself. If I succeed, I try to be grateful and move on to the next stage where I find love, creativity and fulfillment.
One last thing
Every creative person will definitely meet haters on their way. There is no need to take their unreasonable attacks to heart. Remember that the Lord God was crucified on the cross not because he was guilty of something, but because he carried the light to people. And light sometimes blinds the eyes of those who are used to being in the dark of their ignorance…
© Nikita T
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