You’ve got a dream, and it’s a big one. Maybe you want to quit your job, get a promotion, get married, or conceive the next great paper cup innovation. Whatever it is, it’s so exciting you just have to share it with everyone.
So you do.
But along with smiles and nods come scowls and awkward looks. Turns out not everyone’s as excited as you are about your dream.
Some people don’t like your idea, others don’t think you’ll succeed, and still more dish out advice you didn’t ask for. Congratulations, you’ve met the haters.
Why Haters Hate
Haters are the people you wish you’d never talked to, the ones who make you feel inadequate. They criticize your dreams and ideas. They erode your confidence. Instead of encouragement, they’re dishing out despair. Whatever your dream is, they’re trying to convince you it’s really bad.
What’s their deal anyway?
Maybe they don’t like your dream because it’s not what they want.
They could be jealous because they have the same dream, but you’re going to accomplish it and they aren’t.
It might not have anything to do with you; haters can be straight-up pessimists.
Haters might want to put you down so that they feel better about themselves. Pointing out your flaws might make them feel smarter than you.
Sometimes they like to argue for the sake of arguing. No matter what you say to each other, you can’t agree.
What You Can Do About It
No matter what their reason, haters want to discourage you and make you rethink your dream. If you’re determined to accomplish it, you need to rise above their comments.
• Agree. It’s tough to hold back, but defending yourself can fuel hate. If you’re dealing with someone who argues for the sake or arguing, the best thing to do is stop disagreeing. Thank the hater for his or her advice. Tell the hater that he or she is completely correct. When there’s nothing else to say, simply leave.
• Don’t take it personally. When the cutting words stay with you, remember that even Mother Teresa had haters. No matter how good something is, how much it will benefit the world there will always be someone who doesn’t want it to happen. Hearing critical comments shouldn’t be the end your world.
• Forget the battle and win the war. Haters get to you by asking questions to expose weaknesses in your dream. They have a question for every answer you provide. You do not need to answer every question asked of you. Tell them “good question,” and leave it at that. The only person you need to answer to is yourself.
• Take evasive action. If you know who the haters are, avoid them altogether. This might not always be possible, but if you know that Joe hasn’t said a nice word since you’ve met him, keep your plans to yourself around him. You’re not obligated to share every important thing in your life with everyone.
• Fire up your determination. If you’re like me, then hearing you can’t do something makes you really want to do it. Harness that energy, and use it to strengthen your resolve. Let haters fuel your energy with their negative remarks. Now your dream has another purpose: proving that you can do it.
• Remember who you’re talking to. When someone who isn’t an expert offers advice, it just isn’t valuable. Put things into perspective, and brush off the words of an uninformed hater. Only you know how determined you are, how much you know about what you’re doing, and the intensity of your passion. If people aren’t qualified to give advice, dismiss their comments.
Go Forth and Dream On
Once you let your dream out in public it gathers support but it also becomes vulnerable to attack. It’s eligible for evaluation against everyone’s idea of what a dream is, could be, and should be. Not everyone is going to support you and your dream, but that shouldn’t stop you from accomplishing it.
Deal with the haters: ignore them, avoid them, acknowledge them, or use them to strengthen your resolve. It’s up to you to keep haters from killing your dream.
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Author: Heather Sinclair
Heather's passion for travel compelled her to change careers, and start writing to encourage anyone who feels stuck in their life to find their fulfillment with travel.