“With a lot of success comes a lot of negativity.”
Today marks the one-year anniversary of my book, “Dealing With This Thing Called Life” being published. I’ve been looking forward to this day for the same reason a parent looks forward to their child’s first birthday. This day highlights the first full calendar year that I have created something into the world. I’m very proud of that. I can say with confidence that writing that book, while in school was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. I take my title as an author seriously because I worked so hard to call myself that.
As I was going through my day, I discussed my journey as a writer to some of my Morehouse brothers. I expressed my frustrations with the lack of congratulatory messages I received. We here at Morehouse perpetuate this idea of camaraderie and brotherhood. I was surprised to see how fewer brothers than I anticipated reached out to say, “Congrats.” While I stated my concerns, my classmate, Timothy simply said,
“People are haters, and they may not be happy for you.”
Upon hearing this very raw and displeasing statement, I began to reflect. I thought about the ones who do go out of their way to tear me down or label my writing as trash. Most of these selfless critics have never read my book or are even familiar with my work. I would categorize these individuals as haters.
Haters are those people who only dislike us simply for being who we are. We all have them. No matter what you attempt to do in life – whether you write a book, dress a certain way or sit on the couch every night — whatever you do, someone will judge you for it.
Haters will always find a way to project their fears, insecurities, and worries onto you and your life. This is the reality of dealing with this thing called life. With that said, let’s discuss some ways to deal with criticism and haters.
It’s Not About You
Firstly, let’s be clear, it’s about them and not about you. The common thread behind every bit of hate and anger is fear. Whoever hates you is most likely also afraid. I was in a verbal confrontation with a gentleman on campus and the first blow he threw, was how my book was trash. He stated, “Your simple and stupid just like your self-published, trashy, ass book.”
The comment completely came from left field. We weren’t even arguing about writing we were discussing music. I was thrown off by the comment and decided to end the conversation there. As I moved away from the guy, I overheard him expressing how he dreamed of being an author and had been working on his book for a long time. He talked about how he was having trouble finishing up his manuscript.
His rude comment had nothing to do with me. That statement was merely a byproduct of his frustrations and worry. When people attack you heartlessly, the problem is about them and has nothing to do with you.
Remember Your Intention
Intent is very powerful and an excellent remedy for when you’re feeling criticized or dealing with haters. When you understand why you do something, it makes you a more conscious and confident person. When I wrote my book my intention was simple: to get my peers to read a self-help book and be inspired.
My intention was never to get everyone to like me or even love my book. I understood that the idea of everyone loving my book and liking me was simply not realistic. Reminding myself of this intention reaffirms my purpose and makes me feel better.
Your intention should never be to please everyone or even compete. The only intention you should ever have is to express the fullest, highest and best version of yourself possible. Practicing this idea makes you unbeatable because you are merely your best. That practice is something you should never apologize for.
Shake It Off
When we get criticism, it stings and it hurts. The most important thing we can do is take it with a grain of salt. When you show up in the world, boldly, fiercely and unapologetically yourself, criticism is bound to come. The important thing to do is to never take it personally. The old saying goes, life is 10% what happens and 90% how you respond to it. Make sure you respond correctly. If someone is disrespecting you, with pure hateration, do like Mariah Carey says and “Shake it Off”.
Of course, don’t respond directly with gratitude but really, it’s important to thank your haters. Haters hate because they are jealous of something you possess. No one ever wants to feel inferior, or like you are beating them in life. If your haters feel that way, this feeling is merely an affirmation of your success. Beyonce says, “with a lot of success comes a lot of negativity.” And boy, was she correct. Next time you’re being hated on, get alone and thank your haters in silence; if it weren’t for them, you wouldn’t know how impactful you truly are.
Haters are a part of life. Dealing with haters is an inevitable truth we all must deal with. After reading this post I hope you are more equipped for doing so.