Dealing with haters
The first rule for dealing with haters is the only rule for dealing with haters: You don’t.
Haters are the open doorway in the TARDIS that leads to oxygen-free black space. That way lies nothing. Nil. Zero. Any energy you pour out that door just dissipates and ceases to exist. Spend time caring about haters? That time has been X-ed out. Worrying about haters? More of your time sprayed into nothingness.
You don’t even have enough time to deal with the people who LIKE what you do.
You don’t have enough time to teach everyone who wants to learn from you.
You don’t have enough time to create new work for the people who dig you.
You don’t have enough time to spend with your friends and the people who would like to be your friends.
There’s someone right now wishing you would call or e-mail. You evidently don’t have time for that person.
You don’t have enough time to spend with the people who YOU like and would like to learn from. You don’t have time to call and ask them to lunch. You don’t have time to get over your embarrassment about wanting to ask them for their advice.
You don’t have enough time to learn everything you want to learn. Forget about your meaningful work — what about all the stuff you’re interested in that doesn’t align with your talents and abilities? What about all that cool stuff you suck at? You want to learn to crochet or make homemade bread or play the guitar or build a trellis. But you don’t have time for that.
You don’t have as much time as you wish you did to learn, to read, to see movies, to take walks, to hold hands with someone you love.
You don’t have enough time to do all the work you’d like to do. You don’t have enough time to get better at what you care about.
You don’t have enough time for what matters.
So why would you waste even one iota of the time you do have on someone who hates on you?
The only reasonable response to haters is: Okey dokey, don’t let the doorknob hit you on the ass on your way out — and have a nice day!
Now: Invest your time, your energy, and your love in what loves you back.
Invest in what matters.
Reclaim all that real estate in your heart and your brain and your week for what loves you back.
Oh, I’m sorry, you do suck? Are the haters right? Then spend your time getting better. Everything you’ve already done is in the past. Concentrate on what you’re doing right now. Soon you’ll be living in the future. Start working on that.
If you need to take a moment to compose yourself, please do. Take a whole night. But don’t throw your life away because you can’t stand for other people to see your faults in the blazing sunlight. Everybody has faults. Stop thinking about yourself so much. No one else cares that much. They’re all mostly worried about themselves. Stop gnawing on what’s not working and get back to doing things that matter.
Perfection is not possible, ergo you are not perfect, ergo there is something you can be improving. And someone is going to be totally willing to point that out to you. And someone else is going to whisper in your ear that another person pointed it out to a whole roomful of people while you were in the bathroom.
For every maker, there are enough critics to blanket Mount Everest in snipe.
For every doer, there are enough kvetchers to pass him bodily around the earth seven times.
You are the little fish and the people who have something to say about what you do and what you create are the ocean you swim in. It doesn’t matter. They are as natural as wind and tide. Human beings complain and nag and pick and offer up unwanted opinions the way they grow hair: naturally and pretty much continuously. There is nothing you can do to change that. Someone out there distinctly dislikes Meryl Streep right now. Someone else is writing an angry screed about Mother Teresa. You can rise above it or you can tune it out or you can tunnel through it like a mole, but you have to accept that it’s always going to be there. Then move on with your life, because you have more important things to do.
You don’t even have time for the stuff you want to do. So be sure to spend every single bit you do have on what loves you back.
Spend it on something that matters.