Dealing with haters

Published by Lori Pickert on February 18, 2013 at 08:35 AM

This post is part of my series on PBH for Grown-ups — you can see all of the posts here.

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.

37 comments

Comment by Alex on February 18, 2013 at 09:39 AM

Another great post. I like all of it. It reminds me of a poster I shared not long ago on Facebook or somewehere..It says "I don't have time to worry about who doesn't like me...I'm too busy loving the people who love me".
I am also guilty of doing this part: "Human beings complain and nag and pick and offer up unwanted opinions the way they grow hair: naturally and pretty much continuously." I am constantly putting my foot in my mouth. Unfortunately to one person, my husband. I did it again this morning. Unwanted opinions are my specialty. Lesson to learn for me.

Comment by Lori Pickert on February 18, 2013 at 04:11 PM

alex, yes! i was actually thinking about writing a companion post “dealing with hating” ;o)

and thank you!

Comment by Esther on February 18, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Love this! I feel this way about myself, and my children's passions frequently. I definitely need to think of this when reacting or responding to someone else's passions as well.

Comment by Lori Pickert on February 18, 2013 at 04:11 PM

thank you, esther!

Comment by katie Pybus on February 18, 2013 at 10:40 AM

I think this is brilliant - Every Monday you seem to write just what I need to read.

My son ,however, is really really worried about that lego star wars clone mini fig who, without his helmet, is in very grave peril!

K x x

Comment by Lori Pickert on February 18, 2013 at 04:14 PM

 

thank you, katie!

you see my metaphor here — the helmet represents your ability to dismiss haters, thereby keeping you from serious harm. ;o)

Comment by Tammy on February 18, 2013 at 11:42 AM

You rock! Thank you for your eloquent words. Spot on. Agreed.

Comment by Lori Pickert on February 18, 2013 at 04:15 PM

thank you, tammy :)

Comment by Amy Dingmann on February 18, 2013 at 02:45 PM

Brilliant. Simply brilliant.

Did I mention brilliant? :) Thanks for this reminder.

Comment by Lori Pickert on February 18, 2013 at 04:16 PM

thank you, amy! :)

Comment by Angie on February 18, 2013 at 03:05 PM

Very needed! Thank you!

Comment by Lori Pickert on February 18, 2013 at 04:16 PM

hope it helps :)

Comment by Sonya Philip on February 18, 2013 at 03:57 PM

Perspective! Hitting me right in between the eyes. I really, really needed this. You don't even know. Thank you.

Comment by Lori Pickert on February 18, 2013 at 04:17 PM

that’s great to hear. thank you, sonya. :)

Comment by amy21 on February 18, 2013 at 08:38 PM

It's the internalization of repeated negative feedback--that's what I struggle with (as you know). Which then circles around to creating my own opportunities, instead of continuing to try to prove my worth to someone else. Working on it...

I like how this connects to your previous post on being enthusiastic towards others and sending out that positivity and creating *that* feedback circle...then who has time to allow the haters to penetrate that?

Comment by Lori Pickert on February 19, 2013 at 07:01 AM

 

it is all connected! it also ties back to that idea of “why do we focus only on students’ deficits? why don’t we invest in what they do *well*?”

instead of having kids thinking “i’m a terrible student — i can’t learn — i hate reading and i hate school” you could have them thinking “i’m good at ABC, they always turn to me for XYZ, i just need to work on my math.” or whatever. we ignore what works and focus entirely on what doesn’t and end up making kids miserable and destroying their self-esteem.

*yes* re: positivity & enthusiasm — you really create your own world simply by choosing what to pay attention to. “The mind is its own place and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” — Milton. obviously, Hell is reading youtube comments.

there is always a choice about where to invest your energy; too often, we focus on the wrong thing and end up stuck and miserable. it’s disgustingly sappy, but the light really does show the way.

Comment by frutabombastic on February 19, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Just getting around to reading this - wish I'd found this a few months ago when I was actually dealing with a hater, and was internalizing and agonizing over what to do! For future reference, I think I'll tuck away your phrase: "You don't have time for this!" Yes!

Thank you!

Comment by Lori Pickert on February 20, 2013 at 08:03 AM

thank you! :)

Comment by amanda {the hab... on February 19, 2013 at 12:51 PM

amen.
you are echoing what i've finally come to admit to myself and dang! it feels good to choose with intention!

Comment by Lori Pickert on February 20, 2013 at 08:02 AM

it does! xoxoxo

Comment by Deb on February 19, 2013 at 08:16 PM

I love Lori.

That is all.

Comment by Lori Pickert on February 20, 2013 at 07:59 AM

i love you back, deb! :)

Comment by Rach on February 20, 2013 at 05:20 AM

Thanks for this. Hit the spot, and so funny too as always. Love your gung ho style - so refreshing. Who do you mean by haters though - would it include constructive criticism? H
ard though it might be to hear - we can all learn from that?

Comment by Lori Pickert on February 20, 2013 at 07:58 AM

 

haters might couch what they’re saying as constructive criticism but they’re really just trying to tear you down.

haters want to take you down a notch.

haters leave anonymous comments on your blog that make your stomach hurt.

haters never have anything good to say. they are pretty much uniformly negative unless they are luring you closer so the punch hurts more.

haters nag and kvetch and complain and pick at things other people say and do yet never seem to do anything themselves.

instead of looking at your work and thinking, “this isn’t for me” and then taking their leave, haters stick around to criticize.

my 13yo says, “a hater is someone who needlessly punches you with words.”

Comment by Lori Pickert on February 20, 2013 at 08:02 AM

 

coming back to add —

you’re right, constructive criticism is not hating BUT it should come from someone you *asked* for constructive criticism.

also, someone just not liking what you do is not hating — maybe they’re just not that into you. no hard feelings there.

Comment by jacinda on February 21, 2013 at 03:58 AM

Lori, you keep on sending out the goodies :) Thank you.

Comment by Lori Pickert on February 21, 2013 at 06:41 AM

thank you, jacinda! :)

Comment by Corinne on February 21, 2013 at 07:37 PM

Always good to read your posts!!!! Its something that I needed too. Thanks Lori :)

Comment by Lori Pickert on February 22, 2013 at 06:34 AM

thanks, corinne! :)

Comment by Sara on February 22, 2013 at 01:15 AM

yes! As they say "preach it!"

Comment by Lori Pickert on February 22, 2013 at 06:34 AM

;o)

thanks, sara!

Comment by Cristina on February 25, 2013 at 01:05 PM

This is so wonderful, I had to immediately share it with my son (he was the only one in the room. I'll share it with the rest of my family later!) Thank you so much for writing it. I think we all need to hear this often.

Peace and Laughter!

Comment by Lori Pickert on February 25, 2013 at 01:59 PM

thank you, cristina, and good to see you! :) xoxo

Comment by Karen on February 26, 2013 at 07:33 PM

Lori, you made my day and brightened my heart. It has been a long day, and I so needed this post. Thank you for this reminder, this push towards people, time, activities, and even creative messes which deserve our attention and energy.

Comment by Lori Pickert on February 26, 2013 at 07:58 PM

i’m glad, karen. that is great to hear. :)

Comment by Sarah Westphal on March 1, 2013 at 01:48 PM

THIS is golden:

"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! -"

I don't think I laughed out loud for that long in a while!

Brilliant!

One thing is missing though. Forgiveness.

Forgive your haters for the broken people that they are. That sucks the power right out of them and you get it back!

Cheers,
Sarah

Comment by Lori Pickert on March 1, 2013 at 01:50 PM

thanks, sarah. ;o)

and forgive and forget work well together. if you’re going to bother to forgive them, definitely forget them!

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