When you start publishing your creative work online, you need to be prepared for all kinds of comments, both positive and negative. While the praise feels good and constructive criticism helps us grow – what are we gonna do with “haters?” Simon Cade of DSLRguide gives you some tips how to deal with hateful comments. You should leave them alone, but not ignore them completely. You should also change your attitude, and Simon shares some very helpful tips how to find the balance and turn even hateful feedback into fuel for your future growth.
Most of us imagine the “haters” as losers, living in their mom’s basement and having no life life. This doesn’t need to be true. It’s likely that only their distance is what makes them be direct, sharp and hateful in the comments. They hide behind a username, thousands of miles away, without having to confront the person they’re criticizing.
But no matter how we perceive the haters, the expression “haters gonna hate” means that the criticism doesn’t reflect us, but those who give us negative feedback. It’s true up to some point, of course. But, you shouldn’t disregard all the negative comments and just scoff and say “haters gonna hate.” The thing is – some of these comments might actually be constructive criticism of your work, even if the tone of the comment is tart. So, pay attention to the content and if there’s something you can make use of.
What Simon also adds is that we’re all different and that he doesn’t want to “make stuff that everyone agrees with.” In other words – criticism is just fine; you should get concerned if there are only positive comments all the time. But, how what to do when the line of “constructive negative criticism” is crossed? How to deal with those comments without the “constructive” part?
When it comes to the “haters” and comments that are just “toxic,” Simon has two rules about dealing with them. You can try applying them too if you don’t already:
- When someone writes something hateful, don’t fight back. Don’t try to argue and prove they’re wrong, or share their comments on social media to get sympathy. When this happens, just ignore.
- The second rule kinda adds to the first one. When the hateful comments appear, ignore them – but don’t delete them. That’s the place for your audience, and they will report and downvote what they don’t want to see.
Of course, things can get more complicated if you receive hateful comments based on your gender, skin color, religion… even body hair. But we won’t go that far here, we’ll only focus on the comments about your work. If you ignore them and just leave them there, it doesn’t mean you don’t feel bad about them. According to Simon, you can change these feelings if you change your attitude towards positive feedback:
“The more you take to heart the positive remarks, the more you’ll take to heart the negative.”
Or in other words:
“In order to not be so deflated by the bad feedback, you can’t let yourself be too inflated by the good feedback.”
It sounds reasonable, and I believe it’s something we should all work on. Positive feedback shouldn’t make us feel overconfident. We should see it as a confirmation that we’re heading the right direction, but we should always try to improve further. With this attitude, the hateful feedback won’t be an obstacle on our way to growth. We’ll weed it out from the constructive criticism, and go on with our work, always aiming to become better.
I’m interested to hear what you think about this topc. Do you think the attitude towards positive feedback changes our attitude towards the negative one? And how do you deal with haters?
[Why You Should Leave “Haters” Alone | DSLRguide]