Few things feel as cool as seeing people dig what you do. Be it painting, cooking, singing whatever, there is a rush when people get into your work or passions. Of course the same is true when people don’t like what you do but in the opposite sense. When people diss your project it’s a major downer. When someone thinks your art, sense of style or work sucks, it can be a real poke in the eye. Oh and if the bad review comes from someone whose opinion you actually value, then the pain of their unflattering critique is magnified over several times.

Thank goodness however that at one time or another we have all been told that age old adage (by parents, teachers, friends, family etc.) that we can’t please all of the people all of the time. So learning that we can’t please everyone makes not pleasing some, acceptable in the end even though a bad review still sucks. Yet by realizing that it‘s ok to have critics, we find the tenacity to keep pushing even when most may not be feeling what we are offering at the moment.

So dealing with the reality of fickle opinions, is not a big deal. It’s a natural part of our interactive chemistry with one another. However there is another extreme that critiquing can be taken to. And in this extreme version of judging you and your work, some people will never like anything you do at anytime.

To some people you will never get it right or get their vote of confidence. They can see everything wrong with what your grind and not actually know what it is even you are really doing. Now as we pointed out above, conventional wisdom from others, has given us a word that aptly identifies these extremists and that word is “haters.” And knowing the difference between haters and genuine critics is imperative to reaching any lasting degree of success.

For the hater it is rarely about what the hater is actually complaining about or hating on. One thing is put out front as the reason for slamming you while another much more personal to the hater is at the root. In my experience even efforts to help a hater are often re-spun and made into something sinister and usually ludicrous.

Again distinguishing between good honest critiques on how you can improve and slanderous barbs designed to discredit is not only a must for you when dealing with haters but those in your immediate circle as well. Failure to know the difference between those offering constructive criticisms and those slandering with ulterior motives, can allow the haters attacks to infect healthy working relationships or relationships of any nature resulting in distrust, disrespect and confusion.

Let’s look at a few identifying actions that distinguish the haters from those trying to help you and be honest motivators.

1. Haters are not usually born hating all your doing, something triggers them.

Again drawing from my own experiences I can think of many cases where someone currently dispensing Khan hater-aid started out praising what I was doing. Now this is not always the way haters can be identified but it’s definitely a good place to start. When someone starts attacking look for the place where you had to tell them no or not do something they wanted or needed you to do.

2. Haters tend to be ignorant of in depth details that address the so called points they are saying is why they are not down with anything you are doing.

3. Haters often exhibit an angry and frustrated tone when discussing the object or person they oppose.

4. Haters have high self opinions that usually mask inadequacies brought out by the thing or person they attack.

5. Haters attack indirectly by trying to influence those they believe are impressionable but valuable to the person or project they oppose.

Not to sound like a broken record (does anyone not 30 know what that sounds like LOL) or a scratched CD, but in my experience, all the hater-aid has usually come to me second hand. I heard that I was actually an alien cross dresser with delusions of grandeur from someone else and not the person that was spreading that. Well ok maybe they were not saying I was an alien cross dresser but you get the point.

Know who is around you and why they are around you. Have thick skin and be open. Sometimes honest critique can make you want to believe someone is hating when they are not. And our natural desire to have everyone like what we do can make us overly sensitive when either constructive criticism or hater-aid comes along. However if you and those in your crew can separate the haters from the honest critiques then that’s when the hate motivates and success becomes the best response to all of the people, all of the time.

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