No matter what you do in life, you’re going to attract a number of people who just hate what you do. This is unavoidable. While you might need to listen to some criticism, it may be best to disproportionately balance time spent with your fans vs. your haters.
Photo by Andrew Moore.
As productivity blog 99u points out, we can take negative comments a lot more personally than we take compliments. Compliments seem fleeting, we can suspect ulterior motives, or imagine that the person giving the compliment doesn’t really know why we suck. One negative comment, on the other hand, can ruin our day.
Given the natural tendency many of us have to accepting negative comments to positive ones, it only makes sense to spend more time with your fans to balance it out:
McCabe recommends offsetting any negativity by a factor of 5 (10 hours of negativity = 50 hours of positivity). This may seem like a lot, but remember the weight that even one negative comment can carry. When you are with negative people, be on the offensive. Understand that even if they don’t say discouraging things, their negative mindset may rub off on you. Don’t go looking for confirmation and inspiration. Be the inspiration. Ask about what they enjoy doing, when they did it last, and how they can find more time for it. Then find a support network that can inspire you.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should assume your fans are always right. There’s a time for accepting constructive criticism and your haters may have just as many good points as your fans. However, when it comes to dealing with your confidence, spending more time with your fans can give you the emotional courage you need to keep going.