Don’t drink the HATERade! Doesn’t taste good.
No matter what you say or do, there will be people who agree, people who disagree, and people who are indifferent. We all have positive and negative experiences. It’s up to you which to focus on.
There’s a difference between constructive criticism and being a “troll”(a person who is giving you non-helpful criticism with the goal of making you feel bad). Constructive criticism is a critique of your work with the genuine intention of helping you improve.
Constructive criticism is good. It helps us improve. Sometimes we get it when we don’t ask for it, but that’s okay. Always ponder the heart before getting offended.
Trolling on the other hand is not good. People who are trolls (haters) will comment on your posts or in a forum thread saying non-constructive things like, “You’re a moron. You clearly don’t understand what you’re talking about.” or “The colors on your website are terrible.”
They say things to put other people down because it makes them feel better in some sick, distorted way. You can usually tell their intentions because if they were being constructive, they might send you a personal email or direct message of some kind letting you know that some of your information might be a little off, and offer you sources to look into to try to help you improve your article, or they’ll let you know that they have a degree in color theory, and that your website might perform better with slightly different colors.
You’ll know a troll when you see one. You’ll know a hater from someone trying to genuinely help.
Naturally, hurtful comments are going to upset you. It might even ruin your day, discourage you, and make you feel like you should quit or change course. Don’t give into those feelings—they’ll pass.
Trolls are like bratty children or bullies. They say hurtful things to get a reaction out of you. If you give them a reaction, they’ll keep doing it.
You’re really going to want to respond back and attack them like they attacked you—to put them in their place, so to speak.
Proverbs in The Bible has some great advice on dealing with trolls (it’s actually about fools, so I’ll substitute in “trolls” for the sake of this chapter):
“A [troll] takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion…If a wise man has an argument with a [troll], the [troll] only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.”
Basically the point is, there’s no sense in arguing with someone who won’t listen anyway, and beyond that, they’re looking to pick a fight, so don’t stoop to their level.
It’s really hard to let this stuff go sometimes, but remember that trolls do this all the time to different people. It has nothing to do with you, and you shouldn’t give them your thoughts or your energy thinking about it because I guarantee you they don’t care about you enough to think about it after they hit “enter” to comment.
These people are not your audience members or your customers, they have no intention of learning from you, helping you, or ever buying anything from you, so don’t give them your energy.
Instead, give all of your energy to the people who get value from you.
That’s my 2 cents.