How to Deal with Judgment and Haters

Shaking off the judgment of haters is harder than mega-hit pop songs would have you believe. This week, Savvy Psychologist Dr. Ellen Hendriksen offers 6 ways to, whatever they say, be the rubber to your haters’ glue. 

Ellen Hendriksen, PhD,
July 14, 2017
Episode #161

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Tip #4: To shake off negative comments of a group, think of the members as all the same.

One study out of Williams College and the University of Waterloo asked participants to pretend they were an aspiring filmmaker whose work had been unanimously rejected by a panel of four judges at a film festival. Then, they were asked if it would be easier to dismiss the rejection if the panel members were “all very similar to one another” or if they were “all very different from one another.” A full 83% of participants noted it would be easier to dismiss the feedback if it came from a homogenous group than a diverse group.

This made sense: the reason it’s easier to shake off feedback from an individual than from a group is because it’s harder to dismiss an entire group as wrong or prejudiced than one single person. Feedback from multiple perspectives is harder to dismiss as unreliable.

Therefore, one strategy is to think of the group as homogenous, thereby transforming them into the equivalent of an individual. Indeed, anyone who’s dismissed a group of haters as “a bunch of idiots” has done this, albeit on a rudimentary level.

Another way to dismiss the hate is to hear what’s under it.

Tip #5: Hear what’s under the hate.

Another way to dismiss the hate is to hear what’s under it. I guarantee that underneath any non-constructive hate lies insecurity or some variation on that theme: fear, envy, powerlessness.  Secure, confident people might give you constructive criticism, but they just don’t deal in hate. Grandma was right: if they’re trying to tear you down to build themselves up, there’s clearly a reason they feel the need to tear you down.

And finally, Tip #6: Remember, criticism often means you’re doing great things.

If you’ve attracted some attention and some accompanying hate, take it as a sign that you’re doing something right. Becoming the target of haters means the world is sitting up and taking notice. Success comes with a side of hate, so don’t quit. In fact, do the opposite—go bigger. Think of haters as a side effect of greatness and you’ll be able to shake it off with the best of them.

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