1. Never ever respond.
That’s the hater’s goal. To entrap you. Draw you into a conversation. Wherein you have to justify your complete existence. You can never ever win, furthermore the hater’s friends will pile on. Read if you must, but never acknowledge you’ve done so.
2. Research the hater.
Especially on Twitter. See how many followers they have. Fewer than you, otherwise they wouldn’t bother to hate. Also, check their number of tweets. If someone’s tweet count is in the double digit thousands, laugh and move on. First of all, almost no one is going to see their hate. Second, the reason they’re hating is to justify their existence. They’re looking for attention. Who else would waste so much time blasting their thoughts into the wilderness.
3. Google the hater.
This usually makes you feel better. Because you find out the hater is a loser. Because winners don’t have time to hate, they’re too busy trying to win.
4. See it as a badge of honor.
If someone is hating you, you’ve made it.
5. Read it.
Anybody who says they don’t read the words of their critics is an optimistic pussy who is afraid of their shadow. As the cliche goes, you can’t embrace the good without the bad, you can’t acknowledge the love without the hate. The truth is we’re all equal. Even if you’re winning it’s only temporarily, on a scale that will cease to exist. You’ll die. Standards change. Do it because you love it. Know that criticism comes with the territory.
6. Don’t change who you are.
Then the terrorists have won. Oops, then the haters have won. I’m not saying you can’t learn anything from your critics, but the more successful you become, the more hating you’re subjected to, and the natural response is to pull back. Don’t do that. Then the essence of your art is eviscerated. People love you for that essence. Change for the haters and you’re disappointing the lovers.
7. Have a sense of humor.
We all have a tone of voice. We all have expressions we employ. We don’t like them to be pointed out, we don’t like to be reminded of them, but it’s the nature of society. If you can’t laugh at yourself, life is gonna be tough. Then again, there’s no need to fall upon your sword in the face of a tsunami of hate. Laugh, then have a backbone. Because your backbone is part of your appeal.
8. Understand the hater mentality.
They want to drag you down into the hole they’re in. If you succumb, they stop hating, they’ve made you irrelevant and go on to hating someone else. Hating is not about you, but a frustration embodied in the hater that he or she is not beautiful, successful, winning, whatever. That’s all they’ve got, their hate. You’ve got so much more.
9. Vitriol is no response.
If you must respond, and as #1 states above, you never should, so you’re breaking the number one rule, don’t use expletives and don’t shout. Twist your language and become sarcastic, stating that the hater is correct, ultimately neutralizing the hate. Or embrace the hate and acknowledge it, yes, I’m a worthless human being with no reason to exist, thanks for pointing that out. The hater is looking for a fight, if you’re not fighting, they move on to someone else.
10. Hate is invisible until you amplify it.
Not many people watch Jimmy Kimmel. Most were unaware of Kanye’s fashion comments. But by reaching out and responding to the “hate,” Kanye made everybody aware of his inane statements. It hurts when you see the hate, it’s personal, but it’s not personal to anyone else and almost everybody else ignores it. Yes, Google might tell you you’re an idiot, but who else is Googling your name?
11. Democracy doesn’t rule online.
Anyone can play, but that does not mean anyone can be heard. That’s the story of the past two years, how the winners have pulled away from the losers. And the losers don’t like it…that they just can’t place their stuff online and make it anymore. So who do they rail against? You, the winners!
12. Retweets might mean nothing.
Some people have clubs, not everybody, there are some lonely rogues. And they like nothing more than to slap each other on the back as they pile on. You see this in your Twitter feed and think the whole world is talking about you, but dig deeper and realize that it’s the three nerds from high school who suddenly have a voice, but just like in high school, no one is paying attention to them, no one is listening.
13. Haters are professionals.
Haters don’t hate once and then stop. They hate and hate and hate and hate, because what they’re looking for is acknowledgement. It’s unreasonable, but it’s fact. See it as their problem, not yours.
14. Few haters will say it to your face.
They love the anonymity of the web, especially in comment threads. Put them in front of the star and they’ll get all googly-eyed. Not all of them, some of them are so maladjusted that they will never stop hating until they win, big time, which they can’t, because they’ve got to see themselves as outside underdogs, and to win you have to learn how to be an insider. Winners have relationships, people who will aid them in their endeavors. Haters have no army, except for the silent loners afraid of their reflections. They’re on a subliminal trip to nowhere.
15. Hate peters out.
Those websites, those fake Twitter accounts? They die. Because they’re one note jokes and you’re so much more than that. The hate might be clever, but clever never lasts, it’s one note for one time.
16. Hating is like spam.
It will never completely go away, but it will be minimized into irrelevance. Seemingly everybody uses Gmail these days, which employs the great Postini filter. Spam isn’t a thing of the past, but it’s now an occasional nuisance instead of a headache. Hate is peaking, because as the winners pull away from the losers online, everybody can see the haters for what they are, disgruntled people clamoring for attention who usually have nothing of value to say.
For more industry insight from Mr. Lefsetz visit his blog at www.lefsetz.com/wordpress