Not everybody will talk nicely about you, you know. You will face some negative opinions about yourself, regardless of the amount of value you provide or how nice you behave to others. And that is a thing you must cope with, because sooner or later it will rush into your life. The sooner you have a successful and visible career the sooner you’ll have to face more and more powerful negations to your activity. In itself, this manifestation of resistance to what you do is not that big or important as people tend to make it. To some degree it is a very natural and almost necessary thing. But there is an inner feeling of security and comfort that is being challenged by every negative opinion, and that is creating in turn a flow of negative emotions.Â Let’s see how you can deal with that.
The first and the most difficult thing to do about that, is to accept the simple fact that they can exist. It’s difficult because you link success to popularity, and popularity means recognition from an increasing number of people. Every negative opinion will feel like a decrease in popularity and you’ll be incline to take it as a lack of success. In fact, negative opinions about you have nothing to do with your success, because you should have your own definition about being successful.
A negative opinion is no better than a positive one in terms of popularity either, because it will still be about you. It will still make you popular, only in a negative way. They say “there is no such thing as bad advertising” for a reason, you know. Because there is no bad advertising, there is only advertising. So every time somebody is talking badly about you, remember that they’re still taking about you.
Acceptance of negative opinions is also a good exercise of sympathy. People have the right to have and stand for different opinions, other than yours. It’s a fundamental right and you should be happy every time somebody is exercising that right. It’s a good thing even if it comes up with something negative about yourself.
Don’t Engage In Negative Discussions
The first impulse when facing a negative opinion about yourself is to challenge it. You will try to challenge the value of truth in that opinion. You will try to convince the other part that he’s wrong. Well, don’t do this. If there is a lesson to be learned from that, just learn it, but don’t engage in negative controversy. It will just add up to the power of that opinion.
One of the most effective techniques on building a powerful online presence is called “linkbaiting”. It’s a technique in which you gain popularity by talking bad about other people and waiting for them to respond. You don’t know anything about the other person, of course, but you’ll fake that and act like you do. In 95% of the cases, people will engage in negative controversy, regardless of the truth value involved. I think it’s almost a natural impulse of defending your own status. And that impulse is hijacked by others and that power redirected to their areas. Just don’t engage, learn what is to be learned and move on.
Don’t Excuse Yourself
Repair. If there’s something you did wrong, just go there and fix it. If there is something to be announced about that, do a small announcement after you fixed it, express your true feelings about that, and let it go. Don’t try to excuse yourself without repairing, just to polish your public image. Every PR company will rush you to “go out” with a nice press release in which you acknowledge and excuse, but that will also empower the negative opinion, not you.
If there is something wrong with you and that negative opinion is about that, you should be thankful. Not everything that feels like a slap in the face is something wrong, sometime you deserve it. It’s like a road sign that tells you: closed road ahead, just turn around. Those negative signs are things you should be grateful for.
Focus On What You Want
It’s easy to get caught in a defense spiral when facing negative opinions. You follow the defensive impulse and tend to build scaffolds for surpassing that opinion. Well, it’s not about them, it’s about you. If you keep your focus on that opinion, you won’t have any focus left for what you do best. And sooner or later you’ll become a match for that opinion, because you stopped doing what you’re good at.
Focus on what you really want. Allow others the right to talk about you in their own words and you do what you do best. Moving your focus from negativity or defense to creativity is the best thing you can do. There isn’t much to win over a negative opinion, unless there is something true about that. In that case you should be thankful, as I said, but if there is nothing true about that opinion, make yourself a nice present and forget it.
Sometimes you’ll enter in some kind of relationships with people talking bad about you. If you’re a popular guy and receive a lot of media attention you’ll soon have your own “clients”. They will just talk bad about you as their day to day job. This is what they’re hired to do, in fact. You don’t have any other alternative than to forgive them.
Forgiveness is not easy. Especially when the inflicted hurting is occurring frequently and steadily. But it is rewarding. Forgiving means understanding that the other is in pain too and is struggling to find an easier path. On the process, he’s stepping on your neck. But he’s just a human being, like you. Hard to believe it sometimes, but true.
One of the things I learned during my choice of a personal path was that everything that comes into our life is a reflection of what we are. Everything around you is attracted by you, it is not coming into your life out of the blue. There is no hazard, there are only our wishes and the reflection of them into our lives. Forgiving is the process in which you accept and transform the negative parts in yourself too.
All in all, negative opinions are a reality that you should face. Better do it with honesty and hope. Sometimes those opinions will be just plain lies, sometimes they will be road signs that are making you great service. But they are there in your life for a reason. You might have to learn a lot of things during this wonderful travel, and those negative opinions may be in fact just your disguised teachers. You’ll have to learn how to forgive, how to master your emotional response, how to direct your focus or how to forgive others and yourself.
Not everybody will like you. And you know what? That’s ok.