5 Tips on How a Successful Leader can Deal with Haters

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A key laying on a piece of paper with the word "leadership" on it.

By: Matshona Dhliwayo

They are everywhere—envious people, or haters as they have now come to be called, have been around since the beginning of time.  Envy is the most extreme form of jealousy.  It comes about as a result of someone feeling inferior or slighted because of what you have or what you are.

One would think that we would have learned our lesson by now, but as with all things, times may change, but human nature does not.  As a result, there is not a soul on the planet who does not need to learn how to deal with haters.  There are many strategies, and below are the most effective.

  1. Ignore Them—Ignore their comments; remind yourself that the loudest boos often come from the cheapest seats. It is your duty to keep doing what you’re doing—excel.  Your calling is to achieve your highest potential, helping others in the process.  Don’t waste time validating the feelings of someone who is not comfortable in his or her own skin.
  2. Distance Yourself from Them—If their negative comments persist even after ignoring them, set boundaries. If you keep hearing and meditating on their hurtful remarks, you may find yourself believing them.  Change your environment and associations to reduce your interactions with them.
  3. Confront Them—You only need to address them directly when distancing yourself has failed. Be open, but tactful.  Let them know how their actions make you feel.  Being polite prevents you from worsening an already deteriorating situation.
  4. Cut Them Off—When all else has failed, sever ties. Do whatever you can to avoid them.  If you typically meet them on the way to work, take a different path; if you take lunch at the same time, try to switch schedules.  If they happen to join a discussion you are part of, if you can, excuse yourself.  If they happen to engage you in any discussion, politely end it.  It’s a lot easier said than done, but it’s a small price to pay for getting rid of someone who adds nothing but negativity to your life.
  5. Rise Above Them—No matter how far you distance yourself, some haters will never leave you alone, rain or sunshine. Driven by envy, they can neither eat nor sleep peacefully until they trouble you.  The best thing to do in this situation is to rise above them.  If you try to please your haters, you will end up losing the most valuable thing you have in your life: yourself.

Now that you are equipped to deal with your haters, below are 20 insights to further help you deal with them.

  1. The road to success is paved with doubters and haters.
  2. When people try to bury you, remind yourself you are a seed.
  3. Don’t be afraid of criticism; the tallest trees are always confronted by the strongest winds.
  4. Don’t worry about those who try to pull you down; they are below you for a reason.
  5. The greater the fruit tree bears, the greater the number of stones thrown at it.
  6. Use your enemy’s arrows for firewood.
  7. When a rock transforms into a diamond, lesser stones will not speak of its beauty, but of its unpolishedness.
  8. Don’t let mediocre people talk you out of your dreams; lions have little in common with sheep.
  9. Haters, like parrots, talk much but cannot fly. Dreamers, like eagles, say nothing but conquer the skies.
  10. Be noble like the sun; let even those who resent you for shining benefit from your warmth.
  11. Critics are loud, but success is louder.
  12. Work while they talk, strive while they mock, persevere while they jeer, and succeed while they hate.
  13. To achieve success, ignore doubt; to achieve fame, ignore haters; to achieve greatness, ignore fear; and to achieve immortality, ignore hardship.
  14. It is in vain to try and stop a star from rising, even with a ladder.
  15. The sun alone truly wants to see you shine, even if you end up shining brighter than it.
  16. Don’t blow out someone’s candle, or you will both end up in the dark.
  17. If you listen to critics for too long, you will become deaf to success.
  18. To avoid enemies, say nothing; to avoid critics, do nothing; and to avoid haters, be nothing; but to avoid mediocrity, ignore them all.
  19. The larger the bricks your enemies throw at you, the larger the palace you are going to build.
  20. “When they judge you, yawn.
    When they misunderstand you, smile.
    When they underestimate you, laugh.
    When they condemn you, ignore.
    When they envy you, rejoice.
    When they oppose you, prevail.