4 ways to respond to your haters

 “This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard of.  I can’t believe you have sold books on it.”

I had a radio interview on Wednesday. Evidently, a stranger listened in and felt the need to email me his thoughts. I guess in his mind, my content is stupid. In fact, according to his 2 sentence email, it’s the stupidest content he’s ever heard of.

  • Imagine this email arrived in your inbox.
  • Imagine this email referenced a book you wrote. 
  • Imagine your book shared your story in a vulnerable and personal way. 

Reread those words and let them sink in S-L-O-W-L-Y.

 “This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard of.  I can’t believe you have sold books on it.”

How would you respond to this criticism?


Your response reveals your current level of awareness

I’m not going to lie. When I first started speaking and writing ten years ago, comments like this would rip me open:

  • They’d stick with me for days, weeks, and months.
  • They’d make me write back lengthy replies and defend myself.
  • They’d fire me up and cause me to take on martyr’s posture. 

But now, I just smile—sincerely. My perspective has since changed. I’ve learned if you put your message out there, then be prepared to get a few haters. And when you do, REJOICE. Here’s why:

  • Your message connected.
  • Your message was clear.
  • Your message was critiqued.

Criticism isn’t your biggest problem, obscurity is. (Tweet This)

Remember, if haters spent the time to communicate their criticism, then your message connected with them. It also found its way above the  5,000 other messages that confronted them that day. Chalk this up as a win. Although you’re goal isn’t criticism, when you get noticed because your content legitimately caused a reaction, then celebrate.

You can rush to defend or clarify, but do you want to? Is that your calling? You can spend bundles of “sideways energy” and accomplish nothing more than being distracted from advancing your mission.

The 4-Step Formula I use:

  1. READ = When I get comments from haters I READ them.
  2. REFLECT = I then REFLECT. “Is there any truth to what they’re saying? Can I grow and get better?”
  3. REALIGN = If helpful, I REALIGN and then keep advancing.
  4. REJECT = But if their comments are untruths, I REJECT them and keep focused on the real goal in front of me—Igniting Souls.

Remember, not all comments come from True Friends. You also have Honest Critics and Unhealthy Trolls.

Compliments AND criticism both mean you connected

This week I also received a compliment:

Before starting Your Secret Name 5 Week Journey, I was full of excitement, passion, and courage contained in a jar… like one saves pennies for a rainy day. As I walk the path of my journey, I have been able to open that jar and start using those talents. The results are evident. I walk different, feel more confident and aware, my vocabulary has changed, some say that I have physically changed. Thank you Kary for sharing your talents and thank you to the Igniting Souls Tribe for supporting one another as we continue igniting our journey of transformation.

Although comments like this lift me up, I don’t let them distract me either. I celebrate them, but they’re not the goal. Compliments can sideline you just as much as criticism. If you have lovers and if you have haters, rejoice that your message is connecting.

With your message in mind, remember connection is what you’re after. Not compliments or criticism.


QUESTION: How do you respond to haters?

(Please comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you know someone who needs to read this, please encourage them by sharing this post) 

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About The Author

Kary Oberbrunner

KARY OBERBRUNNER is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best-Selling Author and CEO of Igniting Souls Publishing Agency, a global company that runs on EOS. Its core focus is helping people write, publish, and market their books the right way and turn them into 18 streams of income. He’s an award-winning author of ten books, a screenwriter, and he’s been featured in Entrepreneur, CBS, Fox News, Yahoo, and many other major media outlets. As a young man, he suffered from severe stuttering, depression, and self-injury. Today a transformed man, Kary ignites souls. As an international speaker, he loves topics that capture his heart and mind such as: leadership, personal growth, human performance, blockchain technology, and entrepreneurship. As a futurist and host of the Blockchain Life podcast, he often consults on marketing, branding, IP, and NFTs. He has several earned degrees including a Bachelor of Arts, Masters in Divinity, and Doctorate in Transformational Leadership. He lives in Ohio with his family.

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