We all have them. Haters. People who don’t appreciate, approve of, or value what you do. Experiencing a hater is not a matter of if, but when. While your response is a matter of how.

Seth Godin, one of the greatest living minds today, said something in a recent podcast that sparked my attention.

He said that the best response to people who don’t like his work is “This isn’t for you.” He hasn’t read the reviews of his books on Amazon for years, and if someone says they don’t like his work, he simply says “I didn’t write it for you.”

This doesn’t make him flippant or uncaring. Actually it’s the opposite. It allows him to be more deeply engaged and to show care and concern for the people he is intending to reach with his message. This is a gift for Seth and for the hater. It lets both of them off the hook.

This idea works great for those of us who sell ideas and challenge thinking. For those who sell tangible products or deliver services to people, it is harder to do.

This thinking doesn’t give you a license to ignore feedback or to not value differing opinions. Instead, it freely gives you the gift of not trying to please everyone. None of us wants to hear that people don’t like us or agree with us. This is painful.

When someone disagrees with you, do you take it seriously or do you take it personally?

It’s ok to take things serious. When someone disagrees with you or challenges you, taking it seriously allows you to hear the truth in the message and filter the bull out. It allows you to be humble and acknowledge where you may be able to grow or improve from the comments. It allows you to live your convictions and gain strength and passion around your beliefs.

When you take things personally, you are exposing your fear. You are allowing frustration and selfishness to overtake you. Taking things personally puts weakness in your conviction and puts you in a position to fight and defend vs. receive and learn.

5 great ways to respond to haters…

  1. Thank you
  2. This wasn’t meant for you
  3. I appreciate your input
  4. That’s an interesting perspective
  5. I see it differently

Don’t be afraid of haters. Love them and learn from them. Take things seriously but not personally.

Lead well, lead often and LEAD STRONG!