Self Care September 24, 2020

How do you cope with harsh criticism and haters?

Jérémy LEVY @jeremylevy

Following the publication of my previous post:

https://www.indiehackers.com/post/a-survival-guide-to-meanness-15df3a7b2c

I would love to know your strategies to cope with harsh criticism and haters.

Do you have any?

Taking days off, ignoring? How do you handle criticism?

  1. 4

    I try to be as objective as I can and use the feedback to improve my product. But if there's zero constructive feedback and it's just 100% hate I usually fight back.

    I know, I know that's not what I should do. But I can't stand it.

  2. 4

    What matters is not how many haters you have, it's to know you have people who love you. We get at least one very mean feedback a week for logology, where people tell us we wasted their time and that we're super generic. But at the same time we also get people who fall in love with it and tell us we should be more expensive, because the value is super rare.

    I think the best way to balance this would be to focus on the things you can do to get more people to really love you. Even if it's just a few people, if you can build the perfect product for them, you will stop worrying about the haters I assume.

  3. 3

    I heard a great thing on the radio yesterday. I caught the end of the interview so I don't even know who the guy was, but the question was about how he deals with online abuse.

    I like his answer because it's exactly my own philosophy, but the way he phrased it was excellent.

    He said that if his sister, mother, brother or best friend (or whatever) was to post online that he's a bad person and should be ashamed of himself then he would be hurt by that and take it seriously. But if the comments are made by some randomer internet idiot then he just couldn't care less; the comment and their opinion has absolutely no relevance or impact on his life whatsoever. He said "they're just not inside my jam jar, so I just don't care"

    I loved that "jam jar" line.

  4. 2

    I know how you feel. I have recently launched a productized service which is Brain Optimization for startup founders and aside from performance & productivity, a key area is resilience. Here are my tips:

    1. Recognizing that we cannot please everyone. We are doing our best to provide the best to our customers with the minimum resources we have. So first thing first, giving ourselves a pat on the back for the fact that we were brave enough, courageous enough to build and release our product to the world.

    Inevitably, the world will provide feedback. There is a reaction (feedback) to every action (your product release). And to be an excellent entrepreneur, you need lots of feedback (whether good or bad). No feedback means no moving forward. So here is how to see the rest:

    1. Sometimes others too are human with frailty and they just don’t know how to communicate. Lets forgive them for their weaknesses. But you as an entrepreneur,!Is there constructive feedback in those comments if the feelings are removed? Can there be Key lessons to takeaway and move on?

    2. Can setting expectations help to shape the customer experience?

    At the end Recognizing that it’s just IS. There is no good Or bad feedback. It’s what our mind choose to interpret as good or bad feedback. We can train our mind to be neutral in those situations and keep moving forward.

    Should you want to connect direct with me please feel free to do so!! It’s portia at pxventureservices dot com

  5. 2

    Try and extract any useful feedback from the criticism, there might be some value for you to help you improve. Otherwise put your head down and get back to work. Permitting attention to anything else is just devaluing yourself, all the other bs doesn't matter.

    I've found personally that this blunt mindset has helped me a lot.

  6. 2

    Keep working harder! There is a reason why they are hating on you. They want to see you struggle, be unsuccessful and not progress. Continue to not only work on your projects, but work on your overall self. Make sure you are reaching your fitness and health goals as well. When you are successful in every aspect of your life the world is yours.

  7. 2

    Confidence.

    Ignoring hate and critics is simple, if you believe in yourself or your project and have full confidence you're doing well, then there is absolutely no reason to slow down and dwell on the haters. Believe in yourself because no one else matters more to you than you.

  8. 2

    Hey @jeremylevy—this is not necessarily a strategy, but I've been reading the book Hug Your Haters by Jay Baer and it's really finding me ways to shift my perspective. Recommend it!

    1. 1

      Thank you very much! It seems very interesting.

  9. 2

    One way I look at it...

    You can't appreciate the love, without the hate.

    Focus on the love, and give it more attention and weight.

    Unfortunately, there will always be haters, trolls, or people with different viewpoints who simply want to bring others down. It's not easy as an entrepreneur to face this type of harsh criticism, especially if you're really passionate about your business/idea... it's kind of like someone saying something mean about your newborn baby!

    But it happens... and you can choose to react by dwelling on it, ignoring it, or if you're self-aware, you can probably learn something from it too! I think the most important thing is to stay positive and don't take it personally.

  10. 2

    What helped me a lot was:

    a) Mindfulness. It allowed me to not "react" but "observe" the bad feeling.

    b) CBT. David Burns and his Feeling Good book is THE best psychology book I've read in my life.

  11. 2

    Depend's what/who is being criticised. Take a step back, and when you can do so with a clear mind, assess to see how much of it is true. Sometimes things hurt more because we're too close to them, take breaks. You're worth more than someone's opinion than you and you're not defined by the thing you build.

    Finally, also got to assess whether this is the right person to be offering criticism in the first place. If not, then... take it with a pinch of salt.

    1. 1

      "You're not defined by the thing you build."

      This, so much!

  12. 1

    Referencing from the previous post.

    People tell you that your landing page sucks and doesn't convey what you do.
    People are reaching out to you on Twitter to tell you that the pricing is ridiculous and that no one will ever pay this outrageous price.
    People yell at you because they need to register to check it out.
    People sending one comment Wikipedia link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rent-seeking.
    People tell you that your blog sucks because you are using Medium (paywall?!!).

    If someone keeps getting the similar feedbacks over and over again. It's not other's problem. He needs to solve it. Above points, all of 'em easy to solve. Improve the copy, change the pricing, move your blog... This is progress, how to improve. Putting your ego aside and serving people what they want.

    However numbers matters. If you display it in PH/HN somewhere and 100 people visits it, 2 of them cry about the pricing, simply ignore it. If the number is higher chances they are right.

    It's quite strong to call someone a hater, just because he didn't like the product and gave you an actual feedback that you should appreciate. An hater would bash your product, wouldn't stop talking s... about it on every platform, if he has skills he would try to attack and many other things.

    So changing the mindset also helps. What you are getting is all feedbacks from meaningful, actionable to non-sense, pointless ones. You are in charge of separating them and also find some meaning in the non-sense ones.

    For example, if I give a feedback like "There is no images on the site". while there are a lot. Product owner would directly ignore it and call me dumb. However if the site hosts its images on imgur, it's currently banned in Turkey, and some other countries. So I'm actually hinting it's inaccessible by 80M+ people. I don't have to dig the problem, it's on product's owner.

    From whole another perspective, haters are very valuable assets. Such as if someone bashes you over your pricing, you can just compare with alternative tools and show them you are cheaper than other solutions. If you can he's not a hater, he just pointing the truth that you can't handle. But if you can cut the costs thus prices, it's way convenient show an hater is wrong than displaying it in the prices page.

    Like Apple and Android have his own fanboys, you can see them under every related topic, while one brag about the photo quality, other one talks about nfc support. As I'm in apple ecosystem, I'm not aware or in search of android products and don't know where their technology at. But thanks to those haters and their opposites I can get an overview comparison of which product offers what. Haters does your promotion for free while you are sleeping. But you gotta provide value for others to back you up.

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