While confronting the people who harbor ill will against you can sometimes result in a peaceful resolution, it often doesn’t.
So rather than confront one’s haters, it may often be best to let people be wrong or mistaken about you than waste your time trying to convince them of something they are likely to refuse to believe anyway.
“Be selective in your battles, sometimes peace is better than being right.” — Unknown.
Anyone using their time to bash you is really saying you are the most important use of their time. Because of all the things in the world they could be focused on, they’re focused on you.
In an odd way, it’s almost as if having haters is a compliment. You are so important to them that they would rather spend their precious time giving you (negative) attention than doing anything else.
And while you can’t control critics, you can control how you react to criticism.
And one of the most effective ways to react to unjustified criticism to ignore it — and instead focus on whatever it is that helps you meet your goals, makes life meaningful to you, or makes you happy.
“My philosophy is: It’s none of my business what people say of me and think of me. I am what I am and I do what I do. I expect nothing and accept everything. And it makes life so much easier.” — Anthony Hopkins
Haters, more than anything, want your attention. You don’t have to give it to them.
Learning to not have to explain one’s self is one of life’s rewards.
Learning to not get emotionally invested in what people think of you one way or the other is another.
“Life is too short to stress yourself with people who don’t even deserve to be an issue in your life.”
People will like and respect you or they won’t — and getting people to like you doesn’t involve convincing them to.
The best thing you can do is just be yourself and let others make up their own minds. No amount of hate from a tiny minority is going to convince those who know the true you to think otherwise.
Anyone that is so easily swayed to think the worst about someone without giving them any direct consideration or benefit of the doubt isn’t the type of person you want to associate with anyway.
Just be a good person, lead by example, and let people think what they want, the rest will take care of itself.
“The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” — Norman Vincent Peale
Be confident enough in yourself to listen to criticism and explore views you don’t necessarily agree with — because those who always agree with you will rarely push you to improve as much as those who don’t.
“A wise person knows that there is something to be learned from everyone.” — Unknown
The more I browse social media, the more I see the increasing popularity of the belief that not giving a f*ck is the answer to all of life’s problems…
That the answer to caring too much about what people think is to not care
That the answer to caring too much about the world’s problems is to not care
That the answer to relieving stress in your life is to simply not give a f*ck about anything
And it simply isn’t true. This mode of handling things is just another dysfunctional extreme — the same as caring too much tends to be.
All that “not-giving-a-damn” does is fill the world with more of the types of people no one wants to run into — and as a byproduct, makes the world an even colder and more unfeeling place to be. This, in turn, creates a world of people who don’t care because it’s full of a world of people don’t care — ad infinitum.
The physical equivalent of not giving a damn about anything is putting a blindfold on and sticking your fingers in your ears. It doesn’t make problems go away, it perpetuates them by fooling you into thinking they don’t exist. And it creates a false sense of security and confidence.
The world doesn’t need any more people who don’t care about their fellow human beings (or anything else we share the planet universe with). The world needs more people who know how to effectively channel their energy into strategies that work. Refusing to listen to feedback or care about things is not an effective strategy.
“But I’ve been told not to care what others think or say about me!”, you say.
There is a big difference between not letting what others say about you have control over your sense of self-worth, and simply not caring what people say at all.
“Listen, smile, agree, and then do whatever the fuck you were gonna do anyway.” – Robert Downey Jr.
Listening to and being receptive to feedback is an important life skill and vital to being an effective communicator. (But so is knowing your environment and your audience — ie. youtube, Reddit, Xbox live…)
For example, if all you get is negative feedback about your attitude or behavior, then this may be a sign that there may be room for improvement in some aspect of how you handle things. If you keep finding yourself in similar negative situations with different people, employers, or relationships, then this may be a sign that the problem is not an external one.
This is sometimes evidenced by people who declare that they hate drama — and yet they are responsible for being attracted to or inviting into their lives the drama that they say they hate so much.
Another example, just because you don’t mean to hurt people’s feelings, but you inexplicably find yourself doing it over and over doesn’t mean it’s not your problem. It may be a sign that you are unaware of something you are doing and that you could easily improve upon if you chose to acknowledge it.
I’m not suggesting you should change for others or try to please everyone. I’m suggesting that if you are consistently causing issues that you don’t intend to, then that may be something worth taking a look at if you truly are open to improving things about yourself.
No one is perfect. We are all works-in-progress. And there is always room for improvement.
Sometimes we are so blind to our own behaviors — because we judge ourselves based on our intentions, not our actions — that we don’t realize when we suck. That’s when we actually need feedback from people to alert us to the things we are unaware of.
Most of the people who inconvenience others in the world don’t walk around thinking, “Yeah, I’m a sucky person.” On the contrary, they likely don’t realize that they are exactly the type of person they don’t want to be because they’ve learned to not give a damn about anything by ignoring negative feedback and giving positive feedback too much weight.
They’ve also never taken a good long look at themselves or what kind of affect — or inconvenience — they have on those around them. They might disregard feedback they’ve gotten with, “Well, I don’t care if people don’t like me.”
While you should, by no means, try to be liked by everyone, being likable matters in life:
Being likable, connecting with others, and forming relationships — whether it’s with an individual or an audience — is an integral part of being successful in life.
And being liked can have a direct impact on your health, your wealth, your general level of happiness, and how effective you are at achieving goals. (from Likability. Being liked and unliked)
And caring about things matters in life, too. The desire to make the world a better place doesn’t come from apathy. It often comes from discontent and a desire to fill a void or solve a problem.
“Restlessness is discontent and discontent is the first necessity of progress.” — Thomas Edison
It’s not people who don’t care that change the world. It’s people who do. And they care so much about something that their intense focus on whatever is within their power to change results in the whole world being affected.
The answer isn’t to stop giving a damn about everything.
By all means, care about things, but learn to let go of those things you have no control of (or no desire to).
Did someone cut you off, cut in line in front of you, fail to hold a door for you? By all means, care about these things, but learn an effective way to deal with them and to let go of those that don’t have any solution. Complaining? That’s not a solution.
Allowing yourself to be open is a sign of confidence, and it’s a strength that will get you much further in life, and provide you with the ability to weather more storms, than simply pretending that storms don’t exist.
It’s important to recognize that although some portions of one’s path through life may resemble another’s, we all have a very unique set of personal resources, life experiences, and circumstances that keep our paths from ever totally matching someone else’s. On top of that, we are all driven by a combination of values and priorities that are as unique to each of us as our DNA.
So it should be obvious that no two people live the same life.
And yet, many not only make a habit of comparing their lives to others, they get discouraged when they discover that someone has attained something they lack or achieved something they haven’t.
Always remember that although some people’s paths may, at times, resemble others, no two people are on the same journey through life.
And because every person’s path through life is unique, it makes no sense to let the apparent successes of others on their paths discourage you from walking your own.
If you focus more on what you wish to accomplish in your life and less on what others are doing in theirs, you will be rewarded with an authentic life that fits you and not a poorly fitting imitation of someone else’s.
The point of life isn’t to follow the footsteps of others. It’s to make your own. So do your best and concern yourself more with what you want to do on your path in life and less about what others are doing on theirs.
Be inspired by the greatness of others on their paths, but don’t ever let the accomplishments of another person deter you from your own.
It’s better to be your genuine self and have fewer of the right kinds of people in your life than it is to surround yourself with those who only accept you as long as you conform to their idea of who you should be.
Learn to know the difference between what you can change about yourself and what you can’t.
Understand that you are a work-in-progress and that the things about yourself that you have power over — such as your attitude, diet, fitness, habit, and skills — can and will change for the better over time if you work on them.
Regardless of where you are in your journey, accept yourself as you are at this time.
You are stronger, smarter, and more resilient than you think. You are capable of achieving far more than you believe.
You were meant for greatness — like all of those who have achieved it.
But it takes persistence. It takes determination. It takes facing your fears and doing that which is hard & necessary, instead of what is quick and easy. It takes skipping the mythical shortcuts & using your imagination as a map and preview of life’s coming attractions.
Don’t give power to those who don’t have your best interest in mind. Reclaim the freedom to be your true self by defining your own identity and wrestle back control of your thoughts, feelings, and sense of self-worth from those you have inadvertently given power over you.