Three Ways to Respond to Haters
There should be a soundtrack to everything, even dealing with haters. When you are someone (especially a Black woman) who carries themselves with an epic level of confidence, there will be judgment, harsh, unkind judgment. Being confident means being subject to both celebration and misunderstanding. But if you respond to every single prejudgment, criticism, or bit of shade thrown, you will be detracted from your path, and we can’t have that. Here are three ways you can handle the hateration with song suggestions that might hype you up along the way.
1. Keep going. I know, it’s so hard sometimes when you feel like it’s you against the world. Ask yourself, does this person’s opinion ultimately affect my life or my life’s work? There will be people who won’t believe in your dreams, those who try to compete with you, and those who allow themselves to be influenced by others’ opinions of you. If these people have no influence over your influence or income, keep it moving. Your energy is better spent focusing on your whole beautiful self. When you are consistently authentic, people will eventually see the truth past other people’s smoke and mirrors, sabotage, and rumors.
Hate on Me- Jill Scott
No Time-Lil Kim
2. Clarify- When someone’s negative opinion prompts an emotional or physical response within you, it means you’re bothered. Get clear with yourself on why. Perhaps you feel misunderstood or hurt. Before responding, first, ask yourself why it matters so much. Is it the person or the person’s words? Is it because you truly value that person’s insights or because they have a record of demonstrated expertise that can help you grow? Does this person have a particular level of influence that could hinder you? It may be beneficial to meet and discuss with that person. Make an effort not to prove yourself but for them to get to know you better from firsthand experience. Share perspective so that you can come to a mutual understanding or agree to disagree.
If it’s not who said it but what was said, then it’s time to clarify by checking your internal programming. Often, words sting because we’ve heard them before, from our inner critic or others. They have seeped into our conscious, and we hear those words on repeat. Then some reprogramming is necessary. In the meantime, you respond to their comments indirectly- in the form of a significant statement, a clap back if you will. Respond with perseverance and continued success
Apple Tree- Erykah Badu
Hate it or Love it- Mary J. Blige
Thot Sh*t- Meg Thee Stallion
3. Reflect-Thinking about why five people use the same unflattering word to describe you is challenging but necessary…if you want to grow. Sometimes you will reflect and realize it’s their issue, not yours. Other times there may be some merit in their opinions. Then you must make a conscious decision to work on it if it is something you care about. It requires pushing your ego to the side, and sometimes it sucks. To learn more about how to reflect on people’s opinion of you, the chapter Criticism…Take it or Leave it? From my book Quiet Strength, Loud Confidence, Reflections & Realizations from a Free Black Woman.
Strength Courage and Wisdom- India Aire
Man in the Mirror- Michael Jackson
Everything is Everything- Lauryn Hill