Ok, it happened. I got my first “bad” review. When you expose yourself to the public, you expect this and try to prepare for it, but it was ugly. Ugly in the sense that the online review didn’t constructively criticize my work, it attacked my life purpose, expertise, and spirituality.
I guess Karen decided to “go big or go home.”
I’ll admit the human side of me was angry. It brought out my need to defend my work and beliefs. This is a natural reaction when we experience something that is uncomfortable and feels like we’re being attacked.
The Life Coach in me said, “ok, let’s put this energy into something positive and effective: it’s about her projection and perspective, don’t take it personal.”
Finally, the spiritual side of me said, “let’s find some love and compassion.”
Have you ever experienced the “haters?” Here are some ways to cope:
- Just don’t– One of the most common tools I suggest to my Life Coaching clients is, “Don’t complain and don’t explain.” We don’t want to add any energy to the negative situation. We don’t have to explain ourselves to those who won’t receive it.
I wanted to explain to Karen what my credentials are, how I researched the information, and why she should be a better person, but alas, I refrained. You can’t convince someone of your worth, and you don’t need to!
- Be proactive, not reactive– This is a difficult one to execute. Our instantaneous thought is to give someone a piece of our mind. I chose to sleep on it. I chose to talk it over with my husband and best friend. I also wrote out a response that was less than stellar, although it was soothing in a weird way.
- Run Your Own Race– I think what was most disappointing about Karen was the fact that she is a fellow author, woman, and mental health professional. I’m a firm believer in supporting others and lifting them up. I feel I can always learn from others, especially when we have commonalities.
I realized Karen probably has some insecurities in this area and may feel we are in a competition with one another. You’ll find this to be common of your criticizers.
- Kill ’em with Kindness– In the end, I decided to respond with compassion. I validated the positive reviews and awards that others had expressed about my book.
My hope is that Karen may take away the message that being mean doesn’t get you heard, it only repels people from you. Kindness will bring the people and success you seek.
Don’t allow anyone to steal your confidence, joy, or belief in your purpose. Stay strong and follow your own path, regardless of the “Karens” you will inevitably encounter.
Love and Blessings,