How to Deal with Haters

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  • “So you must anticipate, no matter what you are going to do, people are going to judge it.”
  • Have you ever put your art out there only to receive negative comments from haters? Follow these three tips on how to keep yourself centered in the midst of conflict and keep moving forward with your mission with confidence.
  • “So trust that as you demonstrate and stay disciplined towards your own art and your own voice, the tribe will build.”
  • Watch the video to get the full training.
  • If you’re constantly letting hateful comments get you down, it’s time to create a strategy to combat that negativity. Learn how to anticipate the haters and focus on building your tribe and community of those who support you.
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Dealing with Self-Doubt
When People Don’t Support You




[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)

Of course when you put your art out there, share your voice out there, try to do something big, try new things, people are going to judge it. That’s been happening since you were in elementary school. It should not surprise you anymore.

So now the job is to deal with it better. I know that’s hard to say because you’re like, “Well, Brendon, you don’t understand. People say these horrible things.” I’ll put up something about personal development like, “How to Deal with Rejection” or, “How to Achieve Your Goals Faster.” People will literally threaten my family in the comments sometimes. Or they’ll say something just horrible because that’s about them, their state of mind, their values, how they’ve been showing up in the world, not about my personal development videos, right? Ultimately just look at what you’re putting out there. If you’re putting out good things, and people are applying hate to that, that’s because they were good people who got trapped in the hate cycle in their own life and they’re just expressing what is true to them—not true to what you are doing. And once you get that it doesn’t upset you as much anymore.

So I’ve developed three ways to deal with haters that will help you in this video.

1. Anticipate the Haters

Strategy number one for dealing with haters is to anticipate them and anticipate that they will always be there no matter how successful you become, how much you donate, how well you lead, or how good of a human you are. That old saying, “Anticipation is power” is totally true. I know no matter what I put up, I’m going to get judged and hated. Why? Listen, when the Dalai Lama puts up something he gets hatred and vitriol, right? When the nicest person you’ve ever met says something incredibly nice online, like someone will post a picture of their cat and say, “I love my cat, isn’t my cat cute?” And someone will say, “That’s the ugliest cat I’ve ever seen. You’re weird for liking cats and stupid for having nothing else to post but cats.” It’s like the most innocent, simple things. You can post a picture of your child and people will judge why you posted a picture of your child. There is no way out at this point.

So you must anticipate, no matter what you are going to do, people are going to judge it. And once you anticipate that, now you have power.

Have you ever gone to a Halloween haunted house and you went around the first time and everything scared the crap out of you? The second time when you took a friend through nothing scared you because you know where the Boogeyman jumps out. Guess what? Every single time you post something, somebody might judge it, right? People thought Van Gogh was crazy and his art sucked. People thought Monet was messing up the more classical Renaissance style. All the greats have people who call them crazy, judge them, and hate on them. Why would you think you’re going to be any different?

I think that’s the challenge. So many people never learned their lessons from being younger that judgment always happens. They never learned to get over the fear of rejection. They never learned to get over the hatred, so what they’re carrying in their adult bodies and minds is this tremendous fear. Listen, if you don’t learn to anticipate it, you’re always going to fear it. You’re always going to be like, “Oh wait, this might happen.” And then when it does, it throws you off.

I’ve written six bestselling books now and every single one of them on Amazon—these books become massive best sellers in the personal development, self-help, and psychology fields. Inevitably when you go there, there’s going to be hundreds, thousands of one star comments next to the hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of five star comments.

We’ll get one email that says, “Oh my god Brendon, this book changed my life!” and another email that says, “You’re a piece of crap.” Why would I let any of them move my center, right?

I don’t let the positive stuff in the world move my center. I don’t let the negative stuff move my center. When you really anticipate that you’re going to get it, you can also learn how you should deal with it. You need to make a decision today about how you’re going to deal with that next hater because they’re coming for you. The bigger you get, the more you will have. The bigger you get, the more horrible they get. The bigger you get, the more they consistently attack you.

I don’t say that to scare you. I say this because it’s going to happen. It’s just like when you start a business. Guess what? You’re going to have to pay more taxes. That doesn’t mean you don’t start your business. It doesn’t mean you don’t share your art just because there’s going to be some haters.

So please, anticipate it’s going to happen, then anticipate how you’re going to deal with it. I just go, “I’m going to deal with this. I’m not going to let this throw me off. I’m going to value my art and my work over the judgments of people who don’t know me, don’t know my art, don’t know my work, don’t know my students, don’t know what I’m trying to do in the world.”

Why would you let somebody who doesn’t know you control your feelings?

So you need to anticipate that you’re going to get some of this and you’re going to need to stay centered; you’re going to need to stay positive about it.

2. Don’t Ever Engage Haters

A second big thing that I do in dealing with haters is that I don’t ever try to explain, make an excuse, or engage with the haters. Most of the time I just delete them. Block them from your community.

Your job isn’t to just to protect your ego, your job is to protect your community.

People say, “Brendon, how can you do that? Shouldn’t you show everybody’s voice?” I say no, because everybody’s voice—when it’s hatred or negative—I don’t need to let that into my community.

My job is to be the guardian of my community just like I’m supposed to be the guardian of my family.  Just like I’m supposed to be the guardian of my own mind.

And so if these people come up and they’re doing it over and over, block them.

If you get constructive criticism like, “Hey friend, have you ever thought about doing this?” or, “Hey, I saw that, you could have done this better.” Those kinds of things we never delete. It’s the people who are just cussing, swearing, and saying negative things. It’s a person venting because they had a bad day versus someone who’s engaging and trying to make me, or the art, or the community better, right?

It’s really important to know that you don’t have to allow them in the community.

You also don’t have to explain yourself. I always say this, “Stop trying to explain. Just demonstrate.” Demonstrate by showing up time and time again. Demonstrate by staying the course. Demonstrate by being authentically you. Demonstrate by not giving up. Demonstrate that no matter what they’re going to say, you’re going to keep showing up and doing you.

In the fifth major impressionist painting that Monet did, everybody probably said, “This is kind of crazy. It looks stupid.” But he just kept being prolific at his own art and now he’s one of the greats. Think of every musician that you love, whether it’s a rockstar or somebody you look up to as a leader. Guess what? They also got a lot of hate. But they didn’t feel like they had to explain themselves or change themselves for the haters. Instead they just said, “Okay, let me show who I am by how I move my feet each day, by how I show up each day, by what I work on each day.”

I never try to excuse myself or explain myself to a hater. Usually what I do is I read their comments and I laugh. I explain and justify myself to only myself. Don’t engage them. Instead, engage yourself. When you see that, ask, “How am I dealing with this? Am I on my own path? Am I doing what’s important for me?” Not in a way that makes you fall into their trap of thinking less of yourself, but rather you using it as an excuse to validate that yes, you are understood. Maybe you’re the only one who gets you right now. Maybe Monet did think he was crazy from all the feedback, but he kept going and that’s what’s important. Demonstrate, demonstrate, demonstrate, because here’s what’s going to be funny: It tends to happen that the more momentum you get, the more believers you get as well. As the circumference of your impact gets bigger, the haters will show up in the perimeters. But as you grow in that sphere of influence, your tribe and your community grow with you.

So trust that as you demonstrate and stay disciplined towards your own art and your own voice, the tribe will build.

3. Role Model Positivity and Good Values

My last big thought is that you have to learn to role model positivity and good values. It’s super hard to attack me online at this point because for a decade and over 300 episodes of a podcast, 200 episodes of my YouTube videos, 6 bestselling books, being on stage in front of millions of people, and graduating millions of people from our online courses, just the effort of all that messaging is so clear. I’m the guy that tells you to be more intentional. I’m the guy that tells you to be a role model, to be excellent at what you do so you can be of greater service to the world. And the more I talk about living fully, loving openly, making more of a difference, of stepping into that role model mindset, of honoring the struggles of life, and being authentically you, the message ends up standing for itself.

They could attack me in a video because they might not like my shirt in this video, they might think it’s stupid I took a picture of my cat, or judge me, or my clothes, or my wife, or something they see.

The totality of what you have done, no one gets to take away from that.

They just don’t, even if they attack it.

Remember as you build that big tribe, you’ve imbued good values in the marketplace. Your tribe starts fighting for you. Your tribe starts canceling the haters, your tribe starts fighting back for you, explaining for you. Your tribe starts to have your back because they’re like, “Wait, why are you judging this guy, he’s put out a decade of free content? Why are you judging this person, they’ve done all of these good works.” And your community, your tribe, ends up having your back when you’ve imbued that tribe with good values and honestly demonstrated, but also commanded, for people to be positive forces in the world.

The base of all of my messaging has always been, “Did I matter?” That message about servant leadership. That message about getting so good at what you do so you can be of greater service to the world. Like how do the haters come at me when my message is about contribution?

And that’s what you want to think about. When you are a role model of positivity, contribution, and good values in the world, your tribe stands up for you. You will also stand up for yourself more because you know deep down in your heart you’re doing good work. No one can make me question my work. I tell my team all the time, “I’m going to do this until I’m 100 years old!” I’m always going to be that guy putting out personal development and psychology work. I love that field, it’s what I care deeply about, and it’s what I’ve stood for for a decade and no one gets to take that away from me. No one gets to take it away from you. So please don’t let a hater ever slow you down.

Watch this video again, see how I react to it. Obviously you can see I’m just sitting there responding to things my team has sent me. And after a long day of filming for four or five hours, and my team’s like, “You want to look at people hating you?”
I’m like, “Sure!” And we laughed together, because we’ve adopted some of these mindsets you learned in this video. I hope that supports you and I hope you always believe in your message. You have a voice; you have great art and contributions to give the world. Do not slow down.