9 Positive Ways to Deal with Doubters, Haters, and Naysayers

No matter how brilliant your business idea might seem to you, other people are bound to disagree. It’s easy to lash out when people say “no” to your ideas, but please resist the urge. Getting defensive will only make the situation worse. Here are 9 positive ways to deal with folks who think your idea stinks.

1. Accept reality.

No two people are completely similar. Wouldn’t life get boring if we all shared the same beliefs? I think so! There wouldn’t be any challenging conversations to encourage personal growth. If no one forced you to reconsider your worldview every now and then, you’d become a lazy thinker. This is toxic for any entrepreneur.

2. Leave your bias at the door.

Let’s be real. If you get defensive when people critique your idea, you should look in the mirror. Confident business owners don’t let negative reactions bother them. They believe in their ability to deliver results for their clients or customers. Provided that is true, why let a nasty comment bother you? There isn’t a good reason.

3. Find takeaways you can apply.

Here’s a fun way to deal with critics and naysayers. The next time a person says your idea will never work, ask them: “Why not?” Pause for however long they need to respond. After they finish talking, follow-up with: “Okay. That’s fine. How would you make it better?” You might end up with tips you can implement (or not, but it doesn’t hurt to try!).

4. Remember your purpose (why?).

Every business should have a mission or purpose attached. Without a compelling reason to act, every challenge appears to be insurmountable. This is an illusion. The mind makes criticisms and negative comments seem like a big deal. Create a vision board. Focus on the Big Picture. Remind yourself why you’re passionate about what you do. Feeling better yet? I hope so.

5. Silence is often the best answer.

Why justify an insult with a response? Give them the silent treatment. People say mean things when they want to provoke you. Don’t let this bother you. It’s better to keep your mouth shut than add fuel to the fire. Smile. Breathe deeply. Change the subject. The less frazzled you act, the less likely they will bother you again. Are you familiar with the term, “Poker face?” Do that.

6. Ask: “What would you do differently?”

This point is similar to #3. If a hater or naysayer attacks your idea, this line will turn the tables. Now they are on the defensive. One of two things can happen. 1. They provide you with a fresh perspective that includes ideas you would not have imagined (But could prove to be valuable). 2. They have no ideas for improvement, are forced to admit it, and hopefully leave you alone. Win/win!

7. Consider: “Is their opinion informed?”

It is nuts how many people ignore this point. What would a 65 year old man know about fashion trends for young women? How could a dog person possibly rate the quality of a documentary about cats? Why should you give a hoot about the opinion of a person who would never be your client or customer? Unless a person a) fits your demographics or b) understands your industry, don’t put much stock in what they say.

8. Don’t take it personally.

Saying a book “sucks,” because you personally don’t like it reflects supreme arrogance. Every human has unique tastes about what they like to read. Sure, you can grade an book’s performance according to certain benchmarks like book sales, but whether or not a person will enjoy a plot or story comes down to context. An individual’s taste is formed by their personality, upbringing, and other aspects beyond your control. Don’t sweat it.

9. Share good vibes with your friends.

The best way to minimize negativity is to carry yourself with positive energy. If you want to take the first step, share this post with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Maybe you will inspire someone to pursue their dreams, no matter what people might say.

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