There you are, living your life, minding your own business, happily chipping away at your goals. You’re even starting to see some progress:
- You’ve just gotten a small promotion at work, though it’s still not the ultimate position you want
- Your face is thinner now that you’ve lost some weight, though you’re still not fitting into those jeans from last summer
- Your friends and family are starting to see you mentioned in media outlets rocking your side hustle, though you’re still not quite making the money you want to
- You’ve been traveling a lot more domestically, though you still haven’t ventured into international travel
You’re feeling good, and people are starting to notice.
Basically, you’ve reached that milestone in goal achievement at which everyone around you starts to see that your hard work is paying off. But they’re not all reacting how you thought they would.
Now don’t get us wrong, many people will be supportive of your efforts. They’ll be proud, cheer you on, and even ask what they can do to help.
But others? Oh no, honey. They’re in full-on sabotage mode and want to take you down by any means necessary.
These people are hiding within every circle of friends and even within families. No one is immune from having to deal with these people. But don’t you worry: there are ways to break free from their negative energy. And we’ve outlined them for you below.
Now before you figure out how to deal with them, first you need to understand them. So who are these Negative Nancies?
You make it clear that you’re in the driver’s seat now and that their negativity just won’t fly with you.
There’s plenty to read about what a hater is and what they do. Urban Dictionary sums it up best:
hater: A person that simply cannot be happy for another person’s success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person. Hating, the result of being a hater, is not exactly jealousy. The hater doesn’t really want to be the person he or she hates, rather the hater wants to knock someone else down a notch.
Haters are often disguised as frenemies. They’re lurking in your crew right now as we speak.
Haters say things like:
- “Yeah, sure, it’s great that you’re starting to get more attention for your side business. But why are you still living in the same old apartment?”
- “You’ve lost a lot of weight. But losing weight can’t fix your lazy eye.”
- “You paid off all of your debt. Cool. So now you can upgrade that raggedy car of yours.”
No matter how well you’re doing, the Haters’ goal is to not let you enjoy your progress.
Naysayers and Haters are very similar. The difference is that a Hater will acknowledge what you’ve accomplished before “putting you in your place”. Naysayers are just simply negative.
So how exactly do you spot a Naysayer? Dictionary.com defines them as:
A person who habitually expresses negative or pessimistic views
Naysayers are everywhere. Some claim they’re just being realistic, skeptical, or logical, but in reality they’re just trying to bring you down. They’re the people that are quick to look for flaws in your well-thought-out and well-executed plans.
They never choose to see the positive in your progress, even though you’re feeling good about it (and are already seeing results).
Naysayers say things like:
- “Sure, you’ve lost a few pounds. But you’ll probably give up after a couple weeks like everyone else. It’s just too hard.”
- “I wouldn’t get your hopes up about getting clients for your new business. I mean, most businesses want to hire people who are certified in something, and you’re not.”
- “Not to be negative, but you know that it’s not safe to be traveling overseas. Especially in this political climate.”
Naysayers are not happy with their own lives so they attempt to poke holes in yours. And who needs “friends” like that?
The Petty People
Petty People are a little bit different from Haters and Naysayers. How so? Well, according to Urban Dictionary, they tend to be the ones:
- making things, events, or actions normal people dismiss as trivial or insignificant into excuses to be upset, uncooperative, childish, or stubborn. 2. A person who habitually overreacts. 3. A person who is purposefully childish with the intent of eliciting a reaction (sometimes funny)
Petty People may in fact have a ton of friends in their social circles. They’re funny and charismatic. But they’re also the drama queens and kings of the world.
Petty People say things like:
- “You’re skipping happy hour again because you have a business event? Just lose my number, okay! Clearly I’m not a priority!”
- “I invited you to dinner because I wanted to talk. But I guess I’m not that important to you after all.”
- “You’re eating a salad for lunch again? Wow, how boring.”
Petty People are selfish AF. In their minds, you achieving your goals is interfering with their lives. In other words, they have severe goal envy but don’t know how to deal with it. (Start by sending them our 3-Step Game Plan For Turning Goal Envy Into Goal Crushing)
So there you have them: the Haters, the Naysayers, and the Petty People. Now let’s dive into the Trés Fleek Guide To Handling Them.
How To Put An End To Their Attacks
1. Go Mute
How to do it: This one’s self-explanatory. When the Haters, Naysayers, and Petty People start yapping, just don’t respond. Quietly sip your drink, and say NOTHING.
Why it works: Haters, Naysayers, and Petty People have one thing in common: they like to have an audience. If you simply ignore their antics, they’ll stop acting up. It will frustrate them so be warned, they may lash out, but it’s all a ploy. Just stay quiet, and it will pass.
Who it works on: Haters, Naysayers, and Petty People
2. Focus On Their Nose
How to do it: Yes, that’s right: we mean their actual nose! Concentrate on it as they rant, rave, and holler. It’s hard not to get defensive when people are straight up hating on your hustle. So rather than focus on what they’re saying, just focus on their nose.
Why it works: It gives the impression you’re looking at them (i.e., you’re giving them attention, which is what they crave), but it also helps you zone out without yawning (which would cause them to lash out).
This is a little bit like going mute but with the added benefit of shielding you from their attacks. It helps you not absorb their negativity so you won’t be unintentionally influenced to believe a word they say.
Who it works on: Naysayers and Petty People
3. Be The Comeback Queen
How to do it: If you’re really feeling like you’ve had it up to here with other people’s shenanigans, you can step it up a notch with a verbal comeback. You’ve tried being subtle after all, but they’re just not taking the hint. And you have every right to defend yourself. They’re attacking you for achieving your goals for goodness sake!
Not quite sure what to say? Here are some examples you can try:
- “You have your entire life to be a Hater/Naysayer/Petty Person, why not take today off?”
- “Remember when I asked for your opinion? Me neither.”
- “So sorry, I wasn’t listening. Can you repeat that?”
Whatever your comeback is, make sure to keep a straight face when you deliver it. Don’t let them think for a second that they’re getting to you.
Why it works: Most rude people don’t expect someone to call them out for their behavior, especially if it’s done in a calm, matter-of-fact way. By having a comeback, they will be taken by surprise and will get the memo (hopefully).
Who it works on: Haters and Naysayers
4. Change The Subject
How to do it: When they start yapping on and on, wait for them to take a breath and then talk about something else entirely. Or wait until they’ve finished their thought and then, instead of responding to it, just change the subject.
Here’s an example:
Your friend: “Girl, I can’t believe you were actually on the news yesterday. I didn’t know you were an expert at beauty. I mean, all you do is read Vogue magazine. Anyone can do that. I mean, it’s cool that you’ve gotten this opportunity and all, but like you’re not an expert expert, ya know? You shouldn’t charge people for stuff they can find themselves.”
You: “Omg! Did you hear about that new restaurant opening up in town?! Let me show you that news story!”
Why it works: This strategy is very similar to going mute or focusing on their nose. But rather than letting them go on and on, you’re in charge of the direction of the conversation. You make it clear that you’re in the driver’s seat now and that their negativity just won’t fly with you.
Who this works on: Haters, Naysayers, and Petty People
5. Be Too Busy To Hang Out
How to do it: When it comes down to it, you’re in charge of who you give your time and energy to. If you’re starting to see some real results in your goal-crushing journey and certain friends, or shall we say “frenemies”, just can’t live with that, then by all means stay away.
How exactly? Make sure you always have an event or an activity going on when they ask you to meet up. Sure, you could lie and say you have plans, but, really, it’s better to actually have plans (plus you’ll score good karma points by being honest).
Looking to spice up your schedule? Check out Meetup.com to join groups in your area. Eventbrite.com is another place to sign up for some new activities. Even if you’re not able to fully commit to an event, it’s always good to have some options on your schedule.
Why it works: You’ve completely eliminated the threat. By not being around the Haters, Naysayers, and Petty People, you’ll have less anxiety and less emotional distress to deal with. And if a Petty Person sends you a text trying to guilt you into feeling bad for not prioritizing them, you’ll be too busy to even let it affect you.
Remember, these people love to have an audience. By not being available, you eliminate the drama.
Who this works on: Haters, Naysayers, and Petty People
Now It’s Your Turn To Put This Plan To Work
When you start working towards your goals, you’ll get support and encouragement. People will cheer you on and will want to see you thrive. But you’ll also come across the Haters, Naysayers, and Petty People of the world who, for one reason or another, just can’t stand to see you succeed.
The journey of taking an idea from “dream” to “achieved” is a long one. You’ll hit bumps, and bumpy personalities, along the way. But you can’t afford to let their negativity get in the way of your hustle. With the strategies we’ve outlined above, you can spend less time handling their reactions and more time achieving your goals. So keep on shining.