3 People You Need to Ignore Online

I am on sabbatical for the next few weeks. While I am gone, I have asked some of my favorite bloggers to stand in for me. This is a guest post by Jon Acuff, the author of four books including Start. He also founded the Start Conference, a two-day event in Nashville to help you kickstart your dream. He is a blogger and active on Twitter and Facebook.

Haters only get loud when you do things that matter.

3 People You Need to Ignore Online

Photo Courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/hidesy

People who don’t stand up never get rocks thrown at them.

The average and ordinary don’t get bothered by haters.

But if you’re reading Michael Hyatt’s blog then chances are you’re not shooting for ordinary. Chances are you’re not aiming for the status quo.

There will be haters.

When that happens, especially online, how do you know who you should ignore?

Here are 3 people to stay away from:

  1. The Spectator

  2. Do you know who the football coach never invites into the locker room for some advice during halftime? The spectators. The wide receiver never runs into the stand and asks for feedback from someone sitting in the 10th row.

    Why? Because spectators aren’t on the field. They aren’t playing. They’re watching other people do it.

    What does that mean for you? It means you need to ignore the person who hates your blog but doesn’t have their own. They’re just a spectator. Their hands aren’t dirty. Their knowledge has not been paid for with experience. Ignore them. Instead, get feedback from other bloggers, other people who are in the trenches where you are.

  3. The Hater

  4. It’s time to require the “squeaky wheel gets the oil” theory. For years it caused many of us to ignore the people who liked our dream in order to focus our energy on the people who hated it. (I call this theory, “Critic’s Math,” which is “1 insult + 1,000 compliments = 1 insult.” We have the ability to receive 1,000 compliments and ignore them in the face of 1 insult.)

    The truth is, you should never waste time trying to turn someone who hates you into someone who likes you. Instead focus on turning people who like your dream into people who love your dream.

    So how do you know who a hater is? Simple, someone who hates on something without a solution to make it better is a hater. If they don’t have a fix, an idea, a spark of improvement, they’re just there to hate. That’s one of the main differences between hate and feedback.

    Feedback’s goal is to cause improvements. Hate’s goal is to cause wounds. Let them go.

  5. The Complainer

  6. A complainer is someone who won’t respond when you attempt to fix a problem. For example, let’s say you strongly disagree with something I wrote on my blog and I ask you a clarifying question. If you don’t respond, you’re a complainer.

    If you respond, you’re a conversationalist and we can talk. That’s completely different. We can debate. We can go back and forth until we might even reach a resolution. That’s the beauty of the Internet, a simple question can clarify so many of the nuances that can be misinterpreted.

There are going to be a thousand people you can’t ignore as you chase a dream. Friends, family, supporters, helpful critics, you will never run out of people you need to make time for. And a lot of them will have great feedback for you.

But cut yourself some slack and ignore the three we talked about today. Nothing good will come of giving them your time.

Question: Have you encountered these three types of people online? If so, how have you handled it? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Radiant Sunset

    I once posted a video of my teenage daughter and myself talking to the camera (may have been for a contest to win a skillet), and someone posted that my daughter was “butt ugly.” I confess I didn’t ignore; I deleted the comment and blocked the hater. (Btw, I won the skillet (-: )

  • The Marriage Bed

    I agree with all of this, and I’ve paid for not understanding it. That said, it is sometimes useful to use what critics say as a spring-board for communicating to others. Some of my best posts have come about this way. But it can easily become a trap!

  • joeandmichelle

    Uh-oh, told you I’m a beginner. Just realized this post came from Jon. Thanks, Jon!

  • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    Your welcome. I am glad you found both mu book and Jon’s post helpful.

  • Phyllis K Twombly

    Another person to avoid is the non-supporter…that individual who is in the perfect position to help you along but refuses to take you seriously. Fortunately he or she is less of a presence online, possibly because that would take effort. (Don’t worry, it’s not likely they’ll ‘friend’ you on Facebook no matter how many people you have in common.)

  • kschang

    The problem is it is VERY EASY to fall into the “I’m right and they just hate my guts” confirmation bias when faced with criticism, EVEN WHEN CRITICISM IS VALID (or partially valid), esp. when it was delivered in a harsh or mocking or critical tone. When emotions are engaged, dispassionate analysis is impossible.

    Perhaps you need a follow-up thought, on 3 types of people you need to pay attention to (instead of ignoring). Frankly, affirmations / confirmations are not always good for you either. Sycophants and mee-too lemmings are to be avoided as well.

  • http://www.52weekturnaround.com/ Jeanne Goldie

    Very true. While I often wish my blog writing was more perfectly honed, I remind myself that many critics are waiting until they produce something on the scale of “The Great Gatsby” and go to the grave never picking up a pen.

    I absolutely do fall prey to critic’s math though. Reminds me of those old cartoons showing a dog listening to it’s human hearing “blah blah Blah Spot, blah blah blah food”

  • RJ Hoff

    Jon, where would you put the troll? The person who’s just baiting and waiting? For a stage performer the equivalent, I think, would be the heckler, though I don’t think a Don Rickles approach would work on line! I’d like to ignore them, but that just seems to bolster them even more.

  • http://vansontan.wordpress.com/ Vanson

    I’ve read Quitters and Start by Jon. Love him. He’s frank and nice. Follow him on Instagram and you can follow him closely. Waiting for his next book.

  • Rebecca Jo Cannon

    Very helpful! I just started my blog a few days ago. Received a few followers & positive comments or likes. Some others who don’t blog already tried the negative approach with me. I just talked to them as gracefully as possible & then move on. I had been reading Michael Hyatt’s blog for awhile & praying about my blog & why & what I was trying to work toward. Thanks for the reminder of focusing on those that like you & being thankful for them.

  • Dusty Johnson

    Also ignore the people who try to give you new ideas and change your mind. Stick with what you know and believe and ignore the brainwashers.

  • Anita Strychalski

    Good word & timely, beautiful confirmation. I always knew “unfriending” a Hater, Complainer, or Spectator was not a viable solution to their interaction with me. I love the idea of Critic’s Math. Great job!

  • Cherry Odelberg

    Grrrrrrreeeeeeat thoughts as usual. Thank you. I love the critics math.

  • http://www.claibornehouse.net/ InnkeeperVA

    I have shared your article with our nearly 2000 innkeepers online at
    “Bed and Breakfast BLOGGERS” on linked in. And another innkeeping forum, where they will tear it apart… :) GREAT STUFF, thanks so much!

  • Heidi St. John

    AMEN. This was freeing for me! Thanks! (heidistjohn.com/blog) or on Facebook at “The Busy Mom” Toni Anderson sent me your way.

  • Vic

    Great post and so true. I’ve been lucky on my blog in that my readers slap the haters around off my site. I love my members and those that stop by because they found a post that interests them.

  • http://heksebua.com/ Linda Ursin

    That goes or offline as well

  • Colleen

    Just recently I ran into all three types! Thanks for this article:)

  • Melinda Todd

    Great advice. There is always someone who won’t stand behind you. It sucks when it’s family or a friend. Just because the naysayer isn’t willing to do something, doesn’t mean everyone should take that same stance. We’re stepping out in HUGE faith to move our family to very likely, move our family to Haiti as missionaries. Often times, the ones who really resist what we’re doing, are the ones who are super miserable in their own lives. At least that has been our experience.

  • Anne B. Butterfield

    I want to thank you for posting this. As a columnist for a small city paper, I have gotten haters for taking a clear stand in favor of my city’s making national news for taking back its electric system from its investor owned utility to start a lean, clean energy public utility. Some are convinced that a city government can do nothing right while a fossil fuel burning monopoly with inadequate regulation is “the pro’s”.

    The comments section at my paper is slightly renowned for its nastiness. I sure don’t like being smeared in false and personal ways and I get it every time I write. Hence I follow the common wisdom of some and just not read the comments section. After all the election results for the new utility are what matter.

    I could be flattered that one hater named me among some “cabal” behind this effort – but it’s creepy cause it’s false.

    The great thing, though, came when the VP of the utility said to me from a microphone, “Did I say that? I apologize Anne!” when I caught him in a big misstatement about his company’s coal burn.

    I guess it’s better to take heart about one’s powerful enemy who apologizes to you in public rather than the smear-mongers who couldn’t care less about facts and will never retract their ugliness. Either way, it can be hard.

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