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.

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?