A couple of months back, a coaching client of mine, (an awesome human being, a lovely leader, beautiful businesswoman)… asked me a pretty genuine question. She said, “Priyanka, how can you be “nice” to someone who clearly hates you?” I looked at her for a bit and asked? What exactly happened. She told me, “I have a few folks in my social space, who continuously try to undermine my efforts and think no end of themselves. Recently, I had some big wins with a few personal and professional projects and I got some crazy flak, for reasons I JUST DONT UNDERSTAND. Some even went behind my back to inquire if, I was actually putting in the work to have the wins or was I just flaking it.” I hugged her and told her to “shake it off like T-Swift.” We both laughed about it… but then I shared my own story with her.
Of late, after bringing in a lot of changes in my life and work… I’ve been receiving a lot of flak from various sources. Often I receive indirect flak, regarding my work, my social posts, my workouts, and some other efforts that I’ve been consistently putting towards my own well-being. To give you an example, a person followed me on social media, only to criticize me (I wondered, why would anyone “opt-in,” in the first place if they don’t like someone). Another one was, regarding my fitness journey, a girl who follows me on Instagram, actually went to “check on me” with my trainer, if I was actually doing the work because it felt too good to be true. My trainer and I laughed so hard! It was hilarious!!!! I know!!! But these things happen. People’ve got enough time to NOT do the actual work but condemn those who are actually putting in the effort in different spheres of life.
Of course, by now, we know that these are just the naysayers, the ones who barely produce anything of their own but are the first ones to criticize the efforts of others, for whatever personal reasons. Even though there are many who would genuinely compliment and be happy for you, some can’t be nice. And it is the quintessential human nature to get affected by the naysayers and dwell on it. As Robin Sharma’s puts it, “leave the culture of mediocrity to get into the club of mastery.” As powerful as it may sound, it is quite difficult to practice. And those who do practice it to embrace a positive change, it may not be appreciated by many other. Let’s face it, people don’t respond to change very well.
Nevertheless, we do know that there are manyyyy who would genuinely compliment and be happy for us, for all our hard work and effort… So in this case, there are two kinds of situations, things we can control and things we cannot control. The things we can control are, our own behaviors and things we cannot control is someone else’s behavior… So based on that premise, here are few strategies to compassionately disregard the remarks of the douches:
- Evaluate the source: This is key to compassionate evaluation. It is important to see if the person giving you the “feedback” (positive or negative) is actually credible in that particular position. For instance, if my mum doesn’t know anything about my Doctoral thesis, can I rely on her remarks (negative or positive doesn’t matter then)? Nope! I can’t. I love her to bits but I would respectfully decline her valuable suggestions or even flak if it doesn’t align with what area of work I’m oriented to.
- Be compassionate to those producing flak too: It is true that everyone has their own insecurities, they have their own battles to fight. We may not realize it. Give the naysayers and those critics the benefit of doubt and get past it. To help me in this journey, a few months back, I consulted a good friend of mine, Nate Regier – author, conflict communications specialist, who wrote a beautiful blog for TE too on breaking through an impasse. He offered his drama resilience test (if you buy his book, Conflict, and You, you’ll get a unique code to do the test). I loved taking it. I realized that I have a personality type, which may intimidate others easily. The assessment helped me gauge a better understanding of how could I lead a situation, without having conflict casualties. It truly helped me understand the way I could repurpose the negative energy of drama around me, from any source, to convert it into positive or compassionate actionable cycle.
- Realize that their perception is not your problem: I feel sorry so often that people have so much hate towards one another. Of course, it comes from their own apperceptive backgrounds, their insecurities and maybe other things. However, it is best to detach ourselves from their perception to dedicate ourselves to the good work we’re doing, whether personally or professionally.
- Keep doing the work you’re meant to do, consistently: Yes, I said it above, and saying it again that we need to keep doing the work we’re meant to do, consistently and constructively. This is what separates us from the douches who provide the flak, and it is important to do the work and keep producing results, no matter at what pace we’re doing it.
Now, I’d love to read your thoughts about any kind of flak or silly feedback that you may have received. How did you go about handling it? Share your wisdom with the world, put it down in the comments below.