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How to handle haters

by michellefieldllc on October 20, 2016


One of my favorite movies is “Princess Diaries”. There is a scene where Mia’s friend is telling her how awful she looks and that she has “crossed over”. When they get out of the limo, Joe gives her an Eleanor Roosevelt quote, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I just love that saying, and it is so true! You can decide to let someone make you feel inferior or you can stay in control of the situation.

Whether you are in politics, sports, entertainment or pageants, the odds are likely that you will experience a person who is against you and what you stand up for in one way or another. Look at the most current headlines and you will find stories and accusations against anyone who is in the public eye. As someone who is involved in pageants as a contestant, director or even a coach, there is a high chance that you will have someone who will be negative toward you. So what are you to do?

Assess the threat

The first thing you need to do is asses what is being said, is it true and their motivation. Is what the person accusing you of true? Does the criticism fit? If so, you need to acknowledge it and make efforts to correct it. Frequently, people you are working with genuinely have your best interest in mind. So when they tell you that you need to work on your walk or your dress is hideous, they are trying to help. Ultimately, you decide if you will listen to their advice.

There will be times when what is being said is not in your best interest. This person has a goal to make you feel bad or worse yet to make you look bad in the public eye. This can come in a private message that has been copied to a director or posted on a public forum like Facebook or those awful VOY boards. You still have choices in how you will react.


Depending on the public forum and the viciousness of the post, you may simply want to ignore that person. Often a bully, for that is what this really is, will simply give up if they can’t get a response from you. By ignoring them, they loose their power over you and the ability to cause harm.

Short response

Sometimes a short response is the best way to handle the situation. You neither acknowledge that what they are saying is correct, nor do you deny it. Usually this person has their mind made up and nothing you can say will change it. Simply acknowledge what they said and perhaps even thank them. I personally like, “thank you for bringing that to my attention.” It’s short and doesn’t acknowledge the other person is right. This will likely end the conversation and nothing more will be said.

Make them your friend

When I was having trouble with a couple of girls in middle school, my mom gave me this advice. “Smile at them every time you see them.” Be kind to that person and reach out to them. Smile at them, pay them a compliment, post a positive comment on their Facebook status. You see, Abraham Lincoln really did have it right when he said, “I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.”

Don’t give up

I have had clients call me and tell me that they will never compete again because of something that was said to them or about them. This is the worst thing you can do! This means that the other person wins. Your best response is to go on and be successful. After all, the word “hater” is defined in the Urban Dictionary as “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.“ In reality, you should feel sorry for them, not yourself. So go out there and be successful!

Report it

There are two instances that must be reported to authorities or someone in authority. If someone damages or steals your things report it to your director. These are both illegal and should be dealt with by your director at a minimum or the police, depending on the value of what was damaged or taken. The other instance that must be reported is if anyone physically harms you. If they hurt you in any way, contact the police. This is called assault and must be taken seriously. Please report either of these forms of bullying right away!

You can’t control others, only yourself and responses. Choose not to give the bully or hater the power to create your identity. It’s up to you! For more great tips on pageants and life, grab a copy of my ebook, Crown Connection.





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