How to deal with people who hate your guts

40 thoughts on “How to deal with people who hate your guts”

  1. Hey Steve — as someone who has disagreed with you on your blog (about people not retiring early being all their fault), I can tell you that I actually enjoy a little disagreement. True, it wasn’t hate, but some people will take ANY dissenting opinion as a sign of hateful trolling. You didn’t do that. Even if people don’t convince each other, they can be civil and maybe even learn something. Anyway, thanks for these thoughts. And btw, I still probably disagree with you about the role of luck in finances, but lo and behold I just wrote about how income inequality has a lot to do with choices that are, in fact, within our control. Maybe I did learn something. Dang. 🙂

    1. Hey Rich! Yup, I think there is a very real difference between disagreement and hate. You and I disagreed, and there’s definitely nothing wrong with that. No hate involved. I love you and your blog and appreciate your perspective on life. 🙂

  2. Great topic! I’ve embraced ignoring it. I try not and waste any time or energy on things outside of my control or on people that have very little meaning in my life. Following that rule has really helped leave a lot of stress behind. Stupid/hate seem to be invented with work e-mail. Lots of tough guys out there hiding behind e-mails comments or receiver misinterpreting what was written. If it’s that important go have a conversation.

    1. Hey Brian – yup, not worrying about those things outside of your control contains incredible wisdom. I try to do the same thing, in fact. It’s just not worth it.

  3. An important commentary there, especially for those of your readers who are bloggers. The internet has all kinds of interesting people. Some of them like to throw rocks. You need to be prepared to deal with those people.

    In my case I engage in a fun but indirect way. I do however appreciate and address head on constructive criticism as learning is important. No one knows everything so there is always something I could learn new.

    1. I think that’s the right attitude. If we keep our minds open to the possibility of learning new things from others, we definitely wind up as more well-rounded people.

  4. I’ve been working on telling the difference between disagreement that can lead to respectful dialogue and disagreement rooted in contrarianism and hate. I used to treat everything as the former. As someone that really enjoys engaging with people who disagree with me in order to get other viewpoints and challenge my preconceived notions, I had kind of assumed that everyone else was similar. I wasted a lot of time in useless debates with people that weren’t interested in hearing other opinions. I’ve been trying to learn to tell the difference and incorporate the methods that you’ve outlined here.

    1. There’s a huge difference between the two, no doubt. While some of the more hateful comments can be easily disregarded, other times it’s tougher. Case-by-case basis, I suppose. But one thing’s for sure – always learn as much as you can and acknowledge that some people might know more about a certain topic than we do.

  5. Really good post. I find that not engaging is often the best way. However, I will engage in public if something unjust is happening. Additionally, I would rather challenged in a way that hopefully opens their eyes. Not so much so they’re think they are wrong and will change their mind, but rather so they might consider other options on that and any other topic because they’ve opened their hearts.

  6. Haters better recognize…TSR is not going to engage.

    I have had very very few negative comments thus far (take it as the prize of not being successful yet!) but when I have had the few, I just comment how insightful the reader is. That I will take there point of view into account. It seems to work well enough and keeps me cool, calm and collected.

  7. As a people pleaser, I often perseverate on how others view me. It’s almost never helpful, but the habits of the mind are powerful.

    “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k” is next up on my reading list. This post was a nice primer.

  8. Dude, I remember being really impressed (and chuckling) when I saw how you dealt with a rude Twitter comment a while back. Any time you write something in the void of the internet, there’s going to be someone who wants to use the anonymity to get your goat. On my blog I usually don’t engage people who leave completely rude comments that aren’t constructive. If they disagree with me, that’s one thing. But if someone is being a jackass there’s no sense in engaging them. People just want to debate and spread negativity purely for funsies.

  9. My strategy is to ignore it. I’m way too busy to engage with haters. They’re not going to change their mind anyway so what’s the use. They are entitled to their stupid opinions. 🙂

  10. I’ve learned to (okay really I’m still learning) to ignore it. But I’ve also “use it” and had to “leave it” a time or two in the past.

    I finally felt like an adult when I understood not everyone thought like me. Took way too long.

  11. It’s such a good an important point that ignoring it might also mean ignoring constructive criticism that could force you to stretch yourself and test out your worldview. Meaning: lost opportunity for growth. I’ve settled into a routine of not feeding the trolls, but on my end, asking myself if what they’re saying could have any truth to it, and doing some self-reflection around that. That said, if they want to say their bit in a hateful way, they are not getting the validation of a response from me! 😉

    1. I do something very, very similar. If someone disagrees with me, I actively look at their perspective to determine if I can learn something. Often times, I do. But, it’s all in the delivery. I don’t take personal attacks to heart, but constructive criticism is definitely one of those things that I’ve learned a LOT from.

  12. Great post Steve. Haters gonna hate. Sad but true. I guess we’ve all been guilty of it at one time or another. Thankfully, along with age comes wisdom. We finally realize WE are not always right. Imagine that…..WE are not always right. I try my best to view each and every situation the way “they” do if at all possible. But for the most part, I will engage in a fun way. Other times I will just ignore. Thanks for sharing. Great post!

      1. Anytime my friend. I appreciate you helping me out around the forum. You were EXTREMELY professional about it and not a dick lol….that meant alot to me. Thank you…

  13. I have ignored the few trolls that have come my way thus far. I will admit that a few times I itched to get down in the mud with them and Mr. BITA nearly had to sit on me to prevent me from responding. I’m glad that his cooler head prevailed and that I (however unwillingly) took the high road.

    1. Ha! Yup, it happens. I’m the same way, especially when I respond instantly. If I give myself a little time to think and calm down a bit, I usually lose the interest to respond altogether. 🙂

  14. Very useful post Steve! I try to think about why the haters hate. Are they simply being nasty because they don’t value different opinions? Are they lashing out from jealousy or frustration? Did they even bother to read the post (more often than not, they didn’t!)

    Usually I don’t respond to the hate… People don’t typically change their world-view based on internet comments, so I try not to waste my time.

    1. Thanks Mr. Tako. It’s true, people don’t usually change their world view. Or any view, for that matter. Or read the post they are complaining about. Same shit, different day with some of these folks.

  15. Man Donald Trump popped up in my mind so many times as I read this. lol! OK OK despite whatever your political views are, I thought this was great! On point. And you’re right that haters want you do engage. It drives them crazy if you don’t. Poor things. 🙂

  16. Haha, I think of this every time I read about one of our fellow PF bloggers in the big spotlight, lots of trolls, lots of excuses and some constructive disagreement that actually propels the conversation. 100% agree with your approach, don’t have time for it 🙂

    I love the way Financial Samurai deals with it as well, “Come write a guest post thoroughly explaining your point of view”

    1. Thanks Apathy! I thought about doing the same thing that FS does, in fact – if they feel strongly enough about an opposing viewpoint, I’m generally open to giving them an outlet to let their voice be heard.

  17. I never will understand people’s insecurities and how that gets translated into trolling and hate, just to feel better. Who has the time to read something they dislike and then comment about it? Why not learn something valuable and say “thank you” instead?

    Maybe it’s not their fault, they just weren’t loved enough as a child. Hug your kids!!

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