Urban dictionary’s definition of a “hater” is 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 life, you’ll come across people who are hyper-sensitive and take any form of criticism as a personal attack. Those individuals struggle with rejection. As adults, we should be used to dealing with constructive criticism, but sadly, there are still many who just can’t. They get into their hurt feelings and use passive aggressive ways to express their bruised ego.
Now as the person giving the criticism, it’s important that you’re delivering it as politely as possible, while pointing out the positives, the strengths, etc. Even still, you may find yourself in a situation where the individual ignores everything, but the part they want to hear. To their ears and the way their mind interprets words, your message is that you’re not supportive, meaning you’re now a “hater.” Some just struggle with criticism. You’re not the problem.
I heard someone say recently, “Being supportive isn’t always about going along with the flow. Being honest and giving real feedback is necessary. Feedback should be honest, helpful, tactful, direct and accurate.”
If someone is quick to call you a “hater” because you respectfully offer constructive criticism, then they have some maturing to do. No one wants to hear critique, but it’s necessary. Personally, I always welcome feedback and I won’t get upset because it’s offered. It’s all in the approach. And if someone offends me in their delivery, I’m ready to express that, but not everyone is a communicator. Not everyone is direct.
Sadly, there are people who want to be surrounded by yes-men and the moment you offer any constructive criticism, they’re ready to get mad, call you a ‘hater’ and ignore you. Petty. We must be open to honest feedback and suggestions, especially creatives.
Again, it’s all in the delivery, so that person must come correct. If someone close to you respectfully comes and gives their honest opinion, what are you mad at? Do you really want to surround yourself with people who always smile in your face and say everything you come up with is perfect? Even those who’ve been in the game for years still need a fresh perspective. We can all benefit from that. You’re setting yourself up for failure if you think you’re above helpful feedback and suggestions. You aren’t obligated to take it, but there’s no reason to get upset. Say, ‘Thank you, I’ll consider it,’ and move on.
It says a lot about someone’s character when they can’t share their thoughts and feelings directly with the person who they are upset with.
The goal of providing criticism is to help the person. They’re not expected to take it, but if you respect them and believe in them, you want to at least offer your suggestions. It can be hard to deal with when everything backfires.
I had a personal experience where I was always extremely supportive of an individual. I did everything I could to help connect and elevate them. I saw greatness in them and I respected their work ethic. One day, I learned about a new project and for the most part, I agreed with it. Loved it and was excited for them. I told them I supported them and I did. There happened to be one part of it that I didn’t think would be a good fit so I thought it would alright to say why. I even opened the conversation up with, “Please don’t be mad, but…” I passed down advice that had been given to me from respected mentors, as well as articles and videos I’d found online. I suggested they find a theme and targeted audience. I offered potential tag lines. My criticism was blended in with “I’m trying to help…that’s my advice, but you’re free to take it or leave it, but I hope you at least think on it.” I didn’t think that was rude. Again, with me having always been super supportive, both verbally and through my actions, I never imagined that I would suddenly get bashed on social media and ignored for sharing my thoughts and providing ideas.
We later had brief communication and I asked them why they didn’t talk to me the same day I gave my opinion. It didn’t make sense to me how my attempt to help could offend them so much they would choose to stop communicating with me and instead go hard on social media. That was such a crazy and extreme reaction. Well the situation never got resolved, but I accepted that not everyone is ready to hear, “I don’t like it because…” or “I think that’s a great idea, but what if you added more of this…” and so on. The point is, not everyone can handle criticism, but don’t you stop trying to help others. Always check yourself first, and make sure you’re actually trying to help, providing clear examples, and sprinkle in some positivity.