About five years ago I was negotiating a make good with a Landlord on behalf of my client who was the Tenant. The expected payout for the make good was around half a million dollars, however the Landlord was wanting more than $2 million. It’s easy to become blasé when dealing with numbers like this, and I won’t bore you with all the ins and outs of what was being negotiated. This would have been another negotiation like any other, except it has stuck in my mind years later because, during a heated telephone conversation with the Landlord he said to me “I hope you die”. The Landlord wasn’t a struggling pensioner or inexperienced – he was a professional property investor. He knew how negotiations worked and would have done this numerous times but I was astounded at his emotional and unprofessional response. He never allowed me the opportunity to tell him that his wish would probably come true one day, as he hung up the phone after screaming those four words at me. I hope for his benefit he was using a desk phone so he had the added bonus of getting to slam the phone down, which is lost on the next generation using iPhones.
Am I the only one who allows these types of comments to get to me, even years later?
Last week I posted my article 5 Myths About Working Mums to LinkedIn where, to my incredible surprise, it went viral. At last count it had 57,000 views, over 1,000 likes and almost 200 comments and has been shared over 250 times (yes, my twitter feed has gone crazy!) I have read every one of those comments, some applauding the article and a small few completely trashing it. I know that I should be very pleased with this kind of feedback on something I wrote, especially as I am not a professional writer, but I can’t help but go back to those few comments that described my article as “wishy-washy” or “feminist propaganda”. What irks me most are the comments that suggest I have no regard for working fathers, which is so far from the truth and quite hurtful as I have an amazing parenting partner in Anthony and my father was an incredible single Dad. But I’m not going to explain myself here, as that only diminishes the numerous wonderful comments that I have received.
I’m not the type of person who usually cares a lot about what people think of me; I accept that not everyone is going to like me. When you own a business and you put yourself out there, you need to be prepared for criticism.
“To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing” – Elbert Hubbard
From now on I will take Taylor Swift’s advice and “Shake it off”. This is how:
- Accept that people are projecting their own issues onto me and it’s not personal. Would they say the same things they write if they were to meet me in a social setting such as a BBQ?
- Select some of the best comments from the article and put them on my office wall to remind me that my article had a positive affect on people.
- Turn up “shake it off” and dance around the living room with my wonderful family.
How do you deal with the naysayers, the haters, and the negative people? Please share your tips in the comments below.