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Marcia Sirota Headshot

How to Deal With Bullies

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If you're someone who aspires to something beyond the ordinary, you must have figured out by now that there will always be those who are jealous or resentful of your success.

It doesn't matter that you've worked long and hard to get where you are, nor that you've made great sacrifices in achieving your goals. The "haters" will always find a reason to criticize and even condemn you.

They're spiteful people who begrudge you the pride you have in yourself and the recognition you're receiving from others. They can't stand it that you're happy, fulfilled and achieving your goals.

These hateful individuals are unwilling to do the work that you've done; they rarely make the same kinds of sacrifices or put in the long, hard hours. They resent your success but are too lazy or spoiled to invest real time or energy in the pursuit of their own goals.

It's true that we aren't always going to succeed in our ventures, even if we put in the time and effort. Results are never guaranteed and life has a way of throwing curve balls at us.

Still, if we're in the habit of working hard and doing what has to be done, it's a lot more likely that we'll achieve a certain measure of success, especially if we have a tendency to persevere.

Successful people aren't without flaws and like any other person can make mistakes, but it's not necessary for others to be constantly on the lookout for what might be wrong with your words, weight, wardrobe, haircut or date for the evening.

It's gratuitously cruel when total strangers, who have almost no idea of who you are, take advantage of social media to point your real or imagined failings for all to see. Most of all it's petty and cowardly.

The haters hide behind their pseudonyms, sending out their poison pen missives under the cover of anonymity. They'd do better to use their energy for something more worthwhile, such as pursuing their own success, for example.

I loved it when Tina Fey went up to collect her Golden Globe and held it high, saying, "This is for all the haters!" She's a good example of a talented, hard-working and successful person who's received an inordinate amount of negative press. Ms. Fey may be besieged by haters but she refuses to let them get to her.

The thing you need to know about these haters is that the only reason they behave this way is that you have something they want but they aren't willing to work for it.

The haters are convinced that you've been lucky or that you've had some unfair advantage but the truth is that your success is born of your untiring efforts, and it's these efforts that have brought about your "luck."

The best way to deal with haters is what I call the "one-two punch." First, don't let them phase you. Be happy about your success and proud of your accomplishments. Let in the approval and the recognition from affirming, supportive people and never doubt that you deserve all this. The haters are angry, jealous people. What they think or say is ultimately meaningless.

Next, the more the haters harass you, the more you should be motivated to succeed. They want to undermine you but your response should be to work that much harder in order to increase your level of success.

When your reaction to their hostility has inspired you to achieve further success, you've transformed the haters' negativity into fuel for your creative fires. Not only can they not hurt you but they've inadvertently spurred you on to even greater heights.