How to deal with hater comments as an artist?

At some point in life of a creative person the time will come when he or she will get comments with negative feelings to it. If you have a large audience this can happen even more frequently. Rude or negative comments can really hurt the receiver and big arguing (comment wars) can start. I have seen many times that even smaller wars can develop where even the friends of the artist will arise to defend their artist friend. Before I talk about what to do with hater comments I would like to talk about who haters are.

Who are haters

First of all, I say there are no haters. “Haters” is just a label that many of us call people who say mean things to us or about our life, our creations. To really understand who those people are and for you to be able to handle undesired comments first you should understand what is happening behind the curtains.

When someone leaves a negative comment like this one: “This is crap. You are not talented at all. I can do better even blindfolded.” before you do anything realise that this comment is not about you or about your artwork but about the commenter himself. It is important you understand this: negative comments are about the one who wrote the comment and it has nothing to do with you or with your artwork. Taking this personally will just hurt you unnecessary.

The comment is about the commenter. You can ask why did he leave such a comment? What does he want to get? Usually there are fears and jealousy in the person who leaves such kind of comments on other peoples creations. These people might wanted to do the same thing you do but they never got there to really do it because of fears and negative believes. Now they feel bad about it because they see that you reached what they wanted. This creates anger within themself. They feel miserable, sad, angry and some of them will want to get rid of this anger and they do this by saying mean things, attacking you verbally.

As far as I have seen when they are in this kind of state they are not too conscious about themself. What I mean by this is when someone is in anger, that anger gets the control over them and they can speak so much negative, mean and really hurtful things while actually they don’t want to say those things. They still say these things because they have a low emotional intelligence, they can not control yet their feelings and their reactions when they are in this state.

I am telling you this because I would like you to see what is really happening. These people don’t want to actually hurt you, they are the ones who are hurt by themselves, they feel miserable and they can not control this feeling. They just release the steam this way.

So this is their problem and not yours. You can think about them this way: this is the best they can do at this time of their life. And this is true! With their knowledge and life experiences this is the best they can do right now. Accept this and accept that they are like this at the moment. Accept this honestly without judging them for who they are or who they are not.

How to move on hater comments

Now lets see the other side of the coin and that is you, the reciver of the negative comments. Now you know where the comments you call hater comments come from. These comments are filled with negative energy that can be easily absorbed by you. This happens when you read it and you feel sad and angry, like you could punch the guy on the face. You basically got the negative energy from that few sentences. This energy might stay with you for days or more, still thinking about that comment, repeating it, telling it to your friends, cursing the other person who wrote it. Have you felt this way before? Please realise that this is bad for you. This will just make you feel down. Do you want to spend your day being angry over someone else misery? Personally I think spending even one minute is too much, I would rather spend that time thinking about my next artwork or my next article.

How you come out of this situation depends solely on you. That is why I shared with you what is happening with the writer of the comment so you understand the situation better. This way you can control your own feelings more easily. There is no need for you to take other peoples energy. You can actually dismiss it by understanding that it has really nothing to do with you. Don’t take things too personally. That guy on the other side of the internet or your neighbor can say whatever they want, that should not influence you at all. Why? Because what matters is that you like and that you are satisfied with what you have created. Their opinion is just their opinion, you can listen to them and decide if their comments are useful to you or not. If not then just skip them. Focus on the important things, focus on your life on your creations.

How to react to negative comments?

Is there a need to react to them? This depends on you but there is something to keep in mind. Usually when you talk to a recentful, angry person who is not aware of their own actions when they are angry the conversation between you will not work. Whatever you answer them will actually not reach them, they will instead say even more things that can hurt you.

This can only happen if you give them what they want: your attention. So I recommend not to start a conversation with people in this clouded state of mind. It is better to skip that comment. Nothing good will come out of it, you will just end up throwing swear words to each other. It is even worse when your friends come and help you ganging up on the commenter. He will feel cornered so he will want to guard himself even more, attacking you verbally more heavily.

These kind of wars will leave a bad impression not just on the commenter but on you and your friends too. You might end up in the same clouded mind state as the commenter, saying things you don’t want to say feeling bad afterwards.

Critiques and personal opinions are not hater comments

While we are here I would like to talk about something related and that is about comments you think are hater comments but actually they aren’t. What happens here is that you get a comment from someone giving you a critique or an opinion that you get as a hater comment.

For example someone writes this to you: “I think your artwork is a too crowded.” This is a statement of how the other person sees your work. There are no negative thoughts behind it, this is just an opinion (it would be a critique if there were concrete facts involved) of your work. You can accept the opinion or if you think he is not right then that is fine. This is just an opinion.

It is your responsibility to see the difference between a hater comment and a simple critique or an opinion like this one. If you see this as a hater comment ask yourself why? How do you feel yourself after reading the comment? What does that feeling mean and what exactly triggered that feeling within you? The answer and solution to this is in you and this time it has nothing to do with the commenter. This just means there are some work for you to do regarding yourself. Get to know yourself better. Understand and accept yourself as you are.

Be more kind and honest with yourself. No one is perfect nor is your artwork. And that is okay. Accept what you have created. Enjoy it! Be happy about it! It is your creation, it is like a child of yours. It really doesn’t matter what others say about it, don’t give the comments more significance then what they actually have. Understand that mean comments are not about you or your work, it comes from the misery of the commenter. It is their problem, their responsibility.

Instead focus on your artwork, on your creation, on the feelings you have when you create. Enjoy the process of creating. Because in the end you create to fulfill something within you. To satisfy that great hunger for giving something to the world.
I really hope this helped you to see what is really behind those negative comments and how not to get caught in the hater wars but move past them and focus on what really matters: you creating art. As with everything in life this needs practice, you will get better not taking things too personally.

Have a good day and create more from your heartspace.

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