How I Personally Deal With Negativity Online
A few years ago I held a workshop called “How to Make Money in Your Reiki Practice.”
It triggered some interesting responses and a lot of emotion from many. Those who were most upset believed strongly that Reiki was a gift they should freely give and the idea of monetizing that into a business and charge to make a profit was inherently wrong. My idea that this gift has value and practitioners should charge for that was not taken too kindly by some and I had to wade through a bit of a backlash during and after my workshop launched.
Last week I wrote about how to deal with toxic people online, and today I want to discuss some of my personal experiences and thoughts on dealing with what, at times, can be a hurtful and stressful situation.
First I want to say that the more visible you are on social media, the more opportunities for negativity to come crawling out from the online ether. So I knew the fact that I was attracting that kind of attention was actually a good thing.
I knew I couldn’t take the anger and frustration from my commenters personally and I tried to take it as constructive criticism. In the instance of the Reiki workshop, I took the comments as an opportunity to engage in conversation. I replied back with a few other rational “arguments” to try to bring the conversation to a healthy give-and-take debate.
One of my key points was the idea that if you are working at a day job and doing Reiki on the side you are only able to help a few people because you are beholden to time on that job. But if you are able to charge appropriately and run a business then you don’t have to work a full-time job and you can use your gift to help many many more people out there because you have the time and energy to do so.
I also realized that while my stance was not popular with everyone it also gave a group of struggling Reiki practitioners “permission” to charge (or charge more) for their services so they could help more people and also make a living.
I’m also a huge fan of Tip #2 from last week – take appropriate action – and I deleted any post or comment that I didn’t like the vibe of during that time of the workshop. My team who helps me with social media, knows my stance, and had my permission to do so as well.
After my workshop experience I thought long and hard about the person I wanted to be out there online and I decided to take a big picture view and be a role model for others. Instead of acting out of a feeling of “lack” and fear, I realized that if my business ideas caused someone to unsubscribe from my list or post something ugly online that I have to delete, I’m okay with that because it means they are not the right people for me to work with.
If 10 people liked one of my posts but 1 person had something negative to say – that is ok! I decided the important perspective was to focus on the people who did like what I created, those people were the people I could help. I chose to implement the 90/10 rule (or 80/20), a great rule for diets, life, and business. There will always be that 10% or 20% that aren’t your customer.
If people are unsubscribing or un-liking my page I now just happily let them go because I know they aren’t the right people. My goal is to be a role model for how to treat each other online, and be ready to serve the clients that need and want what I have to give.
So let’s recap, when negativity reaches you and your business online:
- First, don’t take it personally. Truly dig deep, find compassion and let it go.
- Second, think about engaging in a respectful way by taking their comments as constructive criticism and as input to think about.
- Third, take action and delete when you need to and instruct your team to do the same.
- Fourth, be a role model. Take the big picture view. Show others how you want to be treated and let those who don’t wish to hear what you have to say, go.
More importantly remember: the more visible you are online the more opportunity you have to attract the negativity and toxicity that is out there, simply because more people are seeing your stuff. And that in the end is the best thing for your business because it means your reach is growing and you are attracting attention!
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