5 Ways to Ditch the Haters

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Mini Z is FAR too fabulous to care what you think!

Nowadays, they’re called “haters”.  But whether you’re dealing with haters, bullies, Negative Nancy’s, or Poo-Poo Patty’s, it’s upsetting to be on the receiving end of their comments.  How you shield yourself from these people and their influence is critical… not just to your sanity, but to your overall well-being and progress as a dancer.

The reasons for their behavior are varied, but they all stem from the same place.  It’s FEAR.  When you get down to the root of the problem, it’s their fear being hurled in your direction.  Maybe they’re afraid you’ll take business away from them, or they’re worried you’ll make them look “bad” by not conforming, or they’re apprehensive you’ll be more liked/watched/appreciated/etc.

Here are some tips for handling them and their negativity.

1.  Constructive Critique vs Dismissal – Keep in mind that not everybody who levels a critique is a bully or hater.  If they’re your teacher or a troupe director, it’s their job to let you know when you need to work harder.  There’s a difference between being asked to improve chest-isolation technique and being told you’re just awful.  So the first step in dealing with these situations is to decide if the criticism is constructive or not.  And that may take being really honest with yourself.  Remember, dance (like other art forms and life in general) is a journey, so be prepared to take the steps to reach your goal.  But if you’ve been hit with non-constructive criticism (especially if it comes from outside your class/troupe), then the next step is to…

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Even better than walking away… listening to great tunes while walking away!

2.  Walk Away – You need to get away from that person.  That might mean, literally, walking away while the other person is talking.  Taking a class and a fellow student tells you that you will never be good enough to dance in public?  Stroll to the other side of the studio.  Finished performing in the recital and somebody backstage says your style is weird?  LAUGH… and walk away.  This might also mean physically leaving a class, event, teacher, etc.  You always have the power of your two lovely legs, so use them and slink away.  If the other party is genuinely concerned about why you’re not around, they’ll contact you and you can let them know why.  REMEMBER… the other person may not realize how their comments/actions made you feel, so if they sincerely apologize, then perhaps a second chance is in order.

3.  Don’t Go There – This is a decision you have to make in advance.  If you know that a particular situation leaves you feeling drained or feeling bad about yourself, then don’t go there.  What’s worse than knowingly going to something that makes you feel bad?  Paying to attend!  Your hard-earned money is better spent on activities that make you feel excited, happy, challenged, worthy and appreciated.

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… only if you’re not riding the Drama Llama, Little Birdie!!

4.  Control Social Media – Social media has made it very easy for judgmental people to spew their hatefulness while hiding behind a computer screen.  Again, you are in control of your own Facebook page and Twitter feed.  If somebody is bothering you, don’t engage in the exchange.  Protect yourself by deleting or blocking them.  Keep your social media experience as positive as possible, and consider “liking” or “following” pages that make you feel good.  Some of my favorites The Daily Love and Super Soul Sunday.

5.  Be YOU-nique – The only person who can be you, is you.  Stay true to yourself and surround yourself with people who appreciate you.  And part of being you-nique is deciding what you really want and taking steps to reach your you-nique goals.  If what you really want to accomplish is doing an off-beat fusion solo in front of a small audience, then there are probably several opportunities to do that.  Is it really necessary to join a troupe, audition to be in a big show or spend money/time on classes you’re not interested in attending?  Figure out what makes YOU happy, what YOU want to accomplish, and then just focus your energy on YOU.  And visit the “I’m a F’ing Unicorn” page on FB… for unique, not-easily-offended people.  :)

Grandma Wheelie

Rock on, Grandma Wheelie… rock ON!

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