If you’re a business owner or creative type who is unafraid to express yourself in the public realm, you need to learn how to get over naysayers. No matter how amazing your ambitious vision is, there will always be people who say “no” to your ideas, so let’s chat about six ways to deal with naysayers.

1. The Relevance Test

Before you do anything else, ask yourself this question: if the naysayer you’re facing isn’t a business partner, loyal customer, dear reader, or family member, is there any reason to care about what they think? I used to obsess with every single criticism posted on my blogs and articles, but one day, I realized that said criticisms, without fail, came from people who were outside of my target audience. I write for an audience of women, the criticisms typically came from men, so why would I care what they thought? If it’s not relevant, it’s not worth getting upset about.

2. Fuel for Success

The only way to achieve massive success is to take massive action. If you’re in the training-wheels state of your new business or writing your first book and struggling with naysayers, use their negative energy as fuel to make you hustle even harder to show them what’s up. They might tell you that you can’t succeed today, but make sure they have the pleasure of eating those words in the future when (not if) you achieve your goal.

3. Make It Better

If the naysayer is a trusted friend, networking contact, or business partner, you might want to hear them out. Please realize that some people don’t excel at positive communication, so it is possible they might not be trying to be negative intentionally. If a naysayer tells you that something cannot be done, quickly reply, “how can it be done?” If a naysayer tells you that your idea needs work, ask, “how can it be better?” Asking questions could turn a naysayer into a team-player who will make your idea even stronger (and if they have nothing of value to add, forget they ever said anything, because only a blood-sucking energy vampire would trash a person’s idea without offering any alternative solutions).

4. Shrug It Off

Let’s say you’re pursuing self-employment and you have a friend who tells you that your dream will never become reality. Ask, “Why not?” If they have nothing of benefit to offer that will help you improve your idea, shrug it off and tell them, “If you’re not going to support me in this, can we just not talk about it?” Life is too short to spend it with toxic people who don’t support you, so if they continue to be a negative influence despite your wishes, this might mean it’s time to break up. Your success is your choice (not theirs!). 

5. Dealing with Family

If the naysayer is a family member, then you might not be able to cut ties or avoid contact with them, so it’s best to find positive outlets that will keep you encouraged and motivated despite their negativity. Network with like-minded people who are in your field. Follow the best and brightest people in your industry, make note of how they operate, and apply what you learn so that it will be relevant for you and your business. Understand that your family isn’t trying to hurt you. This isn’t an excuse for their behavior, but they do have your best interest at heart, and they’re just expressing their concern in a way that isn’t positive. Keep a track record of your successes and show them the positive results you’ve achieved to make them more comfortable with your endeavor. You can’t argue with success, so I have no doubt you will convince them to support you.

6. Haters Gonna Hate (according to science)

A new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology discovered that haters are indeed going to hateThe study found that people who hate things they already know about are more likely to hate things they haven’t heard of just yet. Psychologists asked study participants about their feelings on subjects like architecture, health care, crossword puzzles, taxidermy, and Japan. The people who liked more things at the onset on the study had positive reactions to new information while people who disliked more things had negative reactions to new information. Remember this the next time a person criticizes your idea or posted a nasty comment on your blog: haters gonna hate (and there’s little you can do about it). If you have a hater infestation in your life, you might want to check out 9 helpful tips to deal with negative people.

How do you turn naysayers into yaysayers?

I hope these six tips help you get over naysayers, but I’d love it if you helped me add to this list. We all confront people who say “no,” so your input would be valuable to all the people reading. Please leave a comment if you have a helpful tip that will help everybody stay positive!

Do you have difficulty saying no to other people? Problems Saying No? 11 Ready Tips to Say No To Others

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