How to Deal With Trolls, Haters and Copycats

If you're a successful blogger or business owner, you're bound to come across negative Nancies. Their hateful feedback and hurtful comments probably stem from jealousy and insecurity, but often times it's hard not to their words personally. So how do you respond to these trolls, haters, and copycats? Today's infographic should help.

How to Deal With Trolls, Haters and Copycats | Elle & Company

Definition source:

How to handle trolls

Troll noun: one who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.

Trolls love to instigate and stir up trouble. They thrive on reactions and must have an audience in order for them to succeed in their goals. The last thing you want to do is give into their plan, one-up them with a sarcastic comment, or jump into an argument. Not only is this kind of reaction sinking you down to their level, but it often puts you in negative light.

Instead, give those trolls what they're least expecting: a positive response. And if you can't muster a positive response, it's better not to respond at all. 

"The day you get your first snotty comment is the day you've arrived, in a weird way. It means you've escaped your own echo chamber. You've outgrown that little cocoon that kept you safe." -

How to handle haters

Hater noun: A person that simply cannot be happy for another person's success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person.

Similar to trolls, haters abound when you start to see success. But instead of focusing on their negativity and letting it discourage you, confront them with sincerity and grace. Don't fight back or justify yourself, but apologize for any wrongdoing and answer their questions.

James Clear gave a great example on his blog of how author Gary Vaynerchuk handled 1-star and 2-star reviews on his best-selling book, Crush It. Instead of fighting back and justifying his work, Gary responded with a sincere apology and ended up getting one reader's number. He called him to talk things over and after their conversation, the reader left a follow-up comment on his book review saying, "If Amazon had a people ranking system, I'd have to give Gary 5 stars. One can not help being impressed by someone who gets back to you so quickly and handles criticism so graciously."

How to handle copycats

Copycat noun: An individual who copies, imitates, simulates, or mimics the words, gestures, and expressions of another individual.

You may have heard that imitation as a compliment. But when your work has been copied, it feels like anything but a compliment; it feels more like an attack on your creativity. Sadly, this is often the nature of being in a competitive field; competition comes with the territory. If the infringement is blatant and could negatively affect your business, seek counsel and take any legal actions necessary. If it's on a lesser scale, abstain from retaliating or talking poorly about the offending party. Instead, use this circumstance as motivation to get better at what you do. Continue to innovate and deliver a product above and beyond your audience's expectations. Copycats never get ahead in the long-run because they're always one step behind.

How do you handle trolls, haters, and copycats?

P.S. Registration opens tomorrow, March 10th, at 12pm EST for Elle & Company's upcoming Adobe Illustrator e-course! There are only 40 spots available, so click here for details on how to grab your spot.