If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re going to meet your share of people who are envious of or disgruntled by your success.
For lack of a better term, let’s call them haters.
Haters may simply talk about you behind your back, but they might also try to stop your success or use you for their own. Running into these toxic people is inevitable as an entrepreneur, but they don’t have to make your life miserable—or keep you from achieving what you’ve set out to do.
Here’s how to handle them:
Learn to take the punches.
There’s not really any way to prepare for it the first time it happens. It’s a new experience you simply don’t have any reference for.
The first time it happens, you can’t believe a person would do something like that.
But after your first run-in with negative people, you start to get used to it. You still experience feelings of disappointment, but you let it slide rather than let it consume you.
You learn to take the punch and keep on keeping on.
Be mindful of what information you share.
Haters aren’t necessarily just people talking about you behind your back. You might find that people you were close to will turn on a dime if they discover there’s a situation they can use to their advantage.
So it’s beneficial to think twice about who you share sensitive information with.
Haters won’t keep that information to themselves and wait to congratulate you when the deal is done. They’ll try to get a cut somehow, even if that means approaching the other party in the deal. In the entrepreneurial world, it’s not unheard of for a good friend to go behind someone’s back to get a piece of the action.
Not everyone you meet along the way is going to be a ride-or-die friend. The easiest way to tell the difference is to see what happens when you go through a rough patch with your business or finances.
The people who stick around—who support you emotionally and still want to hang out—when times are tough are the ones you can count on.
Negative people have a tendency to see themselves out when the money isn’t flowing.
If you run into an issue with someone, be upfront.
There are times when you need to ignore the haters and times when you need to confront them.
For instance, if you notice someone trolling you on Twitter just ignore it. That’s not worth anyone’s time.
But if someone is continuously campaigning against you, you’ll take action. That usually means talking to them and being upfront. Why are they saying these things? What’s the real reason behind it?
Sometimes people want to be heard and feel validated. When you talk and listen to them, you realize their problem isn’t really with you. There’s something else that’s bothering them, and you happened to bear the brunt of their displeasure.
Or maybe that negativity is just who they are. In that case, there’s only one thing you can do.
Cut ties when you have to.
If someone has proven themselves to be untrustworthy, there’s nothing more you can do. You have to cut ties.
I’m not talking about an honest mistake or a miscommunication. If someone has betrayed your trust with malicious intent, then you absolutely need to let that relationship go. Because no one needs that type of negativity in their life, you can’t be spending time with toxic people.
This article first appeared on Minutes.co on August 13, 2019