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How to deal with haters

SHAN­NON HAR­RIS @shaaanxo Beauty vlog­ger and en­tre­pre­neur

“The first time I was pub­licly crit­i­cised was when a girl at high school called me out in front of the class, ask­ing why I was do­ing Youtube videos. Her goal was to em­bar­rass me and it worked. I ex­pect crit­i­cism nowa­days, but I think peo­ple for­get that I’m a hu­man be­ing. I do see their com­ments, and I can be as hurt by them as any­one else. The worst is if some­one tells me that I’m lazy or that I’ve put no ef­fort into some­thing I have ac­tu­ally spent a lot of time on. I’m con­fi­dent enough within my­self that 'ugly' and 'fat' com­ments no longer get to me, though. I just brush them off. Block, delete, good­bye. My main rea­son for do­ing so is be­cause these com­ments set a ter­ri­ble ex­am­ple. Hate is al­ready thrown around so freely on­line, and the more peo­ple see it, the more they will be­lieve it’s okay. It’s not. No one should have to put up with bul­ly­ing, threats or abuse. If you are be­ing bul­lied, re­move your­self from the sit­u­a­tion. If a bully thinks you aren’t af­fected by their words, they will soon give up. If they don’t, re­port them to an author­ity fig­ure, whether that per­son is a teacher, par­ent, or even a police of­fi­cer. Then go and eat some choco­late, put on some lip­stick and re­mind your­self how fab­u­lous you are.”

Be­ing a #girl­boss is a goal we all as­pire to, but when it makes you fair game for crit­i­cism, how do you shake it off? We ask suc­cess­ful Kiwi women how they deal with haters, from key­board war­riors to the ones who throw shade in per­son

FRANKIE ADAMS Ac­tor on Went­worth and The Ex­panse. Short­land Street alum

“When I first started act­ing on Short­land Street I was only 16. Ad­just­ing to be­ing a mi­nor in an adult world was dif­fi­cult enough, so re­ceiv­ing harsh com­ments from strangers added to the con­fu­sion. Peo­ple for­get that be­ing a public fig­ure doesn't make you im­mune to crit­i­cism. It just means your life is a lit­tle less pri­vate and your job is prob­a­bly a bit odd. Thank­fully neg­a­tive com­ments don’t get to me as much as they used to. I dis­re­gard per­sonal at­tacks – they aren’t valid as the peo­ple mak­ing them don’t know me. It an­noys me more if there is a com­ment that crit­i­cises a per­for­mance I've done, although I’ve had to learn how to take that. It helps to turn my phone off and go some­where with min­i­mal re­cep­tion and lots of na­ture. It also helps to un­der­stand that most bul­lies are just seek­ing an out­let for their own is­sues or hard­ships. A word to the bul­lies out there, though: re­mem­ber that hurt­ing some­one else's feel­ings isn’t go­ing to make you feel bet­ter about your­self. Also, smile more! It feels good.”

ANNA REEVE @anna­reeve_ Blog­ger, alope­cia am­bas­sador, for­mer model, mother of twin boys @thereevenuggets

“I’m very aware that peo­ple usu­ally act out if they don’t un­der­stand some­thing. This was cer­tainly true of grow­ing up with alope­cia. When I was lit­tle, I was told that I couldn’t play with the other kids be­cause I was ugly and it was as­sumed that my dis­ease was some­thing they could catch. Fac­ing up to these kinds of at­ti­tudes can be very scary, but I learnt that com­mu­ni­ca­tion is one of the fastest ways out of the sit­u­a­tion. As soon as I started stand­ing up for my­self and telling peo­ple what was go­ing on, things got bet­ter. Peo­ple still love to crit­i­cise me over the in­ter­net about ev­ery­thing from my per­sonal val­ues to how I raise my chil­dren, but if I di­rectly re­ply they back down. I don’t like con­fronta­tion so it’s more about dis­arm­ing the sit­u­a­tion than go­ing into full at­tack mode, but if some­one is hav­ing a go at me I’ll de­fend my­self. Bul­ly­ing is never okay and it’s be­yond me why any­one would want to add more suf­fer­ing to this world. Why not be a pos­i­tive force for ev­ery­one in it in­stead?”

CHIARA AND NORINA GASTEIGER @chiara_­gasteiger | @nori­na_­gasteiger Mod­els at Clyne Mod­els, co-stars of I AM by An­drea Moore SS16 cam­paign

“Be­ing in the public eye means you are more vis­i­ble, and the more vis­i­ble you are, the more open you are for peo­ple to throw shade. Re­gard­less, re­ceiv­ing hate is never easy, no mat­ter who you are. Un­for­tu­nately, so­cial me­dia plat­forms have en­abled bul­lies to com­ment in a way that makes them feel dis­con­nected from those they are tar­get­ing. Peo­ple al­ways say ‘f*ck the haters’, but we think it’s bet­ter to not en­tirely ig­nore the prob­lem and rather seek sup­port. We are ex­tremely grate­ful to have each other as we both have a dope sense of hu­mour and hav­ing a good laugh can be a great out­let. We get that a lot of the time peo­ple don’t ac­tively set out to hurt oth­ers with their com­ments, but as a rule of thumb, how about not crit­i­cis­ing things that some­one can’t fix within five min­utes? Also, there is this nice proverb that we all learned in kinder­garten: if you don’t have any­thing nice to say, don’t say any­thing at all!”

JU­LIA MATTHEWS @jul­s_­matthews Natur­opath in train­ing, recipe book au­thor, one half of @ju­li­aan­dlibby

“The in­for­ma­tion we share on Ju­lia and Libby al­ways has a health and well­ness an­gle, so nat­u­rally peo­ple some­times dis­agree with what we say. That’s fine – we are open to dis­cus­sion. But we delete com­ments that are rude, threat­en­ing or put some­one down. The first time I was per­son­ally at­tacked on­line I was re­ally an­gry, mostly be­cause I knew the com­menter would never have said some­thing so nasty to my face. Libby and I are fairly used to it now, but if I’m hav­ing a crappy day a neg­a­tive com­ment can re­ally get to me, so it helps to talk to her about it. I’d ad­vise any­one to do the same. Don't bot­tle your emo­tions up un­til you are at break­ing point. I was bul­lied at school and it af­fected me quite badly. The dif­fer­ence be­tween now and then is that I now know how to deal with it. A huge part of that is re­mem­ber­ing that some­one else’s opin­ion of you does not de­fine who you are.”


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