At the end of the day, I just find your persona incredibly grating.
Funny that I can still remember that comment word-for-word. It’s from an unsubscribe note to my email list dating back at least seven years now.
I heard lots of good things back then, too. I was helping people, sharing what I knew in a way that was useful to my (then tiny) audience. But I don’t remember any of the good comments verbatim.
Even back then, though, the note made me laugh.
Because I knew that it was a signpost. A signal that I was headed in the right direction.
The Internet is full of wonderful things. It’s given me a rich business life, a vehicle to help and teach, lots of friendships, and a wide view of this amazing world. I even met my husband online.
But it’s also populated by a few people who are rude and disagreeable, if not outright trolls.
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 grown out of the little cocoon that kept you safe.
And you’re strong enough to handle that, even if you don’t always feel that way.
No one takes a swipe at boring people
If you’re a bland, unremarkable serving of Cream of Wheat, you won’t attract many haters.
You need a strong voice to stand out online — and some will find that “incredibly grating.” You’re on the right track.
You need to stand for something beyond platitudes and conventional wisdom. Some will find that threatening or even offensive. You’re on the right track.
You need to stand tall and own your success and authority. Some will find that intolerable. Let them howl. You’re on the right track.
Don’t worry — if you’re helping people, you’re doing it right. You’ll attract supporters, too. Try to give them more attention than you do the rude ones. Not easy to do, but worth our effort.
But the jerks and even the haters are an inuksuk — a sign on the rough and wild path.
There is something good ahead. Keep going.
Flickr Creative Commons image by James Pratley.