"A recruiter calling themselves a coach, I've heard it all now."
"A recruiter calling themselves a coach, I've heard it all now" - that was my first ever experience with a troll on social media.
I’d just updated my job title on LinkedIn to announce the launch of Adonis Blue Coaching, my new coaching business. Next thing one of my contacts wrote a post ranting about recruiters calling themselves coaches. It was clearly aimed at me (I used to be an in-house recruiter).
I can’t even remember the name of the person who wrote the post now, or what they did, but I certainly remember how it felt. It stung. For a moment I was froze, staring at my computer screen. I couldn’t believe that someone could be so rude!
The person who wrote the post didn’t know me. We had never spoken or interacted before, they were just a random LinkedIn connection. They knew nothing about me. They didn’t know about the training I had been doing and they had no idea about all the hours I had spent coaching people for free to gain experience.
Who were they to judge whether or not I could call myself a coach or not?!
And that’s what it felt like, for a moment it felt like they were judging me. A complete stranger on the internet.
But that’s just the thing, they were a complete stranger. I quickly snapped out of it and realised what they thought didn’t matter.
What did matter was that I was being noticed. People were noticing what I was doing on LinkedIn. Good or bad that meant I was growing a reputation, I was influencing to some degree and that could only benefit my new business. (Did you notice the positive reframing I did there).
It’s easy to get upset when you get trolled or when someone says something negative about you and what you are doing. But the thing is you can control what you think and how you let it effect you. In this example, I could have chosen to let what he said upset me and influence my future posts on LinkedIn. I could have chose to ignore it or I could choose to look at the positives in the situation, which is what I did.
Here are my 6 top tips on how to deal with unwanted criticism from trolls: -
Consider the source. Do you know this person and more importantly do they know you? Are they qualified to give their opinion on the subject, and do you value their opinion?
What kind of criticism is it? Are they being constructive or are they just being rude? If they are being rude remember it’s likely to be a reflection of their own issues rather than yours e.g. It may be a projection of their own insecurities, jealousy or unhappiness.
Allow yourself to feel your feelings. It’s ok to feel hurt or angry. Show yourself compassion and be kind to yourself.
Embrace your marmite! Realise that not everyone will love you all of the time. In fact some people might hate you. You can’t please everyone and that’s ok.
Have a growth mindset. Instead of focusing on the negative consider how you can reframe the situation to look at it in a more constructive or positive way. Can’t think of anything positive? Try adding humour to the situation.
Take back control of your own self-worth. Your self-love does not depend on what other people say or think. You control your own self-worth.