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Sending Love to the Haters

Erica Diamond's hate mail gave her a new outlook on life.

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I promised my audience when I started a blog WomenOnTheFence.com ten years ago, that I would always be honest– show the good, the bad, and the ugly. I have never strayed from that authentic path. So, for that reason, you won’t question why I wrote today’s article. Who posts hate mail? And a pretty bad one, to boot.

I’ve got to be honest, I try to never burn bridges. I root for people’s success. I am kind. I am empathetic. And I honestly can’t recall one hurtful message or tweet or DM I’ve received to date… except this one, from Fred Flintstone, dated many years back.

Allow me to give you some background. I started my first business on August 23, 1999, at 24 years of age. On October 27, 1999 at 9PM,  I opened up my email (on a desktop computer, there were no iPhones or Smartphones at the time), and I nearly fell off my chair. Why? Because I didn’t know what I had done to this anonymous person, to receive this.

I am never one to dwell or waste time on untruths, but this stung me…

And then it pissed me off. 

I started my business with $5000 I had saved up from working, got a good line of credit from a bank that believed in my business idea, my projections, and ME. Neither my parents, nor my husband, nor a stranger on the street, ever handed me ONE dollar for my business. To date, no one has EVER put money into my businesses, co-signed for me in business, nor been my guarantor in any of my businesses.

So this was unfair.

Ouch.

So, now that you’ve read it, well, the letter reads itself, right? Oh, and in case you don’t speak French, MANGE LA MERDE means ‘eat sh*t.’

Classy.

I have kept this piece of paper for over 20 years, and I will NEVER throw it out ( I even snapped a picture of the hard copy today, it’s all I have).

Why?

As a reminder.

A friend once said, “You should hire a computer hacker to uncover who the person is, track them down, and show them what a “failure” you have become.” But I have zero interest in doing so. I’m not angry, and I’m not bitter.

So why post this awful letter for the world to see? It’s because I decided to take Fred Flinstone’s advice and become a hooker. How cool?!

NO! I’m kidding!

I posted it, as a reminder to learn from the haters. To love the haters. Haters keep us grounded. Haters teach us about ourselves. Haters are our voice of reason. Who knows, maybe I was a bitch to someone unintentionally, one bad day.

And the takeaway point for YOU, is that we all have naysayers, or doubters, or haters. Their words can hurt us, haunt us, and tickle our insecurities. The important thing in life, is to take from it, learn from it, but NOT let it stop you. Haters and doubters often make us want to quit or even question our entire life plan. I can only say from experience, just work hard, and prove them wrong. Success comes from doing what you love, and working at it daily. Listen to the critics, because there’s much to be learned, but follow your heart. And trust your instincts. And remember WHO those hateful words are coming from.

There’s a great quote that I love…

“Don’t take criticism from someone you wouldn’t take advice from.” ~Unknown

And another one…

“If you’re not also in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.” ―Brene Brown

Well not really, but kinda.

I shock people in my recent years sometimes at how open I am to critique and criticism. I welcome it. I don’t have all the answers and I too, f*ck up.

But I am also very SELECTIVE with who I listen to.

I love and APPRECIATE honest feedback/criticism from someone who is also getting their ass kicked. Someone who knows how hard it is to risk. 
Someone whose advice I would take, is someone whose criticism I can handle.

Let me tell you, it takes BALLS to risk. And I have found that it’s always the ones who don’t risk, or who haven’t taken a chance and fallen yet, who are the most guilty of “judgey” behavior. 

I can tell you with certainty, it’s the people who are out there risking, falling or failing, and then trying to get back up, who judge others the least. They understand how much courage it takes just to try. 

So back to those haters or judgers: JUST WHAT HAVE THEY DONE? Ask yourself THAT the next time you internalize some else’s negative talk as fact. 

I love you,

Erica

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