How to deal with "haters..."
It's a topic that we don't like to talk about...especially if you are a "recovering people-pleaser" like me.
It's the topic of "haters."
It's the people that may have known us before pageantry, and once we got into it, they all of a sudden started talking negatively about us. It's the people who try and tear us down when we finally do something that lights us up inside. It's the people who don't quite understand, or fully support, or believe in us. It's the people who withdraw from us, from our events, from showing support, and even ignore the fact that we are a titleholder doing something great in the community and avoid any conversation about it. It may even be a fellow pageant-sister who gossips about us behind our back.
I remember when I won my first state title...I had friends who had supported me through the journey of my local title, and when I won the state title, they turned on me. They began to publicly blast me on social media, make fun of me, and call me nick names like "Mrs Potato Head." (I was Mrs. Idaho). I didn't understand it and it hurt. It hurt my feelings, it hurt our friendships, and it hurt my confidence. I had family avoid events that I was putting on, and ones that wouldn't even engage in a conversation about the things I was doing within my community or the pageant world.
Maybe you, like me, have experienced the hurt of having a "hater." It's easy to focus on the hurt that comes from a hater. It's easy to focus on the lack of understanding as to why someone would do something like what they have done. It's easy to focus on the negative things that could potentially have us dim our lights. It is easier to dim our light, to play small, to not be publicly loud and "out there" for the world to see. It's easier to play small, to skate under the radar, to make everyone else around us comfortable and not intimidate them or be the example that there is something more in life that we can be, do, have and be a part of.
It's harder to take the high road, to love them anyways, to have compassion for them, and to still say YES to where your Creator is leading you. It's harder to stay shining bright when others are trying to extinguish your light. It's harder to still forge ahead in your mission when people are talking negatively about you. It's harder to stay confident, even in the midst of what feels like personal attacks.
But here's the thing when it comes to haters...they are just scared. They are coming from a place of fear and insecurity that causes them to lash out and hurt someone else. Unfortunately, it's usually the brightest lights that the darkness tries to extinguish.
There is a phenomenon in nature called "the crab mentality." It's a real thing. (seriously...look it up on youtube). It happens with crabs. When you put crabs in a pot or a bucket, when one of the crabs tries to climb to the top, the other crabs grab its legs and pull it back down.
Haters are like the crabs that are pulling down the one trying to rise up.
YOU are one of the bright shining lights that is making a difference in your community, in your state, and the world. You are the one that is growing into the next best version of yourself, and to be honest, it's scary to some people. They may have known you when you were "just a mom" or "just a teacher" or "just a college student..." And now that you are pursuing things like speaking or public events and being a community leader, that is scary to them. You are challenging the view and perception of you that they felt comfortable with.
I want to encourage you, that even if you have haters, to love them (even if it's from afar), and to keep your light shining bright. Use the hurt that they have caused to fuel your flame to shine even brighter...to book the big speaking gig, to do a huge social media campaign that raises awareness and funds for your favorite cause, to be in all the parades because we know how it feels when the little girls look up to us, as a good example in society, and they want to be a princess one day and help others around them too.
The truth is, is that this "crab mentality" happens not only in the pageant world, but in every area of life where you challenge the status quo and take a big and bold and brave step out of the crowd to do something different.
My advise is to have the knowledge that it will happen, to guard your heart with compassion for the haters, to stay in your own lane, and do your thing...because the world needs you and your light to shine bright, to make a difference, to be an example for younger generations, and to make the world a brighter place.
Shine on beYOUtiful one...you were made for it.