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Cutting-Edge Web

[Email Template] How to Deal with Haters and Complainers without Compromising Yourself

Photo by Bess Hamiti

Can you remember exactly where you were the last time you heard something that changed your life forever?

For me, it was sitting in an audience listening to a lady named Marcia Weider.

She walked on stage and proceeded to give a tour du Force performance full of the energy that only a very small woman can have ;)…

And then she came out with a completely unforgettable gem that changed me completely:

“In business you got to toughen your skin and soften your heart.”

I took that in and have been allowing it to guide me in my business ever since.

Courage like this is powerful enough to transform those who witness it.

It’s also strong enough to change the world.

But there’s also a downside…

Photo Courtesy of Leticia

When you open your heart and speak your message, it will threaten those who aren’t yet ready to hear it.

The moment you begin to truly express your heart in your business, you’ll start to get negative, judgmental emails…

It’s all to easy to get sucked down a “rabbit hole” of emotions – or worse yet, get stopped in your tracks — that comes when you feel so perfectly misunderstood.

So the real lesson (for you and for them) is in how you choose to respond:

  • Do you feel hurt and start to second guess whether you should be sharing yourself like this?
  • Do you get angry and lash out, defending your views against attack?
  • Do you apologize for your transgression and ask the person to give you a second chance?

If none of those seem like productive options, there is another choice.

I believe there is a way to respectfully acknowledge without defending, attacking or apologizing for who you are.

So I wanted to share the exact email template that I use whenever notes like this land in my inbox… so you can be prepared for the inevitable ripples your message will create in the world:

Hi FirstName,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

We definitely think it is important to follow teachers whose beliefs are in alignment with our own. This way as individuals and as a community, we remain in integrity.

In that space of integrity, Marisa is known as someone who lives honestly with kindness and grace. She shares, teaches, guides and inspires through bold self-expression and vulnerable storytelling.

From time to time, we come in contact with someone in the community who doesn’t resonate with some of the honest self-expression shared. This is to be expected in life. We respect their choice to not resonate with the message shared, just as much as we hope in return they respect that Marisa will remain Marisa… living a life of full self-expression and that she will not filter who she is to please others.

And when those complaints do come in, for every one received, we receive 50 or more thank you’s from other people, who are inspired by Marisa’s bold, honest and caring self-expression and grateful to her for changing their lives.

If Marisa, or any of us for that matter, were to filter who we are for others, we would no longer be in integrity and our brilliance and calling in the world would be muted. Marisa built this community on the foundation that each of us has a gift and message to share.

If she was to change who she is to please others she wouldn’t be true to her calling and higher purpose and that would be a great loss to many who look up to her and are inspired by the great work she does.

While Marisa’s style is bold and full of self-expression, she is never hurtful, malicious or disrespectful. She lives a life full of joy to inspire, guide and challenge others to step outside their comfort zone to be the best they can be, for each of us to be part of the positive ripple effect of change.

She has one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever known. I know that if what she says were to offend someone’s sensibilities, she would want them to remain in integrity to themselves and only remain connected to a teacher and community that is in alignment with their values. We follow the belief, “Don’t stay where you are tolerated, go where are you celebrated!”

So if Marisa being her amazing self, isn’t someone you resonate with, then we humbly and graciously suggest that you might find more joy in someone else’s community.

If we don’t gel, we wish you well. 🙂

Shared with kindness and the warmest of wishes, (Team member)

I hope this helps.

Feel free to take it and use it.

We’ve all got the kind of courage it takes to be vulnerable in the face of judgment, criticism and even despair. The trick is being prepared before you get stopped or spun, because what you have to share with us is too important.

Now go out there and Live Your Message!


Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. theresa

    Thank you for your positive example in responding to hater/ complainers and stay true to yourself. I used to gossip all the time but I began to see how negatively it effected others and also, myself. our words can be used as weapons or to uplift and empower,So I made an agreement with myself to always treat people with dignity and respect,to choose the words I put out into the world with compassion.

    Reply ·
  2. ivy

    This reminds me of a Ricky Gervais quote that I love…
    “I don’t try to please anyone except myself. If people like what I do, fantastic. If they don’t, that’s good, too. If you start trying to water it down or second-guess, you end up with something so safe and homogenized that a lot of people will like it, but they won’t love it.”

    I’m glad you do what you do!

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      That’s exactly right! If you want to open the door to be loved, you gotta be willing to be hated. Thanks Ivy!

      Reply ·
  3. Jupiter Jim

    I was in the U.S. Navy many years ago, living on a destroyer with 150 other guys that there is No WAY in HELL you are going to get everyone to like you. Some people are actually looking for people to have confrontations with. It keeps them alive. It’s part of their personality. Same for the folks on the Internet!

    For instance, some people will simply not like me because I served in the U.S. Navy. Some won’t like me cause I went to Princeton. Some people will not like me because I tend to be straightforward and direct. Others LOVE that about me. The list goes on and on.

    “But it’s all right now, I learned my lesson well
    You see, you can’t please everyone so you gotta please yourself.” ~ Ricky Nelson from the song “Garden Party”

    I’ve loved that song and that line from that song for many years!

    Thanks for sharing, Marisa!!!

    ~ Jupiter Jim

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      You’re absolutely right, Jim. And I’ve found that the more expressed I am, the more people will either love me or hate me. But I’m OK with that. I’d rather be me then be a safe no one.

      I like that you’re straightforward and you went to Princeton and you served in the Navy… 🙂

      Reply ·
  4. Elisa Negroni

    Love your response. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply ·
  5. Grace

    Thank you for your generosity in sharing the template as a handy tool. That is very well expressed with all humility and frankness.

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      You’re welcome… 🙂

      Reply ·
  6. Kimchi

    Hi Marisa,
    This email is good to deal with people who do not see your values.
    Question: let’s say if they send email addressed to me. How do I use the template? Do I response to them in my view (1st person) rather than in 3rd person (like your email template did).
    In the past, I had family members complained or criticized things I did, so instead of responding to that email, I just deleted it. Out of sight, less on mind ;-).
    But if this comes from a client, I would response.

    Thank you.

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      Hi Kimchi – If you have emails like this coming from friends and family, perhaps you can compose a first person email that acknowledges their perspective while standing firm in yours and what you’re hoping to achieve.

      Reply ·
  7. Lauren

    I am curious: I thought the best was ignoring the hater? Why do you send such a nice, long reply? Thanks Marisa

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      Great question. A lot of time critics and haters just want to be heard. Sometimes you can turn them into your biggest fans… that doesn’t mean that we let their hate or criticism bother us, just that we respond and set our boundaries. It only takes us a few seconds using this macro.

      We also have a policy in our business to respond to every email.

      Reply ·
  8. Adrian

    That´s what it is know at the diplomat world like “Persona grata” answer. Thanks for share Marisa!

    Reply ·
  9. Allison

    What a great post! I’ve always wondered how to respond to negative feedback. You said it with grace and kindness while staying true to yourself.

    Reply ·
  10. Mary

    Well presented but I would keep it short and sweet
    No doubt this individual has some inquietude as the French
    Would say and probably will lack the patience
    And ability to concentrate to even read let alone
    Appreciate an expanded response…short and sweet…(unlike
    This response!). P.S. Couldn’t find the button for the website
    Tips content on my IPhone
    Constructively, Mary G

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      This email isn’t a response to a single individual. It’s a response to haters and complainers in general, who criticize rather than create. I honestly don’t care whether or not they read the whole thing. 🙂

      Reply ·
      1. lynn mehl

        Agree and touche’ Marissa-great answer. Many criticize so they don’t have to put the effort to create and… they don’t look so, so bad :))

        Reply ·
  11. Kristen Strother

    Wow-that’s the second time in two days I have heard a similar message-I must need to hear it! What a wonderful reminder that we’ve each been given unique gifts and we need to USE THEM and be ourselves to make our greatest impact and help the most people. Thank you Marisa!

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      You’re welcome… and yes, use your gifts!

      Reply ·
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About the Author Marisa Murgatroyd

Marisa is the founder of Live Your Message, where she turns entrepreneurs into Online Superheroes, and the creator of Start With You where she helps people just like you to discover the business they're meant to build, not just the business they can build. At 4’11 and a quarter, she’s called the shortest woman in marketing — and that doesn’t stop her from having huge ideas. She’s the “go to” brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights such as Justin Livingston, Callan Rush, Danny Iny, Alexis Neely and Susan Peirce Thompson. Marisa helps entrepreneurs create a business that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their “inner superhero”, so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives.

What's the Business You're Truly Meant to Build?

You have a purpose here on Earth that you’re supposed to fulfill. And certain people here to serve. Watch this Masterclass to discover the business you're meant to build & how to share it with the world.