How To Handle Haters On Social Media

Written by Tarla Makaeff

We often think haters were those kids in school who would say the meanest things that would send us running home into comforting arms. But we forget that they can be grown a** adults. Yes, my friend, people who we assumed had given up the cruel antics haven't, and now they're on social media making it their full time job to hate on you à la Mean Girls. 

Rest assured, they're only targeting you when you have something they want. So congratulations, if you've been hated on online - while I know the feeling sucks to the nth degree - you've made it.

Maybe you'll discover it one day on a comment on your post or live, when someone DMs you, or when you check a Google Alert for your name or see a blog post titled "Tarla Makaeff Reviews - Scam Or Legit?" but with your name, of course.

However it happens, the feeling won't be pretty so I hope you'll remember this. You are not alone, and this is NOT about you, it's about them.

I remember the feeling I had when I experienced my first hater online. It was a combination of shock, hurt, and sadness. The details of the hate aren't important in any of these stories, only the truth is.

Prior to coming online for my business, I was involved in a very high profile lawsuit with press from all the major media sources. I read all kinds of comments about my life that were factually incorrect, and I was called a fraud by random strangers. I was accused of many things including never having been a model.

I read this on a forum when I saw a Google Alert pop up with my name. I chose not to respond.

I can tell you how I became a model.

I had a friend who was a "fit model" doing fittings for designers. She then become a designer of her own brand. She had commented how well I fit into her jeans, which gave me an idea. I knew I wasn't as tall as her, but I researched the industry, and discovered they used petite models too.

So I found local agencies. I followed directions. I submitted everything they asked for, exactly how they asked for it.

Within a day, I was invited out by the first agent I'd submitted to for a meeting. She signed me, and immediately sent me on a go-see (in the modeling world, this is an audition) the next day. I booked my first job with that client. A denim client.

I then went on more go-sees and booked my biggest job, a weekend out of state fitting clothes for a well-known retailer, earning me $7,500.

In fact, I wrote a book about it called Fit Model: A 5'5" Fit Model Tells All that's available on Amazon. Yes, I, the model who apparently never modeled, wrote a book all about it.

A year or two into starting my online business, there was a woman who took it upon herself to DM me on Instagram to say I was a fraud and there was no way I'd been a multiple six figure copywriter.

Her evidence? She'd been to my blog and spotted one typo I'd glossed over in the massive amounts of content I created for my readers.

I didn't need to respond to this woman nor would I probably today, but I chose to try to understand where this was coming from. It was evident from her responses to me, she didn't really believe what she had accused me of as she backed down.

Well, here's how I become a well-paid copywriter. 

I started working for a meager salary (low 30k's) at a marketing agency and then moved on to another, honing my craft for six years, topping out at a mid 50k salary.

I then left that agency, made an insanely courageous phone call, and had my first client 2 weeks later. I made $80,000 the first year freelancing, then six figures the next, then multiple six figures after that and so on.

This netted me a 7 figure brand with testimonials from actual clients, which anyone can see on my LinkedIn recommendations.

More recently, I accidentally found out a woman I had not hired wrote a post about me in a Facebook group attacking me saying I had a "weird vibe" and then invited people to DM her to talk sh*t about me.

She'd started out fawning over me, only to flip a switch during the interview process. Due to this red flag and several others, I chose to cease any further communication with her.

I responded on her post and created my own to correct the false narrative she was spinning and instead share just the facts, to which suddenly she had nothing to say. 

I can tell you how I became a person who no longer lets people bully her, what this woman deemed "weird."

I decided to never let someone bully me again after first experiencing it in school at the age of 7 when I went to a camp, and they had us play a game. Sitting in a circle, we all took turns, anonymously writing on small pieces of paper something about each child. 

My comments included the kind ones: "you're sweet," "so nice!" as well as the nasty ones: "get loud mouthed" and "speak up!"

First the first time in my life, I realized kindness wasn't always valued and maybe as trite as the saying was that "the nice guy/girl does finish last."

So years later, I took on one of the most powerful people in the world, fighting for justice. This shy introvert "spoke up" to defend her rights and the rights of others. And because of that one action, thousands received almost full restitution, totaling millions of dollars.

I learned when you speak up, you can create change and do good things that can have a ripple effect. You can also encourage others to take action when they are wronged so that bullying isn't tolerated.

The only weird thing here with this woman would have been continuing to engage with someone who was clearly projecting their own trauma onto me. 

Many agreed with me. My inbox was filled with these messages when people saw me stand up for myself:

"I just have to say I admire your resilience and your overall character."
"You're exactly the kind of person anyone could want in their corner and it's a shame these people are too blind by their egos to see that. Their loss, really."
"You're a strong woman who fights back to defend her honor."
"There are many people like me who value what you did."

I'm an empath and so I feel energy strongly. I disconnect from people who have negative energy. Online, that means blocking, and I refuse to apologize for not accepting to be a dumping ground for someone else's toxic behavior.

What all of these situations come down to is envy and jealousy. When someone feels the need to spend their free time talking about you, it's because they want to be you.

So when they call you a scam artist, a fraud, or attempt to defame your character in any way, remember, they are hurting. It's the only reason they felt the need to hurt you - an innocent bystander.

Wondering how to respond to hate comments? And what's the best response to haters?

Here's what I'm doing moving forward. I will not be bullied. I will stay silent, if I feel like staying silent. I will speak up, if I feel like speaking up.
I will say prayers for and send love and light to these people. I will forgive them. I will not allow them to stop me from being who I am and doing the work I need to do.
I will spend my time creating an impact for those who want to go further in life, who want to focus on the future, instead of living in the past.
I will pray those people come to the realization that they too were meant for more than spending their time and energy in a low vibe state.
Dealing with haters online sucks. But know this: you can't escape it. It doesn't matter what you do. You'll be criticized either way especially by the Regina Georges of the online world.
What really doesn't matter in the end though is what anyone else thinks. It only matters what you think. You know who you really are and so do all the people who love what you do. They are the majority so do not let an unhappy person here or there distract you from the very important work you have to do.
Now that you know how to handle haters, here's how to attract raving fans on social media with my Boss Babe Book. 

Has anyone ever called you a scam artist or fraud and how have you handled it?


Tarla Makaeff is a self-made entrepreneur, online business coach, digital course creator, and the copy queen. She helps creative, heart-centered female entrepreneurs start and grow their purpose-filled business online.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published