Jan 182013

embrace the naysayers

Embrace The Naysayers

If you’ve ever tried to achieve anything meaningful, undoubtedly you’ve had to deal with naysayers!

These are the people who, often under the guise of trying to help you, will name every possible thing that can go wrong with the endeavor you are planning.

They’ll say things like, “not to discourage you” and “that sounds like a good idea, except…”.

I’m not sure whether you’ve noticed, but often times their comments, especially when repeated over and over again, begin to sound like “sour grapes”.  That is, you start to wonder whether their concern is really for you and your welfare, or whether, instead, they’re just trying to protect their own fragile egos.

The naysayers often seem negative to the point that they find it difficult to look at the positives of any undertaking.  They see themselves as self-appointed protectors of common sense (their definition of it, anyway) and fearless defenders of the status quo.

As it turns out, once you dig a little below the surface, you realize that your instincts were absolutely right:  most naysayers really don’t care about you or your welfare.  They care that you don’t achieve success in your endeavors, while they just sit around criticizing anyone who is trying to accomplish something meaningful.

My suggestion is that rather than resent naysayers, learn to embrace them.  I suggest this for a few reasons:

1.)   Once in a while, naysayers bring up valid points that you should consider before you undertake your endeavor.

2.)   Naysayers, by virtue of their consistent and maddening negativity, can give you the motivation you need to persevere when times get tough.  If nothing else, you’ll do so just to prove them wrong.

3.)   Negative people need love and crave attention, like all human beings.  By listening to their points and paying attention to what they have to say, you are performing a public service – listening carefully to people everyone else does everything they can to ignore.

4.)   Listening to naysayers and trying to understand where they’re coming from may help you to prevent yourself from becoming bitter and a “downer” like them.

5.)   Once in a while, you may actually convert a naysayer to a fan of whatever you’re doing.  In the process, you’ll pick up a fan and help a naysayer become more open-minded.  This won’t happen often, but when it does, again, you’ll be performing a public service.

In summary, learn to embrace naysayers.  I’m not saying to go out of your way to hang out with them.  In fact, I make a practice of doing everything I can to avoid spending too much time with negative people.  What I am saying though, is that sometimes it’s simply not possible to avoid naysayers.  When you are confronted with such a situation, rather than becoming overly negative yourself, have some fun with it!  Do what you can to convert the naysayer.  At a minimum, listen to their ideas and see if there’s anything valid in their criticisms.  If there is, work to mitigate it.  Most importantly though, use their negativity to motivate you when times get tough.  There’s nothing more satisfying than proving the naysayers wrong.

I look forward to your thoughts!  Please leave a comment (“response”) below or in the upper right corner of this post.

Paul Morin



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