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FAQs – Haters

The world is full of people that love to hate. This is a sad fact, but it remains true, and sometimes the hate will spill over into your life. In the video above, I talk about how I deal with hateful comments, both in real life and online.

People are going to try to discourage you

In fact, I believe the more successful your or your platform becomes, the more people will hate on you. There are probably lots of reasons for this – people will be jealous of you, they will feel insecure about themselves, and sometimes people will just genuinely disagree with what you’re doing or what you stand for (and they may actually have a point). Regardless of the reason, we need to know how to deal with hateful and discouraging comments.

Don’t let just anyone speak into your life

This is a powerful, and I believe life-changing philosophy. I think it’s important to have a small group of people – a circle – that speak into your life, and for the vast majority of those outside that circle – just ignore them. There are a few caveats to this line of thinking, though…

  • Your ‘circle’ of people needs to have the freedom to communicate both your strengths and your weaknesses.
  • They need to be made up of people that you have a personal relationship with, although I think it’s good to listen to outside sources as well.
  • They need to earn the right to speak into your life.
  • They need to be an expert or have authority in the field.
  • If they point out weaknesses or areas where you need to improve, they should either help you improve themselves, or try to point you toward resources that do.

So begin creating a circle of people who will help you. This doesn’t have to be a formal thing where you inform somebody, “You are in my circle of people who can tell me when I’m good/bad at something”. Rather, just formulate a list of people that, when they tell you that you’re either good or bad at something, you listen to them and take action.


Brad Paisley has a song called “I’m So Much Cooler Online”. If you don’t know it, you should listen to it. The basic idea is that anyone can be whoever they want behind a keyboard. People will say all kinds of horrible things to you online – and again, the bigger your influence, the more hate you’re going to get. This concept if ignoring everyone except those who have earned the right to speak into your life is even more important when it comes to the Internet. The bottom line is this: when it comes to online comments, everyone is an expert, and everyone believes they should tell you what to do and how to do it. Just ignore most of it.

Pay attention to trends

This whole concept does not exist so people can bury their heads in the sand and believe that they are amazing. On the contrary – hopefully your circle of people will be comfortable enough to tell you where you need to improve, and even when you might need to change a course of action and move on to something else. But when it comes to comments from people outside your circle, pay attention to trends.

If you constantly hear people say something like your vocals are pitchy, you should probably pay attention and see if there is something really there. Maybe you could benefit from some voice lessons. It’s important to pay attention to trends that you see over and over.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, it is your responsibility to push yourself to be as good as you can be. The difficult part is understanding your potential and then doing what it takes to realize your potential.

50 Responses to FAQs – Haters

  1. quiltmaker Dec 8, 2016 at 3:46 pm #

    Brian, I cannot tell you how much your videos have helped me. I am 64 years old. I played guitar MANY years ago – over 30!!! I was never accomplished. Recently, I bought my 17 year old granddaughter a guitar as her graduation present in May 2017 as she has picked it up, using a friend’s Dad’s guitar, who passed away a year ago. Through having her guitar here at home (I am breaking it in! LOL), I have been watching your videos and have learned to play several of the songs. It feels SO GOOD!!! Who knew that someone my age would pick up a guitar again to learn to play. Needless to say, I will be buying my own guitar again sometime this month (I sold the 3 I had several years ago with no intention of picking it up again). THANK YOU for your inspiration and you willingness to rework a song into an easy form to play. As I watched the video of Mighty to Save, I literally felt as if I was in a worship service. Beautiful! Keep on keeping on. Some of us really need someone like you to not only keep us inspired, but to teach us how to play. If there is any chance of you working up some good old fashioned hymns like I’ll Fly Away, In the Garden, The Old Rugged Cross, – you know the types – the good old hymns of the faith, and possibly some of the wonderful old southern gospel songs, I would be over the moon! God bless!

    • Brian Jan 11, 2017 at 2:44 pm #

      That’s awesome – thank you so much! I often talk to adults who have never played and sometimes I can tell that they’d like to but they feel like it’s something they should have picked up when they were younger. It’s never too late 🙂

  2. Russell Jan 9, 2017 at 5:51 am #

    Brian, I completely agree and relate with quiltmaker. I will turn 58 this year and played trumpet professionally for awhile. One grandfather played electric guitar in church and my ‘other’ grandfather played piano professionally and toured and played Vaudeville. My dad liked to plunk on the guitar from time to time but in my youth I didn’t have the aspiration or the fingers to focus on it much. Over the last ten years or so however, I’ve focused on playing guitar and singing because its relaxing to me. Today I lead music for our small country church and I get so much satisfaction from this (and gratitude from genuine people). You do inspire me but I wish I was younger–my voice won’t be sticking around long I don’t think so I’ve got to use it now while I still can (I have an unusually high voice). Regardless, you have been an instrument that God has used to bless me, my family, my church, and the quality of my music–we age, but the music and the desire never really leave us Brian. I like the advice you give folks here regarding the ‘haters’ of the world and the best advice I can give anyone about these folks is that we simply pray for them–God has a plan and even one that they’re a part of! Maybe they’re inspiring us and they don’t even realize it, who knows. They have their reasons for ‘hating’ I guess and I suspect most have internal problems of their own that they have no use for so they seek out; they look for (prey on actually), those who appear as easy targets. So, I would suggest that those here who are being ridiculed by these folks; that you consider the source, where they might be in their walk with God, and perhaps allow the Holy Spirit the latitude He needs to use you as a tool to help the hater come to feel better about them-self (although preferably not at your expense); telling them you’re praying for them turns the tables instantly I find. What can a Christian say poorly about a person who has just told them that they’re praying for them? For those ‘dishing it out,’ I would suggest you find another line of work–the one you’re in isn’t that popular and the pay you’re going to get some day is going to be lousy! Remember too, that Brian provides a Christian service that presumably Christians are here to take advantage of; and that’s a good thing. God Bless You Brian.

    • Brian Jan 11, 2017 at 3:10 pm #

      Thanks Russell 🙂

  3. Russell Jan 9, 2017 at 5:58 am #

    Like the previous blogger, I too would like to see a ‘series’ of tunes on classic gospel hymns. Many churches (especially the on the smallish-side), would pay good money I suspect, for multiple ‘sets’ of hymn split-tracks with chord charts. You might even consider pulling these right from your church hymnal. Just a thought. Thanks again.

    • Brian Jan 11, 2017 at 3:11 pm #

      I’ve actually started doing some hymns – just simply arrangements that ring true to the song without any added choruses or bridges. More of that to come – I agree, they are powerful and very much have a place in any worship context, regardless of style.

  4. Russell Jan 10, 2017 at 10:56 am #

    I had another thought about this–and I believe the Holy Spirit has compelled me to write about it. I think that as visitors here on Brian’s site (presumably a musical crowd), we sometimes need to remember that this is about ‘Worship;” that is, Worship of God. We’re here trying to learn and glean information about how we can do that better. I think sometimes (especially in this wonderful age of technology), we can get caught up in the ‘performing’ and we might forget, really, who we’re performing for. Also, the technology has provided a means for some of us to express ourselves musically, who might not have been able to do so before. I’m concerned that maybe we’re getting so caught up in the electronics and the ‘fun’ we’re having, that we forget that our ‘mission’ according to Christ is to bring HIS MESSAGE to the corners of the earth; and when that is done, we can be expectant of His return for us. We also forget I think that we’re not attending church as we would a music concert lets say. And really, all this isn’t about ‘our’ entertainment or what we’re getting for our dollar–is it? No doubt, perhaps this is a subject for another site / another section of the website, etc. but, it certainly does line up with a ‘hating’ theme and this has in fact, affected us as musicians such that we are willing to ‘talk’ about it here; if on no other forum but the Internet (and praise God for this too). But this is about worshiping God and hopefully through His use of us, we bring others to the foot of the Cross just as we once were brought (whatever method God chose then). Now our performance is going to be ‘heard’ by people according to God’s Will–if He wants them to hear us in a certain way, we know as Christians that this will happen (remember Christ’s reference to those with ears who could hear and those who could not? Did he not suggest that we’re blessed because we DO hear?). So, if we’re nit-picking because Brian isn’t showing us the next best power chord, I feel in that light, we’re missing the whole point. Yes, this was an opportunity / a forum to speak about God–and I won’t apologize for using it. God gave us talents to use and if yours is musical, thank the Lord for that; but I would suggest we focus on why He gave it in the first place; for HIS GLORY–NOT OUR OWN.
    Be the best that you can be whatever your talent may be, but please, don’t turn His Gift to you into a contest / a competition (at least not here). Please, I’m not getting holier-than-thou on anyone here, just that I think we might sometimes be biting the hand that’s feeding us. Thank you Brian.

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