How do I handle people who have a bad opinion of me? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Mira Zaslove, Start up and Fortune 500 manager, on Quora:

Throughout your life, there will be times where people will have a bad opinion of you. It's going to happen. Don't be afraid of it. It's hard not to take criticism or people's bad opinion of you personally.

Haters are going to hate, and it's difficult to stop them. The best way to handle people having a a bad idea of you is to not get defensive or emotional. Try to view their opinion as a third person would and impartially. Take your feelings and your emotion out of the equation. This has helped me.

Also, focus on yourself, and moving forward rather than on other people's opinion of you.

Don't talk badly about them or engage in fights with them. It will only drain your energy and make you feel worse. If you can, avoid people who don't have a good opinion of you. Spend as little time with them as possible. It's exhausting and draining trying to please them, so minimize your interactions.

Sometimes it means you are on the right path -- they are jealous. Other times it will be constructive criticism, and it means you have some stuff to work on -- don't we all?

Jealousy is a powerful emotion, and it is real. Many people will act like they have a bad opinion of you because they are envious. In fact, they don't have a bad opinion of you, they envy what you have. Try not to talk to these people. If they are family, or someone you have to deal with at work, don't sweat their negativity. It has more to do with them, than you.

Jealous people will sap your energy. Their goal is to distract and bait you into a fight, so don't let them. Don't waste your time arguing with them, or fueling their fire. Keep focused on yourself and not trying to get jealous people to change their negative opinion of you to change. It's likely not going to happen, unless you stoop down to their level, and you don't want to do that!

The last thing you want to do is end a job or relationship you are happy with, just because a jealous person has a negative opinion about you and what you are doing. Haters are going to hate, and let them, while you live your best life.

Constructive feedback. Ok, let's face it: sometimes people will have a negative opinion of you, because you have something to change. If you are spiraling into a dangerous dependence on alcohol, drugs, porn, or violence, you will inevitably get negative feedback. People will begin to get a negative impression of the way you are living.

People who care about you will be honest. The more they care, the more negative they may seem. It's hard to do, but listen. It's much better to deal with criticism early, when you can do something about it, rather than later, when it may be too late.

People who only flatter or enable you are not helping. Don't only listen to people who tell you what you want to hear. Pleasant "yes men" are more dangerous than the person who tells you the brutal truth you need to hear.

If you feel the negative opinion is coming from someone you care about -- listen to what they say and ask questions. It may not be what you want to hear, but be open.

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Published on: May 24, 2018