People love sharing their opinion, especially on the internet. Most people that post lifting videos or training-related articles or statuses on social media will inevitably get some interesting comments on their post. Depending on what the post is, the comments can get pretty ridiculous (especially on youtube or facebook). While I've found most of the strength community to be very positive and supportive, there's always those few people here are there that have something negative to say. So how do you deal with these comments? 

Step 1: Remember that these negative people are not the majority (even though it may feel like it at times). Usually the 'unsilent minority' tries to sound like the majority by being loud and obnoxious enough.


Step 2: Make sure you have people in your life that you DO listen to for constructive criticism. We never want to get to a point where anytime we hear criticism we immediately brush that person off as a "hater". We all need people to keep us accountable and push us forward in what we do. Make sure you have experienced/wise people in your life that aren't afraid to tell you what you need to hear, and be willing to listen to them. For powerlifting, I'm fortunate to have some of these people be my elitefts teammates.

Step 3: Let stupid comments roll off your back. When you have those people that you trust and are listening to for constructive criticism, then instead of getting offended or feeling self-conscious about a random person's comment, you can brush it off. You know you're getting guidance from the right people, so if that stupid comment doesn't line up, you can kick it to the curb.

photo (1)

Step 4: Resist the temptation to feed into the madness. Sometimes it can be really tempting to try and do battle with someone who puts something stupid or obnoxious on your post. There is a time and place for discussion or telling someone off online, but in most cases you're better off deleting the comment and moving on. Most of the time the people leaving stupid comments don't even compete, will never see or talk to you in person, and giving them any sort of platform for their words is just pointless. And even if they are competitors (or even a world record holder), being strong doesn't give them license to treat people poorly. We all get understandably frustrated, but if you visibly let it get to you, you're letting them have WAY too much power in your life then they deserve. Also remember that although you may not care about telling off that individual, others online that look up to you are watching how you respond.

image (1)

Step 5: Fight the stupid-ity with positiv-ity. We can't control every single person's behavior online (or off-line for that matter). But we CAN control how we treat people and handle ourselves. Make it a point to encourage someone if they post a lift or accomplishment. Make criticism constructive and help them get better. Get as amped up to see someone succeed as you do to see an idiot fail. If there's parts of the powerlifting culture we don't care for, let's build up the parts we do enjoy. Sometime's it's easy to forget how powerful some words of encouragement can be for someone who is trying their best to work towards a goal.

..There's always going to be idiots online, but that doesn't mean we have to let it ruin the positives of having a strong online community. The potential for information sharing, guidance, and encouragement is evident; we just have to invest our energy in the right places.

More from Joe Schillero: