How To Deal With Negative People: The Story of My First Amazon Star

By Seamus Anthony

I admit it, on Monday, I was furious.

You wanna know why?

Well, I’ll give you the details in a second, but the short answer is: “because negative people”.

What The $@% is WITH Some People?

Maybe you know the feeling:

You’re trying your damnedest to be positive, work hard and make a success of this life. You’re feeling good about yourself too … until some little party pooper comes along and merrily rains on your parade.

You’re left wondering how to deal with negative people. Why are some people are so determined to bring you down?

Well, I don’t know. I guess they’ve got issues.

But the really important question is: What are you going to do about it? How can you stop their negativity from dragging you down?

I’m going to help you with that right here in this blog post, but first, here’s the little story of…

My First Amazon Star!

how to deal with negative people

My First Amazon Star!

Last year I determined that I was going to focus purely on becoming a successful author. To start this process, I spent a LOT of time rewriting, editing and redesigning my old book Psychedelic Meditation.

Two weeks ago, after endless hour’s work, I finally re-launched the new edition. This time I decided to launch it to Amazon as a Kindle ebook. This made me a bit nervous because it opens the book to reviews, but—and this is important—I really believe in the book, so I was willing to be vulnerable in this way.

I quietly released the book and sales began to tick over. Not a lot, a couple a day. Meanwhile I worked hard behind the scenes to get some vital customer reviews happening to boost sales.

At first, nothing, but then two days ago, BOOM! The first review went live.

I excitedly clicked over to read it…

But… wow… the review was a total one star hatchet job…

how to deal with difficult people

It Felt Like A Knife Through My Heart

It was Monday morning, I was sitting in my office with a massive to-do list in front of me but there I was, a dagger in my chest, blood dripping all over the carpet.

I couldn’t move. I couldn’t think straight. I wanted to burst into tears.

The review was unbalanced, unfair and totally inaccurate. And there it was, smack bang on the sales page for my book, ruining everything I had worked so hard at. Getting up before breakfast, chipping away diligently, agonizing over details to make the best book I knew how.

And now someone had just crapped all over it, publicly calling me a fraud and a charlatan, saying the book was a worthless piece of trash, calling for Amazon to pull the book off the virtual shelves.

At First I Was Sad, Then I Got Angry, REALLY Angry

How dare they?

How %@#$! DARE they?

Who the hell is this person and what gives them the right to crap all over my work? How many ways can I retort in protest? How many ways shall I destroy their vile rubbish, leaving them no option but to recant and apologise?

I typed up a raging reply; a fire-breathing rant dripping with venom and details of exactly how little I thought of their obvious failings in no uncertain, very politically-incorrect, terms.

Satisfied that I had completely countered this unfair attack on my character, my finger hovered over the publish button…

…and then I took a deep breath.

How To Deal With Difficult People

Sitting at my desk, I took some time out to practice my stomach breathing technique that I use when meditating or stressed (it’s described in my book if you’re interested).

Then I resolved to harness this anger and turn this around. I acknowledged that I can’t do anything to change what someone else chooses to do; I can only choose how I decide to react.

I did not reply to the review.

Instead, with the heading “Because of this Terrible Review”, I wrote a list:

  • I will work harder
  • I will work harder to review the book & address the complaints (where valid)
  • I will work harder to make the sales description more accurately describe what the book is
  • I will work my blog harder, post more, send more emails, ask for more reviews
  • I will work harder to market my books, get more publicity and using my digital marketing skills more and better
  • I will fully feel my anger and consciously channel it into working harder than ever. In time my anger will fade, but the results of my efforts will persist.

Problems Are Good

When you are feeling upset by what somebody else has said or done about you, and wondering how to deal with negative people, it pays to stop and realise that problems are actually a good thing.

I’m reading a book by Grant Cardone right now, 10x Rule. The man is a character … and a self-made success story of the highest financial order.

Cardone says that when you are pushing to succeed, you should be making new problems for yourself. Once I had calmed down, I realised that this is exactly what I have done here and it means I am making progress.

I am happy to ruffle some feathers.

Turns out (by way of reply to the review) that I don’t agree with ANYTHING the reviewer said. I believe that the simple path of meditation IS the best path. I DON’T believe you need esoteric or complex meditation techniques to get high off meditation nor to get the other benefits of meditation either. So in that way, I am taking a stand and this means there will be pushback from others who do not agree with me. Tough.

Just Keep Working

Obviously, though, I do not want just one review from a hater on the page, so I am going to have to keep working to get positive reviews up there. I have actually been selling this book for 8 years as a PDF and yes, I have had the odd negative email, but I have had MANY more people give me great comments about how they loved the book.

And the same is no doubt true for you: there might be some Negative Nelly out there dissing your good name, but meantime I bet that 99.99% of the people in your life love and respect you just as you are. Stick with those people and forget about the haters.

But BEFORE you shut the haters out, do this…

Even Jerks Have Something To Teach You

When someone negatively attacks you, it is normal to respond by discounting every claim they make against you.

However, when you’ve criticized another person, I’ll bet you’ve had moments where you’ve wished the other party would give your point of view some consideration.

Once I had calmed down, the thought occurred to me that I’d better take another, more objective look at the attack on my work.

While I do think that the review is totally unfair and inaccurate, I believe in taking responsibility.

When things go wrong the only option we have is to take responsibility for the problem and work out what we are going to do to make things right. (Well, another option is to bitch and moan and lay blame elsewhere, but unfortunately this just makes us look like a whining little loser.)

the opposite of negative people

Was this review helpful? Hell Yes!

You Have To Take Responsibility For Your Own Reactions

So once I had finished ranting and venting, I re-read at the offending review again. I looked at the fact that the reviewer obviously had a poor experience.

I can’t do anything about the reviewer’s negativity and inflated expectations of what a 3 dollar product can offer. I can do something about my reaction. My response is to just push on, working harder while seriously taking a good look at my offer to make sure it stacks up.

And as for the review? Well, as illustrated above, I printed it off with “My First Amazon Star!” across the top (a play on old-school millionaires framing ‘my first dollar!’). I circled YES next to “Was this review helpful to you?” and I’ve stuck it on the wall in my office. It’s there to inspire me to work harder and to never take no for an answer.

p.s. speaking of which, please go and download my book and give it an honest review! If you’ve already read it, go and review it!

p.p.s. This link will work for most countries but not Australia, here is the AU amazon link

p.p.p.s – please help me make an important decision in this lightning fast, one question survey


Hi, I'm Seamus Anthony. I am an author, artist and musician from Australia. Here at Rebel Zen, I document my journey as an creative artist and human and in doing so, hopefully help you in your own progress through your life of creativity. Go get your free E-book by me: "Taming The Monkey Mind".

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