Haters, Amazon and a Hook

“I think it’s awful and I’ll remember your name so as not to do business with you again…Just sucks…this is a real embarrassment. This just sucks. I won’t buy anything from you agian [sic], you can’t even tell the truth….”

I sell books on Amazon. I had just gotten out of the shower when I got this email, a customer being unhappy about her order. Being a perfectionist and a people pleaser I was beyond disappointed with this outcome. I don’t like it when I under-deliver, to me it’s a sign of weakness. I don’t want to be weak. So overall is not my intention to piss people off, let alone when money is involved. It hurts my business. I was mortified with her email so I refunded her money quickly with the right amount of apologies explaining that it was clearly our mistake and that we will do our best to try to fix it. I let her keep the book.

My customer

But even though I think everything has a solution some things are just not meant to be solved. This was clearly the case when her cranky emails kept coming my way -weeks later. And then a negative feedback on Amazon. She was unhappy beyond her book and clearly there was NOTHING I could do to fix this. Here’s the catch, her book, the one she ordered from me, was only 0.29 cents.

How do you deal with people who are bitter and blame you for it?

1.- Make a special folder: This is how you deal with crappy people, you don’t. Here is a snapshot at my Inbox. Next time this person emails me blaming me for her miseries of life, her emails will go straight to the folder in that pink rectangle, the crappy people folder. The beauty of this is that when I want to, I can press “Purge” and is all gone. I don’t have to deal with it. Someone should come up with that purge button option but for the real world. So go ahead, purge that negativity and make yourself a “Crappy People Folder” label it whatever you want and start cleaning up your Inbox. Be kind to yourself.

My Most Important Folder

2.- Don’t bite the hook: I admit, this one takes a lot of time and practice, and patience and dedication and discipline and then more time. When you think you got it, go back to step one and repeat. It takes years to develop this discipline. I would email/call/talk to these kind of people, the results? we would get tangled in an endless I said/you said/they did chaos. But who am I to think I could possibly change someone? I was being arrogant. Crappy people love the back and forth chaos they create, ultimately they’re not worth your time and stress. They are, in fact, a drainer to your energy and creativity. The last time I caught someone talking behind my back I thanked the person, got in my car and left. What was I supposed to say? Why are you being crappy? It’s useless. Stop it. Don’t fight it. I read somewhere that real freedom comes when you stop caring about what people think about you. This is the right opportunity to put this into practice. Do it.

This could be the Most. Lethal. Weapon. Ever.

3.- Don’t become one of them: Hang out with haters and eventually you’ll become one too. It’s a contagious disease. I know this because at times I’ve been the crappy one. I don’t want to be a crappy person. The way I see it is that we all are vases. You can choose to fill yours with clean water or muddy water, your choice. I have chosen to fill mine with clean water. This includes not talking about others or help spreading rumors. If you suddenly feel the urge to be crappy (as I have) write that email but do not send it, delete it. A notebook is also handy, get it out of your system if you have to, and then forget about it.  Also scan your thoughts, are you wasting precious minutes of your day thinking negative stuff about them? And why? Swap negative people for people who truly like you. People who think you are the bomb! People who are proud of your accomplishments (we ALL have them) and who look up to you.

Don’t try this, it could backfire on you.

4.- Focus on YOU: This one can be tricky. It’s easy to project ourselves and blame others. He/she/they did, blah blah blah. Too often I find it very hard to be completely honest with myself. So before pointing fingers at someone else, focus on you. Am I contributing to the whole mess? What’s the real reason for me to email or call this person? Am I being crappy myself? It took me a while to finally come to terms that, yes, I can be THAT person sometimes, so if you have to, recognize this quality on you, by doing so you’ll be a step ahead of becoming a happier you. There are six billion people in the world, most of them facing similar or even worse suffering than you, try to expand that tiny window that we call life and breathe. Look up into the open sky and feel the infinite space, that’s where you belong.

Before judging others take a closer look at yourself.

5.- Meditate: I hate meditation, yet, I do it. In the heat of the moment I sit on my zafu and try to do something with my mind. I try to count sheep. Mind doesn’t want to count sheep. Count sheep! This becomes a power struggle, but better struggling with myself than with someone else’s issues I cannot fix. The idea here is to switch your attention from that negative scenario to something else or even better turn it into something positive. I find this exhausting but somehow productive. It’s a work in progress so don’t judge yourself too hard if at first you don’t succeed -because you won’t (unless you’re a monk that meditates all day in a cave, in that case you won’t need to count sheep). But the more you practice the better and quicker results you’ll get. Alternatives to meditation: sex, count your breaths, roll down the window and feel the breeze, look up into the open sky, smell the rain, talk to a senior in your local library, smile at the person in the car next to you at the traffic light. This will make you smile (hopefully). Smiling feels good. Always.

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