Mariah Carey Teaches Us How to Deal with Sucky, Mean People

3 Options For Coping with Small Town Negative Naysayers

By Drew Hudgins • Published Wed Jan 11 2017

You’ll Read This & You’ll Like It Because…

Small towns deal with their fair share of negative people who never have anything more to offer than toxic opinions and flippantly-delivered criticism. The better equipped we are to know how to handle this,

  • our mental health is protected
  • our direction and purpose isn’t as likely to be thrown off course 
  • and we get to continue to make our impact on others’ lives in a positive way—sometimes, even including our enthusiastic naysayers

In case you didn’t catch 2017’s first celebrity story to completely overthrow all meaningful world news for the new year’s first week, here’s a quick run down, just so we have a starting point:

  1. There was a big party in Times Square in New York
  2. Mariah Carey, performed
  3. A tech-glitch made the icon pop star’s performance a Live TV nightmare
  4. Lots of irrelevant people felt a personal conviction to gift the world with their opinions about it

There. Got it?

Let’s dive in.

Ever searched YouTube for anything?

How-to videos? Cat videos? … Mascot videos?

Ever counted the results that YouTube stacks up for you?


Youtube search results for Mariah CareyA single YouTube search for any topic will immediately get you 20 video results (that’s “per page” — and not including the two ads at the top).

A YouTube search for “Mariah Carey” will also get you 20 Mariah Carey-based results… however, at the time of this article, exactly 3/4 of those results have something to do with her recent New Year’s performance debacle.

Results on page 2?

14 out of 20!  Almost identical.


That’s our world, people.

After a single, high-profile mishap on national TV, the interwebs go crazy with people tripping over themselves to weigh in.


Why is it that so many are so quick to chime in about someone who they don’t personally know… some thing that doesn’t effect their lives in the least…  yet, they can still do some serious hurt to someone else’s life in some way?

Because shaming is easy and promises instant acceptance.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly the snapshot of our culture that we’ll take a closer look at today. 

Just like in small towns, there are two types of people involved in this…

Those who get their jollies off others' follies

Those who see opportunity in error

Let’s take the first group: 

"Let's hold hands and slander together."


In my research, I came across dozens of Twitter-users, YouTubers, and others who took to social media to do nothing more than—gossip

… to call attention to someone else’s worst, and most terrifying moment.

If you’re thinking, “Drew, isn’t that what you’re doing now?”


I’m not joining in with others’ speculation over what fell through that New Year’s night.  It’s pointless.

And it’s impossible to truly know.

But like clockwork, the blame game kicks into high gear each and every time.

I don’t know where the blame lies — I don’t know if this was from lack of preparation (where I’d lean), a tech-glitch, the Russians, or the rain

(and check this out if you want tips on absorbing the blame yourself)

Today’s point is this: 

It is incredibly easy to chime in on someone else’s flub-ups!

No one has to have any education, skill, talent, vision, … pets, toys, appendages … anything!

No one needs any sort of lofty prerequisite of any kind in order to tear someone down… 

… to draw more attention to someone’s error. 

… and sadly, in order to immediately fit into an “instant-community.”  

(Psst. That’s the psychology behind these phenomenons: there is indeed no faster way to form a group by bringing people together who all have the same biases).

[clickToTweet tweet=”There is no faster way to form a group by bringing people together who all have the same biases” quote=”There is no faster way to form a group by bringing people together who all have the same biases”]

On the lighter and more harmless side, we watch America’s Funniest Home Videos and the blooper reels tucked in the bonus sections of our DVDs.

But the desire is especially appealing to us when it comes to celebrities.  They’re raised on such high pedestals that we, laypeople, lap it up when they fall… and the harder they fall, the harder we take to social media “airwaves”!

If we want something different, we have to fight our own instincts and urges.

That’s what the second group of people get good at.

Failures = Genuine Wisdom

The second group of people?

They’re the ones who see opportunity in the worst of moments? 

David Letterman’s career completely tanked after his 1995 gig to host the Oscars

I’m kidding. 

He had a show for years. He poked fun at himself—at his poor comedic performance that single evening—and came back just fine. 

There was also this guy in show biz named Jerry Seinfeld. Ever heard of him?


So did thousands of comedy club patrons who never expected the 8-year-TV-Series icon to be sweating from his terrible performances having returned to the stand up stage.

Here’s the belief we must embrace if we are interested in moving onward to the next level in what we’re pursuing:

In every failure is a huge opportunity to, at a minimum, learn a valuable lesson, and at the most, to completely spin the situation on its head and come out exponentially better than if it had never happened. 

[clickToTweet tweet=”Every failure gives opportunity to learn a lesson and come out better than if it had never happened” quote=”Every failure gives an opportunity to learn a valuable lesson—and to come out better than if it had never happened”]

So… how in the world could there be opportunities—especially if you were Mariah Carey, arguably “the victim”—in all this?

Here are just three lessons we can take from this broadcast nightmare and why they’re better than how things really went down.

The first: What NOT to do (a lesson from Diva Carey, herself) and what to do instead.

The last two: Things to do for your own sanity as you experience inevitable naysayers tearing you or your goals apart.

3 Lessons to Spin Embarrassments to Benefits

Lesson 1)
Call it for what it really is.
Even if it’s you. (This might be awkward)

mariahs tweet can't tell the whole storyThanks to Mariah’s tweet, the whole world’s been let in to what really happened, right? Not so fast.

Because it’s probably a little deeper than “S*** Happens.” In following tweets, she threw the production crew under the bus.

No one likes it when someone plays the victim. Don’t get me wrong; there will ALWAYS be people on your side, ready to jump right in to affirm all your feelings and emotions.

To add to all this, Mariah even tweeted a short audio message a week later, shoveling more blame on the Dick Clark crew.

If you’re ever in a similar situation, Shut it! Call it for what it is.

If we can’t take at least some personal responsibility for our embarrassing mishaps, then we’re destined to live an unfulfilled life!


What would have been the world’s reaction if (dream with me, here)… Mariah said one of these:

Option 1) The “I Own This” Option

“Ya know, after doing this for so long, one can get a little overly confident about everything going just right, every single time. These things pop up… no one’s ever exempt… and I wished I would have done a few more things in preparation earlier that day. And maybe—although there are never guarantees—but maybe, things would have gone a lot smoother.”

Eh!? What about that!? HOW many people would have just sat back and slow-clapped!  I’m doing that right now!

[Clap……………… clap………………  clap………… and I’m done]

Here’s another example (for those of you feeling that I was being a little presumptuous that the shortcomings were on her).

Option 2) The “Things are inevitable/Lessons learned” Option

(not as recommended)

“Hey world. Hey fans. Yep, something happened that night.

You certainly didn’t see me at my best. I was embarrassed. Things malfunctions. I’ve been at this for a while… the production crew have been doing this thing for decades and they were great too. Something like this just goes to show that no one’s exempt from a bad performance.

Goofs happen. We’ll always do what we can to prevent them, but they’ll always pop up. It’s our failures that teach us the best lessons. Something like this just keeps us humble.”

Can you imagine, (EVEN IF she used the first option yet she was zero percent to blame)… can you just imagine the Immediate Classy Points she would have racked up?

Spin this to you.

You getting ideas?

Say you flubbed something up and are uber-embarrased, and then said something like one of those two options. What’s the big benefit here?

First, you absolutely dismantle anyone from continuing to bash you.

Will people still speak ill of you?  Yes. Count on it.

But do they matter?

No. Sane people usually see right through toxic people and their agendas—if not today, then some day.

Take responsibility. Deflate the opposition. Neutralize the incoming verbal poison darts.

Lesson 2) Congrats. You just won your Shiniest Trophy

Let’s shift back to all those social media butterflies that thought their chime-ins were so relevant.

The thought that kept pounding through my head as I read each tweet or comment was, “What have any of these people ever done… what have they made… what have they contributed to the world?”

This diva’s first five singles hit Billboard’s Top 100 (1990).

On top of that, she performed in Kosovo for the troops in 2001 and has supported dozens of charities.

And yet, I gasp as I come across all these wannabe’s who are, frankly, lusting to ride Mariah’s coat tails of success in the unclassiest way possible: by gossiping.

Making fun of.



Whatever you label it.

Where are their accolades?

This is heading element

Did they submit some sort of resumé—or some other credibility-builder—prior to their insightful social media offerings?

Nope. Not one.

And guess what.

Count on that every time YOU try to step out and do something noble (or when you’re anywhere in the middle of your strategy).

And when this happens? … When you finally get naysayers? … YOU! My friend, are on the right path.

These insults are trophies! The shiniest kind.

cat poster with trite sayingNow I can’t stand “trite.”

I can’t take the cat posters that say “Hang in there” or…

Or worse, those posters with some chick on the edge of a cliff in the sunset with her arms in the sky with yet another trite commandment.


You’re so special. Go win it!

I just vomited.

You deserve it?

Go win it?

Hang in there?”

Easier said than done.

Let’s tweak it:

The people who will be the most vocal and have the most negative opinions about your lofty strategy — are the same ones who matter the absolute least to your success!

[clickToTweet tweet=”Those with the most toxic opinions about your efforts have the least to do with your success” quote=”Those with the most toxic opinions about your efforts have the least to do with your success”]

Another way to put it:

Toxic naysayers’ comments aren’t a sign of doing it wrong; They’re trophies! They’re a sign of, “Holy [explicative], he/she’s ON TO SOMETHING!

Lesson 3) Choose Friends who Don't Suck

So we’ve established:

  1. You can’t really do something without running into negative feedback.
  2. Negative people exist.
  3. Pulling you down is easier for them than building something.
  4. Consider it the invisible accolade (but it would be weird to post those “awards” to your LinkedIn)

Last lesson: Get away from these toxic people who do you no good.

Put whatever distance you can between you and them.

You’re not going to change them. If they are capable of shifting their beliefs, the only way it’ll happen is when you step back and just do your thing. Some may come around.

But you gotta face it: Some people are only happy when they’re the most miserable.

Go say that at a party and see how many jaw-drop reactions you rack up. I’ve seen people learn this, and immediately sprout wings and fly away because this feeling of ‘freedom’ has come over them so strongly.

That’s it. Lesson 3’s a short and simple one. You know the types; keep your distance.

And now it's your turn.

When was a time when you had the pedal to the metal on something — a strategy for your business, planning an festival for your community, or something else? — and you were met with opposition and contempt?

How did you get through it?

Good or bad. Share it. (Keep it classy, people).

props box

(the box where I give props)

Props to many people who have come and gone in my life, who contributed to teaching me ‘how to’ and the ‘power of’ sincere humility.

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