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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How To Deal With Negative Comments And Critics

You WILL get critics. Learn from them or leave them.
Any time you put yourself out in the public eye you will eventually get negative feedback. It could be regarding something you said in a speech or something you wrote. Negativity could come from a co-worker, an audience member or a reader. I've had my share of "not so nice" feedback and here is how to deal with negative feedback and critics.

When negative feedback comes your way, you've probably heard the old platitude, "Don't take it personal." Well, when someone yells at you on stage, "YOU SUCK!" it's hard to look over your shoulder to see who they're talking to. That's a personal remark - no if's, and's or but's.

When I was a comic, hecklers were part of the gig. I always considered the source. They were usually drunk. People feel empowered when they drink and what they typically do is make a fool of themselves. I learned to ignore the hecklers, deal with them and move on.

But let's say it is a criticism at work. Listen. Absorb what is being said. Determine if there is truth to it. And then make corrective action if necessary or possible. If there is no truth to what is being said, ignore it. Some criticism is good. Some is just nonsense that is more a distraction than a help.

As I blogger, I write from controversial viewpoints. I can't possibly please everyone - I'm not trying to be liked by the masses. However, I've only received literally a couple negative comments on blog posts - and I've written over 450 blog posts in 7 months. I figured it out, based on page views, the negative feedback is about 0.00017%. Obviously, someone is in the minority. So, I never let them bother me.

I've only had a couple negative sparring matches on Facebook. The antagonists were either extremely racist or homophobic. So, I goaded them enough to see how whacked out they were, then let them go.

Where I get the most negative feedback is on Twitter. And it comes from blog posts I share on Twitter. I'll post the title and a link, plus appropriate hashtags (#). If I write about evolution, religion, atheism, or anything along those lines, I'll shoot the tweet out with the tags #atheism #religion #God #faith or whatever. Invariably, I'll get a tweet back from someone - almost always an atheist or "Free Thinker" who makes a snide remark about the post. However, I can tell they didn't read the post. They just read the title and thought it would be brilliant to make a crack. Again, I consider the source.

I wrote a post about a friend's blog. She writes and never looks back - no editing, no grammar corrections, no spell-check, "It just flows from me." Well, I said that's fine, if you want to be a ranter. But if you want to draw an audience, you have to follow a few rules of writing. The criticism was constructive, but gave her an either/or scenario. She went nuts. We're not friends anymore. I had to block her. She ranted and ranted and ranted, throwing one personal attack at me after another. I was trying to help. She didn't see it that way. What's she going to do when someone does come along and say, "YOU SUCK!" ???

If you're out in the public eye long enough, you will get someone who vehemently disagrees with you or just does not see things the way you do. The only way you can avoid it is be boring, middle of the road and not take a stance. Then, you'll get criticized for being boring and not taking a stance. LOL.

When you produce music, art, writing, comedy, speech, whatever, your goal is not to have everyone like you. Your goal is to get 1/100th of a percent of the population to LOVE you. The rest don't even have to know who you are.

Find your audience or let them find you. Forget about the critics, unless you get a lot of them and they're all saying the same thing - then, you have to seriously rethink your direction.

Only take from criticism what can improve you, but never let it drag you down. And that is how to deal with negative comments and critics.

Related articles:
What The Hell Did You Just Write On Your Blog?
Pissy People Don’t Find Me Funny And The Fans I Don’t Want

Best of My Funny Blog Posts

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1 comment:

  1. Very well put, Roger! I couldn't agree with you more on this post mate! Although, I have only gotten one negative comment since starting to blog; I think sometimes the silence is just as worse as the negative feedback. But then again, the old saying of "no news is good news" comes to mind with the sounds of crickets. I know more than ever though, not everyone is going to like what is being said. That...my friend, is definitely the truth! :)

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