Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Bloggers: How do you cope with negative comments?

We are always told "there is no such thing as bad publicity", and it was Fall Out Boy who once said "I don't care what you think as long as it's about me", but the truth is negative comments hurt.
I know, as a blogger, negative comments are kind of an occupational hazard. Like sliced up fingers if you're a hairdresser. I've chosen to put my thoughts, feelings and opinions out into the world and I have to deal with whatever the world chooses to throw back.
I personally, am not a very opinionated person. Okay, that is a lie. I have opinions but I choose to keep them to myself. I am a people pleaser. I hate to anger or upset anyone, so when I meet someone with clashing views I tend to nod, smile and ignore the anger bubbling up in my stomach. I hate to argue so I just keep schtum.
But of course, everyone has an opinion, and no-one opinion is right or wrong. I accept that. But I personally choose to keep any negative opinions to myself, especially when they are on something someone has worked hard on. This piece is actually about a negative (and in my opinion, greatly unfair) opinion expressed at another website, but this actually relates also to an incident last week.
I believe if you are to be critical, it has to be constructive. But I found last week that not everyone agrees with this. My class had a peer-to-peer review of our assignments and I while I ensured that every negative comment I made was not only constructive, but came after at least one positive one, I found that some people did not seem to have anything positive to say about what I had written.
Why is it that we can ignore praise so quickly, but criticism eats into us and forces everything positive to feel undone?
I know I'm just being a sulky little blogger who is upset that one person doesn't agree with her, but I felt the comment was more personal than merely negative, and it that element that angers me. I don't exactly feel upset, I'm more angry and confused.
My blog is just a drop in the ocean- I get the occasional negative comment, but my blog is definitely not controversial, or popular enough to award any kind of backlash.
So how do you cope with negative comments on something you've done? I'm not going to dwell on this too much, I am not going to let it get me down, and it is definitely not the first time this has happened and it certainly won't be the last. With the internet in general everyone thinks they are entitled to their opinion and that is what drives me crazy. People hide behind their computer screens when they wouldn't ordinarily say anything, and what is the point really?
Like I said, I'm not argumentative. I don't get involved in any kind of debate and rightly or wrongly perhaps, prefer to keep my mouth shut and keep the peace.
But it is hard when amongst 52 comments there are 51 that are positive, but it's that one negative one that has a lasting effect.

5 comments:

  1. Sometimes you have to just realize that some people are just out to be rude, and mean to make themselves feel better about themselves. And if it makes you feel better I think I know what article you're referring to (and what comment) and I think not only were they way out of line- but that your post was excellent. :D

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  2. I try to live by the motto "if you have nothing nice to say then dont say anything at all" but unfortunately some people feel the need to vocalize every opinion whether it be positive or jut plain rude. I find that people who choose to voice negative or rude comments are trying to make up for something they lack in themselves.

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  3. Charlotte!! It's great to be back to blogging again, I'm glad I'm back too!

    It's so funny that this was on your mind too! I'm sure you don't have issues on your personal blog, but sometimes girls get nasty on CF...I think its because it feel impersonal, like they're attacking a faceless company rather than the specific writer or Zephyr.

    I try to see the humor in it...after all, its kind of hilarious that people would allow something like fashion get them all worked up! I wrote a fashion challenge a couple months ago about wearing dresses with pants and people were OUTRAGED...when you think about it, its so silly!

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  4. The way I learned to deal with it is by telling myself that not everyone's opinion matters, or is even valid. I think we are taught that "eveyone has an opinion, and you have to respect that opinion." Well... I don't agree with that. If you go look on Yahoo news, for example, there is constructive criticism, and then there is trolling. There are people saying mean/hateful things about people who are different than them. Reading sites like Yahoo and even looking occasionaly at stuff like Perez Hilton (the comments) made me realize that there are plenty of crazy people whose opnion does NOT need to be seen as valid, despite what we've been taught. It helps me cope with what I see as unnecessary negativity. I've only gotten one nasty comment on my blog, oddly enough, but I've seen enough ridiculous comments to know that some people are just crazy and miserable. I do appreciate constructive criticism, though.

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  5. Ahhh I'm exactly the same way. I am not a usually opinionated person - I mean, like you, I have them, but I keep my nose in my business, unless it's part of a larger topic I want to discuss.

    But negative comments, even among positive ones, really hurt me.

    In a poetry workshop two years ago, there was this girl who hated, hated, HATED my writing - she flat out admitted it in class once. Everyone else would be giving me positive as well as constructive feedback and critiques to improve my poems during workshops. But she would always be like, "I hated this, this was stupid, you should get rid of this," or one time, "just get rid of this poem and start over, it's awful"! When I would get the hard copy of the poem back, it would just be covered in negative comments, nothing positive. It was so hurtful, I eventually had to turn it over to the professor in tears. After so many peer reviews like that, I could only take so much.

    And it was so sad because in a class of 20, it was only one girl... but all I ever remember is that one girl who was just so negative to me, and no one else. At the time, I questioned whether I was just being too sensitive.

    So anyway, I definitely know where you are coming from! Negativity hurts, no matter how much positivity surrounds it! Everyone has the right to their opinion, but no one has the right to make anyone feel awful about themselves.

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