Jun 242011
Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do. ~ Benjamin Franklin

I’m always right.  And now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s carry on – shall we?

I love writing.  I really do.  Sharing my stories, adventures and opinions on things with everyone truly makes me happy.  But when it comes to something like blogging, I’ve come to realize that it just simply isn’t possible to please everyone all of the time.   It’s just not. In real life, I’m the type of person that blurts out what I’m thinking before I have a chance to think about it – it’s just the way I’m wired.  Basically my point is that I get plenty of criticism, both in real life and here online.  Everyone has their own opinions and of course, they are entitled to them. 

Criticism is just a part of life.

Sometimes I take criticism far too seriously.  Again, it’s just my personality, but being of the mindset that I’m always right, surely you can see why.  Of course I am kidding (or am I?).  The truth is, when it comes down to it, deep down I’m sensitive and I like to keep everyone happy.  Realistically it’s not going to happen, but again, that’s just how it is.  Learning that you have no control over it is the first step towards accepting it.

So once you’ve come to terms with the fact that not everyone is going to agree with everything that comes out of your mouth,  here are some things to consider:

1.  Try not to take it personally.  Most people that provide “criticism” are actually trying to help in their own way.  They’re trying to help you in an area that they might feel you’re lacking or trying to point out a mistake (not that I ever make mistakes, though).  Sure, there are some jealous and insecure people out there that get their jollies out of insulting you personally and/or try to make you look like a complete idiot.  As for me, when I receive a comment that attacks me personally, I deal with those people privately (via email) and may even delete the comment on my blog – if it’s nasty enough (and yes I’ve had a few of those). 

2.  If you choose to respond, try to cool off first. Some things just aren’t worth the energy of responding, but remember, I am somewhat sensitive, so I usually take the time to respond to the comment via email.  Like I said, I generally speak before I think and I’m certainly guilty of shooting off inappropriate emails in response of a comment that hurt my feelings, but the truth of the matter is, a person that’s actually leaving true criticism deserves to have their opinion heard.  Even if you don’t agree with their point of view, it’s not necessarily wrong.  Well, maybe it is depending on the situation, but if you feel that strongly about it, send them a polite email – maybe even with some facts to back up your statements if possible.

3.  Try to learn from it.  Try to have an open mind and at least listen to what they’re saying.  It’s hard sometimes, believe me – I know.  I am stubborn as they come.   But consider that maybe they have a good reason to be critical – or maybe they don’t, but at least try to think about what they’re saying.  And if you’re so inclined, maybe even shoot them an email thanking them for their feedback.  It makes you look like the bigger person if nothing else.

I had an experience recently with someone who left me a comment about something that I posted.  She felt that the information I posted was incorrect, so I sent her an email letting her know that I was right and always am where I got my information from, but the email address she left was a fake, so it got returned as undeliverable.  So I deleted her comment & marked the email address as spam. Later that day she left another comment (which I found in my spam folder) again pointing out that I was wrong and wondering where her first comment had gone.  I tried again to email her just in case I had mistyped the email address the first time, but again, the email came back as undeliverable.

I’ll take any criticism you can dish out, even if it hurts my feeling, but  if you’re going to tell me I’m wrong about something, at least have the guts to leave me a real email address so that I can get in touch with you.  Then we can talk like adults about it.

And if none of these work for you, just delete the damn comment, have a glass of wine and forget it ever happened.

Does anyone have anything to add?

  11 Responses to “Handling Criticism”

  1. cute….good way to deal with it….

  2. You and I must have the same personality…I have just learned to fly my control freak flag proudly, and my friends have adapted accordingly…not really, but it sounds like a good idea, right?

  3. I am okay with criticism, but not when it’s worded insultingly. There is a very big difference between constructive criticism and being an asshole about it.

    I find myself getting upset at first, but I know better to respond until after I’ve cooled off and gave it some thought.

    New follower btw! Love your blog. 🙂

  4. Great advice. I have a tough time with criticism although I try to see it objectively and not personally.

  5. It totally depends where I’m receiving the criticism and what it’s about. If it’s in person and/or about my daughter – grrr watch out. I’m less likely to have a chance to think and cool off if you are questioning me in Home Depot about why my baby isn’t wearing any socks.

    If it’s online, well, I might piss and moan for a bit but eventually I remember that when fighting on the internet – no one wins. Plus I can imagine that they are incredibly dumb and sitting around in their underwear yelling at the computer screen and it makes me giggle.

  6. I agree with all you said – no criticism on your blog post, MM. I do agree with Darcy: criticism from someone I admire and trust is actually not so bad… and what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, I guess. Great post… really thoughtful.

  7. Another great post! I figured you liked to write because when I read your posts, it feels like the words are flowing. Ever thought of writing a book?

  8. so true! Some people tend to think they are giving constructive criticism when in all actuality they are being plain out rude and disrespectful!

  9. I do not handle criticism well…I always get defensive, even if I don’t mean to. I blame it on only child syndrome 🙂
    I think it is ridiculous to comment on a blog and leave a fake email…why bother?!

  10. Good advice, I’m sure your fans outweigh any negative stalkers!!!

  11. Very well said! I love reading your blog, my friend… 🙂