OHMYGOSSIP

HOW TO handle criticism as a blogger

OHMYGOSSIP – Most bloggers know it: the blunt comments often very short-sighted and sometimes even verbally violent that enter your mailbox through the comment section, that stand out in the comments on Facebook and YouTube or that fill up you twitter timeline after posting something and totally ignorant of doing so,  stepping on someones toes. Or not even that, it also can come from that one visitor that has an opinion about you, the way you look, write, the topic you write about or anything else that triggers them to be their true friendly self.

This blog is written not only for the Blogger dealing with it, but also for those who feel triggered to write a comment. The commenter needs to find his or her own personal red button before writing a comment that bursts with criticism, and you reader of the post, feeling what you feel, need to find yours.

Lets take a deeper look into the art of feeling triggered
Writing this I’m speaking for my own audience as well. If there is something I’m not good at it is handling criticism. For me it all comes down to self-esteem. Lots of people see me as a self-confident woman ready to travel the world. But I know the little scared and wounded girl deep inside me sitting next to my exclusive red button, hand raised to push it any inconvenient time, when she hears something that triggers her.

In my childhood the message that came across was me being dumb, stupid and bothersome. And i believed them since nobody took time or care to tell me otherwise.  I’m working my way out of this for some time now. But still there is this red button .

Do you know the feeling of getting flushed from head to toe your skin prickling?

I do, and I know where it comes from. Very cliché to say: from my childhood, but in my case it does. I call my trigger point ‘the Red Button’  It took me a few years to discover but once I got grip on the how and why, it was a battle convincing the little girl inside me not to push that button immediately and send me into a corner to sulk, but to hand the matter to me, the adult, and cope with it.

Today I will share my coping strategies with you. When you are a blogger you will get negative feedback occasionally and you will need a thicker skin to cope with that. I got an email a few days back from someone telling me I was completely out of my mind because of what I’m about to do. I was totally ignorant to the world around me.  It caught me at a bad moment and triggered me from a sunshine day right into self-reflection. I really needed to put that email into perspective.

1. Who is the other person? Separating bullshit from facts.
Most people commenting on your writings, acting and person, don’t know you. That is a fact.
They interpret your writings within their own perspective and that might not be a wide, world-friendly frame build on lots of experiences and common sense. That’s another thing: what common sense is to you might be completely out of sense to someone else. There is no such thing as common sense no matter how hard we live to believe it.

People are likely to identify with you, specially those who do return to your blog, they bond, and they get the feeling they have the right to interfere and give their opinion, without any background information. To you as a blogger the art of separating the bullshit from the facts.

Someone judging you while being a complete stranger to you? Just ignore it. Do not excuse yourself or try to explain yourself, you will end up in a meaningless discussion, that can take nasty turns, take it from a pro. No matter how hard your red button is pushed, just say something neutral like: thank you for commenting, stop by again any time you like.

Do take a closer look at your writing, why is it this person is interpreting it the way he does? Do you need to change anything?
I once received a comment on a blog about trying to loose weight, it a blunt reply that I should be careful, before I know I could not wipe my own butt anymore. Being shocked by the comment at first,and not knowing how to reply, I did look back on my last few blogs and they were all about going out for drinks, having fingerfood….I probably created the impression my life was all about wining and dining. A point of improvement.

Preventive: when I’m tired, sad, in a bad mood, easy irritated, if I do not feel strong and self-confident I will not read the comments or handle email from strangers.

Practice: I do not receive any email notifications on comment on the website, I just check in every other day to see if there is anything that needs my attention. Just to make sure it does not hits me in a bad time, when facing a deadline or on my way to an important meeting or something. Same thing for social media.

2. transform criticism into a positive attribution
There are comments that are only posted to hurt, there is no positivity in those. Try to ignore them by handling them the way I describe before. But there is criticism that can add value to your live. Like the one about being to fat to wipe my own butt. I looked at my writings and saw there was no balance, my writing was all about eating and drinking. And by doing so I created an image that was not correct. I see it in travel blogs also: they are always about sunshine, fun, beach and flip-flops. I sometimes feel the urge myself to push someones button by asking if there are never any rainy days.

I do receive a lot of mails on my spelling. Since English is not my first language and being dyslexic as well, it is difficult for me to write error free content. The first two emails on that topic, I felt so ashamed, I even turned up the urge to perfectionism beyond normal (is there normal perfectionism?) I was so scared to publish my next post, what would people think of me? I learned to laugh about it, like the blog post I used ‘ass’ instead of ‘as’ and only reader number 200-something took the politeness to email me. We made fun about it. I’m glad when people correct me on that, I have accepted I’m not perfect.

Can you separate the bullshit from facts and than turn critique into something positive?
If you can’t, it is posted by idiots that can’t fight their way out of a paper bag. Vinegar pissing visitors just passing by with nothing meaningful to do in their pity little lives. So, there you go!

3. Find yourself a world-famous role model
Everybody famous out there gets criticized, rejected and bombed with negativity, so you can take it as a compliment when you have lots of annoying, negative comments and email. Living a mediocre live it not the live of a blogger. Mediocrity is safe, shielded from the outside world and fits in almost everything. You as a blogger chose to stand out in the crowd, with your product, opinion and stories. There is nothing mediocre about you and that is why people feel they can put you down. Or that is why people can act jealous.

I received an email from a person that stated that: I was discouraging other people to start a blog because I was afraid there would not be enough money out there for me and since I had such high income already…blablabla……well did she get it all wrong.
She definitely needed a pair of reading glasses and some English lessons.

I immediately though of Mary Robinson, the firs female Irish President, now that’s a woman with a thick skin, an independent politician giving women in Ireland a voice, fighting for rights of those oppressed. She is a strong woman and my role model when it comes to perseverance.

I was elected by the women of Ireland, who instead of rocking the cradle, rocked the system – M. Robinson

You as a blogger can rock the World Wide Web. Let nobody or nothing stand in your way

create blog titles5. Find your own red button

In order to rock the World Wide Web by writing authentic, world-changing content, and to persevere under criticism, you have to find your own red button. What triggers you when you read criticism? What makes you sulk over ‘all your wrong doings’ and what gives you the idea ‘all your works sucks’ and that you are  ‘no good at all’?

 

Written by: leavingholland.com



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