How Do You Deal With Online Negativity and Mean Comments?
Have you ever heard the saying: “The boos come from the cheap seats”? This implies that the people who boo the opposing team, or referees at sporting events, come from the cheaper seats, meaning the higher class people sitting in more expensive seats do not boo.
After spending the last 2 seasons court-side for the Phoenix Suns, I have learned this is not always true.
In the last 6 months, I published my first book, started my YouTube channel, began regularly writing on the website Quora.com where at the time of this writing have over 700,000 views, and was published in both Inc.com and MarketWatch.com, the ladder being as a regular contributor.
What have I learned in this short time? The old saying referenced above is based on some truth. People sure do like to boo.
Boos are Louder Than Cheers
This was one of the first comments I received on Quora. It caused me to doubt many things, including myself and my choices. How dare someone like me wake up at 4am and spend 60 minutes every day answering questions I have been asked based on my own personal experiences.
I read and re-read my answer and really wanted to respond to this guy. My biggest complaint after re-reading my answer several times was that my initial answer didn’t say any of the stuff he was implying. Its easy to cut and paste whatever you want to help make your argument. I realize this now, but this guy already knew it.
Yes, anything can be taken out of context. This is the reason Tim Ferriss only does interviews by email under the condition that you print his response entirely, or not at all.
This paragraph above can be taken out of context. You can also take one sentence out of it and remove even more context. Whatever helps your argument I suppose.
My post received over 18,000 views and 78 people were kind enough to up-vote it. But boos are louder than cheers.
Just Get Over It
Oh Janice. I don’t even know where to begin. Oh wait, yes I do. How about the fact that next to your review it actually says “Verified Purchase”?
This one star review dropped me down to 4.3 average. In the world of e-books, this is sort of a big deal.
75% of my 16 reviews were 4-5 stars. Why can’t my brain focus on those?
Recent YouTube comment I received: “Only a moron would think that!”
What sucks is that I can’t even find the video this was for anymore. But I still remember the comment. Our brains are wired this way. Those who strayed from the herd getting eaten by wolves.
Or get called morons.
What Does It All Mean?
What is holding you back from trying something new? Stepping outside of your comfort zone?
I can tell you that fear stops more people than failure ever does.
Fear of what? Fear of rejection? Fear of criticism? Fear of embarrassment?
I won’t sit here and tell you that non-constructive criticism doesn’t suck. It does. But, like anything, it sucks less and less. You get stronger, and you also get better. Maybe you go through and edit your post a second time before publishing. Maybe you add more disclaimers or pre-justify your views and opinions. Maybe you just stop giving a shit.
What Have I Learned?
Creators don’t criticize. I have never read a negative comment on YouTube by a person who has uploaded a single video that they created. I am sure they exist, but I haven’t seen it yet.
Coaches don’t criticize other coaches. Directors don’t criticize other directors. Authors don’t criticize other others. The reason is because they know how hard the job is. The process. The focus.
There are many variables that cannot be controlled.
Creators understand the process. Criticizers envy it.
We are naturally inclined to hear the boos over the cheers. But we can also reprogram ourselves to either enjoy the praise more or just care less about the criticism. Some are better than others naturally, but anything can be reprogramed and improved on.
A lot of times I am wrong. I make a lot of predictions and base a lot of my advice on my personal experience. This can include things I have done, or things I have read about or learned from others. Everything that has happened to me has shaped me and my thinking. You are a different person. What has worked for me in the past or what might work for me in the future may not work for someone else, at a different time in a different place.
If you read something I wrote about Facebook 6 months ago, there is a good chance that information is outdated.
When the Phoenix housing market crashed so hard that you could buy properties for LESS than what they cost to build, my advice on buying as much real estate as you could made a lot of sense. Times change. Strategies change.
My Advice To You:
If you want to create something, do it. Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you. Something bad might happen. Who cares? More good things will happen, so focus on that.
If you follow a creator, be sure to tell them that you appreciate them. Everyone is reachable on social media these days, so if you are a fan of someone let them know. The world needs more praise.
Whatever you do, don’t listen to anything I say. We are just a flash in a pan, on a planet spinning around one of the billions of stars that existed long before us and will exist even longer after us and in 100 years (probably less) no one will remember your intentions or feelings, but they might remember something that you created.
But what do I know?
“Only a moron would think that!”