The art of not responding

If you are a creative (aka human because I believe all of us are creative) in this internet age, chances are you’ve been afraid to put your work out there. And understandably so. We all have that fear of how our work will be received. Perhaps you have had someone criticizing yourself or your creative output unreasonably before. Maybe you have felt you are not good enough because someone made you think so.

Let’s talk a bit about negative comments.

When you start writing, coding, filming, or designing, there will be a lot of people who will give you positive, encouraging feedback. There will be others who provide constructive criticism. And yet, there will be a few who will criticize you unfairly. By unfairly, I mean to provide you with feedback that you cannot act upon or improve on. e.g., If a YouTuber is criticized for being a specific color or having a particular accent, then they cannot really change that aspect of their lives, can they?

When that happens, your immediate reaction would be to say something even more sarcastic, brutal, or have a “good comeback”.

Here’s a better suggestion instead: I’d rather read the comment and pretend I did not read it. I heard this first from my favorite YouTuber, MKBHD. He said those who troll on his videos do it with one intention – to get a gut reaction from him. Try not reacting/responding to their mean comment, and you will feel a sense of freedom. If you really want to reply, then just thank them for the feedback (still, better not do that).

The truth is most negative comments and remarks do not need a response. But how do you differentiate between constructive feedback and plain old bashing? There is a simple framework – is the feedback about something you can improve/change? Then it is constructive.

Maybe feel sorry for the person who is in such pain. That they have to be so negative. Perhaps it is their way of “being creative.” I sometimes see popular creators publicly shaming the people who write mean things – that would be an example of “feeding the trolls.” Don’t do that!

On that note, each of us can learn “to say a good word, or remain silent”.

Having shared these ideas, I am fortunate to not receive troll comments on any of the work I have put out. I hope it continues to stay that way. I plan to create more video content on YouTube and thought this would be a good time to remind myself of this. If you are interested in WordPress, JAMstack, or wildfire content, please consider subscribing!

If you have been consuming any of the content I have produced, thank you for being so kind! ♥️

The takeaway from this post: if you face unreasonably negative feedback, just keep going like the Dudhsagar Falls above. Water does not care if the people praise or scold it – it just keeps going.


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