11 Tips for Turning Venomous Blogging Criticism into Gold Nuggets

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Why wouldn't you like this guy? Me on the black sand beaches of Savusavu, Fiji.

Why wouldn’t you like this guy? Me on the black sand beaches of Savusavu, Fiji.

 

Some people don’t like me. Or they don’t like my work.

I get it.

Even if I publish the coolest eBooks, snap the most inspiring travel pictures and churn out kick butt, rock it out content, some folks won’t dig my creations.

Why?

Contrast makes life interesting. If we all agreed on everything life would be bland as hell. I like chocolate ice cream, you like vanilla ice cream. I like Hootsuite Pro, you like BufferApp. Variety is the spice of life.

Case in point. I just discovered that:

  • I can easily fix my Android Tablet’s “upload to youtube” issues
  • I can easily upload short videos in a minute or 2
  • I can easily upload *720 HD quality videos* to Youtube in a few minutes

Yes, kid in a candy store time. So happy I wrote for my clients already today and that I love writing posts because I’d have uploaded 10 videos by now, with my new, slick HD style presentations, instead of churning out this post.

Of course, keep an eye out for 1 HD quality video attached to my new posts. Thanks, Universe and thanks, Android support forums.

The thing is this: contrast makes HD style videos pop. After filming a few this morning in Savusavu, Fiji, the contrast between my handsome mug, the trees, the clouds, the gray skies, the flowers, and all that good stuff, creates a visually appealing experience.

 

Online Contrast aka Criticism

 

Being criticized is experiencing contrast. That’s it. Experiencing contrast – like contrast experienced through the good old, HD quality video – creates an appealing experience.

Critics, and fans....pick up my eBook.  Listen to what the heavies think about it.

Critics, and fans….pick up my eBook. Listen to what the heavies think about it.

 

If you didn’t live through rainy days you couldn’t fully appreciate a sunny day. If you didn’t experience sickness you couldn’t fully appreciate being healthy.

If you haven’t been criticized you can’t appreciate:

  • Being praised
  • Being fully clear on what you’re doing
  • The strength of your belief system

Like the HD quality videos I can shoot through my tablet (videos that I’m quickly becoming obsessed with) the contrast creates the “pop”, or the pleasing, intense, wonderful experience.

 

The Problem

 

I know what you’re thinking; why in the heck would you feel good, or feel pleased, or feel wonderful, after somebody blows you out of the water? The critic did a few favors for you.

  • Said critic helped you establish greater clarity in speaking your message
  • Said critic helped you establish a more firm, resolute belief in your core values
  • Said critic provided you with valued feedback, in some cases at least…feedback that could accelerate your growth, if you listen to said critic
  • Said critic indicates to you that you’re growing quickly, because once you leave your comfort zone you’ll run into harsh critics from time to time

Celebrate, folks! You’re on your way to becoming even more successful if you’re facing critics here and there.

The goal ain’t to slam into as many critics as possible – Jesus surrounded himself with 12 apostles, not non-believers who wanted him dead – but rather to handle criticism gracefully. Hang with like-minded people most of the time but learn how to face, embrace and mine gold out of criticism.

 

My Experience

 

The other day I received a healthy dose of criticism. A tweeter felt my blog post came up short, or didn’t deliver. I felt a little annoyed for a minute because the response dripped with sarcasm.

Then, I laughed. I took a deep breath…..and I…..decided to write this blog post.

So how can you turn blogging criticism into gold nuggets?

 

Laugh

 

No….not a sarcastic laugh, or a “who is this jerk?” laugh, but, a “I’m not taking myself seriously anymore” laugh, changes your vibe immediately.

After reading the feedback with a sarcastic twinge I became agitated. A minute later I laughed. At me. For being so serious.

Hey, I offer blogging tips. Not exactly life and death stuff. So I can stop taking myself so darn seriously by belting out a hearty laugh.

Most bloggers feel hurt, or offended, or feel the sting of criticism because they take themselves too damn seriously. Lighten up. Relax. Laugh. Set the stage for the other tips.

 

Read Slowly

 

Honest to goodness, I found this tip out on my own, and it works like magic. Read each word spoken/written by said critic SUPER slowly. I did so the other day, to experience a miraculous shift.

Do you think these guys care about critics? I hound them about their mackerel addiction. They don't care.

Do you think these guys care about critics? I hound them about their mackerel addiction. They don’t care.

 

It’s almost like the collective sentence or 2 loses its power when you speak or read each word slowly and deliberately. The mind slows down, the feelings dull, and you feel a sense of calm, and peace, as you digest the statement(s) word by word.

By reading the tweet slowly, I felt less agitated, then, I felt calm, peaceful and in balance. The sting died. Lost its power.

Not sure why, but darnit this approach works so well.

 

True or False?

 

After laughing and reading the statement slowly I took the next step: I decided if the statement was true, or false.

The critic/tweeter felt that a step-by-step, How To tutorial was in order, and all she received was some marketing takeaways, after reading my post. She wished me luck after that, the intention being, I’d need it, to draw in traffic or readers.

So, I read the post in note. The title indicated “12 Lessons I Learned from Selling My eBook”. I never promised a step by step guide, or a How To type tutorial. So, her statement was false, not true.

I could ignore this criticism. At least to this point.

 

Evaluate Truth/Lies

 

I re-read the post. I shared my unique experience, that nobody on earth can share, so my advice wasn’t generic in any way. As far as a takeaway, yep, the basic topics I discussed have been explained by guys like:

Said critic probably follows these takeaways, as did the first marketing ancient Babylonians. Nobody’s re-inventing the wheel folks. We’re all following the fundamentals….BUT….guys like Seth, and Chris, tell such a special story, from a different perspective, and in their own voice, that they stand out from the crowd.

Her second bit of feedback was a truth-lie. Sometimes, you’ll see truth-lies, when assessing criticism. Sure, I shared marketing takeaways – like every human being who’s ever created a marketing post – but they are MY marketing takeaways.

I’m not special, but I worked for 5 years to hone my writing voice, to build my friend network and to deliver a story-rich experience to you. So yeah, my marketing takeaways are unique, because nobody else can own them.

Truth: I shared marketing takeaways. Lie: the inference that the shares were bland, or generic, was not true. Hence, this one was a truth/lie.

 

Listen to Comment/Social Feedback

 

Many commentators (click it to visit my friend Andrew Warner’s blog, he’s a top flight commentator) at Blogging from Paradise are my friends.

Many commentators at Blogging from Paradise – who are my friends – are successful, prospering, trusted bloggers, whose word is their bond.

That means, they tell the truth, in their eyes, which means, they wouldn’t complement a blogger, unless they meant it.

This post generated a ton of positive comments and social media feedback from respected, successful, objective bloggers, and from respected, successful, less objective bloggers….who still wouldn’t lie to me, to risk losing their rep…so I felt the feedback was largely positive.

This blog post was also in alignment with my voice, my writing style, and my brand….and since I’ve received endorsements from some serious heavy hitters recently, from multiple niches, I felt good, and clear, on the fact that I delivered.

(Video time….Use this tip to handle blogging criticism. Click the little Settings Wheel and adjust to 1080 HD quality for a clearer, crisper video of paradise, here in Savusavu, Fiji.)

 

 

If I feel good, and clear, and happy about the fact that I delivered, then I don’t feel like the criticism is warranted.

 

The A**hole Factor

 

The twitter critic I received the other day was lobbed my way from a kind person involved in some awesome causes. Bless her.  You don’t need finishing school to be a good person, and again, contrast makes life interesting.

But you need to keep the a**hole factor in mind. Trolls, or plain, simple, unhappy people, project their misery, and unhappiness, onto others, through either harsh or downright brutal criticism.

We’ve all faced it at one time or another.

I recall a guy a few years back who said I had the “posture of an earthworm.” I started laughing at him over the phone because I thought it was legitimately funny, and I credited the guy.

That was a turning point for me. Without even trying to do so, I was getting under this guy’s skin and he got angrier and angrier because I found him, his tactics, and the whole baiting situation laughable.

I eventually hung up on him after I’d had enough laughs and had to get back to work.

Some people are miserable, unhappy a**holes. Accept this. Which brings us to….

 

All About them Nothing About You

 

Criticism says everything about the other person and nothing about you.

This means, angry, negative people may tend to offer angry, negative criticism. Or a kind, happy person who’s having a bad day may offer angry, negative criticism.

Or a happy, kind person who’s having a good day will offer such positive, constructive feedback that you’ll never even knew it was criticism.

Don’t kill the messenger. Just understand that how they choose to view the world and how they choose to project their energies determines the nature of their feedback.

 

Use Criticism to Expand Your View

 

Critics present you with a different viewpoint. That new viewpoint expands your range of vision.

I recall a few folks telling me that my old theme, on my old blog, was crap. “Crap” is the G-rated word. I wanted to respond with an “F U” because I was narrow-minded, lacked confidence, and deep down, I knew that it was in fact true, that my theme was crap….but I simply ignored the feedback.

After a few more criticisms I caved. Then, I decided not to cave, but to see my theme and blog from the new perspective offered to me from these critics.

The clear waters of Fiji, aka, the view from the front deck. During high season the waters around Fiji have 100 feet of visibility. One. Hundred. Feet.

The clear waters of Fiji, aka, the view from the front deck. During high season the waters around Fiji have 100 feet of visibility. One. Hundred. Feet.

 

My theme needed an upgrade. I couldn’t see this with my former narrow-minded view, but critics expanded my field of vision so I could see the truth. I upgraded, and my old blog grew quickly after that theme change and branding infusion.

 

Develop the Profitable Habit of Being Compassionate

 

Sure, critics may seem like – or may be – miserable jerks, in the moment, but when you view critics as unhappy, unclear people you begin to develop compassion.

Compassionate people can feel your pain. Compassionate people can feel your worries, or know how your nightmares, or problems, feel.

Compassionate people lend a listening ear, and in so doing, they are able to stress your paint points and they’re also able to match the dream they are selling to the pain points you’re experiencing.

I’ve attracted some loons over the years. I know these critics were super unhappy, angry people, whose problem was with themselves, not me.

Even though they seemed to be jerks at the time I soon learned that miserable people love to project their misery, and self-loathing, and anger with themselves, at me, and at other people around them.

Knowing this, I became a more compassionate person. I felt their pain. Even if I refused to respond to insane ramblings, or pure hate, I still felt compassion towards these folks and I learned to cultivate my compassion for all struggling people.

 

Develop Selective Ignorance

 

If I’m really clear on some topic and feel good about the idea, or post, or eBook, or whatever, I may be open to feedback yet I ignore certain criticisms. Like, if someone else criticized the post I mentioned above, with the same criticism, I’d feign selective ignorance, ignoring the post fully.

Why?

I don’t have enough time to waste time. I may be selectively ignorant when dealing with trolls, or other angry folks.

In truth, the most compassionate thing I can do is ignore them. If I respond, I feed their energy. I teach either angry people, or folks who are offering poor feedback, through some defective mechanism, that their criticism is not worth a response.

Example: if someone told me my brand sucks, and it lacks originality, or that I didn’t speak my voice, and that my brand was bland, it’d be like them telling me I had the body of a little girl.

It’s so far out of the realm of reality, for me, that it sounds silly, laughable, and of course I wouldn’t take it personally. So I’d ignore their criticism. Selective ignorance time.

Why?

Well, my brand is pretty darn neat, and is original (no other blogging-tips blogger I know, in the world, blogs specifically from paradise….and if there is a paradise blogging tips guy or gal, they can’t tell my story), and I speak my voice, and my brand has some flavor.

Take care of your body to be a better blogger....this is the product of boulder lift, and the odd 2 mile walk with a propane tank strapped to my back.

Take care of your body to be a better blogger….this is the product of boulder lift, and the odd 2 mile walk with a propane tank strapped to my back.

 

In the same regard, I am no Mr. Olympia, but I’m pretty jacked, and my body is usually not confused with the body of a teenage girl.

Both scenarios are ridiculous, and since the feedback/criticism is so far from being true, for me, and since I’m clear, and confident, in my truth, I ignore these off base critics.

 

Make a Friend for Life

 

I recall a long while back receiving an email from a young blogger. We had connected a few times.

Said young blogger commented that I was charging way too much for my freelance services – at $25 per article – and that these rates were not reasonable at all.

Of course, $25 was probably way too low at the time, and I’m charging a bunch more per article now, but I had to set the guy straight. Or at least, I had to explain that charging $5, $10, or $15 per article devalues you, and your work, and sets the bar way too low.

The guy I had the exchange with was Amal Rafeeq. He later designed my old blog – an inspiration for my current design – and nudged me to write my old eBook –  which was practice for my new eBook – so yeah, I made a friend for life through criticism.

He wasn’t harsh in his criticism, but it definitely was criticism. I felt not too charged, or annoyed by it, so I simply responded with what I knew from my freelancing experience.

I made a friend for life. Amal helped me when I was really sick in Muhamma, as we met during that period, and he’s taught me about design and other stuff on the back end.

He rocks. I met him after he offered me some strong feedback, aka “criticism”. Instead of tuning him out I opened up, listened, and offered my insight to him, and a friendship was born.

 

Your Turn

 

Before you read another sentence, scroll up and look to your right to subscribe to my blog.

If you’re wondering how in the heck you can circle the globe for 40 months straight, or if you want to simply take a few more vacations while funding your campaign through your blog….pick up my eBook Blogging from Paradise.(and see what million dollar earners are saying about it too)

How do you process blogging criticism?

Do you have to fight yourself to NOT act defensively?

Or can you handle criticism gracefully, as feedback?

How do you turn blogging criticism into gold nuggets?

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Ryan Biddulph

Author of the Blogging from Paradise eBook series. Blogger. Coach. Internet Lifestyle Junkie. Buy my eBooks here.
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50 Comments

  1. Harleena Singh

    Hi Ryan,

    Interesting topic of discussion :)

    Well, people can take criticism way too seriously and it sometimes can affect their relationships, whether they are bloggers or not. But we need to remember that when a person criticizes, it’s because he or she hasn’t liked something or is expressing his or her feeling about it, and that’s absolutely normal. Yes, the way you convey it is what matters and perhaps that’s where we tend to get caught.

    Anything said with a kind word is taken well, even criticism, and for me, I always take it as another chance to improve myself and get better. Perhaps one doesn’t like it initially, but if you think over it, I think it only makes you better – if we see the goodness in it.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead :)
    Harleena Singh recently posted…How To Cope With Teenage Pregnancy As A ParentMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Hi Harleena, Excellent take. Criticism only improves us in every way. Even if the critic says something untrue, and/or nasty, it teaches us grace, compassion and in many cases, selective ignorance. We should know that as Reverend Run says, haters are confused admirers. Critics are closet fans because if they REALLY didn’t like you they’d ignored you. Thanks so much Harleena, you too.

      Reply
  2. kelli

    Hey Ryan
    Great tips here as always. The truth-lie one is particularly important and the example you gave about your own post was a good one. There was nothing in that title to suggest it was any sort of tutorial on writing an ebook so the criticism really didn’t make any sense. It can be hard to deal with sometimes because we can get very attached to our work, and we have our own insecurities about what we are doing, and the criticism triggers it. Learning to overcome criticism is crucial or it can stop us in our tracks completely.
    kelli recently posted…Law of Attraction: Clearing Up 6 Worries Impeding Your ProgressMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Hi KC, The attachment, and lack of confidence, really surfaces when a harsh critic points out our blocks to us. We should be grateful for criticism, in the moment, or after the sting wears off. It’s a blessing. Awesome take here. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

      Reply
  3. Don Purdum

    Hi Ryan,

    You are absolutely right when you remind us that negative criticism is often much less about us and more about someone else.

    I’ve only been on this side a few times and the first time it happened it was no fun, and it’s very public.

    However, over time I learned it’s really a badge of honor. As Donald Trump says so often, all media is good media. It gives us an opportunity to shine by the way we choose to handle it.

    Sometimes the best thing to do is just leave it alone. People who are negative are usually that way in their life as well. It’s not a momentary thing or a disagreement. It’s a way of life for them. If it’s not one person, it will be another who doesn’t agree.

    I too have had the distinct privilege of turning a critic into a friend. The key as you said is don’t take it personal when it happens. It’s not… If you can keep a level head and discern the truth in the criticism that needs your attention for improvement, you have a chance to win someone over.

    Great post Ryan. I could say a lot on this subject but I think I’ll close with just saying; stay positive. That’s really the best way to handle any negative things that come your way.

    Thanks again for bringing up a delicate subject that I know will bless many!

    Here is to a great, productive, and positive week!

    ~ Don Purdum
    Don Purdum recently posted…Failing My Way to Success As A Web Designer and Business OwnerMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Hi Don, Awesome point. For many it’s not a momentary thing. I see some who simply follow a series of bloggers and post critical comments all along the way. It’s a way of life, the negative shades they choose to wear which colors their reality. Stay positive, leave them be and carry on. Thanks so much Don.

      Reply
  4. Andrew M. Warner

    Hey Ryan,

    Great post here.

    First off, that came straight out of left field, thank you so much for the mention. Wasn’t expecting that at all and was honestly shocked. Nonetheless, thank you.

    Now onto your post.

    I can’t remember who I was talking to a few weeks ago on their blog but the discussion was about negative commenters and criticism. When I first started out, I would get so upset about being criticized because I not only took it personally, but I thought it was unjust.

    I felt as though they were criticizing just for the sake of criticizing. And you know what I learned through the last little while, that’s exactly what they do.

    No matter what you do, how good or great, there will always be someone/people to criticize. It’s just in their nature. What I’ve learned to do it use it as a learning tool. I can never make those that criticize happy but I don’t let it get to me anymore.

    I look at criticism as a blessing now because like you said, “If you haven’t been criticized you can’t appreciate:

    Being praised
    Being fully clear on what you’re doing
    The strength of your belief system”

    It makes no sense to get upset when someone criticizes, just take it with a grain of salt, follow that tactic that you shared regarding reading slowly and learn from it.

    Great post.

    – Andrew

    P.S. I didn’t know that post was supposed to be a “How-To” or step-by-step post lol. Based on the title, “12 Lessons I Learned from Selling My eBook”, seems pretty obvious what the post is about to me.
    Andrew M. Warner recently posted…A Unique Challenge To Encourage Each Of You TodayMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Hi Andrew, Yep, I have to agree on your comment on the PS…..not quite sure why they felt that way, but oh well. Awesome take too. If you treat critics as lesson givers, and learn to process their feedback, you can decide who to ignore and who to listen to. Thanks so much Andrew, and it was my pleasure to mention you.

      Reply
  5. Carol Amato

    Hi Ryan,

    I absolutely LOVE the way you take seemingly negative things in life and turn them around to gain something positive and to see a valuable ‘take-away’ in order to propel forward in growth!

    Definitely have been guilty in the past of taking myself too seriously, and have learned a lot in this past transitional year to chill out and relax. Trials sort of have a way to help things fall into a more balanced perspective. I probably still have room for growth, but I’m a whole lot less up tight than I used to be. I can laugh at myself, thankfully. :-)

    Love your hands on way to deal with an dispel the negative feelings when reading criticism – this is really helpful! In my mind’s eye, I can envision myself doing this, and will definitely tuck these strategies away for a day when I receive criticism.

    Of course your marketing stories are unique. That critic sounds like an iDiOt… LOL (not trying to be unkind, but completely myself, and that is the word that came to mind!)

    Really appreciated the video – so very personal – great tips, which I will utilize for sure. :-)

    Yeah, it is about them and their lashing out, trying to find a target many time – this I’ve seen first hand.

    Yep – compassion is the key, couldn’t agree more. I’ve seen a Facebook graphic that said something to the effect of “Give your smile to the person that is angry with you, they need it most.”

    Totally agree on ignoring certain negative people, only feeds their bad habits.

    I’ve been able to turn the tables on a relationship going sour through tactful and compassionate communication after I realized there was a difficult personal issue underlying the situation that was diffused and completely eliminated after open discussion. Love making friends out of potential potential critics!

    Your post is one of a kind, and I pulled a lot of take aways from it, so thank you!

    Have a good evening.
    – Carol
    Carol Amato recently posted…5 Helpful Blogging Lessons You Can Learn from My World TravelsMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Hi Carol, I love your use of the phrase, compassionate communication. Awesomeness. We can learn so much by thinking through other people’s feelings, and by listening, and by sharing our thoughts in a caring manner. Thanks so much Carol. Appreciate it :)

      Reply
  6. Lorraine Reguly

    It’s simple jealousy, if you ask me, why people tend to criticize. Often they are not happy with some aspect of their own life, and feel the urge to elevate themselves by stomping on someone else.

    It’s funny, too, how criticism can lead one to make such a good friend, too… and a little surprising! (I’m sure Ms. A. Smith doesn’t want to make friends with the person who has been impersonating her lately!)

    FYI, I love the card, too. How did you create it? (Don’t keep your secrets to yourself, Ryan! If you’re truly someone who likes helping others, then please share! Thanks!)

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Haha Lorraine, yep, it’s really a projection. We can make great friends with those who dig sharing feedback. Have I ever held back a secret? ;) Actually you’ll have to talk to Carol Amato, she’s the designing whiz created the card. I myself marvel at it; awesome, awesome stuff. Thanks so much for reading Lorraine. Have a fun week.

      Reply
      1. Lorraine Reguly

        Cool. Will do! :) Have a great week, too. :)
        And DO give some more thought to my prior proposal. ;)
        Lorraine Reguly recently posted…Capitalizing Nouns! #writingtipsMy Profile

        Reply
        1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

          Awesome, OK will do Lorraine :)

          Reply
  7. Kevin Duncan

    Hey Ryan,

    Ah, critics. My old humor blog would get a mean-spirited comment or email every two weeks or so. “How dare you make fun of Justin Bieber’s hair!” was how one sharply-worded email began.

    I haven’t had to deal with anything similar yet at Be A Better Blogger, but I know it’s coming. And when it comes, I hope I handle it as well as you handled it.

    Criticism can be excellent motivation, if we have the right frame of mind. And it also can make for good blogging material, as you proved!

    Hope your week is going well, Ryan. Talk to you again soon, I’m sure.

    – Kevin
    Kevin Duncan recently posted…An interesting anecdote could be the antidote for your ailing blog postMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Hahaha Kevin, I’m LOLing over here. Maybe you can hear me from Fiji ;) Making fun of Bieber’s hair and eliciting that response shows that the Beliebers are out to get you. Classic blogging material for sure and it helps motivate us too if we can feed off of the energy. Likewise Kevin. Thanks much and chat soon.

      Reply
  8. Brian Hawkins

    You’re right Ryan, that is great video quality. Even the audio is pretty impressive since you’re outside.

    That’s great advice, all of it, and a very healthy way of looking at what might cause some people to obsess over. I like the Uncle Kracker saying, “I ain’t gonna let it wreck my day” (Good To Be Me).

    You know, I was just listening to Cliff Ravenscraft’s (Podcast Answer Man) latest podcast, it was actually a replay of last week’s keynote speech, where he reads a horrible iTunes review someone left about him. I don’t know if you like podcasts but it’s so hilarious. I’ll tweet you the link just in case you want to listen.

    I have a very “loud” yellow shirt that says “Haters Gonna Hate” and that’s so true. Like you said, however, a little self evaluation based on potential truth isn’t always a bad thing. As long as we don’t allow it to send us off running away or let it wreck our day. ;)
    Brian Hawkins recently posted…Content Discovery Tools Part 2My Profile

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Hi Brian, Wonderfully put. In some cases, people are going to spew nonsense your way. If you feel comfy in your skin, you can laugh it off, like the Podcast link you note (thanks, looking forward to it)…..but it always helps to assess yourself and see that in a few cases, a critic may be sharing a grain of truth with you. Thanks so much for stopping by Brian. See you soon :)

      Reply
  9. Brittany Bullen

    Ryan,

    I’m so sorry you had to deal with that. We’ve all been there and it just plain sucks. It’s funny how the slightest criticism can ruin your day, let alone something that was genuinely meant to be hurtful.

    One trick I really love to use when I’m going through something like that comes straight out of Harry Potter. Don’t know if you’re a fan, but if you are, it’s a spell called “Riddikulus”. Basically I imagine the person who’s criticized me and I think of how I could make that mental picture into something funny.

    Or I like to take that image and shrink that person down in my head until they’re the size of an ant and just squish them. That helps too.

    A little imagination can go a long way!

    BB
    Brittany Bullen recently posted…How to Get Designer-Quality Branding Without the DesignerMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Hi BB, Love the tips, and I’ll be happy to use them in the future. Each focuses on you lightening up, relaxing, and having fun with the criticism bit. That’s the real key; simply chill a bit, see if there’s any truth in the criticism and proceed. Thanks so much Brittany.

      Reply
  10. Catherine Holt

    Criticism can be taken many ways. Sometimes of course the criticism is warranted and if you can take a step back and evaluate what is actually being said then you can make appropriate changes.

    For instance on my first blog about party planning, I had someone review my blog. I had put a lot of hard work into it and I thought she would say it was awesome. The feedback she came back with was not so awesome. She said it looked outdated and dull….not a great start! She also said that the visual effects bored her (certainly not great for a party site). Initially I was upset, thinking to myself, but I just paid $20 for this premium theme…..lol. But after taking a cold hard look at it I realised what she was saying. It prompted me to go back to basics, buy a Genesis theme AND a premium skin, change the layout etc etc etc. It now looks like a party blog that uplifts you, not depresses you!

    On the other hand criticism can be completely unwarranted. Sometimes this comes from people that are just clearly unhappy with where they are at, or even jealous with where you are at, and the only way to resolve this is to place an attack. It is at those times that again you have to step back, look at what they are saying and decipher where it is coming from.

    At the end of the day there is no point in getting upset or aggravated with criticism. Instead we can learn from it, and actually make our blogs stronger because of it.

    Very thought provoking Ryan. Tweeting through Triberr of course :-)
    Catherine Holt recently posted…10 Free WordPress Themes For Starting A BlogMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Hi Catherine, what a wonderful experience. It reminds me so much of when Amal and a couple of his buddies kept telling me my theme was in bad shape. I was hurt, then pissed, then I looked at my blog objectively and realized a change was in order. Of course, some forms of criticism are lies, or angry projections. Thanks so much for sharing Catherine.

      Reply
  11. Joy B.

    Hello Ryan, i have learned so much from this post, my little blog has been lying down for so long until yesterday when Emebu Blessing of oracleblogger.com called me on phone and gave me some tips, and coming here this morning has actually confirmed what he told me, i love your blog and what i saw here: the comments.
    Joy B. recently posted…Compensations Plans with Mesothelioma Law FirmsMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Hi Joy, Awesome, so happy you’re here. We all go through those down points in our blogging career. The key is to keep picking yourself up, and it sounds like you have a great network of friends like Emebu around you to help you out. Thanks so much Joy. See you soon.

      Reply
  12. Vernon

    Hello Ryan,

    Another fantastic post. Dealing with criticism use to be a tough thing for me to deal with. I’ve often had a normal knee-jerk reaction to criticism, but working in the service industry has meant that I’ve had to deal with criticism fairly often… and had to learn to process it correctly. I used to dread feedback forms, despite the fact that mine were usually excellent.

    I’ve found the best way to deal with it is to sit back and think to myself how correct they are. I still feel a bit stung by it, but I’ve learned to use criticism in positive ways to improve.

    But at the same time, one has to be realistic and be certain that you don’t take the negativity on board. Some criticism may be totally correct, but maybe it isn’t worth fixing that specific thing. Nobody is perfect and so your advice of thinking it through and perhaps laughing at it may be a perfectly appropriate response.

    One thing that I was taught as a tour guide was that one should actualy seek criticisim, not avoid it. Rather know what you’re doing wrong, rather than repeating mistakes. The critic may be a negative, sour person, but at least they have the balls to tell you. 99% of the people you deal with are way too nice to point these things out to you.

    I have learned to fear apathy more than criticism. If nobody is telling you anything, you’re failing! If people are criticising, you know that you’re being noticed.

    As for reading it slowly, I’ll have to try that one.

    Cheers
    Vernon recently posted…What Can Kill Me: Danger In NamibiaMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Hi Vernon, Excellent advice. Good note on apathy too. I feel the more clear we get, we’ll see greater success and fewer critics but if they disappear entirely, we’re in trouble. This means that we’re being surrounded fully by Yes Men and Yes Women, and that’s not a good thing. Ask for feedback, and be open to receive it, even if it’s packaged poorly. Thanks so much Vernon, great comment.

      Reply
      1. Vernon

        Yup. I think that’s why a post like this… why considering some handling techniques is critical. Because if you don’t find your own way to deal with critics you’re going to do your best to be surrounded by Yes [men/women].

        Having had a small team of people working for me for most of my career, I’ve often been the one dishing out the criticism as well. As a softy, this didn’t come naturally to me, but it is important.

        I agree, through growth you do find your rhythm and therefore get less criticism in the long run. But it’s a part of life, and though it may be a sucky one, it’s better to learn to handle it than simply totally avoiding it. Avoiding sour people, that’s important. Avoiding all criticism, though, is not useful.
        Vernon recently posted…Up Your Chances Of Seeing Cool Wildlife In EtoshaMy Profile

        Reply
        1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

          Amen Vernon….well said. Criticism can be a wonderful growing experience, if we tune in to the good stuff. Thanks so much.

          Reply
  13. Lisa

    Ryan, I love how one that critizes can become a friend too. I had that happen with a blogger and it was great. I really respect this person now.

    Some people know how to critize with grace and others not so much. It does make us step back and take a look at what we are doing and if we can improve upon it. I like to receive critism to learn how to be better at something.

    Thanks for sharing your story with us Ryan and have a great day in paradise there!
    Lisa recently posted…Are These 5 Things Really Annoying You In Your Twitter Feed?My Profile

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Hi Lisa, That’s great. Always fun to connect and friend a critic. Also, some folks actually mean well but have little or no tact. A class or 2 of online finishing school would serve them well. Thanks so much Lisa, enjoy your day in New England.

      Reply
  14. Clara

    I can deal with constructive criticism, destructive criticism not so much. Just depends on where the point of view of the person dishing it out.
    Clara recently posted…How To Balance Hormones NaturallyMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Hi Clara, likewise….although my tolerance of negative criticism has increased because I just sense it’s an unhappy person venting their frustration, projecting on me. Good to see you, and thanks much Clara.

      Reply
  15. Kate

    Hi, Ryan!
    I am so glad to view one more awesome post. You hit the spot! We are facing pretty much critisim in the world and learn how to cope with it is what you are trying to explain us. Yah, turning critisim into into gold nuggets is a good point. Why it is so right because we can use this point not only for blogging but for our overal life.
    I hard react all critisim what makes my blogging activity wrong. You have cleared out my thougths. Critisim will make my bran more strong and add a touch of flavor and voice as you’ve mentioned. That’s what I am going to maintain in my blogging career.
    I am not too professional but I really love how you are running a blog and adore your style of life. I guess your personal attitude makes you so exptic. I can’t wait your following posts.
    Thanks for your great work!
    Kate recently posted…SE Ranking: All Search Engines Are Available in One View!My Profile

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Hi Kate, Thanks so much for the kind words. Yep you nailed it; processing criticism can improve your brand tremendously. Be open, listen, and with practice you can discern between an angry person venting versus someone offering a gold nugget of feedback. Thanks so much Kate.

      Reply
  16. Frank

    “Posture of an earthworm” – sweet. I’ve had my own experiences with the Trolls and Haters and ended up writing my own post on the matter: http://bbqboy.net/travel-forums-101-dealing-trolls-haters-expats-uglies/.
    As a commenter said, these people are like seagulls, ‘they fly in, shit all over your site, and then fly away’. You’re approach totally right – ignore it, laugh about it, and realize that they are probably miserable people.
    Good post!
    Frank (bbqboy)

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Hi Frank, Lol on that seagull line. Totally true, and your advice is great. Thanks so much for sharing the post Frank….see you soon.

      Reply
  17. Bruno Buergi

    I think, when criticism is true, I mean you did something really wrong then it’s ok. But often it’s jealousy and false expectation. And some people think you have to give everything for nothing.
    Bruno Buergi recently posted…Viral Marketing And What We Can Learn From The Ice Bucket ChallengeMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Hi Bruno. Good point here. If true we need to listen and if not true, or if someone is criticizing about our running a business, we can’t let their cheapness or lack of confidence affect us. Thanks so much Bruno.

      Reply
  18. Lewis LaLanne

    I’ve learned to process criticism through through making the distinction of seeing the difference between a subjective Criticism and an objective criticism.

    Most criticisms can usually be put into two categories – objective and subjective.

    An objective criticism is when you are being criticized for failing to exhibit behavior that you yourself agreed to exhibit or vice versa.

    For example: If you signed an employment contract and you agreed to report to work at 9:00 o’ clock every morning before Monday and Friday, and then after settling in and getting comfortable with the lay of the land, you start showing up at 9:10, 9:15, 9:30, and your boss criticizes you for that, that would be an objective criticism.

    This is a valid criticism, an objective criticism.

    When you agree never to smoke in one of your close friend’s residence or your parents residence and then they catch you smoking a cigar in the house, and they criticize you it, that’s an objective criticism.

    Objective criticisms come when you’re being blasted for demonstrating behavior that you yourself promised not to perform.

    What is a Subjective Criticism?

    This is when someone criticizes you for behavior that they personally don’t care for.

    Let’s say you’ve got a couple of friends who say that you eat too fast. And they criticize you for eating too fast. They might feel that way, but you’re fine with the pace at which you shovel food into your body.

    That would be a subjective criticism.

    People love criticizing you for an aspect of your behavior that they personally have problems with, that you personally don’t have a problem with.

    Subjective criticisms could be focused on the type of clothes you wear, the fact that you talk too fast or too slow, drive a certain car “they” think you shouldn’t be driving, using language they don’t think you should be using, etc.

    People are compelled to impose their personal rules and model of the world for how life should be onto you. You should never allow other people’s likes, dislikes, preferences, beliefs, attitudes, to affect how you behave, particularly if you’re satisfied with your behavior.

    I’ve come to believe that it is a good idea to ignore most, if not all subjective criticisms directed your way.

    What About Opinionated Insults?

    These are just harsher variations of a subjective criticisms.

    When people are hurling opinionated insults at you, they’re just trying to push your buttons and see if they can get a rise out of you. And once they know that they can push your buttons, they’re gonna keep doing it. Over and over and over again.

    This is why you ignore subjective criticisms and opinionated insults.

    Marva Collins, a woman I deeply admire, is was introduced to me through an interview Tony Robbins did with her back in the early 90’s.

    She caught Tony’s attention because of the fantastic results she was achieving as a school teacher with the public school system with the youth in the inner city of Chicago and then in her own school later on.

    In the interview she talks about dealing with criticism. She feels that people who criticize her have good taste for having chosen her to criticize.

    When kids come to her saying another kid has called them a name, she says, “Is your name ‘Stupid’? Then why are you answering to it? I’m beginning to think that’s your name because you’re responding to it?” and then she goes on to reinforce to the child that by reacting to people’s opinionated insults, they’re setting themselves up for massive failure.

    This is a very different approach than simply punishing the child who was doing the name calling. It’s reality based. Out in the world, you don’t have a teacher you run to. You’re the only one standing guard at the door of your mind.

    In the big picture, opinionated insults don’t mean anything.

    They mean nothing. You see a lot of men and women letting opinions and insults affect how they behave towards others and how they express themselves to others and in affect how they carry themselves without purpose throughout their life.

    Giving credence to subjective criticisms and opinionated insults creates an addiction to wanting to be liked by everyone.

    The truth is, you cannot and will not be liked by everyone so don’t even try.

    And I’ll leave you with a quote I love relative to criticism and what you do with it . . .

    “The irony of popularity is when you specifically try to be liked, more often than not, you’re not. But when you really don’t care about being liked, you find that people just adore and love you.”

    Eddie Murphy
    Lewis LaLanne recently posted…Rare 1992 Recording Of Tony Robbins Motivating The Hell Out Of His Reluctant Sales TeamMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Lewis, epic, epic, epic comment. Thanks so much! The Eddie M quote sums it up perfectly. Be true to you, let go trying to please others and you’ll connect with so many folks who like you that you’ll care even less and less about critics. Love it….thanks so much for the awesome share Lewis.

      Reply
  19. Sylviane Nuccio

    Hi Ryan,

    Another great post and you’ve said lots of things that needed to be said.

    There is not even the shadow of a doubt that people who would be crude enough to criticize someone negatively in public have at list a handful issues, and the first one would be lacking discretion and diplomacy.

    I will never forget a very negative and depressing comment I’ve got on my first guest post. It really made me feel sad for a moment or two, but after a while I thought, hey the guy who asked me to guest post on his blog he’s a millionaire online entrepreneur, and when he asked me to guest post on his blog he did it because he had seen my writing skills in action, so whatever that person is saying would most likely be FALSE (as you said).

    You can bet that the guy didn’t just grab my post and published it on his blog without making sure that it was good enough for his blog, so why would someone be so negative?

    It’s because as you said, most people like that, or should I say ALL people doing that type of negative spreading are simply projecting their own misery onto others. And let’s not forget a very common thing among humans called jealousy. Jealousy is so common among both children and adults, it’s like the plague :) and that would make someone very mean, indeed. Trust me when I say that. I know it from personal experience.

    I love the example of your cats. Just watching our animals can teach us so, so much.

    Thanks for telling it like it is one more time!
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted…4 Extra Juicy Tips Before You Order Your WritingMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Hi Sylviane, Awesome example here, and I’ve been through the same thing more than once, especially through guest posts. It seems like if you’re a stranger, or if you’re a new blogger to some audience, some unhappy folks are dying to take pot shots at you. Like you Sylviane, I let it go after being annoyed for a minute, and proceed to connect with the happy, tactful crowd. Thanks so much for sharing Sylviane :)

      Reply
  20. Josh Coffy

    This was an excellent post, Ryan.

    It’s sad when people resort to trolling & putting others down.
    I’ve experienced my fair share of trolls, but the truth it–they’re the minority.

    Focusing on what the ‘nay-sayers’ think isn’t important. Because the positive
    people amount to more than the negative!

    -Josh
    Josh Coffy recently posted…30-Day Content ChallengeMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Hi Josh, Well said, and great to see you here. Focus on the positive, release the unhappy, negative folks and learn from it all. I genuinely intend to do all things each day to enjoy the ride. Thanks so much Josh.

      Reply
  21. Rohan Bhardwaj

    Hi Ryan,

    You are the best of the blogger in the market. You just made this awesome post from one criticism. I pray you get more of it. Definitely criticism is the best thing that can happen to a successful blogger. Hearing all the appreciation might be monotonous sometimes.

    It is great that you made one lifelong friend from one criticism from your blog reader.

    Keeping calm and analyzing the criticism is the key to successful life and blogging.

    Anyway, the video was very high quality and awesome.
    Rohan Bhardwaj recently posted…25 Inspirational Quotes- Rohan BhardwajMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Hi Rohan, Thanks so much for the kind words. Awesome point; being coated with praise non-stop can make one soft. A critic helps you tap into creative powers you hadn’t unearthed previously. Thanks so much Rohan, again :)

      Reply
  22. Lux

    It is sad that most people seem to be born with mission to make other people feel like sh*t. I feel you. I know how it is to be cyberbullied online. My works on Thought Catalog receive the worst kinds of comments. But, I do what I must, I listen to those who give me objective criticisms and comments. I focus on my core audience and grow my craft continuously. With practice, I can now filter out the noise and focus on the voices that matter most. :)
    Lux recently posted…When Emptiness Becomes A GiftMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Hi Lux, I love your note; focus on objective criticism. This feedback is gold, and tuning out noise is another great gift you’ve developed over the years. Thanks so much for sharing.

      Reply
  23. Adrienne

    Hey Ryan,

    The way I look at criticism is that most of those people just either got up on the wrong side of the bed that day or they themselves are just miserable people. I had a guy just yesterday tweet something nasty about a post I had written. The headline was to grab your attention, which it did, but he was just being a jerk.

    I responded that I thought his remark was uncalled for because it was obvious that he hadn’t read the post. Oh and by the way, I don’t know that guy at all. He came back and said he was just kidding. I told him that humor is lost when you only have 140 characters and your remark comes across as nasty. Especially since I don’t even know you.

    I’ve had my share as well and I really don’t let them bother me anymore. Everyone is entitled to their opinion whether they agree with me or not but this is what I always tell my friends. My word is NOT God’s, it’s only mine, my views, my opinions and my thoughts. Take it with a grain of salt or not, it’s your choice.

    We can turn the negatives around and I’ve done my share of those too. Actually, I’m a Leo so I get mad when someone says something hurtful but I’ve learned to step back, take some breaths, go do something else and then come back to it with a level head. That has been my saving grace and I’ve been able to deal with it much better. We definitely can learn a lot from these people too, not always but your post points out the good for sure.

    Thanks for your tips as always and you keep the awesome content coming my friend.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted…Thankful Thursday: Evergreen, Facebook, Commenting, MarketingMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Ryan Biddulph (Post author)

      Hi Adrienne, I vibe with how you look at criticism. Angry folks, or folks having a bad day. The guy yesterday is similar to a small child. He wants attention. Once you addressed and let him go, he’ll likely go out there to criticize someone else, as long as he feels bad. Well done Adrienne, and you have yourself a great day.

      Reply

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