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1.07.2014

I Don't Feel I Need to Explain My Art to You, Warren

today's annoyance is a little thing called criticism.  and my biggest pet peeve relating to criticism.  i bet you think that i'm about to talk about how annoyed i get when people leave mean comments or criticize your writing, and how, instead, they should just not read it.

nope.

one of my biggest pet peeves, particularly related to blogging and writing, but really whatever career or hobby you're in, is the inability to handle criticism.  true, gently suggested, helpful criticism or nasty, anonymous, not much you can do about it criticism.  they're all in the same category of someone wants you to change what you're doing, and you have the choice to accept it or not.  unless you never leave your house to interact with people, you're going to get criticized.  you should.  it helps you grow as a person.  and i worry that years of 'everyone gets a participation trophy!' have softened people into thinking that no one should ever get criticized and we should all just get along like the 'she doesn't even go here' girl.  well that's not real life.

i happen to be of the 'if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen' mentality.  i apply that to anything one chooses to spend their time doing.  acting, opening a restaurant, interior decorating and yes, writing.  what is it about blogging/writing that makes people think they're exempt from criticism?  criticism makes you a better person and a better blogger.  suck. it. up.  you put it out there for people to read.  you want comments, you want page views, you want followers, and if you didn't, you'd make everything from your blog to your instagram private.  if anyone in the world could stumble upon your writing, then the "if you don't like it, you can leave" sentiment doesn't really apply.  the world is not sunshine and rainbows.  not everyone is going to love you and most of the time, they'll tell you to your face they don't love you.  just because you're now behind a computer screen, that means everyone should love you and no one should tell you the things they don't like?  you're not 8 years old, and neither are your readers.  you put it out there for others to see, then you accept the good with the bad.  no, people probably shouldn't stalk you and constantly tell you the horrible things you're doing or leave 'you're fat and ugly' comments.  but neither do they need to 'click the little x and not read it.'  if the comment is stupid, laugh it off and move on.

i get criticism about this here blog all. the. time.  in the form of comments, e-mails, notes on other sites, in real life from my friends.  things i should change, things they don't like, stuff they hate hearing about.  i have never once complained and i have never once uttered the words 'if you don't like it, leave.'  and i haven't passively allowed any of my friends and readers utter them either. (a) if i need to defend myself, i most certainly can and (b) well, i don't need to.  it's just a little feedback.  some comments have merit, some don't.  decide for yourself which is which, thank the person leaving the comment, and either make the change or move on.  stop being a 'woe is me' petulant child, rallying your friends to support you in a raging outcry against the 'haters.'  it's as obnoxious as it is fruitless. 



because every time i see someone ignore all the wonderful comments and instead cry over one solitary bad one i just think, in my best ron weasley voice, "she needs to sort out her priorities."  so feel free to leave me your feedback comments any time.  i can take it and keep doing what i like to do.  if you can't do the same, maybe you're not really enjoying what you're doing in the first place.

39 comments:

  1. I needed to read this today. As I have a problem with not saying what I think.....even when I know I should keep my mouth firmly clamped shut. That being said, I always think you are awesome, definitely no need to change.

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  2. I really like this post. I am in grad school and am able to pick my advisor. I picked the person who criticized me the most and was not constantly telling me how great I am. It really sucks to hear criticism, but I have become better at my job because of it. I also think it is important to sort the constructive criticism from the mean criticism. You have to just let the mean criticism roll off your back and get on with your life!

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    1. I think that was a very smart decision! You'll never have a reason to become better if everyone is always telling you your work is wonderful. You can't be the best that way, and you'll never know why. It's good to have someone brutally honest in your corner. They want you to succeed, and criticism is what gets you there.

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  3. I agree... but unfortunately it still sucks when someone writes something nasty on your blog. I got my first anonymous mean comment the other day and it SUCKED. It made me feel bad and I know I need to grow thicker skin, but ugh. lol

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  4. I agree, it is awful and people learn to be nicer!

    xx
    Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

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  5. That title is perfect. I totally knew exactly what post this was haha. The last sentence is like the perfect thought. Definitely had that realization in life a few times : )

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  6. So true. I wish I could get somebody to critique my blog. I need advice about something obviously. Anyway...great post. I don't think you could make it beter. And I'm not just saying that to kiss ass. I don't kiss ass. lol. Nice title ;)

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  7. Triple love this post, boo. I totally have that mentality, too. Reason number 29348 that we're blog twins.

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  8. I agree 100% with this post....it's like I always tell my daughter...."be nice to the people who aren't nice to you and then move on"

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    1. Perfect advice for her! Other people love her and support her, don't waste time with one person who doesn't.

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  9. hi five on this post, steph. i've gotten some comments that have some criticism and it just rolls off my back but when i read about how other bloggers get so riled up about them it makes me laugh. WHO CARES, IT'S THE INTERNET.

    it's one thing to be mean in a comment but another to make suggestions or disagree with what you wrote. everyone has an opinion, not everyone will agree with you and you don't always have to be right. i think that's the problem with some bloggers - they have this mentality like, THIS IS MY BLOG AND YOU CAN'T DISAGREE WITH ME!! get over yourself.

    kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  10. You are awesome. Just saying. :)

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  11. I do not get why people cannot take constructive criticism. Oh, you're perfect? Sorry. I forgot.

    As for random or anonymous criticism, who gives one F what Joe on the street thinks of you? When you put yourself out there you need to be prepared for an array of reactions.

    Many people in real life have told me what to do with my blog, to which I either say "thanks for the suggestion" or "no thanks." Nothing more to it.

    Much of the blogger hysterics over someone disagreeing with them is rooted in the fact that a lot of people want to be the same - wear the same things, watch the same things, do the same diet, etc etc. How about we all just be ourselves, and know that we're not perfect?

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  12. Every time I read another post about how bloglandia should just be for support and encouragement, and anyone who has a critique should get out, I throw up a little. That's not the real world, dolls. We don't have to go out of our way to be mean, but like you said--we don't need to hide from critiques either.

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  13. such a great point!! if you put yourself out there there will be critics plain and simple.

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  14. I kind of enjoy writing things that I think not everyone will agree with. I like to put things out there that go against what the trend is in blogging because honestly, a lot of those trends drive me crazy. I will definitely agree with you that constructive criticism is fine and things are more interesting when we disagree, but if I got repeatedly criticized by a mean troll on the internet, I would pull the "click the x" card. At least once. Some people have entirely too much time on their hands.

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  15. I can definitely handle criticism, but what I don't like is lack of tact. Someone commented on my blog recently that I was ugly. Well, the way I look isn't something I can change, so I don't take that as helpful criticism in any way. But I do understand your point and agree (barring the tactless comments).

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  16. I'm totally okay with criticism about my blog or my writing, what I don't like are mean hurtful comments that have nothing to do with the blog or the writing. While you may not like someone, their blog, or their writing I feel like personally attacking someone based on their looks, their weight, or any other physical characteristics is wrong in the real world and on the internet.

    While I can let things like that roll of my shoulders there are some people who cannot. I've read so many stories of people committing suicide because they were personally attacked on the internet. It's a cruel cruel world and we all handle the cruelness in different ways.

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  17. I think a little bit of constructive criticism can be a good thing. No one is perfect. I just hate seeing some random person saying something ugly just to stir shit. It's like wow you had so much balls making an anonymous comment on the internet. That is the stuff you just ignore and let roll of your back. There is always going to be a hater.

    I agree with you that the world has gotten to soft as well. Participation trophies? Really? Wussification of America at it's finest!

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  18. haha you are awesome! Bravo!

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  19. So, I really love this for the simple reason that this is SO NOT how I think. I'm too sensitive (though ages 24-26 & "becoming a blogger" have kinda toughened me up a bit..) and I don't handle criticism well. I never have, but, it's something I'm trying to grow in. I pretty much want to learn how to do ALL of the things that you said above- accept the criticism with validity & let the needless criticism roll of my shoulders. I'm loving the last line that you said...it makes me think why would I want help doing BETTER at something that I ENJOY doing?! Loved this post, lady. It challenged me in an area I'm trying to grow in and I think that is pretty damn cool. Also, saying you have haters makes you sound ridiculous. What was that pin I saw one time... "You don't have "haters". People just don't like you." Ha! It's the truth..

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  20. Bravo honey, bravo!

    I'm running really late for a doctor's appointment, otherwise I'd have something more constructive to say. But, I dig today's post! <3

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  21. I dont understand why some people get their panties in a bunch. Everyone is always going to have an opinion, some just have no tact on the delivery. Who cares about those people?

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  22. You have a great attitude. I am such a sensitive person, and want to become less so!

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  23. Completely on point! I am fully open to criticism of my blog because I can take it. I don't think that I'm an expert at what I'm doing and I don't think my way is the right way. Granted, the anon comments that are just flat out rude and mean do suck but really? Why are you getting so up in arms people? It's the INTERNET. And it was anon. Brush them off and keep it moving.

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  24. I hear you, I do, I really do. Just trying to make myself actually learn this has been another thing. I've always been a bit of a softy, so sometimes it's been harder than it seems, but I'm definitely trying. Thicker skin, right? Thanks for the reminder.

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  25. Can't believe I lost your blog for awhile. Just realized it wasnt on my GFC. I hear you and I love this post. But you're such a kind positive light in the blogging community (that Christmas card made me smile SO much!) that I hope you don't let anyone get you down.

    Stay fabulous :)

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  26. I think criticism is needed to learn and grow. I think people need to learn better techniques for giving criticism but hey whatever. When people hide behind being Anonymous to say something hurtful is just ridiculous and so you need to laugh that off and move on.

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  27. bravo! yes yes!! i've gotten TONS of criticism (not in blogland, yet!) but just in life. and i legit don't care. i'm not here to live my life how others want me to. sometimes people will say things that make you stop and think and if i feel like i should apply it to my life, i might. more often than not, their criticism comes from a place of jealousy or something they're unhappy with in themselves. so it just doesn't phase me.

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  28. phew, now I can be honest w/ you: your hair isn't really long and beautiful, and taco bell isn't all that.
    ...I couldn't even type those lies w/ a straight face

    participation trophies are making us a nation of wimps. which is actually the name of a pretty good book ("a nation of wimps", not the part about participation trophies). It's about helicopter parents, not exactly what you're talking about, but how sheltering kids from criticism and disappointment isn't doing them any favors.

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  29. I don't really care about criticism in general, I just think that people need to put things better. This coming from an extremely blunt person. Like you said about the participation trophies and whatnot... I also think the opposite can be said for some people - they're starting to grow up thinking they're the ONLY ones who matter. Ugh.

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  30. Here Here! I've only gotten one "critical" comment and the only thing that bothered me was how to answer it without sounding like a bitch. I knew she had read the blog all wrong and I didn't care that she didn't love me. If you start a blog you have to know that one day you'll get criticism and if you want to be big you have to expect you'll get it all the time. Deal with it.

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  31. I believe more people could benefit if they were more open to real criticism. I mean--does no one remember college? Pouring your heart and soul into a paper and getting all sorts of red ink comments from a professor who obviously thought you could have done better? And that's how you learn! Some criticism is rather useless though--the nonsensical kind of many anonymous comments. But that I can brush off, though I admit sometimes it takes a hug from my husband before I can totally forget about it. :)

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  32. I admit, I don't like when someone doesn't like me. I've been lucky to not get many mean comments because I'm sensitive and take them to heart. But I totally get what you're saying!

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  33. Love love love. It's not always what you want because everyone always wants sunshine and rainbows but when you stop pouting and take it for what it is, it may just help you out!

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  34. ***applause*** Just yesterday a blogger posted an outfit for a specific occasion, asked other what they wear for this occasion, the freaked out when she didn't like the responses. DUDE! You put it out there, you ASKED for feedback, and now you are upset because the comments don't align with your thoughts?! I was beyond annoyed. If you put yourself out into the world, you have to be open to what is going to come back your way.

    -AJ

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    1. Seriously!! You don't post outfit posts for your own sake - those are clearly to be shared so if you want to ask questions and get feedback and just generally promote your blog/photos, you need to be able to accept whatever is coming your way. And handle it like a grown up.

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  35. ALSO people should stop caring so much. if we well let every tiny thing get to us we'd all be way more miserable than we are now. people can like you or not like you and everyone's life will go on just the same.

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