Negative feedback can be hard to deal with. When you create something and you put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into it, you’re naturally quite sensitive to someone saying something negative about that.
It’s easier to tear something down than it is to build something in the first place.
Negative Feedback or Legitimate Criticism?
I’m not talking about legitimate criticism. Someone critiquing your work can be super beneficial! If you’re mature enough or receive it objectively, it can really improve your work.
But right now, I’m talking about messages from people that are just negative, spiteful, or downright hateful. You can spend hours, days, or weeks working on something and in seconds, someone can send a tweet that really stings.
With Scale Comes Negativity
As something gets more exposure, the more likely it is to attract some kind of hater. Even if you’re being positive and helpful, it’s still bound to happen. It’s not a matter of if, but when. Just look at any YouTube video with over a million views. No matter what the topic is, you’ll find negative comments. It’s just how is.
What’s difficult is when you’re just starting out and you don’t have much exposure, you worry. It’s this terrible balance between wanting your work to get more exposure and being terrified that if it does, someone won’t like it. There’s a chance that you’ll get a negative comment, but you don’t know.
Focus on the People You Want to Reach
Eventually, every time you put out a piece of content, whether it’s a newsletter, blog post, podcast, or even just a tweet, you’ll get a snarky reply or a spiteful comment. Again, it’s so easy to tear down. It takes almost no energy compared to building something.
As you get more and more exposure, you start to get used to the fact that you’re going to get negative replies. You start to get used to the fact that when you send out an email newsletter, you’re going to get 50 people unsubscribing every time. It may only be a quarter of a percent of your total subscribers, but it’s still 50 people.
Even worse, you’ll eventually get to the point where not only do 50 people unsubscribe every time even when you’re sending valuable content, but several will leave messages in the unsubscribe reason that can be pretty hurtful!
Over time, you learn that this just comes with the territory.
You realize that it’s not a reflection of you, it’s a reflection of them.
The people you’re doing this for are often quiet and it’s hard when the ones who are vocal are negative at times but remember, they’re not the ones you’re trying to reach.
We have this joke in the Community where we say #everysingletime. I’m a pretty positive person and I like to tweet positive messages of encouragement, but virtually every single time I do, someone comes back with a snarky remark or tells me why it’s wrong or not true or argues the opposite. It’s sort of a running joke now where we just say #everysingletime.
Until you get to that point, there’s a chance you can post something and not get a negative response. There’s this hope. Until you reach the #everysingletime level, it’s hard. Heck, it’s still hard even after that.
But you have to know that it just comes with the territory. In fact, if you’re doing your absolute best to provide value and help people and you still have haters or negative comments, that just means you’re resonating. It’s much better than being apathetic or lacking conviction.
If you speak strongly and put your message out without fear, you’ll resonate even more with the people you do want to reach.
If you’re going to have a strong, positive impact on the right people, it means you’re going to have a strong impact on the wrong people too. You shouldn’t be afraid of one or the other, the middle is what you should fear.