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03 2010

Our Childhood Playground Comes Back To Haunt Us

Posted in Life | 2 comments

Ever since we were children, we were afraid of criticism.  Someone might mock our hair, criticize our dress, whisper nasty things about the way we played in the playground.

Criticism has haunted us since Day One.

And social media is no exception.  Has

When we write a blog, people can write a nasty comment.  When we post our update, people can pop out with a mean comment.  Our tweets can be sliced down in a word or two.

 There doesn’t seem to be any place to hide.  And we are back at the playground once again.

Okay.  So this is the deal.

Negativity and negative comments are just part of the social media game.  So the answer is not to hide in the corner just hoping no one will see you.  The answer is to figure out how to respond to the negativity.

First of, don’t try to avoid them.  Hiding under the desk didn’t work in elementary school. And it won’t work here either.

Confront the negative comments head-on

Learn to listen

Learn to respond.

And-if the criticism is merited- (and it CAN be merited), try to fix what is broken.

But the most important thing is NEVER IGNORE NEGATIVITY

Respond immediately and politely.

It may be hard.  You might have to bite your tongue.  But you will be surprised what happens.  Often, your enemy turns into your advocate.  It takes the wind out of their sails.  And sails with no wind don’t travel too far.  On the best of days, your critical enemy will become your advocate or even your friend.

And don’t prohibit people from saying negative things.  Some people will review the comments made on their blogs.  Don’t do that.  Let people say negative things about you.  Let them say those things publicly.  It’s okay.  It’s better to know what people think about you than just to ignore it.

Remember.  Respond to criticisms IMMEDIATELY.  And POLITELY.

If you say nothing, you are silent. And silence is always filled in with whatever people want it to be filled in.  Which is not good.  Silence is the enemy of communications.

Tell your side of the story

Agree to disagree if necessary.

Criticism  is not your enemy.  Fear of criticism just very well may be. 

  1. Nelson Wee says:

    Hi Susan,

    Very valid point about facing the “fear” of social media hurdles head on. Whether interacting with our consumers virtually online or face to face, earnestness in our connections with our consumers is key – that earns trust and trust is key in a long-term consumer relationship. I was also particularly attracted by your short paragraphs and conversational style layout which made my eye over the article easy. Thanks for this post!

  2. Lawrence Fox says:


    Honestly-offered, constructive criticism is one thing. And here, I agree whole-heartedly with you. Read, respond (politely) and learn.

    But…mean-spirited attacks are another thing altogether.

    As I said in another discussion we had on LinkedIn, I truly believe in NOT feeding the trolls, those noisy, offensive individuals that lurk about the Internet and then pop up solely to inflame opinions and start a flame war. Life is too short and these people should (must) be treated with silence.