Tips & Advice: General Life – Negativity

It’s the first week of the General Life segment in the Tips & Advice feature on the This Is My Truth Now blog. If you’re new to this segment, scroll toward the bottom to learn more about it and me. Today’s topic will focus on dealing with negativity in many forms.

Negativity is something we all deal with… perhaps someone has said or done something that makes us feel negative. Or maybe that person is a negative troll who’s publicly posted something awful about us, our books, our blog, etc. Ah, painful. This is a difficult one to tackle. Although I’m offering advice here, I still have issues dealing with this situation. That’s why this is an opportunity to learn from one another. Let’s first chat about being on the receiving end of someone who does or says something negative about us.

Dealing with Bad Apples who intentionally hurt us

If someone is mean to me in a review or on a post, my first thought used to be: “You are such an idiot. I’m gonna get revenge.” When I thought about it, that revenge tactic solves nothing. Let’s say I actually did something vengeful… I might feel a little better, but I also might show a side of me that stops others from reading my books or wanting to get to know me. I also might cause a mini-war that leads to that person adding more negative reviews or responses. And let’s face it… once you have a troll, or once someone is angry with you, you’re stuck until they choose to stop. Freedom of Speech lets them say what they want as long as they’re not harassing you. So… I began to think differently, and now, my first thought is: “You are such an idiot. And while this might hurt me temporarily, the likelihood of it actually having any long-term impact is zero.”

Once I accepted that, I found I could more easily let things roll of my shoulder. Sure, I might lose a few potential readers because of that nasty review. I also might gain some readers who stop by because they want to find out if the troll is right or not. And they’ll often find out the troll was wrong. That old adage of slowly driving by a car accident, and even though you don’t want to look at it, you do… Truthfully though… it comes down to something simple but one-hundred percent accurate: I know my work. I know it’s good. I never claimed to be perfect or the best. Instead of getting all worked up over the person’s rudeness, I initially find a way to let the steam out, and then I think about what I could do differently next time.

But why are they doing it to me?

When someone is negative to me, I also try to understand what it is they want to accomplish. Some people just like to be mean because they are generally mean people and have always been like that. Other people get their jollies from it and that’s what makes them happy for some reason. A few don’t realize they’re mean and might need to be told what they’re doing to others. Finally, there are those who are just direct in sharing their words and opinions, and unfortunately, some of us can be overly sensitive when it comes to listening in those instances.

Ultimately, there are negative and mean people in this world no matter what we want, do, or think. We can’t change other people; we can only change our own reactions to them. It’s best to avoid them when there is a big risk. Sometimes confrontation can help, if you know them and have some level of a positive relationship with them already. If they’re a stranger, the chances of you fixing them is close to zero. It’s best to try to learn from them on your own without antagonizing them.

Let’s dig into an example…

I had an instance recently where the first piece of feedback I consistently received from someone was always negative / problematic. (S)he would always say why something I did wasn’t working. To me, I would have said it differently: “I like what you did here. You did well on this aspect. But… this piece didn’t work for me.” There are different sides to every story, right? Depending on your relationship, it might be okay to start with the negative. For those who deliver negative feedback in that manner, take a step back and think about your words before you share them. For those who need sugarcoating, tell the person beforehand… “Hey, be gentle with me if you find something that isn’t good.”

You usually have the power to define the relationship beforehand–with someone you know–and if you can’t because it’s a random person, well… there you have it. If it’s a random person, does their opinion really matter to you? You’ll never see them again, so find a way to move on. It ain’t easy. I promise you that. I still get angry when it happens to me. But I also realize much more quickly that it’s just not that important compared to other things in my life. Best not to waste time and energy on someone who constantly makes us feel bad. There are those who lift us up, so find those people and build friendships with them.

Summary and Next Time

Hopefully you found these tips helpful. Feel free to comment on them, share ideas, or ask questions. I’ll do my best to respond and share your feedback too. Next time, I’ll focus on organizational skills. If you have a tip you’d like to share, propose a post to me… just be sure it’s not the first time we’ve chatted. I like to get to know someone before I promote them or their words and work… but once we do chat, I’m all for sharing your ideas too. Thanks everyone!

***

Welcome to a new feature on my blog: tips and advice on a variety of topics ranging from everyday life to product and service recommendations to clever ideas for bloggers, writers, and readers. You will find lessons learned, motivational thoughts, and easy suggestions that apply to general life and finding a path to happiness. Other hacks and tricks consider the world of literature and publishing to help bloggers, reviewers, and authors kick off a new website, develop a marketing plan, or write a book review. I’m even going to share some of my favorite products and services that friends and family have create and offered to others via their companies and websites. While I’ll host and lead the posts, I plan to invite fellow bloggers to guest post regularly. I want to offer them an opportunity to share their ideas too… and what better place than the This Is My Truth Now blog? While I’m not a certified life coach or expert in any one area, I do want to share everything I’ve learned to help book reviewers, authors, creative spirits, and followers along my path in life.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are five books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, and Haunted House Ghost. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

32 comments

  1. This is very interesting Jay. I’m currently doing a short course on mindfulness which teaches you to let thoughts come and go, be reflected upon to find positive solutions which do not dwell on the negative. It’s very interesting. I’ve had a few negative feedbacks too so I know how that feels. Not everyone will like our work and its coping with that in a mindful way which is my goal right now.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi. Thanks for joining in today. This one was tough because I’m not a therapist and only responding based on experience and stepping back from a situation. It’s never easy.

      Mindfulness is so important. People often forget it. I’m glad you’re teaching it. With way over a billion people in the world, we can’t please everyone… and some people are just negative, so no matter what, they won’t like something because they just like to complain. 😦 At least we’re not in that category!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hi James. I’m not teaching Mindfulness at least not yet. I’m learning it and find it very interesting and helpful. And yes you’re right there will always be someone out there who wants to be mean for the sake of it. That’s their loss. I try to boost people up whenever I can. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Good post, James. It’s so natural to take criticism personally, especially when it is a project that you have poured hours of loving work into. So many things spring to mind and none of them are easy. I think we need to be aware and work on ourselves. My Great Granny used to say ‘If you can’t find something kind to say, then stay quiet.’ Another thread I try and stitch with is ‘Your opinion of me is your business.’ It’s choosing how to respond, if at all, that takes time and energy. I try not to ignite fires that take more energy to put out. Here’s to staying true to ourselves and flowing with loving kindness. ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    • Beautiful thoughts, and your great granny was right. It’s hard to be that way tho. I find myself often being told that I’m cold or unfeeling when I don’t argue back over something. But in the end, unless it’s mega important, I’m just not gonna worry or get into it with the person. I can accept people are sometimes poor thinkers or behaviors, so I have to ignore (unless it’s hurting people in a bad way).

      Glad we share this in common!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This is an excellent post, Jay. It’s important to remind people to be mindful of how their words can affect and also how we can take other people’s words. I also think in this time of Internet and social media, that people often times just don’t think about how their words are going to be taken and they think they can just say awful, cruel things because there’s a computer screen between them and you. It’s good to remind people of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A few months ago, a book promoter, who I also considered a friend, suddenly dropped me from her newsletter, social media and Tribber feed. I emailed asking what happened, and she said since I hadn’t promoted with her recently (I’d gone through a dry spell with my writing) that I was out- no hard feelings. Yeah, right!
    It hurt and ticked me off. I felt like telling all my contacts what my experience with her had been and to watch their backs for sharp knives, but I didn’t. There’s just no winning with some people.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Nice one! And this is a good time of year to bring the issue of negativity up. It is supposed to be such a happy and jolly time of year but often expectations and the negative reactions of others can destroy all that very quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for putting this topic up for discussion Jay. Thankfully, I have not had too many “difficult” reviews or comments. I like to think that they are a reflection of where the writer is at in their lives, and wish them well on their journey… (After I have had an internal rant!)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Excellent advice Jay. Negativity doesn’t serve anyone, and I walk away from negative energies pronto. You are so right, there’s a way to point out things that aren’t necessarily good using a bit of finesse. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s