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Negative Responses to Critiques

After a recent experience with a negative response to a critique, I’ve decided to dedicate this blog post to advice on how to deal with those people who just can’t handle being told you don’t love their work.

See, here’s the thing about critiques: You should be honest, and you shouldn’t be afraid of saying what you think. So what happens when you do exactly that, and what you get is a very angry author who either attacks you personally, or goes behind your back and do what happened to me, which was reporting me to the moderators of the site? It’s hard, especially when all you wanted to do is help them and give your opinion. I know I personally felt very hurt and very upset. But I learned today a good way to deal with it, because until today, I’ve never had this horrible of a reaction to my crit.

First, I started off by telling someone, which was a good idea. Keeping it bottled in doesn’t do anything to help and it just makes you think about it more. But getting it out helps clear the air and starts the process of getting over it.

Another thing you have to do is tell yourself that you aren’t the problem. Of course, if you are rude in a critique, that’s another issue entirely, but often times the author has a lot of trouble accepting criticism. That’s been my experience mostly. They don’t like that you aren’t stroking their ego and they find reasons to hate your critique. Which is frustrating when you’re trying to help them, but reminding yourself that it’s just a critique and the insults against your critique are not really directed at you, it does make it a bit better.

The third thing that I did was talk to another person, this one who makes jokes out of everything. He compared bits of the story to 50 Shades of Grey and it made me laugh, which completely broke the anger and the sadness. So my advice? Find something to make you laugh. It really helps with the pain. Even if it’s just watching videos of cute babies laughing, do it. It takes your mind off of it.

Finally, don’t be afraid to talk it out. If you need to rant, do it. If you’re upset, talk about it. Find someone who’ll listen to you and just rant. Write in a diary, figure it out. The more you get it out, the sooner you can get over it. When you keep it bottled up inside it festers until you break.

Things you shouldn’t do:

  • Immediately confront the author
  • Keep everything bottled up inside
  • Make a public post about who the author is and what they did to you
  • Don’t immediately react; take the time to process the event

It’s a hard thing to deal with, and this can apply to getting a negative critique too, but it’s not the end of the world. Just keep your chin up and keep being awesome!

~Lin

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