Outside the Comfort Zone

On my own blog, don’t get a ton of negative comments or criticism.

It’s not to say I don’t think people have negative opinions of my thoughts (of course they do). But either they keep it to themselves or they e-mail me them (If they are a friend/loved one, they just call me up and say it to my face).

For the most part, the comments I get here tend to be positive, and even if someone disagrees, it’s usually done in a tactful, respectful manner. (I hope that continues).

Here on Tales, there’s never any name-calling, and I’ve never had to pull a comment down; rather, I prefer to allow a dialogue to continue and sometimes that dialogue leads to another post.

But now that I’ve begun participating on WeAretheRealDeal.com, I’ve really stepped out.side my comfort zone and have had to deal with criticism. Real criticism. And as a blogger, it’s not easy — but it comes with the territory and I’m learning just how rough this territory can be.

I mean, I like to think I have a tough skin, but WATRD is showing me that I need another layer, and I think that is a good thing.

The truth is, while I opened myself up to potential judgment with Tales, I had a good guess at who my core audience would be. And I hoped I’d gather a niche following from those readers.

On the flipside, our audience at WATRD is enormous and definitely not an audience I’ll ever be able to qualify, which is what makes it so unique and exciting — but also a bit intimidating at times.

It’s my hope that confrontation like this — criticism like this — will help me better articulate my arguments and thoughts. As a writer, there’s always room for improvement and I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge.

So WATRD readers who might have found today’s post … I’m listening.

How about you? Do you blog? How do you handle criticism?

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14 thoughts on “Outside the Comfort Zone

  1. I have had a hard time handling the few brushes with criticism I have had. There is something about the veil of anonymity that makes people extra cruel sometimes. I’m sorry you’re experiencing this! It happens to the best of us!

  2. Did you know that your link to WeAretheRealDeal.com above actually links to a different website?

    In a sense, criticism is what you want. If you only publish things that everyone agrees with, what’s the point? There has to be some kind of sharp edge that makes people react.

    The remark “Our goal is to keep these discussions positive…” is misguided, in my opinion. A more interesting goal is to encourage a balance of positive and negative. If you get fiercely positive clashing with fiercely negative, great!

    But some of the comments are personal and off-topic. Me, I would edit out personal remarks and off-topic remarks without any explanation, just a note in the text like “[personal remarks removed by moderator]” or “[off-topic remarks removed by moderator]“. If a comment contains nothing of substance apart from personal or off-topic remarks, I would not publish the comment at all, and give no explanation at all.

    1. Hi cbtish: We are in the process of changing our comment policy for the exact reason you describe. I was the one who pushed for No Moderation! but man, I have taken a beating and learned a lot.

      I too, love a good debate, as you say that’s what it is all about. But this is out of hand! Plus fear we are losing the very individuals we really want to share our experiences with and learn from.

      Anyway, thanks for your feedback –particularly the advice to moderate and to not feel the need to explain.
      mV

  3. Thanks, CBTish, I fixed it.

    I do agree it’s good to get feedback of the other kind. I’m just not used to hearing some of the terrible things people are saying about other bloggers or the blog; no feelings are spared at all. I guess we’re getting the real deal on every level!

    I think there’s a difference between “negative” comments and downright mean/rude comments. Calling someone names is just not nice.

    Thanks for the feedback though — good insight.

  4. I do blog, and thankfully I”ve not had to deal with any negative comments as of yet. This is good, because I’m ridiculously sensitive. 🙂

    However, I do like to hear what people HONESTLY think about certain issues, yet I think there is a tactful way to approach differing opinions. I think some people are just unhappy and want to “bully” other people to make themselves feel better.

    One thing I’ve always noticed and respected about you is that when people view things differently than you, you have such understanding responses. Some people get defensive on blogs when people disagree with them, but then isn’t that kind of why we put it all out there? 🙂

  5. Negative critisism is one of the things that kept me from starting a blog in the first place. Now that I do have one, I have been lucky enough not to receive any… yet. I’m pretty sensitive but like to hear others opinions. I hope that when people do disagree with me they do so tactfully!

    I love you blog and I think you do a great job with it!

  6. You do handle comments in a very dignified way. I think a good dialogue is healthy. There have been some interesting comments on WRTRD that definitely have made me look at things a bit differently.

    1. Thanks, Lara. I know not everyone will always agree, but I hope I’m respectful and I think my readers have all been very respectful. But it’s a different jungle out there 😉 and it’s good to be prepared for it.

      My eyes have been opened to a lot, as well.

  7. Its so hard to put yourself out there in such a public way, and have enough faith in what you’re saying to buoy you against negative comments! I think its the singular hardest thing about blogging… but I just wanted you to know that I love this blog AND your posts on WRTRD, which I’ve found spot on and inspirational. Thank you for them.

  8. Pingback: All talk « cbtish

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