Let Negative Comments Help You

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Every now and then I get a comment on my website that throws me for a loop. I am aware that I am exposing myself to the masses and not everybody is going to appreciate my sense of humor or get my intentions as I write.

It is interesting to me what some people get angry at. Usually what bothers them the most is my over privileged youth or they think I am too preachy or find a superior tone in my voice.

I try my best to take their criticism constructively but I cant help but feel that some people are just looking to find the negative in everything around them.

This one comment that I received after my latest post, “I’m Not as Happy as I Seem”, gave me great cause for reflection:

Stop the Pity Party
No offence meant but you need to stop the pity party sooner than later. We get the fact that you were brought up privileged but it seems that may be more of a hindrance than anything. Your misconception that you are special is dragging you down. Get a JOB. JK Rowling was a single mother, worked full time and managed to crank out a little hit called Harry Potter. Go get a job. There is no instant payoff with a blog and if you are as broke as you say-you need money and that is what a job offers. Truly passionate writers do what they have to so that they can write-you are looking for a quick buck in the wrong place. Work on your writing like a craft-it takes years. And get a job.?

I felt the need to share it with you and to get your comments.?Looking back, she was absolutely right about getting a job and I often think of her advice, albeit rudely stated. It is a luxury to be able to stay home and build your passion while mothering your three children, without getting paid at the same time.

What are you thoughts?

 

40 COMMENTS

  1. Oh my goodness, when I first saw this I thought, “I have to read the comment she’s referring to!” It reminds me of one negative commentator I used to have on my blog a couple years ago — my blog was so joyful and full of love all the time, but somehow I attracted one negative person. I couldn’t understand it, and yet my gut said, “You know this person…” After six months of semi-nasty comments (like what that woman left on your blog), it dawned on me: it was an ex-boyfriend who was posing as somebody else. He wanted to hurt me, so that’s how he did it.
    Now believing what I do about spirituality, I recognized that this guy was miserable, not to mention a semi-sociopath. (Yeah, I know how to pick ’em!) His issues with me were his own, yet I also believe that I attracted his criticism because deep down, I wanted to hear it. I had my own misgivings about my optimistic point of view, and those misgivings, while buried in my subconscious, came to light through him.

    I like your writing, and I like what you’re about. Often I’ll find myself telling friends about your blog posts throughout the week. Let that one comment go, resolve whatever angst you have deep within you, and if you can, move on. You’re very much loved!

    • I think you are right Megan. When I read her comment it made me re-evaluate who I am.

      Sometimes things are not what they seem. I could get a job and have my own little nest egg for play but then I would be sacrificing my time spent mothering my children.

      It is true that writing takes a lifetime to hone and improve but I don’t want to take a lifetime, I want to do it now while I’m still young and I am doing it while I am working, for my family.

      Anyway, she is an eloquent writer and had many truths to what she said but she is bitter and angry and I do not have room for that in my life.

      I love your writing for your positivity and spirituality and your words also stay with me throughout the week. Thank you for your comment, once again.

  2. Here’s what I have found…that one person needs to be ignored. I think you writing is great, and that’s why I read you. Pity party or not…which I haven’t noticed. Everything is subjective, and not everyone can like everything, but she doesn’t have to comment or read if she doesn’t like what you have to say!

    • Hello Lee,

      Thank you and I agree. I replied to her comment in the same tone. Whereas I appreciate her offering of criticism I truly don’t know what compels her to keep coming back and reading my posts. She has made a negative comment once before.

      I don’t know who she is but clearly she has a job and is reading blogs while she is at her desk.

  3. Jillian, what a sucker punch that comment was.

    Just know that people who leave comments like this are writing about themselves, not about you. It has to do with her (or him) not with you. Whoever wrote that, although I’m certain they would most likely deny it, is feeling frustrated and resentful about a situation in their own lives and has chosen to make you a scapegoat.

    I know it’s easy to say, but try to like water off a duck’s back it. If you get sucked into this person’s world it will color your own. You’re too good for that.

    Also, you don’t have to justify your personal situation or your feelings about it to anybody. People who have very little often assume that money solves everything, and that stay at home Moms are “lazy whiners”. I know I used to. Now I know better. You can’t explain to people what only experience can convey.

    You definitely need a Chai today. If you can’t afford one, give me your gosh darn PayPal address and I’ll send you the money. Screw anyone who thinks that the occasional Chai is not necessary. One person’s Chai is another person’s back rub.

  4. Your reader/critic misspelled the word “offense.” [In my world, that’s ’nuff said, but…] Why do people use the phrase, “no offense meant, but,” misspelled or otherwise, when they clearly mean to offend? There’s, like, a million and one blogs out there to read, so pick another one to read/critique…[Goodness, I hope she’s not one of those annoying people who keeps sending me poker chips and game invites on Facebook while sitting at their desk at their “job.” I don’t have time for fun and games…I’m working at my home in my PJ’s.]

    Caroline

  5. Hi Jillian! I was appalled by that comment. I guess the commenter is so envious of your lifestyle. She maybe following you for quite sometime. I can’t understand why she had to say that. I mean, it’s your choice and you are happy with your choice. Bottomline: don’t stoop down to that level.

    I don’t get paid if I write something about a product I like. In fact, I don’t think I earn from my blog at all, I don’t consider the adsense earnings as relevant at all. It’s just my way of channeling my creative or “fashionable” side.

    Stay happy!

    Hugs,
    Leah

    • Thank you Leah,

      Thank you for your insight.

      We should all be able to do what we think is right without being judged for it. Oh well, I guess we are lucky that we are who we are and we can leave the others to their own disgruntled suffering.

  6. Ay carumba! Where to start on this one. It’s so incredibly hard not to take comments like this personally – it’s human nature and few of us are strong enough to let these sorts of personal attacks just roll off us.

    I think what is interesting about her comment is that she is attacking you personally and her comments have nothing to do with your writing. My thought is that she must like your writing, because she keeps coming back, but has a problem with you. You are following your dream of writing…stay true to that and to who you are and the rest will follow. I am a true believer in intention, and your intention is very clear. You love to write and if you can make some greenback doing so, then all the better!! For crying out loud – nobody is starving to death here. And besides, there aren’t any jobs to get, so you may as well keep writing!!! 🙂

    See – the upside of her negativity is a whole lot of positivity and encouragement flowing back to you.

    Keep doing what you’re doing and don’t waiver from being honest in your writing.

    Love you bunches – xo

    • That is what I love about you Seana. You remind me of my older sister Melanie who would always make me feel better when I told her about a boy being mean to me at school. Her response was always, “they are mean to you because they like you”. I did get confirmation of that once when at a highschool reunion a boy who made my life miserable by calling me brillo head admitted that he was secretly in love with me in grade school.

      Thank you for your wonderful words of encouragement. I love you too!

  7. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

    I’ve noticed that some commentators (not to be confused with common taters) are happy unless they are being a buzz kill. I just ignore ’em.

    One thing you might want to keep in mind though – the written word can be a powerful thing – so you are writting with power when you stir things up a bit. 🙂

  8. Some people are fixers, and when they see a solution to someone’s problem that they feel they are missing (in this case, simply getting a job outside your home)….they get more and more agitated when you “don’t see it.”

    While I try to comment while telling myself that I never truly know someone’s entire story, others do not. You will handle this commenter appropriately for YOU, and continue handling your life appropriately for YOU. And that’s what we all need to remember, in the blog world or “real life”…..decision making is a very personal act.

    I love comment moderation.

    • Thank you Jessica. Yes, you are right in all that you say. I was listening to what she had to offer until she told me that it was “my misconception that I was special that dragged me down”. Her words held some value until I read the anger and then I stopped listening.

  9. I love your writing!

    Setting her hostile tone and the rant about privilege aside (I can’t stand when people make such assumptions.), I will respond to the “get a job” thing. The pragmatist in me sees the point that if a person really needs money in the short term and they are capable they should get a job rather than risk financial stress and possible ruin. But this does not necessarily apply to you or your circumstances.

    You are working as a mom which has a huge VALUE monetarily. With three boys, you would have to get a very high paying job to break even on childcare. She is not seeing all the factors. She is over simplifying a complex problem that all women face whether they are writers or not. Working outside the home often costs more than staying home. Her advice would be more appropriate for a struggling single writer or actor who is not yet able to get paid for his/her chosen craft and needs to pay his bills working as a temp or waitress or any number of other things. They don’t need to hire a babysitter to do this, so the money they make doing those jobs actually does solve their immediate financial problem.

    I don’t know your situation well enough to know what makes sense.

    The larger problem is that writing is a very tricky business. My husband’s experience taught us that even if you have great content and everyone loves your book and you get a great agent and he sends it to the exact right editors for the genre of book at the ideal publishers, it still might not get published. In that case of course you don’t get paid for you work. (It is still worth having written the book!! It just is not going to pay the bills.) The other thing we learned is that unless it is a runaway best seller, most all writers never make more than what they got as an advance which is usually about $10,000 for an unknown writer. I am sure my husband’s book will ultimately get published when the economy rebounds but we are not banking on it paying for much.

    This does not mean you should give up your dream as a writer or stop writing. You could be the next Oprah’s book club hit. But, it’s going to take a while from finishing writing to published author.

    I really love reading your blog. I gives me a sense that I am understood as a mom, a woman and a mom of an ACTIVE boy. I wish you got paid for it.

    This woman probably has a sibling who sponges off the whole family pursuing their art/dream or she has an ex-boyfriend who she supported to the point of resentment.

    • Hello Elizabeth,

      It is true that after daycare and taxes, the amount that I could make in a job would just be enough for spending money, which I do not think is worth the sacrifice. I love the way that you so intelligently analyze my posts. You are able to break it all down and make sense of it intellectually and methodically.

      Thank you for your advice about the publishing world. It is a scary thing that I am about to launch into and I need all the advice I can get.

      I love to hear your comments, keep them coming!

  10. I actually make my living writing and editing (a job), so I wanted to comment.
    I’ve read your blog a few times, Jillian, and find it really well written, but more importantly, it’s logical. So many people who take up the pen haven’t thought out what they’re going to say. They just start spraying. I don’t find your blog pretentious or angry or seeking pity or anything else (have I missed those?).

    But what I have to wonder about is the person who made those comments. If he/she thinks having a job is the ultimate statement of a person’s usefulness to society, then what the hell is he/she doing first reading your blog (doesn’t he/she have better things to do?), and second, what the hell is he /she doing responding to it? Should he/she get back to work.

    Keep it up, Jillian.

    • Dear Cam,

      I have deep respect for you and Ann and I have to say that I truly am honored by your response and your compliments!

      The thought occurred to me as well that she must be reading my blog while at work but who am I to really care. We all should be free to be who we are, unless we are hurting others.

      I appreciate your thoughts and loved to hear from you. Thank you!

      ….Gotta go be with Tucker and take pictures of him with all of his monsters, soon to be published on my blog. I’ll get back to this one…

  11. Hi Jillian – That comment was hateful, mean, disrespectful and bitter. I would block her from your blog because that kind of energy is not what any of us need, deserve, or want! One wonders WHY she reads your blog if she finds you so despicable? WHO is this woman? Does she have a blog? Has she left you comments before this nasty one?

    Honey, your writing is brilliant! There is always some nut job out there trying to undermine people they envy or just likes chewing people out for the hell of it. What a crab ass! Send her love and let it go! Do NOT let this get to you – this is garbage, throw it out!!!
    BIG HUGS
    suzen

    • Dear Suzen,

      I do not know where she comes from but I think that she finds me through Twitter. She is cleverly anonymous.

      Yes she left me a comment once before but I actually agreed with her and got a bit of a kick out of it. I was experimenting with the post titled, What To Give Your Husband for Father’s Day. Her comment was something like, “interesting post…NOT”.

      I did respond to her comment by thanking her for her advice and asking her why she read my blog posts if they irked her so.

      These comments are helping me to develop a thick skin but it does not come naturally and without major analyzation.

  12. Since I haven’t been a regular reader (yet!), I should be careful giving advices. However in general I would say; Criticism like that is destructive and often made of people who is kind of envy.

    So mainly I’m here to thank you for your visit and kind words about my Anniversary post – that was encouraging. I hope this visit of me makes the same to you 🙂

  13. That is so offensive. I received something similar on my first post… “You know, I read your blog and I have to say that it sounded like the same old typical white woman Scarlet O’Hara “oh woes is me” crap. Here’s a no-brainer revelation for you – the relationship you describe with your husband and in-laws is toxic, and HAS been almost from Day 1. How you married this mope is beyond me? I can’t help thinking it had something to his “potential” financial status, and what being associated with ortied to a wealthy family could do for you. I am sure you were hoping that in the long run, it would mean financial security, if not for you, than certainly for your children. You need to cut these toxic people and toxic relationships out of your life. And you need to do it NOW. And you don’t need any therapist to tell you that. Just get over yourself and your emotional Scarlett O’Hara drama. Buck up!! ….”

    It goes on and on. So I can relate to what you are saying because it seems there is no sympathy (from some people) if there happens to be money in the picture somewhere (even if you have NONE of it!!)

    Some people are just negative and get off on putting other people down. I wouldn’t worry about those few people. You have a great blog and (I’m sure) a great book.

    • Hello Sulalee,

      I think that there are better ways to give positive advice rather than insulting the person.

      Knowing how an assault on you and your life can be very damaging, I am sorry that you had to endure this barrage of attacks. Even if there were some truths in what your offender said, she should have read your words more carefully instead of reading between the lines.

      I guess this is a great lesson for all of us.

      Thank you for your comment.

  14. Jillian,
    First off I want to point out that I am not a writer. Along with my many other short comings when attempting to write the English language, I can’t spell and my grammar sucks (The squiggly green line drives my nuts). This will be obvious when reading my post, but I felt the need to say it for fear of the blog prowler waiting to pounce on anyone that writes anything that can be scrutinized.

    About this whole “get a job thing”. You have a job Jillian. I fact it may be one of the most demanding and hardest jobs on planet earth. The pay sucks and the hours are long, but the benefits package is light years beyond any other offered.

    It’s called being a MOM!

    I don’t say this to get props from the ladies, I say from the perspective of a husband and dad, who is married to a women who has chosen to stay at home and raise our kids.
    Much like you and your husband, I see daily the benefits and the difficulties in choosing to do this. It is a very hard thing to do.

    My 70 hour work weeks pale in comparison to the difficulty of a mom’s job- which may be why some mom’s choose to go to work and put their kids in day care. It’s easier! Seriously.

    I don’t want to get into the “responsibilities” of a mom because it would just be one persons opinion versus another and I’m sure that would be a never ending thread on the subject.

    I understand that there are some moms who choose to have a career in the workforce and there is nothing wrong with that. To each there own.

    I also understand there are some moms out there who don’t have the option of staying at home to raise their kids, but for those that do, they certainly don’t hold the title of jobless.

    You should be commended for choosing to stay at home and raise your kids instead of allowing someone else to do it for you.

    I am not sure why something so obvious should have to be pointed out by a GUY on a website that is all about being a mom, but…whatever.

    And it seems to me, as a passionate writer, you are “doing what you have to” to write. You are making sacrifices.

    Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that the job you have is a wonderful job with high demands and tons of responsibility that just happens to pay very poorly. You have a family that will be eternally grateful for the sacrifices both you and your husband have made so that you can do what you do. Good Job!

    • Hello Eric,

      After reading your comment I felt like jumping up and yelling out, “HALLELUJAH, that’s what I’m talking about!”

      I think that you are wrong in saying that you are not a writer. You are very insightful and your eloquence got to the heart of my story better than I ever could have. I did not feel the need to explain myself to this women who clearly does not get the role that I have chosen as a stay at home mother. It is my guess that she does not have children.

      As for the squiggly little green grammar lines, I do not know what I would do without them.

      Thank you for taking the time to write all that I was thinking but didn’t have the energy to say.

  15. Jillian! Wow, by the time I got to the bottom of this boatload of supportive, loving comments, all the *zing* (and negativity I was feeling on your behalf) had gone out of me! I hope you’ve had the same response, my dear.

    I think your Crabby Appleton’s situation can be summed up in one word:

    Issues.

    Let her go deal with ’em, as it seems she’s on quite a personal journey.

    You, on the other hand, are on such a positive, creative and entertaining path… I wish you all the luck and love the world can offer. Keep up the great work, on the page AND at home! I appreciate your inspiration. xo

    • Hello Lea,

      I did not expect for the majority of my readers to feel as insulted as I did after reading this comment as I did see some truths in what she said.

      I do feel very loved and I must admit that I feel so incredibly fortunate that I have such support, it truly helps me to continue on with my writing and not give up.

      As for issues, I do believe that sometimes you have to know when not to hold on to the wounds of others as they inflict their anger onto you.

      I feel your love and I thank you for it!

  16. Somehow I don’t feel so insulted by the “Stranger”.

    She DOES read your blog with great attention.

    It seems to me that ALL criticism is valuable.

    There are nuggets of truth everywhere. It did not seem like hate mail to me. Maybe some jealousy about your “privileged life”

  17. jealousy of your privileged life is correct. We are in tough times and many people are hurting financially. I’m sorry that we all didn’t start out on an equal playing field but let me say there are many people in the world that had ‘privileged’ lives and are fucking miserable. Your life is your life. All she has to do is stop reading your blog and she then she won’t have to be “bothered” by you. I support you 100 percent. Just keep doing what you do and move on forward

  18. Jillian,
    I read your reader’s criticism, and then I read about half of people’s posts responding, and I just had to respond, too. I especially want to say thanks to Cam for his words, I completely agree! First of all, your posts are so relevant to my life, I love it! I can really relate… Also, I just don’t see how “getting a job” is any kind of useful advice here. It really does just show that that reader’s value system is so limited. And as Elizabeth Hunt says, that there is so much more to it than just “get a job” it’s just ridiculous. It costs more to find childcare, meet other people’s schedules, etc. than just to work for yourself in this situation. I have tried it all sorts of ways, and believe working at something you’re passionate about is the best situation. You’re constantly learning, you love what you do, you’re helping others, and your schedule is flexible to accommodate the zillions of other things you have to do in your life. And, perhaps most importantly, if you spend all your time being a Mom, and don’t pursue any of your passions, you may have a psychotic episode or two. I can attest to that, as a mother of 4.
    I think you’re amazing, Jillian, and to tell you the truth, this one little insignificant comment from this one bitter person, has brought you a flood of loving and encouraging responses from the people who love you and want you to succeed. So at least something positive has been achieved here!

    • Elizabeth,

      Thank you as always for your encouraging words. Let’s just make sure that if we do have a psychotic episode we have it together at Phat Thai where I can encourage people to stick bills into your pocket as you pole dance!

  19. You know, this is what I do with anyone’s judgment of me: I take their comment, wear it on my sleeve for a day and see if it fits. If it doesn’t, I trash it and don’t think about it again, knowing that I’ve given it honest consideration. If it does, I work on whatever needs my attention. Easier said than done, I know, but that’s my process.

    It certainly sounds like you’ve got a lot of support from your regular readers, though, so I don’t think you’ve got anything to be concerned about. 😉

  20. I think your blog about not being so happy is absolutely brilliant. Not whiny, not complaining and in the end so beautiful.

    We all understand financial calamity (or almost all of us) and I think you put it into wonderful context. I LOVED the blog and I am super critical.

    It has such echos of things that go wrong in life.
    You put my name after your children!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks a thousand times.

    I love you Your Mum

  21. I agree so much with all the other replies, that critic can just read another blog if he/she doesn’t like yours. But I hope they don’t read mine…I don’t want any mean comments. Also, I was also thinking like Leah, that person is probably jealous of you. I think you should do whatever it takes to stay home with your children. If you can do that, you’re accomplishing a lot. I’ve ran across many nay-sayers that were hoping I would not succeed with any of my endeavors, just because they couldn’t stay home too. However, I think most of them could have stayed home like I did, if they’d been willing to sacrifice. Some women who stay home with their children can’t really afford it, but we make sacrifices. We each must do what is right for our family. I will not critic your writing, because I don’t think you need any criticism. I absolutely love reading your thoughts!! Keep up the good work, and know that the person who sent the negative is probably a dried up old prune that is jealous of any woman who is happy. Love ya!

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