When Negativity Screams at You!

You might or might not remember that Dr. Lovely Daughter is a psychologist. We have interesting conversations on human behavior. Lucky for me she hasn't written her bestseller, The 500 Ways My Mother Warped Me, yet. Let's hope she doesn’t get around to it because it might prompt my son to bring up his own list of 500 favorite ways I warped him. I mean none of that will be pretty for me. Right?
One of our conversations included Internet Trolls and what makes them tick. Why are those people so inclined to be mean behind (mostly) fake names? Are they evil? Do they have a mental illness? Do they have idle time on their hands? Why are they vicious and cruel, sometimes telling others to kill themselves? It's a real thing.
And more importantly, why do we give them worth in our lives?
No matter how good or accomplished a writer (artist, actor, dancer, musician, etc.) that you are, you will most likely have people reviewing your work in both constructive and destructive ways. We all have room to grow. Constructive criticism is helpful if we use it for what it is. Negative critiques, used for the power of just being mean, are far from helpful.
Need help dealing with negative reviews?
Debbie Young talks about it here. She writes about perspective. Is the review relative to the book or is it about the store where it was purchased. She wants the writer to consider the reader’s perspective and also focus on the positive while learning from the negative.  
One thing she does not say to do is give the reviewer a good tongue lashing. Darn it!
Pamela Jane for Writer’s Digest writes here about Making the Most of Bad Book Reviews. She offers five tips on fighting back which includes laughing, forgetting it and writing and other things.
None of her methods include an internet tongue lashing either, but they’re good points.
Here's one more by Michael Alvear at The Write Life. He writes that it is okay to get bad reviews and why he thinks so.
If we review  a service, a product, a book or anything, we need to consider the place from which we pull the review. It should not originate out of  jealousy, personal dislike of a person or based on a mood. Reviews, like all sentences from our brain, should be well thought out, helpful and inspiring. I've said it before and will say it again, not everything we think needs to be said.


  1. This is most interesting to read. Negativity is not a good thing albeit writing or anything else in life.
    A negative review is not a good thing to read about what one has perhaps taken much time writing.
    Once again, enjoyed the post.........postitive.


  2. I've never stressed the bad reviews. My book just wasn't for that person. And sometimes those bad reviews make me chuckle.
    Ignore the trolls and don't give them what they want, which is either a fight or upsetting you.

  3. I wonder why negativity is soooooo much louder than the small quiet and kind voices.
    I can and do learn from constructive criticism (I hope) but negativity for negativities sake weighs me down.

  4. I think people who give those nasty reviews just want to be in the spotlight themselves. We don't all like the same things and that's a good thing, but we should say we don't like it in a nice way and explain why. I don't ever want to keep someone from reading a book just because I didn't like it. They could love it.

  5. Yes, reviews should be well thought out and phrased nicely. Why would one review something poorly or well depending on one's mood. I too wonder about the psychology behind internet trolls.

  6. Hi Teresa - your doctor daughter is wise ... as are you. I would hope that we can all learn to temper our thoughts, and thus remember we have one mouth - from which can flow care and compassion; we can remember to remove ourselves from things that are not positive. The negativity is awful ... I so agree - take care - Hilary

  7. I wonder over those folks, too! There definitely seems to be a couple of different groups out there when it comes to negative book reviews...those who give critical reviews that are actually pretty helpful (and which I'll use to guide future books) and those who are just mean. Good point that many things can guide a bad review, including the reader's mood. I have a private and public Goodreads account, but I don't review on the private account (they have a 'private notes' section that isn't shared and I use that to record my thoughts) and on the public account I only leave positive reviews.

  8. Hi Teresa, I agree. Artwork can be so personal and requires such patient effort, and at times it can be difficult to read constructive criticism although I think overall that can be helpful to a writer's growth. I don't think there's ever a good reason to leave a hurtful, demeaning review. Interesting subject!

  9. I hate folks that use social media to give away surprises in recent movies before the majority of people can see them. :-( I've had reviews that made me puzzle over why the person even bothered to write it or wonder if they had even read my book! Many people are so filled with free-floating hostility that it splashes on whoever is close to them. Sigh.


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