Trolls and Brains

The one thing (plus 24,999) that I dislike about myself is that I focus ON THE ONE. One what? The one negative critique on something I’ve done.

I find this to be true in face to face life and virtual. There can be twenty great reviews or praises, but that one negative comment I'll pick it up and cradle it like a baby, then flop it over my shoulder to carry with me. 

With my own writing, I love hearing about something that has escaped my eye. Ideas to make plots clearer. Characters that need to be better.  I don't appreciate snarky and harsh criticism that is given to make that person feel better about their self, that does nothing to help. The internet troll comes to mind on this one and they don't even deserve a response or anyone's time, on any matter. I'm not worried, yet, because I'm not famous.

I've talked about negative feedback here.

When I get feedback of any type, I make an effort to not:
  • get my feelings hurt,
  • become angry,
  • vow to never write again, or
  • take if personally.
However, it is normal to react badly to criticism. Research confirms that our brain does not receive criticism, in a positive way. Even if it is a good crit. In fact, scans on the brain when people are praised shows dopamine lighting up gray matter, but not so much when we’re being criticized.

According to this article in Psychology Today, the word "no" produces stress hormones. "These chemicals immediately interrupt the normal functioning of your brain, impairing logic, reason, language processing, and communication." This article talks about negative thinking and fear provoking words, too.

This is important to remember when raising children. Providing large amounts of negativity affects their brains. Just something I thought I'd throw in.

Here are a few links regarding your  brain on criticism:



  1. Sadly I am guilty too. Compliments? I don't believe them 'that person is just being nice..'. Criticism I accept wholeheartedly and carry round forever.
    Which makes life more difficult than it needs to be.

  2. They say kids hear no ten times more than they hear yes. Scary, huh?

  3. I named my first book "Negative V. Positive mainly for the reasons you gave, One don't like the negative feedback but the positive...... well that's a different story altogether.


  4. Hi Teresa - so easy to fall into the negative category ... I try and be positive about most things and usually am - but will trip up! It's human nature ...

    Today we need to evaluate all we're reading/seeing to see which has a grain of truth in it - and which hasn't been mudded over with completely unnecessary word garbage. We just need to be kinder, less judgemental and realise we need to accept when we're complimented - and take account of the disagreements - only absorbing the bits that perhaps we should pay cognisance to.

    Forget the naysayers ... live happily without that lump over your shoulder - think of it as a sack of corn - just not needed!! Good to see you writing again - cheers Hilary

  5. I think I'm a lot like Elephant's Child. It's hard to believe good things but easy to accept the bad comments. Interesting about no producing stress hormones.

  6. All can sure get stuck on the negative super easy. Kids especially. Have to watch it and try to focus elsewhere. And yeah, never feed the trolls.

  7. I'm glad that you threw in your observation about children and negativity, Teresa. It's so important!


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