It is difficult to take criticism seriously in this day and age, given that the internet is full of ‘‘trolls’’ (people who deliberately write inappropriate, negative comments to cause offence, to provoke and to attract attention to themselves), and the media, who write fake news stories and provoke people in order to create fictional, controversial stories, and to sway public opinion to false perceptions of reality. With that in mind, I always approach criticism with caution, simply because I can never be 100% certain that it is in fact sincere.
Recently I received negative comments on an article I posted. The person was sincere and clearly offended by what I had written. I recognized this and promptly wrote a response. The person was incorrect in their observation of my work, but nevertheless, I took what they had to say into consideration, and did my best not to attack them while I defended my work. Simple misunderstandings occur when you do not make things abundantly clear, and that was my lesson to take away from the experience.
I did not receive a reply from the person, so I can only hope that they saw the comment and were satisfied with my response. I never intend to offend anyone with my work, and despite being somewhat frustrated that this person had misunderstood me and had even written insults about me, I tried my best to remain professional, and simply address their points one by one.
I don’t think it’s a good idea to ignore criticism, if it is indeed genuine. I think it’s important to always acknowledge it, learn from it and use it if possible. The worst thing I think a person can do is to react with an emotional response, because you may end up writing something that you may regret later. I also consider this a somewhat unprofessional way to respond.
From my point of view, criticism was something I had to learn how to take and respond to in the right way. That being said, It still gets to me from time to time and I’m not perfect, sometimes I still react in completely the wrong way. I think it’s important to keep in mind that a lot of the time people are either simply voicing their opinion to you (because they disagree with yours) or they are trying to help you by making suggestions on how you could improve.
- Christian Reeve