This morning in Toastmasters, I gave a speech entitled, “Did You Write a Blog to Stroke Your Ego?” I thought I would share our experience with the Inside919 community. Many of us write professional and personal blogs, but even in reports, evaluations and other avenues of communications, we receive feedback. And, oh, how we love to receive positive feedback. Right?
Barton and I write in our own personal blog, Love Rolls On, and we’ve created quite a following. People will make comments on Facebook or comments on the posts themselves, which of course we love, but what happens when we receive that one person you just can’t please? Here was a comment we received last week:
"I have read two of your blogs and also Barton’s… Since I also have CP, I personally enjoy reading Barton’s. One thing I have learned about marriage is that evenings are about a couple. Reading your blogs about Barton having to wake yup up each time from the sofa makes me wonder why you even married him. If my husband HAD to fight for my attention for an hour, our marriage would have been anulled.
My husband and I feel that Barton deserves to have better from his marriage. You complained about shoveling snow. Well, one year on my birthday, I shoveled snow just to be with my husband. You write in a way that makes us feel that Barton is an inconvenience to your pampered luxurious lifestyle."
Wow- what do you do with that? There was a lot of anger there, even beyond the actual post she was referring to. After we let the smoke clear (as our first instinct was to justify our own position), we let it go, until the comments popped up on our You Tube Video from the same person.
I contacted Mike Garr, our videographer who had worked in collaboration with Alisha Whiteway on our You Tube Video. Mike was able to help me to step back from the personal attack and put it in perspective along with some great advice as to how to deal with it.
In this particular situation, we approved the comments on our blog because we want our blog to become a place of expression, dialogue and conversation. To each comment, Barton had a reply that did not justify our relationship but pointed to the mission of our blog and in sharing our story and ourselves so openly.
When you receive negative feedback, personal attacks or just down right ugliness, how do you deal with it? There is a time to let it filter out and there is a time to acknowledge it, deal with it and move on.
Particularly in the world of social media where comments are typically unfiltered and become permanent markers in the world of the web, learning how to address feedback becomes very important.
As leaders in your field and in our community, offering the space for others to change and transform can create a wide range of responses, especially in the current economic climate of fear and other heightened emotions.
Take a minute to look at how can you transform negativity into a place of learning and conversation.