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May 07, 2008


Jared Goralnick

My best technique is to sleep on it before reacting.

These tools are great for anyone's arsenal as they put themselves out there online--thanks for sharing.

Sally J. (Practical Archivist)

Sonia, this was excellent advice. It might be hard to get that initial "thank you" out without sounding fake -- but I will do my best.

Now I'm dreaming of a t-shirt with a delicate flower that says "I have a blackbelt in empathy."


Sonia Simone

Sally, that is the beautiful, beautiful thing about blogs. It looks so geniune there in writing. :)

I agree, Jared, sleeping on it is key. The great restorative for everything, IMO.

Jean Gogolin

For me, it's a whole lot worse to be ignored than criticized. Do you think it comes from having two older brothers?


Swell advice and tactics for executing that advice, thanks. If a comment comes from that 1 in 100, it's not criticism I care about, it's an opinion I don't.

First concern: consider the source and the motive. You give us a great retort (may work on angry siblings too), a classy way of acknowledging them but then letting their own weight through the pisser off balance.

But alone in the dark, we have to pay attention if we hear the same points over and over. Growing pains = ouch.

My first boss was a big-timer but he taught me to do what he did: keep a "nice letter file" -- I use pink file folders (have several that are inches thick, pleased to say), and honestly keep the latest right here in an upright holder on the back corner of my desk. Anyone says the slightest nice thing to/about me/my service and it goes right in. The tactile browsing through the cards and letters is wonderful for the ego...

And it's a great tool for mining what's valuable to your clients: note what they were raving about and track that. I may think they love my A, B and C. But if the majority loves X, hmmm. If others rave about Y or Z -- I gotta pay attention. It makes a great excuse for getting your warm-fuzzies fluffed and calling it 'market research.' (IttyBiz would approve, right?)

So the 'nice letter' file and Jared's (and my own BoyPie's) warning to "sleep on it" are key to protecting yourself, inside and (before you over-react) out.

Thanks for the helpful tips in walking the talk!

Sonia Simone

Very cool, thanks GirlPie! I am not nearly as good about it as I want to be. You have inspired me.

And thanks for the email--very interesting. I'll mail ya.

Michael Martine | Remarkablogger

OMG this post sucked.


Now that I am (apparently) internet-famuz, you would think that I never have feelings like this, but I certainly do.

But a funny thing happened along the way. I used to hate and dread when someone disagreed with me or had a criticism. I really have learned to say thank you. My skin did thicken somewhere along the line. Success brings haters out of the sewers like C.H.U.D. (you will never see that reference in a comment again by anyone, evar).

One of the oldest cliches is the truest: nothing succeeds like success. Nobody can take that away from you. You are Sonia Simone, dammit.

Sonia Simone

I am slowly, to my own amazement, getting better. Sometimes I still get the crazies, but the cycle is shorter. And sometimes I don't get them at all. So that is nice.

If I was in your place, Michael, I would think that it would be a great help to know how much concrete, real help you have given people. Not just "you think I was wrong and I think I was right" but "I helped these X people go from place A to place B, and this is how they benefit." It's very objective.

Now that I write that down, I really need to document some of those successes for myself. I have them, I just need to quantify them.

Shane Greenhough

Hey Sonia,
Found you through Copyblogger, where you also comment and post quite frequently... Great post, whether I'm as mentally ill as you or not, its still nice to know that there are those out there suffering with their own instabilities and self-deprecating lacerations.. Thanks, love your comments on other blogs and I'm, so far, loving your blog.... Carry on baring it all.... It's absolutely fantastic... Helps the rest of us validate our own "inadequacies" when we realise we're not alone with them..

Janice C Cartier

What? We can't just smack 'em around a bit?

Seriously good advice on the keep the good stuff in front of you. There is some crazy weird thing out there with people who love to see someone make it, then love to see them taken down. I don't know what to call it but a zillion tabloids support that hunt for blood. And there's that contrariness that can make for a good debate.

I totally support GirlPie's position and yours. Consider the source, and consider for a moment maybe there's something there, but lean very heavily on what the good stuff tells you. I call them touchstones.

Well, after you've had a good cry...stomped off... ranted, thrown a few things...borrowed some curses..

note to self: practice saying thank you to absolute asses..because it actually helps find your weak spots, your triggers...and that's something too.

Evan Hadkins

Hi Sonia,

Well written and on an important topic.

Other options:
If you can't be nice, get someone else to do the comment for you.

It's possible to heal the past. There are many simple things to do that with a little work make a big difference.

I'm sensitive to issues of competence. If people think I'm not a nice person, I think 'OK'. If they question my competence (the arguments or data in a post) I get very narky. This is very much my issue. I've got lots better at dealing with it over the years, but it's still the one I have to watch out for.

Also it makes a difference (for me) if there is actually reason in what they say, rather than just 'this sucks' or its many variants.

One consoling thought. Others read the comment and see what a jerk they are.

Be as kind to yourself as possible - always!

Cara Faye

For your testimonial file: What a brilliant post :-) Thanks for putting all these useful options altogether at once - have dei.icio.us-ed as the first thing to read next time I'm smarting from a backwards comment.


Hi Sonia, have you been spying on me by any chance? The person you are describing is so totally me, me, me.

I wonder how, with such brilliant empathy, you could get any criticism. If anyone criticizes you, surely they are the ones who don't get it?

I'm older than you, and still working at it. I find that my reaction really depends on my state of tiredness (which is why sleeping on it usually helps a lot - but is this escapism or plain survival instinct?), the context (I take blows far better in public, believe it or not, than when I'm alone -another survival instinct thing?) or when the critic is, by all measurements, a complete idiot (the lazy option, I don't need to fight back).

Congratulations for this -again- excellent post. Please consider the bridge is not an option. We need you here.

Karen Swim

Solid advice that I can really use. My current trick is to have a conversation (out loud) and just get it off my chest. No one's listening but me after all and I can say whatever I want. It also allows me to yell, say jerkface or shed a tear. Once it's out I am calm and can really process the criticism and learn from it.

Sonia Simone

@Evan, I'm the same way about competence. And it's a million times worse if I secretly feel there's some grain of truth to it. Never mind if it's 1% true and 99% bullshit, that 1% will drive me right out of my mind. About the best I can do with it is say, "oh, look, going out of my mind again."

@Nadine, I always thought this was an emotional state the French were immune to. :) I do better in public as well, I wonder why? Maybe just because my public persona is a lot more confident than my tender little private self is, and somehow that act actually convinces me?

@Karen, I do this a lot in the car. Maybe a little too much. :) There is often shouting involved, but I will say, I always come across as very witty and incredibly right.


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Gefunden Sie durch Copyblogger, wo man auch kommentieren und Post ziemlich häufig ... Great post, ob ich als psychisch krank, wie Sie oder nicht, seine immer noch schön zu wissen, dass ich es diejenigen sind, die es Leid mit eigenen Instabilitäten und selbstironisch Platzwunden ..

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