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How to Respond to Criticism or Negative Comments

Updated on November 1, 2017
vocalcoach profile image

Audrey's desire to help others understand human behavior led her to study psychology. Here, she lends a hand on dealing with clutter.


Negative Comments Are Rarely Helpful

Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain… and most fools do. ~ Dale Carnegie

Negative comments and criticism are rarely, if ever, helpful. In fact, dark feedback is limiting for most people. It is far better to "teach" than to "judge".

When we are criticized we tend to connect with some previous wound. The more confident we are the less we are affected by negative comments.

Let's examine some alternatives, for dealing with unkind comments.

Don't Take Criticism Personally

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Perhaps one of the most helpful of life's lessons that I have learned occurred while reading the book,The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz. As I read the chapter entitled Don't Take Anything Personally, I realized that this would be a pivotal moment for me. Especially where criticisim and negativity are concerned.

Now, is this an easy habit to develop? Absolutely not. Especially when you're reading comments about a hub you've just finished. You're emotionally attached to your "baby" and the last thing you want to hear is that your baby is ugly.

Taking things personally can discourage us from moving forward. One of the many reasons I enjoy being a writer for hubpages is the supportive and motivating comments I receive. As I scroll through the different comments offered by readers, I am instantly motivated and energized.

I refuse to give permission to anyone to rain on my parade. Don't take anything personally. Besides, it's not always about you.

How to Handle Negative Comments

Three tips for responding to negative comments:

  1. Wait before you reply.

When you find a negative comment scattered among all the positive, wonderful comments, focus on the good ones. Then, give yourself a minute, and take a few deep breaths before replying ... if you decide to reply.

2. Don't accept criticism.

You do have a choice. Think of a negative comment as a gift - one that you don't have to accept. If you were given a gift of poison, would you accept it? Of course not. Honor your own feelings. You have put time, talent, research and priority into your work. No one has the right to darken your light. Let it shine.

3. Ignore negativity

You are the only one that can give power to inconsiderate, manipulating comments. If you ignore the comment, it vanishes as soon as you replace it with kind and uplifting words. Whatever you are thinking at the moment is all that exsists.

Distinguish Between Feedback and Insults

Is it feedback or is it a down-right insult? Sometimes feedback can be harsh but that doesn't mean it's an insult. And sometimes, it just depends on how we interpret the comment. An insult is a direct attack and usually requires you to simply ignore the person and "consider the source", as my mama used to say.

Don't be manipulated by an attack on your work. However, do not feel the need to defend it either.

Feedback is useful and helpful information. I received an email from a fellow hubber just today that had read my latest hub and found that I had repeated the same paragraph twice. I was relieved and grateful to have her feedback. It provided me with an opportunity to return to my hub and do some editing before too many readers spotted this mistake.

Sometimes we are conditioned, without even realizing it, to thinking that we are right. Time for a quick reality check if this sounds familiar to you.

It's almost a given, that when you publish articles, you will eventually receive a negative comment. And as William Faulkner once said, " The artist doesn’t have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don’t have the time to read reviews."

How do you handle a negative comment?

See results

How To Respond To Criticism

“Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing”

Not all criticism is created equally. There can be merit in what's being directed to you. If your self-esteem is "mountain high", as it should be - and we can always work on it - there may just be something that we can take away to help us with our writing skills.

What may appear as a negative, insenitive comment to one person, can be interpreted as helpful and direct to another. One may find a comment offensive while another finds the same comment enlightening. We are all from different backgrounds. Some are taught harsh criticism while others are led through gentle suggestion.

Responding to Criticism or Negative Comments is a learning process. Using humor sometimes works very well and other times it may be best to simply avoid responding altogether.

We, who truly enjoy the art of writing, do so for the love of it. Not much else really matters.

“I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism.”

Charles Schwab

© 2011 Audrey Hunt


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    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      3 years ago

      You're welcome.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      3 years ago from Pahrump NV

      Hi Robert

      I want to thank you for your comments. I agree with you completely. So nice to see you here.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      3 years ago

      A good article on dealing with negative comments. I like the poem "The Man in the Arena." I don't agree with William Faulkner though. Some of the best people in artistic, and other fields, get themselves into trouble by ignoring critics. Your repeated paragraph is a good example. The reader pointed out your error, hopefully in a respectful way, and you improved your article. If the reader was rude in their comment you would still have an improved article by making the correction. I read HG Wells' scathing criticism of the movie Metropolis. The criticism didn't make HG Wells look good.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Pahrump NV

      Lady Guinevere

      Thanks for your thoughts on this subject. I remember one instance when you came to my aid on a particular hub. I still thank you for doing this today.

      Ruby H Rose

      How nice to see you here Ruby. I agree with you about the 5 agreements books. "Never to take anything personally" really hit me between the eyes. What a huge challenge, but what amazing growth comes from this.

      A big thank you for your comments. Have a marvelous day!


      You make perfect sense! Very well stated and thank you so much!

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      Rochelle Ann De Zoysa 

      7 years ago from Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

      Interesting hub. It's how you react to the critics only comes your growth and improvement in your style of writing. Sometimes it's a little bit hard to accept certain things and change it, but I think then it opens your eyes to share and even make you more mature and understanding towards somebody else :) Great advice :)

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Pahrump NV


      Hi Dianna. Thank you for being here and for supporting this hub. I look at you as an excellent example of what I've written.


      It took me a long time to learn this. I'm happy to see you and thanks for your participation.

      Thanks Jodah for sharing your excellent thoughts on negative criticism.

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 

      7 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Such beautiful words of wisdom Audrey. A saying we grew up with was, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. I love the 5 agreements books, not easy to not take things personally, but when I can, oh life is extra sweet. Such helpful information I go about sharing now, thanks for this great hub.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      7 years ago from West By God

      Great hub and great advice. There be people on Hubpages that will seek out to destroy no matter what or how you treat them. I do not know why hubpages thinks this is good for their business or that of any other business. At troll is a troll and a bully is a bully. I tell them what I think and then ignore the rest of their insidious comments or posts. I have even tried blocking them, BUT hp thinks that they are good or something and then I have them right back in my view.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      7 years ago from Gondwana Land

      Wonderful advice Audrey. Thanks for sharing. If I get negative criticism on a hub, I will usually thank the person for the feedback, than consider what they have said. If I feel confident they are being unfair or their comment is wrong then I will defend my position or hub. Voted up.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      I like that you said that we do not have to accept the criticism if you do not agree!! Differing opinions are indeed the norm.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      Your definition of terms is helpful in knowing how to communicate well with people. I think we sometimes forget it is better to speak positive words of encouragement. Thanks for the advice.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Pahrump NV

      social thoughts - I agree that the majority of those that are rude stems from jealousy. What a shame! So nice to see you here and thank you. - Audrey

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 

      7 years ago from New York

      Some people can be extremely rude just to be rude. I don't respond to it, but it does make me continue to view society in a negative light. I have found the majority of people who are rude just for the sake of rudeness do it out of insecurity and jealousy. Thank you for your hub!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Pahrump NV

      Levertis Steele - I have learned more from you through the professional and diplomatic way you write than perhaps from any other source.

      I invite you to comment and provide helpful feedback on any of my hubs when you have the time. (I've never asked this of anyone before:)

      Thank you ever so much. ~ Audrey

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 

      7 years ago from Southern Clime

      Great and needed hub! Voted up and clicking other good buttons.

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 

      7 years ago from Southern Clime

      Concerning criticism, one of the biggest mistakes a writer can make in a writing community is giving comments without the attachments of the intended meaning and proper tone of voice. Writers who have not acquired these skills, or do not apply them, may find themselves in a hornets' nest when that happens.

      I once had the knack of using sarcasm in my writing because I am a happy person who loves laughter, good friends, clean jokes, and happy conversations. It is not a good idea to assume this behavior with strangers. They do not know you, and they may not understand some of your word choices or sentence arrangements. I had to learn that. I hurt feelings when I did not intend to. Some people do not forgive others' errors and often cut them off. If this happens to you, do not despair. If you are truly sorry, and the offended tunes you out, dust off your feet and move on with peace of mind. You have done what you could to make amends. You are human and so is the offended. "Human" does not mean perfect." Sometimes learning opportunities are intended for both parties.

      Another mistake hubbers make is writing on controversial subjects that they are not ready to handle, or writing on subjects that are extremely debative. For example, if you write on a subject like “Fat people are not attractive,” you are begging for a fight. If you can handle and expertly manage your guests, being careful to delete unacceptable language with an apology and even brief to-the-point explanation, maybe your hub will be successful, but it is likely that you will lose ads and an upside-down smile from HubPages’ staff.

      HubPages does ask writers to help new hubbers who need it. If a new writer creates a hub with numerous grammatical errors, what should a reader do? Some stop trying to read it, some stumble through it to be kind, some offer nasty criticism (i.e., “Idiot, write English, please!” or “Who told you that you were a writer?”), and a few offer constructive criticism (i.e., Your hub is so interesting, but I would advise you to use WORD to help with your spelling and grammar. Hopefully, that will help you to get more comments. Good luck! If I can help you more, please do not hesitate to ask.”)

      Let’s face it: some people are not able to give effective help. Some writers are not ready to be online writers. Whose job is it to separate the wheat from the tares in writing communities? Most people do not wish to hurt anyone, I would rather believe. There are enough quality hubs about mistakes without running the risk of locking horns with a hubber who is quick to get offended. Maybe a reference to a helpful hub or article would be better than running the risk of angering the cock-of-the-walk. Of course, this is my opinion. Some helpers are braver and more professional than I am. I truly wish them well while giving help. They are very valuable.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Pahrump NV

      rcrumple - Now I know why you are one of my favorite people on hubpages. You take the time to clarify exactly what's on your mind.

      I find this to be true and you are thanked for saying..."I believe the type of writer one is can position how one takes things personal or not."

      All in all, your comments are very helpful and I thank you for sharing them. Happy hubbing, my friend!

      maggs224 - What a pleasure it is to see you here. Thanks for your nice comments. Enjoy your evening and the rest of the weekend:)

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Pahrump NV

      alicia - Personally, unless the criticism is given in a helpful nature, I choose not to accept it. As a teacher, I have learned how to "help" others learn and grow without being critical. I prefer the "sandwich technique where first we find something to praise - identify the positive, then present a fact and conclude with encouragement or a compliment. Thanks, my friend for being here. I sure appreciate your support.

      CrisSp - I like your mother! Sage advice. I'm off to check out your hubs. Thanks for being here!

    • rcrumple profile image


      9 years ago from Kentucky

      Great Hub! I believe the type of writer one is can position how one takes things personal or not. A recipe, travel hub, or how to hub can always have additions and adjustments. These hubs are generally based on facts, which change constantly. It's easy to look at the facts as the culprit here. A creative writer has a more difficult time with this because they have created the story/poem/etc. from entirely within. As a little bit of yourself goes into each story, criticism seems to degrade that part of you.

      Overall, I find myself operating in the manner that best handles the situation. If it's a misunderstanding, I usually try to explain and make amends. I used to send them an explanation and apology email, but since emails are not in profiles now, it makes it difficult. If it's criticism of an idea, I usually state I respect their position and let's agree to disagree, unless I feel their ego is speaking instead of common sense. These, I treat like trolls, and go to their profile and pick them apart using their own words. Have only had to do that once on HP, or anywhere. Of course, there's always the deny button if you just don't want to deal with them (I have yet to use it).

      I do beg for assistance with typos and such. I've left several messages telling people to deny the message after correcting the mistake. I don't try to pick people apart here, but when something is exceptionally obvious, I simply hope to help them out. This is always stated in my message. Up & Useful & Interesting!

    • maggs224 profile image


      9 years ago from Sunny Spain

      As always a positive hub giving positive ways of handling negative things. Voting up and hitting some buttons on my way out :D

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Pahrump NV

      Realhousewife - Hello Kelly. I feel the same way. I occasionally see this happen and I don't like it either. What's the point? If a person doesn't agree with what is said in a hub or they get offended because of the content, they don't have to get nasty - they can simply not comment and move on.

      Has it really been 18 months? time flys when you're having fun. :)

      Dream big sweet one!

    • CrisSp profile image


      9 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      As as far HP is concerned, I haven't received any negative comments yet, so far and I don't want to jinx it. But, in case, I'll probably just shrug my shoulder and will not take it personally.

      My mom told me, if you have nothing good to say, then just keep quiet.

      Great advice, awesome hub!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 

      9 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Negativity is never beneficial but if a comment comes in the spirit of providing more insight or information- I don't mind. You are right- we do have a choice in how we receive things from others instead of accepting it. Great hub!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      9 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hey Vocalcoach - wow! I posted my last comment 18 months ago! Has it been that long? Yes...and I tell you thanks to this hub - I was more prepared to deal with negativity. I still don't like it though...makes me sad to see people being mean to each other.

      Hi ho, hi ho:) Have a great day!!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Pahrump NV

      breaskfastpop -I like the way you deal with this sort of thing. It's most professional. And you've given them the choice to visit or not. Good going!

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      9 years ago

      How well I respond depends upon how tired I am and what else is going on in my life. I have been criticized for my work and brushed it off right away like it doesn't matter. And I have been places in my life where the tiniest criticism seems like a major disaster. And sometimes, the difference is just one day to the next because with my insomnia, I don't sleep a normal number of hours, or even the same number of hours.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Pahrump NV

      prektjr.dc - Thank you so much for the wonderful, kind comments. You are such an asset to all of us here on Hubpages! I look forward to reading your hubs and getting acquainted with you. Appreciate your vote up and wish you great success!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      9 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Ha, ha and the hub was about handbags or dresses or something that did not offer any kind of opinion that someone could get mad about. Well, they ain't showing anybody how pitiful they are on mine.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Pahrump NV

      Dolores, I like your ideas! I can't imagine anyone leaving foul comments. That would upset me. If someone wants to show how immature they are by leaving comments with foul language...well, they are showing the world just how pitiful they are. Thanks, my friend!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      9 years ago from East Coast, United States

      If someone disagrees with you, it can provide an interesting addition to your article. Sometimes people point out mistakes, on mine, that I am so glad they did! But then again, I have had some very insulting comments that include foul language, and strange ones that are actually gibberish. I have changed the comments so that they only appear if I approve. Then readers won't see a string of curse words or other trashy remarks which can detract from the entire article.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Pahrump NV

      xmobile - So glad to see you here. Even when feedback is asked for, we can be direct and honest without being negative or attacking. Thanks, as this is a good point!

    • xmobile profile image


      10 years ago from Hubpages, GoogleNet

      Great hub, one other thing I noticed you did but did not say is hubs that explicitly ask for feedback.

    • prektjr.dc profile image

      Debbie Carey 

      10 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA

      I love the way you have encouraged the reader to consider the remarks, evaluate their merit and choose whether or not to accept it. It was a great hub with lots of information that will be helpful to those of us who are new and raw with our "babies" as you put it! Well done! I voted up, useful and interesting and look forward to following your hubs!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      10 years ago from South Africa

      Hi, Vocalcoach! It took me almost 40 years if not 50 to master the art of "Not Taking Anything Personally". I can, as a matter of fact, thank the editors of magazine for this, who did not hesitate to disapprove my stories that were not on the standard they wanted it to be. Thanks to their critique I’ve grown tremendously as a writer and as a person. I will truly appreciate any kind of critique, even coming from people who are not able to give critique in a stylish way. Their shortcoming in this field will only be pitied by me, and their behavior will be merely for me examples of incorrectness.

      I was once insulted here in HubPages by a so-called respectable hubber, and I did take his accusations serious, because it was so terribly unfair and the perfect example of chauvinism and the abusive behavior of (ignorant and egotistical) men towards women. So I did defend myself impulsively – what a traumatic experience! But in the process I’ve grown and also got rid of some stinky skeletons in my cupboard.

      This is a great hub, my friend. Your advice is absolutely superb!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Pahrump NV

      hello - I personally think that being critical about the usage of language, when the hubs' author is from another country other than the USA, shows complete stupidity! I would like to see this critical person try to write a hub in a foreign language! How small this person is. He misses the entire point of writing hubs. If this happens to you again, I suggest you either ignore and delete this type of comment, or send a reply written in a foreign language with "thank you so much" at the end. This poor fella (or woman) will be scratching their head all day, trying to figure out how they failed at sending you such a negative comment. :):) "Love you, Hannah!!!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Pahrump NV

      Dee - You are so right about this. As individuals, we tend to dwell on our own weakness, fears and doubts. Therefore, when we receive a negative or critical comment, we

      buy" into it - unless we have well-earned confidence. Thanks Dee. I very much welcome your comments. :)

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 

      10 years ago

      This is a great hub with some really wonderful advice, I enjoyed reading it very much. However, I guess I spoke too quickly earlier....comments, or lack there of can hurt.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Pahrump NV

      Lita - I am right with you on reading hubs and learning so much. Isn't that great? In fact, I am hopping over to one of yours right now! Thanks.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Pahrump NV

      gajanis - You have made an important point. I thank you for adding your comments to this hub, as many, including me, will benefit from your wisdom. I, personally, do not mind critcisim if it is given the right way. And I would say, you have a very big heart :) Thanks

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Pahrump NV

      James, my beautiful friend - Comments such as those you've listed are an indication of stupidity and ignorance, not to mention immature. This is how children re-act. They try to attack the persons image instead of communicating in an adult way. Labeling others as "ignorant, etc." is a childish way for people to justify their own position. They are insecure to start with and threatened in some way by your comments. I would ignore name calling comments. These types of comments are not even worthy of a response. Love you, James :)vocalcoach

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      10 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you for publishing this outstanding article. I do not mind at all when a comment comes in that rebuts my position on an issue. I welcome that. The only comments that rile my feathers are Ad Hominem attacks, e.g., "You're an ignorant idiot" "You hate the poor" "You're a bigot" etc.

    • gajanis786 profile image


      10 years ago from Pakistan

      Well while complementing you for writing on a very touchy issue,because psychologically, everyone likes praises and dislikes criticism.

      I would say that if one is confident of what he or she has written, only then the negative comment can be ignored or dealt aggressively.... otherwise it is important to understand the message the comment is conveying and try to take it as a positive thing to improve upon.....of course such attitude do require very big heart.Thanks.

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 

      10 years ago from Philippines

      I enjoy reading comments, not only in my hubs but more so from other hubs. I learn a lot from them, like- people want to learn from these hubs, so I focus on the positives. Positives attract positives and I'm glad I haven't encountered negative comments.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      10 years ago from London, UK

      I do receive, from time to time, remarks about my grammar. I am fully aware of not being perfect becuse it is not my native language. I try hard to improve it but I will make mistakes. However, H P really put into the right perspective.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Pahrump NV

      H P - How profound! An insightful thing to know. Thank you.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 

      10 years ago from Guwahati, India

      The art of writing lies to extract pleasure even in negative writing.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Pahrump NV

      marcoujor - I'm with your mom. I am also with you and I like and admire your approach to critizism. It also occurred to me that negative feedback could also come from someone just having a bad day. I think most of the time, it's just not about us. Great comments!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Pahrump NV

      prasetio, my dear friend - I am happy to hear your comments. You always motivate, support and encourage your fellow hubbers. That is an admirable achievement. I have always valued your comments to me and feel important and respected by you. We can all learn from your example. Thank you. I love the rating! :)vocalcoach

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Pahrump NV

      sunflowerbucky - What wonderful and helpful comments! You have made great points here. I certainly like your attitude. Very healthy and professional. Thanks so much! :) vocalcoach

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      10 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      vocalcoach~~ You are so maternal and I think we all need reminders about taking insults "with a grain of salt", as my dear Mom used to say... I always wonder if there is a little jealousy (definitely an insecure person), who has to be mean in feedback... I truly respect constructive help and seriously try to thank the rude person/ it typically disarms them.

      Wonderful subject~~ Voted UP & AWESOME~~ thanks.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Pahrump NV

      mdlawyer - After reading your profile, I am honored to receive good feedback from you. Thanks :) vocalcoach

    • mdlawyer profile image


      10 years ago

      Interesting hub. Good suggestions.

    • sunflowerbucky profile image


      10 years ago from Small Town, USA

      I love that quote Genna, one of my very favorites!

    • prasetio30 profile image


      10 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very inspiring hub. I receive many comments through my hub though sometimes hard to accept negative comment. But I'll try to answer wisely. But personally, I love to give positive comment. This is like support each other. I know we need hard work and sometimes we need a lot time for research. That's why I want something like motivations comment. Thanks for writing this. Rate up up up up! Have a nice weekend!

      Love and peace,

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      10 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      This wonderful hub reminds me of what Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Thank you for sharing this thoughtful and intelligent perspective. :)

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      10 years ago from Great Britain

      This hub was a wonderful one for m. l know l´m oversensitive and lack confidence. It´s the usual encouraging feedback on hubpages that has kept me writing through a difficult year. Thank you for this hub, Great work. love, Dim

    • sunflowerbucky profile image


      10 years ago from Small Town, USA

      This is a fantastic topic and a great hub. I agree with you that for the most part, the HUbPages community is very positive and welcoming. I tend to take these comments with a grain of salt and consider the source. If it comes from someone who doesn't even have a hub account, or does but has not published any hubs, I consider it trivial, ignore it and move on. If it's from a writer whom I follow and admire and respect (which has rarely ever happened), I try to consider it constructive criticism. You also have to remember that your topics may invite this type of behavior. I often write about political views, and I have very strong ones, and these are usually the ones that generate negative feedback. I have also noticed that those who choose to write about religion also get this alot. I think your hub had great advice. We also need to ask ourselves, are they badmouthing our writing or our opinion? There is a huge difference and I've noticed that most naysayers badmouth the opinions, not the actual writing. Voted up and useful!

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 

      10 years ago

      Great advice. I leave all comments, especially the insulting ones so everyone can see.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Pahrump NV

      Astra - Why, thank you so much! Your appreciation makes all the work I put into this hub worth it. I love it!

    • Tamarajo profile image


      10 years ago

      Great advice for negative commentary.

      I too appreciate correction on my hubs sometimes and most people do that respectfully. I also have found people on Hubpages very respectful in that when they have had a question about something they messaged me privately.

      I like your advice to not take it personal. I try my best to assume the person commenting is not trying to be intentionally negative and respond positively in return.

      I do see the forums are a bit different. It seems a little hostile and tend to steer clear of them.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Pahrump NV

      emily - With all the time that goes into the 30 day hubchallenge, you still take your precious moments to read my hub. That is saying a whole lot about your character! What a gal - Thanks so much - :)vocalcoach

    • Fossillady profile image

      Kathi Mirto 

      10 years ago from Fennville

      Interesting how there was an even range of results from the vote! I'm glad to see somebody address this issue head on. You are the best person I can think of to do that! I have received only one negative remark and it was more of a derogatory statement making fun of me! Yes, it hurt for about a second! I chose to ignore it. Later I had a chance turn it around on them...tee hee...all in good fun!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Pahrump NV

      mannyrolando - So great to meet you manny! We share a common bond with "The four agreements" and the wisdom to "not take anything personally". A life-changing lesson for sure. Now, I'm hopping over to your place to check out your hubs. Thanks- :)vocalcoach

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Pahrump NV

      sueroy333 - You have added a very good example of negative feedback. It really is a difficult thing to sometimes interpret feedback. You make an excellent point about how important it is to the reader to be clear and helpful when sending feedback. Being vague is no help at all. You have made an excellent contribution to my hub. Thank you very much! :)vocalcoach

    • revmjm profile image

      Margaret Minnicks 

      10 years ago from Richmond, VA

      You have written great advice about a sensitive area. Thanks for sharing your valuable thoughts.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      10 years ago from south Florida

      You make a number of excellent points in this hub, Audrey. One of the most helpful may be your reminder that if there is something that needs to be fixed on a hub you have read, you can always send a pleasant email to that author without putting it in the comment for all the world to see. Just advisin'.

    • chspublish profile image


      10 years ago from Ireland

      As you say you have a choice - to answer back and get involved in the negativity or not.

      I agree it is important to give due consideration and to also perhaps, consider what the negativity may be about in real terms - what would the comment look like if it was written in the positive. Sometimes, perhaps as writers, we get carried away by the use of words. Thank you for raising this topic.

    • susanlang profile image


      10 years ago

      Mercy me! Enjoyed this read and handle those things accordingly.

    • AEvans profile image


      10 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Great advice for new and old alike! Enjoyed tremendously. :)

    • Ifaleke66 profile image


      10 years ago

      This is a very good hub...much respect on the positivity and honesty this hub portrays. I would like to add one comment as to criticism..."Don't attack the person, attack the problem" Sometimes hearing the comments regardless of the energy (positive or negative) and seeking the TRUTH of what is being said...will also aid in the handling criticism.

    • Chatkath profile image


      10 years ago from California

      Great Hub idea vocalcoach, luckily I think most comments on Hupages are encouraging, which helps, but we also must be prepared for the negative and have the confidence to not take it personally. Take away what is relevant and let the rest go (easier said than done though...:-0)Thank you for sharing!

    • emilybee profile image


      10 years ago

      Loving this hub! Fortunately, negative feedback is fewer than positives here on HubPages but when it is present it really can leave a mark. Thanks for writing about how to handle insults.

    • Astra Nomik profile image

      Cathy Nerujen 

      10 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

      This is one of the best hubs I have read in ages. I am bookmarking this so I can read again. Better than a help guide I would normally pay for.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 

      10 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      I know a good response to negative criticism. This is what I do:

      I reply with something like, “Oh really, do you think so? I’ll try harder next time” and then they leave me alone. Then I go and scrutinise their profile and see how close they are to me geographically. Usually it’s a long way, because most Hubbers (yes, I’m talking about Negatively Critical Hubbers here. There are some!), live in America or some other foreign places like that. And I live in the UK, so it’s a long way to go.

      So when I find out where they live, and most of them give some sort of clues in their profile; somewhere silly called Texas or Nashville or Arkansas or some other la-di-da sounding place; then I’m half way there.

      Now it gets easier. I find someone who lived near the nasty Negative Criticiser… I just look at all the Hubbers, and sometimes I find this New Hubber living in the same street (not every time, but sometimes) and I make friends with him (or her) and tell him (or her) they’re well good writers, and then they get to like me and we get to be Best Friends and then I VERY CLEVERLY say to them that some other Hubber (some Negatively Critical Hubber) lives in the next street and would my New Best Friend do something for me?

      My New Best Friend says, “Yes of course”, (because they like me, and we’re Best Friends).

      Then, after dark, my New Best Friend goes around to the Nasty Vindictive Negatively Critical Hubber and kicks his (or her) cat, or throws a brick through their window, and nobody ever finds out it was me behind it.

      It always works.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 

      10 years ago

      I guess if we put it out there, we have to expect that not everyone will like or agree with our Hubs. I'm happy to say, I don't see anyone being unkind or critical...I feel everyone is entitled to their opinion. I now need to say Vocalcoach, YOUR Hub was GOOD and informative.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      10 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I think at one time or another we all have receive a negative comment. I do just what you suggested, I read it, wait for awhile, decide if it's insulting or helpful feedback, and then answer if I want. I try to not worry if I feel it's an insult. If it's feedback that points out a mistake or tries to point me in a direction that needs help I answer and thank the person. You are absolutely right, you can't take it personally. Great hub. Rated up and awesome.

    • rkhyclak profile image


      10 years ago from Ohio

      Such good advice! I almost always "allow" negative, critical and even attacking comments on my hubs, usually as a service to other hubbers to "be prepared" if the person comments on their hubs. Of course, the only hubs that garner negative feedback is my political hubs. I always try to steer the conversation in a way that focuses only on facts and leaves personal smears alone. If someone refuses to have a civil discussion I ask them not to come back and then start to deny their comments. I try so hard to be fair to everyone!

      Great hub here, vocalcoach, it's definitely GREAT advice not to take this personally!

    • sueroy333 profile image

      Susan Mills 

      10 years ago from Indiana

      I'm so glad you pointed out the difference between constructive feedback and criticism.

      I recently wrote an article and sent it to a fellow hubber for his feedback. He was kind, and while pointing out the good, he was also helpful in pointing out ways I was "missing the mark". The end result was a much better article!

      On the other hand, I recently received a comment that said, "this was overdone, but clever". After I finished reminding myself that it was one of over 50 comments (it only takes one), I stated that I was a terrible cook, so overdone was way better than burnt, and then I thanked him for saying I was clever.

      Vague negative comments are not good feedback.

      Excellent hub!!! Thank you!!

    • mannyrolando profile image


      10 years ago

      Great advice... I've read "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz... and it is one of my favorite books, it helped me get through some life challenges... and I try to not take anything personally!

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 

      10 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      I find no comments as hard to take as negative criticism. Positive criticism makes me feel as if I have to produce equal or better work as a "thank you " to those who have liked my hubs.

    • duffsmom profile image

      P. Thorpe Christiansen 

      10 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

      Excellent advice, thank you.

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 

      10 years ago

      This was great and it is something I have thought about as I go through reading hubs and comments. The Four Agreements is one of my favorite books and one I refer to often just as a reminder. You are so right about hubpages being a great place to write and hone our skills..the support we get from other writers helps to motivate us to do better. I try always to leave a comment that will lift the writer in that moment. I do think there are times that it might be "personal" depending on what is written and not leaving a comment at all makes one wonder...."was what I wrote helpful or not". Great hub Vovalcoach...I will remember your wonderful words of encouragement the next time I might want to feel hurt.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      10 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Thank you Vocalcoach! This is excellent advice and grateful to see it. I'm fairly new here and I really can learn from it. Up and awesome.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Awesome , Beautiful and Useful too. Perfect is a button that needs to be added . I have councilor friend that has a term, "I didn't make you mad , you chose to be mad" , now I use that on my wife, Ha!!! Excellent points. all!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Pahrump NV

      mckbirdbks - I am very moved by your kind words. They speak volumes. Thank you :)vocalcoach

    • amillar profile image


      10 years ago from Scotland, UK

      I expect that some people's comments hurt more than others might - because their approval is more important to us. The answer could be, not to require the approval of boors.

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      10 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Good morning. I can't imagine that you have received anything but lavish praise.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      10 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      vocalcoach Your hub is just what I needed to read today. Thank you so much.

      Up and Useful

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      10 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      I usually have to explain that the world is not flat and move on:-))

    • breakfastpop profile image


      10 years ago

      I handle this type of thing according to the comment. For the most part I am always polite. If things get out of hand I suggest that perhaps visiting my hub may not be the best idea.


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