How To Handle Negative Comments on Social Media

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No matter what sort of negative feedback one might receive on social media — from rude personal attacks to legitimate constructive criticism — it can be quite difficult to handle, process and deal with.

Today, I’d like to focus on those comments that aren’t coming from a place of hate and silliness, but, rather, those that are intended to be helpful and productive. 

How To Handle Negative Comments That Are Intended to be Helpful

How To Handle Negative Comments on Social Media

First step: Think of yourself as a product.

Do your best to remove anything personal from the equation. Negative comments are almost never about you, personally, your soul or your true character.

This is, ultimately, about what you’re presenting to the world. It’s your packaging or it’s your delivery.

So, I always try to remember to think of myself as a product whenever I get any feedback on social — negative or positive.

It allows me to handle the situation best by taking pause and, eventually, getting to that place where I don’t feel triggered.

Second step: Investigate.

The best way to investigate feedback is to figure out, specifically, what the feedback means. Ask questions or do your own internal investigation so you understand:

  • What is going on here (i.e., intent)?
  • How accurate is this?
  • Can I learn from this?

Third step: Remember your goal.

Your goal is to have a better, happier, fuller, healthier life, right? And in order to do that, you have to improve. And it’s really hard to improve without constructive feedback — unless you’re really crazy self-aware.

Remembering Your Goal is a Great Way to Handle Negative Comment on Social Media.jpg

Fourth step: Treat the person who gave you the feedback as an ally.

After you’ve had a moment — whatever a moment is for you (a week, a month, a year) — to figure out how their negative feedback was actually useful, then, at such time, return to that person and thank them.

Be attentive, be responsive, and be sincere about it. Let them know how it is you:

  • plan to improve
  • are improving
  • have improved

Think about sandpaper. Sandpaper is what you would use to remove old layers (of paint on wood, for example). If you ever want the surface of the wood to be smooth, it needs to be rough and abrasive first. So just like sandpaper, think of criticism as that first necessary step for you to be smoother.

For much more related to this topic, like:

  • The time I received constructive (negative) feedback re: teaching fitness (and how it shaped me)
  • Why I truly appreciate constructive criticism
  • That time a stranger gave me negative feedback (on social media) and I listened and took her suggestion (and then agreed with her)
  • Why you shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed with feedback on social media

Then, definitely check out The Chalene Show below:

And don’t forget to subscribe to TCS for weekly shows aimed at bettering your overall life!


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