Ever since we were children, we were afraid of criticism.  Someone might mock our hair, criticize our dress, whisper nasty things about the way we played in the playground.

Criticism has haunted us since Day One.

And social media is no exception.  Has

When we write a blog, people can write a nasty comment.  When we post our update, people can pop out with a mean comment.  Our tweets can be sliced down in a word or two.

 There doesn’t seem to be any place to hide.  And we are back at the playground once again.

Okay.  So this is the deal.

Negativity and negative comments are just part of the social media game.  So the answer is not to hide in the corner just hoping no one will see you.  The answer is to figure out how to respond to the negativity.

First of, don’t try to avoid them.  Hiding under the desk didn’t work in elementary school. And it won’t work here either.

Confront the negative comments head-on

Learn to listen

Learn to respond.

And-if the criticism is merited- (and it CAN be merited), try to fix what is broken.

But the most important thing is NEVER IGNORE NEGATIVITY

Respond immediately and politely.

It may be hard.  You might have to bite your tongue.  But you will be surprised what happens.  Often, your enemy turns into your advocate.  It takes the wind out of their sails.  And sails with no wind don’t travel too far.  On the best of days, your critical enemy will become your advocate or even your friend.

And don’t prohibit people from saying negative things.  Some people will review the comments made on their blogs.  Don’t do that.  Let people say negative things about you.  Let them say those things publicly.  It’s okay.  It’s better to know what people think about you than just to ignore it.

Remember.  Respond to criticisms IMMEDIATELY.  And POLITELY.

If you say nothing, you are silent. And silence is always filled in with whatever people want it to be filled in.  Which is not good.  Silence is the enemy of communications.

Tell your side of the story

Agree to disagree if necessary.

Criticism  is not your enemy.  Fear of criticism just very well may be.