When they go low. Dealing with negative reviews.
One of my favourite role models of today for women, and humanity, is Michelle Obama. No, I'm not American, so I don't have a political angle to loving her, I just have my own, personal reasons. Recently, I've been reminded of who she is through lots of little 'touches'. I heard her podcast interview on Conan O'Brien's podcast (Haven't listened? You totally should. Hilarious and relevant and moving interviews), I've got her audio book ready to listen to since it's been served to me many, many times in retargeting ads. I've seen her dodgeball piece with James Corden. Hilarious. And she's popped up in various interviews in my various news feeds. And the quote I keep hearing and seeing from her over and over again, "When they go low, we go high."
Over the past couple of weeks, I've been drawing on this quote as guidance to an issue I've been challenged to deal with. I won't go deep into the mires of it, but know that out there, my name has been 'embattled' due to something that was completely out of my control.
Turns out, when you do your job well, people often get their back up. Feeling the need to challenge you. For whatever reason, and I truly believe their challenges are based on something inside of them, not me, they feel compelled to point out the flaws, the opinions and the writing that they feel are not up to their standards. We see it happening rampantly all over socials today. For me, my response is prefaced internally with "When they go low, we go high."
Then, when someone decides to take your work without permission, make it their own, not tell you or give you credit, well then, "When they go low, we go high" is harder to find within you.
But when this is happening to you, it's so okay. I've learned so many valuable lessons. Lessons that I can link back to helping coach you on how to deal with negative feedback in reviews. Here are the lessons I'm sharing with you today.
Don't read the reviews. (For me, it was stop trying to find all the 'leaks' and fix them.) It's only going mess with your mindset.
If you happen to catch wind of a troll, repeat after me. "What they're saying, right here, right now, is a reflection on their headspace, not my writing."
In your business, trust your gut. Your instincts are screaming at you to listen, so listen.
When we reply, we're giving them permission to reply back. Take caution with this. With some people, it's the open door they were looking for to express their current headspace and dump it all on you. If this happens, Refer back to point #2.
Finally, remember Michelle Obama's mantra. "When they go low, we go high." Giving negative reviews any room inside your head WILL derail you. I know it’s hard not to look, but it’s been forever and a day since I’ve peaked at my reviews. My time is best spent doing the work that builds my brand. Even with good intentions, I can't give over my precious mindset to defending myself any more. I've got better things to do with my time, like write books and help authors sell more books.
So, get out there. Ignore the haters. Write your books and keep moving forward. And can I insert one last thought? Women are crazy cool creatures. We are natural relationship builders. We are natural nuturers. We are natural supporters. Why, oh why, are we so intent on treating each other with vitriol when it comes to anonymous feedback opportunities? Or feedback online in general. When I love a book, I leave a review and I email that author directly. When I don’t love a book, I move on to the next one. Let’s be there for each other. Can we make a deal?
As romance writers, can we just agree to always be there for our fellow writer and when we just really can’t say anything nice, follow the wise words of my Nana. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” It’s when we stick together that we’re the most powerful, so why not try it? Leave five reviews this week just because.
Articles you might enjoy: This week’s article is all about the trend (please, this is so not a trend, but a reality) of women who are close to 50 starting their own business. Enjoy!
Have a fantastic day my friends,
Holly, The Socialvert