July 24th, 2022
Criticism isn’t fun.
It can be helpful, though.
But it’s also stupid and people should mind their own business.
I had to understand why I felt this way.
And I realized it wasn’t about criticism.
It was, as the whole universe is, about balance.
People talk shit. It’s just a fact of life. People who say “no judgement” judge, and people who claim “there’s no shame” find shame in everything you do.
Sometimes, when people talked shit about me, I would get really upset. (I still do.) But sometimes, I wouldn’t.
I finally figured out that the people who didn’t bother me with their negative criticism were the people who said positive things, too.
It is the people who only ever express their disdain that make me defensive.
For example, I read a review of Cold World that said they enjoyed it, but they also wished it would have slowed down to spend more time in moments or with characters.
I find this to be a valid, subjective opinion. I get why someone would want that. I also knew the story I wanted to tell and how I wanted to tell it; I knew that a lot of stuff happened in a short amount of time, and there wasn’t going to be space to breathe.
Both their opinion and my way of telling the story can be correct, at least subjectively.
Conversely, there are people who live to complain about the latest thing they read or watched or played.
When I ask them why they didn’t like it, their answers range from “it sucked” (super insightful) to “well, I would have done it this way…” (an answer so narcissistic I sincerely believe the other person is joking as they explain how they would have made the thing they did not create “better”).
And often while they’re answering, I’ll remember that I’m talking to an avid complainer, a serial Debbie Downer, and conversation is futile.
Are negative people wrong?
Well, no. Not always. But they’re something worse.
Just like there will always be something bad to find, there is always something good. And certainly, the bad things are almost always easier to spot.
The people who stop when they spot them and think that’s all there is to find are people who don’t care.
And people who don’t care are the least interesting people on this planet.
And I’m just not interested in that.
One thought on “Negative Space”
As someone who is an avid reader, I try to be kind to authors or books that I wasn’t personally a fan of for this reason. I see this all the time on Goodreads when someone writes a negative review and it’s honestly so mean to read. I don’t want to be that person.
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