negative comments

April 13th, 2012   |   Life

Today an MML reader and fashion blogger received a negative comment on her blog. The gist of it was that the reader was unhappy with the blogger’s new direction and wanted her to go back to her previous ways.

In responding to the email, I thought it was universal enough to share here on MML. Hopefully this will be useful for those who also have or may in the future, encounter negative comments on their blogs.

(I received permission to share my email and have changed the names of the people involved.)

Hi Lauren, 

Thanks so much for reaching out!

And also thank you for explaining your situation so well. I can imagine that you are feeling hurt, stung, and exposed. I’ve had a negative comment or two like that myself, and been really hurt as well.

So, first off, you are allowed to hurt for a bit. It’s okay. (Sometimes brushing it off too quickly does as much harm as wallowing in it.)

As far as your next action goes: it is your blog and you can do whatever you like with that comment. 

Delete it, write about it, ignore it, or say a prayer about it. It is all up to you.

There is no wrong or right answer here, so whatever your gut feels most comfortable with is the action to take. Since the person didn’t leave her email or any way to connect with her, it’s even more up to you to do whatever you like since there is no way to take it further than commenting in the comment section or writing a post about it.

As far as what to think about this in general:

I took a look at you blog and saw that your style and brands are pretty consistent from the January archive (the oldest I could find) to today. So my guess is that the person may be a reader from your personal blog in the past? And that the style or clothes you wear now from then has changed a bit?

Either way, it doesn’t matter. But what I think may have happened is that she used to relate to your style and the brands you wore and now she cannot. She probably looked up to you or appreciated your style in some way before and now feels like she can’t connect as deeply.

This is okay and totally fine.

But in her mind, she has two choices to make: she can either be excited for your success and evolution and use your newer style as inspiration for her own wardrobe. Or, she can get jealous and feel like she is “less than” now that she can no longer resonate with your outfits personally.

You used to be equals with her, and now you’ve pulled ahead.

To be honest, I personally am a bit envious of your closet! I myself do not have many items from nice brands like you have, and would love to one day have that ability. And because of that, I think of you as in an inspiration and someone I can think of as “like me, and I might be able to have a similar wardrobe one day, too.”

But there is also that ego-y, yucky side of our brains that wants to be jealous and catty. That wants what the other person has so much that the only way they can deal with that envy is to hate on the other person in order to feel okay again.

It seems Tamara is either in that negative ego-y place or she’s genuinely trying to give her feedback: she’d like more low priced items in your outfits so she can own the same things you have.

And this is again, where the choice is yours. You can either continue to wear exactly what you love and have been wearing and grow with all of the people who love your current style and leave the haters behind. Or, you can choose to take the (mean) advice and use it constructively and work in some budget finds that look just as great as the other more expensive clothes.

Personally, I think that editorial decision comes down to what you want your consulting and styling services to be about: do you want to have high end clients that aren’t interested in budget buys? Then keep it just as it is. Or, do you want to make budget buys a part of your styling client profile as well? Then, you might want to work in a series or some items in your outfits that are “under $100″ or something like that.

Phew! Okay, I’m guessing you didn’t expect all that, but I guess I had a lot to say on the subject! My hope is that you are now feeling better, but I’ve also given you some real, honest advice that can help you move forward with your brand and blog in an even better way.

: )

Have a great weekend,

Jess! 

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  • http://freetobestacialee.blogspot.com Stacia

    Jess you are so kind. I have been blogging for about a year and thankfully I havent had one of those negative comments or emails yet. But if I do this will help. Thanks!

  • http://shewritesandrights.blogspot.com bethany

    Jess, I always love your positivity and ability to re-route a horrible experience and send it in a positive direction. Thanks for sharing this. <3

  • http://www.seventeenthandirving.com Lauren | Seventeenth & Irving

    Incredibly thoughtful of you to send that email – but more importantly, thank you for the lesson in how to deal with negative comments. They’re bound to happen. Saving this for future reference!

  • http://kendieveryday.com Kendi

    Jess, you are wise beyond your years :)

  • http://thejoeyroberts.com Joey

    You put this very nicely. It really is her decision on how she wants to advance in her career. A few of the blogs I’ve followed over the years have moved on to higher end buys and review products by more specific lines. I have to admit that it was difficult for me to get used to their new styles as well, but it pushed me to aim for better quality items at the same time. Good bloggers don’t change, but styles and trends, too. I feel that if she’s truly a fan, she’ll eventually get used to the change and adapt more in that direction over time. Your idea for a “under $100″ is a great way to bridge that gap for her readers.

  • http://www.womantoanother.com Nikell

    I love the way you addressed this issue!!

  • http://flaviasflavors.com Flavia

    Your advice is always spot-on, Jess. It’s constructive, positive, honest, authentic and realistic. I am certain the blogger really appreciated your email. Bravissima!

  • http://adventuresofdutchandme.blogspot.com/ Sara Grace

    What great advice! You’re so kind to take such time to respond when a fellow blogger is in need. Awesome!

  • http://sarahkocischeilz.wordpress.com Sarah

    Jess, wise words here! Love how you were empathetic to the commenter and blogger both. I always appreciate what you have to share!