Thoughtful Thursday: Criticized or Ignored

March 10, 2011

Thoughtful ThursdayTurns out that Lori week has become Lori fortnight.

Lori said something during her own stop on the Life from Scratch book tour that really got me thinking:

Let’s face it: blogging is brave. We put ourselves out there and open ourselves up to both praise and criticism, and, worst of all, to being ignored.

I think I’d rather be ignored than criticized. Certainly while blogging, probably in everything else too.

Way back in 5th grade, in addition to the letter grades for each subject, we also received marks for qualities such as Penmanship, Participation, and Courtesy. Letter grades were all As. Qualities were all Es for excellent — except Ability to Accept Constructive Criticism, which if I recall correctly was either Satisfactory-Minus or Unsatisfactory-Plus.

And oh boy, was I pissed about that. Apparently the grade was accurate.

In college, not-yet-DH completed a personality inventory about me for a class. As the #1 personality trait, he chose Defensive. He showed it to me, and immediately I responded, “But I…”

And he said, “Ha ha, I did that on purpose. But it’s definitely way up on the list.”

I don’t enjoy being ignored of course, but apparently I have a thing about criticism, whereas some other people have more of a thing about being ignored.

Obviously you’d prefer neither, but if you had to pick, would you rather be criticized or ignored?

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12 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Criticized or Ignored”


  1. Criticized. At least then, people are being forced to think. I dont care if you agree with me, but I do care if you are just going through the motions and not thinking about what you think/say/etc. Criticize away!! At least then I know your brain is working!!

  2. a Says:

    I don’t take criticism well at all.* I am frequently ignored. I don’t particularly like either, but I prefer to be ignored. At least it’s peaceful.

    *I would most likely also fail that Defensiveness test.

  3. Elana Kahn Says:

    I’m really bad about taking criticism. I always think it’s personal and that the person giving the criticism hates me. So I would MUCH rather be ignored!!!

  4. WiseBursche Says:

    Can’t make up on my mind on this one. I don’t gel well with either of them.

    Simply understood in terms of blogging, if I put forth a question/musing/or seek serious info and I am ignored, I would not like it. Criticism in this situation would give me a different direction to look at, perhaps.

    But, at atleast one point in the recent times, I did feel better if I had been ignored. (I am not talking of the comments I received on the blog, but rather a discussion on me at some other place). It would have been better to have ignored me.

    In non-blogging parlance, nopes, I am not really accepting of both those situations, but like ‘a’ said, atleast ignoring is peaceful.

  5. WiseBursche Says:

    yep, ,my grammar sucks.


  6. Oh, I hate both. I think I’m a bit like you when it comes to criticism, I get defensive immediately and somehow always seem to take it personal. Being ignored is in a way easier to deal with (the majority of my blog posts gets no comments at all, and that’s OK…) but it can sometimes also give me a feeling of insecurity and inferiority (‘no one thinks what I have to say is important’, etc. etc.). I once did consider joining a debate team, to get a bit more at ease with expressing differences of opinion convincingly and not always taking it so personal, but I never had the guts to actually do it.

  7. strongblonde Says:

    is it a first born classic trait to hate criticism? i hate it. but not enough to compromise my beliefs to be “well-liked”.

    i think if i HAD to pick, i would pick to be ignored, though. at least you can kind of explain that away as “something” being “wrong” with the other person whereas criticism implies there is something wrong with me.


  8. Cool! I’ve never had a fortnight before!

    I tell my children that the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. That having strong feelings about a person or a thing can be either positive or negative, and that any pull (toward or against) is a charge. The opposite is a non-charge, nothing, void.

    And even though I don’t like or seek out negative engagement, I still find it preferable to nonengagement.

    If I had the choice to write a blog post and receive either no comments or one negative comment, I’d take the latter. At least it’s something. Not nothing.

    But because I also don’t like criticism, I completely understand your point of view, too (and some of the other commenters).

    Great question. As always 🙂

  9. Ernessa Says:

    I take criticism really well — I process it, and then either forget it happened, or ignore it. As far as my writing career goes, lately I’ve decided to ignore both criticism and accolades. Neither help in writing the next book and both have the possibility of hindering. So because I’ve made the decision to ignore both, I’ll have to choose criticism. I can ignore criticism. But just being ignored altogether is the worst.

  10. BB Says:

    I think it really depends for me… I mean on the blog world, I would rather be ignored than critiszed, because I don’t know the opposite person and I can’t quite get in to their head and solve the puzzle! Plus, quite a few times I post things for my own record too.

    But in real world, I can get pretty annoyed if some one ignores me. I like conversations and I like reciprocation. Especially on emails, if some one ignores – that is just plain out right bad manners!

  11. Tara (TIMO) Says:

    The first time I read this was while my boys were eating breakfast. I came back to a carnage of blueberries on the floor and smeared everywhere, so clearly they would prefer to not be ignored. I’m the opposite. I’d rather be ignored than criticized. I don’t take criticism well and dwell on it for days (weeks sometimes). Though lately, I feel like my blog has been suffering for comments, even posts that I would expect my usual 1 or 2 comments have received nothing. I am feeling a little bit ignored. But I still prefer that to being criticized.

  12. Mel Says:

    I’d rather not be ignored or criticized 🙂 But if you made me choose, I’d probably rather be ignored. I don’t mind constructive criticism — I don’t mind getting edits back from an editor. I don’t mind being challenged or have someone question why I think something. But just outright criticism that serves no other purpose than to bring someone down? I’d rather be ignored than have that.


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