One of the things I say to people when showing and sharing their work and learning publicly, openly and transparently is to get ready for the naysayers and nitpickers.
Unfortunately, they’re just part of life if you end up sharing your work in online public spaces. They pop up every now and then but don’t worry. On the whole, they’re harmless.
The naysayer and nitpickers are the people who question what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and how you’re doing it.
To them, their way is always better.
Sometimes they do it openly too such as commenting on your blog or social media posts. Other times they do it underhandedly by speaking about your work behind your back.
Regardless, naysayers and nitpickers are going to be one aspect of showing and sharing your work online that you’ll need to be prepared for.
But don’t let them sway you from doing what you want; or sharing your work and life projects in whatever format, through whatever medium.
Your work is YOUR work.
Sure they may have an opinion about it but don’t let them affect you, certainly not determine your course of action.
The good news?
In my experience, there are very few people who do this.
On the whole, you’ll find people quite supportive, helpful and engaging online. You may build a new network, find a community of people who welcome your work, ideas and thinking. These are the people who you need to surround yourself with so that you can be buoyed up to continue sharing and showing your work and learning.
In the past, I’ve had people tell me that they’re unwilling to show and share their work and learning openly because of the naysayers.
“It’s not worth the bother of dealing with these energy suckers,” they tell me.
True. However, I say don’t be swayed by others and what THEY think YOU SHOULD be doing.
Life is too short to worry what the one or two people think of your work when so many more are saying positive things.
Some of the ways I have overcome the nitpickers and naysayers online over the years of showing and sharing my work publicly are:
- Consider what they’re saying (maybe they have a point?) but don’t write these thoughts to them straight away. Take some time to reflect on their words to see if they have a point. Allow some time to pass to decide if you want to respond (you don’t have to) and when/if you do, consider asking them a question to delve further on what they mean or to provide evidence of what they’re saying. If they respond, like or thank them for responding and then stop engaging with them.
- Accept that they are coming from a place of their own knowledge and experience (sometimes they don’t even have that) but then again so are you. We see things differently. The world would be a boring place if we thought the same. Don’t take what they said as gospel and certainly, never let their words affect you.
- Do they ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to consistent behaviours? That is, do they do what they’re saying you should do? If they don’t, then what they think is irrelevant to you.
- Have they “skin in the game”? Are they sharing their opinion but are not really invested in the subject matter themselves?
- Do they make you feel like an imposter? Yes? Flip your thinking. Guess who the imposter is – THEM! You know your stuff; you bring your own unique perspective, insights, knowledge and experiences.
- You can mute or block them if you like (personally, I don’t UNLESS they have made their attacks personal, personal and spiteful).
- Approach them with humour, respond to them once then stop engaging.
- Capture all the positive testimonials and recommendations in the one place. For example, over the years, anytime a positive comment about me or my work is posted online or shared through a private message, I take a screen shot. Over the years, I have collected a great repository of wonderful and happy reports from people about my work. Reading those makes you realise that when you show and share your work and learning openly and publicly, you inspire more people than not.
What is your experience with naysayers and nitpickers? How do you deal with them online?