Whether you’re brand new to social media or you’ve just started doing something new—like creating long-form videos for YouTube or Reels for Instagram—you’re going to get negative feedback.

It comes with the territory. But what if there’s a silver lining to those negative comments? 

Even when your first instinct is to curl up under a blanket or defend yourself against the troll who dissed your video, you can often find something of value in negative comments. Some can help you get better at creating content. Some can even help you grow.

If you’re wondering how, here are six reasons why negative comments are a gift.

#1—You find out how survivable they are

A negative comment can definitely feel like a gut punch, especially if you’re not used to getting them. You could read several glowing reviews or gushing comments, and one negative review can leave you feeling as if all those positive ones were empty and meaningless.

That negative review is on instant replay in your head. It feels more true, somehow. Because they’re putting into words the fears that held you back before you posted.

It’s as if they’re telling you, “You were right to hold yourself back. Your content is pretentious garbage. Who do you think you are?” They’re reinforcing your own imposter syndrome.

But far as we know, no one has actually died from receiving a negative review—or a negative comment on their blog or social media post.

Remind yourself that you not only survived the negative commenter’s attempt to tear you down, but you’ve survived countless other challenging situations. And chances are, those challenges have made you better.

That’s something you can take with you as you keep putting yourself out there.

#2—Not all negative reviews are nasty; some provide valuable feedback

Some negative comments hold valuable clues that can help you improve your content or the way you serve your target audience.

You can either disregard them because the overall tone of the comment was negative, or you can take those half-buried and mucked up clues and use them to your advantage.

Some of the people reached by your content will be open to it and appreciate the work you put into it. And some won’t. But even those who don’t appreciate your content might inadvertently tell you something you need to know.

Maybe it’s about your lighting—or about your use of filler words—or something about your body language. Who knows? But they noticed it and felt a need to use it against you. Or they think they’re doing you a favor by bringing it up. Whatever their reasons, you can be grateful for the feedback and look at ways to address the issues they put in front of you.

Their ultimate intent is irrelevant. Because that part is not about you. If they brought something to your attention that can help you improve your content in some way, that’s a gift.

#3—You learn to accept that you can’t please everyone (and that’s more than okay)

No one can please everyone all the time. And you need to be okay with that. Because it gives you the opportunity to focus on the people you can actually help.

Pleasing people can feel good in the short term. But helping people feels even better.

When you spend your time trying to make everyone happy, you will undoubtedly run into people who will drain you, tear you down, and, in short, make your days miserable. Stop wasting your time and energy with these people.

Instead, focus on building deeper relationships with those who value and trust your work. This not only allows you to make a bigger impact, but it leads to a more satisfying and fulfilling life. Negative comments can serve as a reminder to let go of the need to please everyone and focus on helping those who truly want (and need) your guidance.

#4—You get to celebrate the courage that goes into putting yourself out there

Not everyone has the courage to put themselves within swinging distance of the critics out there—folks who seem to relish the chance to attack other people’s confidence because they have so little of their own.

Lacking confidence doesn’t make anyone a jerk. Neither does feeling fear and anxiety at the thought of exposing yourself to criticism. But it can hold you back if you let it.

Seeing someone who doesn’t let their insecurities dominate their decisions—both business and personal—can feel provoking to someone who does.

The best response is to simply remember that any criticism that doesn’t provide valuable feedback is more about the critic’s need to drag you down to their (perceived) level.

If they can get you to fear criticism as much as they do, they’ve won.

You can hope that, one day, they’ll stop blaming others for their own fear-based decisions and take a step into courage. But you can’t force them to. And chances are, they wouldn’t respond positively to any attempt on your part to encourage them.

Sometimes, critics need to be left with the echoes of their own words to get to a point where they’re sick enough of their own negativity and fear that they decide on their own to take a risk.

Meanwhile, you keep getting braver. You keep learning from your mistakes and improving your content. You keep pushing yourself. And that leads to the next reason.

#5—You learn to make bigger swings

Because someone is always going to react negatively. But now you care more about not holding yourself back. You’ve learned that you can’t please everyone, so you focus on delivering as much value as you can to those who are receptive to it.

And as you get braver, you take even bigger risks. Because you see what you could gain from them—and that’s more important to you than the possibility of being knocked down.

When the possibility of rejection or criticism doesn’t scare you anymore—or not enough to stop you from going after something you want—you become unstoppable, not because you win every battle, but because you’ve learned how to find the win in every loss.

#6—A mix of positive and negative reviews or comments is better than none at all

Finally, better to get a mix of positive and negative comments (or reviews) than none at all. You learn nothing if you get no feedback. And social media algorithms love comments—so let those trolls boost your content.

A healthy mix of positive and negative comments opens up more of a conversation. And if you jump in and respond to all the comments, you’ll create even more traction.

By responding to both negative and positive feedback with a genuine thanks for bringing something to your attention, people who read your comments and already like your content will probably feel more connected to you than ever.

However many comments you get on your content, getting some negative feedback isn’t the worst thing that could happen to you.

It could actually do you more good than you realize.

Top takeaways for real estate agents

Shrinking violets don’t last long in this industry. You need to be willing to put yourself out there—whether it’s with video, making phone calls, knocking on doors, or whatever you do to put yourself in front of the people you want to do business with. 

And you need to keep doing it even when some of the people in your target audience respond with negativity. Because some of them will. With the right mindset, you can tune into useful clues and put them to work for you.

Sometimes negative feedback tells you something you need to know. Listen for it.

In the meantime, your job is to keep going, keep learning, and keep improving. Growth is the goal here, along with getting better at serving your market.