Take a minute with me to think about everybody who has ever criticized you. Who were they? Had they ever attempted to do what you were doing? If somebody hated on a short film you made, were they a filmmaker? Did a writer criticize your essay? My guess is no.
The reason for this is simple. If somebody has time to criticize, it’s probably because they’re not doing anything themselves. The people I admire most are not the ones on Facebook leaving negative comments on posts. They’re hunkering down in their rooms, working on the next great American novel. They’re taking a photography class so they can improve their side hustle.
Another reason creators are rarely critics is that they know how hard it is to use their talents and then put that “baby” out into the world, whether it’s a podcast, book or movie. It’s scary. It’s vulnerable. It makes your palms sweat a little. And having been on the receiving end of some harsh and unwarranted criticism themselves, they probably pause before doing the same to another poor unsuspecting soul.
So the next time you get a hurtful comment on your Instagram post, or you overhear somebody smack-talking your artwork, take a moment to ask yourself a few questions. Is this person criticizing me because they want to help me grow? Or is he doing it just because he’s bored? If it’s the latter, do yourself a favor and ignore them. Keep using the talents and gifts you’ve been given.