Were It Not For The Fear of Criticism

Over the past few months, I’ve published several articles about handling negativity and criticism on the Internet. I hesitate to even share another one because I hate to not only beat a dead horse, but to even address something that, y’know, will never go away.

Specifically, I’ve shared:

But in my recent post on WP Explorer, there were a couple of comments that came in at the same time a friend of mine shared a timely article with me.

So for those of you who are beginners, looking to get into WordPress development in any capacity, or who are even the least bit timid about releasing anything to the public for a fear of criticism, know that you’re in good company.

On The Fear of Criticism

I’ll be the first to admit that the fear of criticism is something that comes naturally to all of us despite the fact that we all handle it differently.

Some let it roll of their backs, some internalize it for a day or two, and other let it completely sink them (which is the saddest case, right?). It sucks because someone could honestly be on the cusp of releasing something really, really cool and the trolls, detractors, and naysayers bring it down.

Anyway, in the article on WP Explorer (in which I’m talking about the high price of free plugins), one person left the following comment:

I have thought about building some plugins and themes in the past to either sell or give away depending on the application but since I am a one man show I know that providing support would be a challenge.

Another person shared the following:

And yes, very few people write back to express their satisfaction and quite a large number write back complaining about it.

Now, given the context of the article, this isn’t necessarily talking about the issue of fear, but it does show some of the fear that is instilled within developers from releasing their work.

That’s okay – I have my own thoughts on support, as it is and I know you guys have it, too.

All of the Online Assholes

But if being in good company of others who feel the same way, or even knowing that there’s a silent majority – or a least silent community – with which you can identify isn’t enough, then I urge you to read the piece that contains the following quote:

We’re afraid of showing the world what we’ve made because one troll we’ve never met, whose opinion we wouldn’t pay any attention to otherwise, might just see it and say, “That’s dumb“, or worse.

The entire article is worth a read, worth a bookmark, and worth a revisit – not only for those who are afraid of shipping, but for those who are often dismayed upon whatever they’ve shipped.

Were it not for the fear of criticism, how much more would we get done?

5 Replies to “Were It Not For The Fear of Criticism”

  1. Thanks for the encouraging words, Tom. I’ve spent a lot of time mulling over how we co-exist in (online) community and how a single misplaced criticism can douse the enthusiasm of another.

    The criticism will always be around (I have zero control over what people say to me or about me) but I can learn to receive it constructively (or let it roll off completely). It’s more about changing my reactions than changing the one voicing criticism.


    1. It’s more about changing my reactions than changing the one voicing criticism.

      Exactly. It’s tough, though especially depending on your personality type, I think.

      The meme “Haters gonna hate” comes to mind, and although it is true – it kinda sucks that that meme has to even exist (though I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me chuckle :)).

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