Yesterday, I shared a post on Instagram of one an individual experience of getting unsolicited criticism on this coat I made last year.
I’d shared that someone decided to comment that she was bothered about me not matching my stripes on the coat. I used it as a teaching moment to encourage people to continue to do what they do because there will always be some Negative Nelly who will find some microscopic and unimportant detail that they don’t like. And they will feel the need to share it with you, regardless if you ask their opinion or not. See the original blog post here, if you’re interested in the full pattern review and details.
Let me preface this by saying that, as a blogger, it comes with the territory that people will feel inclined to give negative opinions on my entire existence (haha). I’ve received comments that people don’t like my voice, technique, I’m ugly (haha try again, I’m cute and I know it!), and the list goes on.
I thank God that I have confidence and these things mostly make me laugh before I block and delete them. But, I will not spend this post complaining about the occasional rude comments. I can handle myself and won’t give any energy to that negativity. I love to blog. I LOVE the Style Sew Me platform and community and that’s that.
I normally mind my business when it comes to the more controversial and polarizing conversations that sometimes pop up in our community. It’s a little baffling some of the things have come up sometimes. It’s sewing for goodness sake. This is the most g-rated activity on the internet, why is there e-beef about this! Hahaha But, I felt compelled to write just a little something about this.
What actually sparked me to take this discussion to the blog is that there are so many sewers out there who struggle with projects and their confidence around it. And there are even more who have a desire to share their journey, but are often scared of what I’ll call “Snooty Sewers” who can be overly critical and feel entitled to share those unsolicited opinions in a tactless (or outright nasty) manner.
I believe that if someone asks for an opinion or says they struggled with xyz, definitely offer them help in a respectful manner. Treat them like you would want to be treated. But, if someone is simply saying “hey, check out what I”m made – I’m so proud of it”, it’s probably preferred that one keeps their critical comments to themselves.
I understand that the Internet gives us connections that may feel familiar, and not having to be face-to-face makes people behave a lot more “bravely” than they would in person. We still should be mindful of our tone or how our unsolicited negative opinions be received.
Recently, there was a campaign where sewers shared how sewing helps them heal. There are thousands of women who use this craft to decompress from the day, escape from stress, cope with illness or circumstances, heal from loss, or even make money for themselves. The last thing they need to hear is “I don’t get why you didn’t match your stripes” or other unsolicited, rude, and nit-picky opinions that they didn’t ask for.
Would you say something like that to someone in person if they didn’t ask you for an opinion? Highly unlikely. Let’s keep that same energy online.
To my sewers who are just getting started, or are still struggling with confidence around their projects, keep your head up!
Everyone has their imperfections in their projects. Even clothing off the rack has imperfections because it was made by a person!
There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to your makes and sharing it with the community. You made something with your two hands. You brought a vision to life and that is something to be proud of. Never let anyone take that from you!
To my more advanced sewers that have got a wealth of information and experience to share, please be aware of how you deliver that message.
Remember, there once was a time that you didn’t know something. Let’s all be more uplifting in our words and tone – it goes a very long way! Let’s build up and not tear down.