Handling Haters: How to Deal When Your Review is Bashed

"Be polite in your replies"

“Be polite in your replies”

The downside to making your opinions on video games known in a public forum is that they’re now available for all to see, and not everyone is going to agree with what you had to say. While it’s important to be honest in your reviews, it’s just as important to be aware of the fact that your honesty may come with some backlash. This is especially true if the game you’re writing about is both a hot topic and has a loyal following. You should never apologize for your opinions or feel like you need to take back what you’ve written just because it wasn’t well received, but it can also be difficult not to take such criticisms personally. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are some tips that will hopefully help you handle the situation with a professional grace.

Take a Break

"It's important to keep a cool head"

“It’s important to keep a cool head”

First things first, take a step back and a deep breath. It’s a bad idea to respond as soon as you read the criticism as your response, if any, may be more reactionary than you’d like it to be. Take some time to clear your head and try not to hyper focus on the negative feedback. If possible, sleep on it. This often issued advice is actually incredibly helpful as we tend to have a better perspective once a little time and stress has passed. Then go back and re-read the response to your review. With a clearer head, some things that upset you yesterday you may now read in a different light entirely. It may still be upsetting, but it may lessen the sting that made it feel like a personal attack in the first place.

Talk it over with a Friend

"Make sure you talk to your friend"

“Make sure you talk to your friend”

Talking out the situation with a friend or colleague can also do wonders for putting you in a better mindset. Sometimes all you want to do is get some words off your chest, to vent at a friend and have them agree with you that the opposing party is being unfair. It can also help you organize your thoughts as you’re forced to explain how you feel verbally and potentially answer questions your friend may ask you. It may be that after doing so you find you don’t need to respond to the critique at all and are perfectly happy to leave it as is rather than stir things up unnecessarily.

Test Your Response

If you feel like you have to respond, write a draft before you publish it and send it to a third party to review. This person shouldn’t be invested in the situation either way and be able to give you an objective opinion on how you come across. You don’t want to engage in childish attacks that may harm both your reputation and the reputation you’re building for your blog, so it’s crucial that you maintain a tone of professionalism when responding. Also make sure you’re receptive to any changes your friend may want to make; if you’re too defensive to accept the assistance of the person you’ve asked help from, you’re too defensive to respond to your negative review response.

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