One of the tougher issues I have to deal with as an artist, person in recovery and micro-businesswoman is dealing with personalities. The vast majority of the feedback I get for my work is positive and supportive. It makes me feel good to be of service, and people love what they have purchased for themselves or their loved ones. However, I get the rare comment that somebody really despises my work. Not straightforward criticism like that it’s just okay, or that they don’t really like this or that about a piece — they hate it and go out of their way to stick the knife in and twist it. I have gotten so very offended a few times by customers who really let loose if their expectations were not met for whatever reason real, imagined or mistaken.
I try not to let my ego get bruised and to remember Principles Before Personalities but, oh boy, it’s so tough sometimes. The rational part of me knows that’s the price I pay for being publicly visible, that there’s always that 1% of needy people who are never happy with anything, who spend their lives looking for any excuse to pick a fight. Yet, those comments still really sting! This is one biggest challenges that I face as an artist, since this is my work, not just something I am reselling.
That’s not to mention that it is also a big challenge for me as someone in recovery. Before I got clean and sober, situations like those would make me lash out, attack and then try to numb out the hurt but using or drinking. When this sort of thing happens now, the impulse is still there but I learned to step back and not give it power, no matter how mean and hateful the comments are. Don’t get me wrong, I still get really pissed off, sometimes I get so angry I have to take a long walk to cool off. I tell myself over and over that I’m not going to let some troll threaten my serenity or my sobriety. Principles Before Personality is about humility, tolerance and patience.
What truly makes up for those negative comments is hearing from everybody who takes the time to let me know how they appreciate my work or how it touched them or their loved ones. I never get enough of those positive and inspirational comments from my customers. I get such a nice warm buzz from those comments, it’s almost like an addiction in itself. Thank you again for your continued support.