Reader question: How do you deal with negative criticism?

A while ago a reader, Amy, asked the question, “How do you deal with negative criticism or negative feedback?” It’s such a large one to tackle that I’ve kinda avoided answering it. But the answer has gotten simpler with more and more negative comments from mean people.  The internet is a total free for all and people LOVE to rip people apart behind their computers, so while this advice is specific to my blog, it’s general advice for facebook, email, twitter, or any general unwarranted criticism.

Let’s take a gander at this wonderful comment I received:

“You may as well smear my child’s sh*t and puke all over the walls and it would look better than what you do.”

 

That’s how I’m picturing him. He’s the worst.

Well, well. What a lucky child to have such a wonderful father setting such a great example for him/her. This was while he was watching last year’s holiday episode that I really enjoyed watching and was proud of … and then I opened my inbox.

Normally, that comment wouldn’t have really affected me too much because this guy is clearly a hateful imbecile, but he was determined to ruin my day and kept writing comment after comment, terrorizing me. Now it’s kinda funny because he’s a doucher toolbag idiot, but at the time it bummed me out — not because I think there is any truth to what he said, but that someone is hateful enough to write that and hope that I would read it and ruin my day.

Then there are the simple negative comments:

“Get over yourself.”

“You are a megalomaniac.”

… which hit way more close to home and made me question things a bit. Do I take myself too seriously? Am I self-obsessed? I don’t think so, but do narcissists really think they’re narcissists? Do crazy people know they are crazy? Do sociopaths know they are sociopaths? So while that comment is still hurtful, it’s also kinda influential. It made me look at myself and reevaluate the way that I project myself, because while I truly don’t think that I am a megalomaniac, the fact that two people have commented this way means that they are percieving me in a way that I really don’t want to be perceived.

But what do you do? Do you engage the negativity or not? My answer, as unsatisfing as it is, is “Not … most of the time.” It only enflames and excites them, and that is exactly what they want. Remember, they are often just haters and they love to hate and can’t wait to hate more. At first I did respond to negative comments, but then I found myself responding more to them than to all the positive comments and that’s totally effed up. I’ve tried shaming them, imploring them to ask themselves why they hate, and even defending myself, but it doesn’t help.

The two responses I wrote that did seem to work and gave me a little bit of satisfaction were:

“Dear so and so, You may be right. Emily.” Which is TOTALLY aggravating to them because that’s not what they want to hear.

or just,

“Wow.”  Which they don’t know how to respond to and it normally just shuts them up.

Do you delete negative comments (blog or facebook)? This is an interesting question and I don’t know how I feel about it. Negativity breeds more negativity so one would think to delete them so it doesn’t create more. But ultimately, I like my blog to be totally democratic and it seems weird to delete something that someone feels, because it’s their right to feel that way. And often it enflames other commenters and an interesting battle or dialogue normally ensues.  So in general, I don’t delete unless it’s something negative about someone else that is just cruel. There have been negative comments about clients’ houses or style and those I delete because I don’t want my client to read them and get hurt, especially if it’s something they love. You can say anything about me, my looks, style, and personality. I have thick skin at this point, but when people start getting cruel about other people, then that goes way across the line.

 

Ultimately, the most depressing thing about this whole subject is that there are sooooo many people out there that just love to sit behind their tiny little computers with their tiny little fingers and other little appendages and hate and hate and hate. I get it when it comes to religion and politics and things that effect many peoples lives, but I’m a decorator. I love making flower arrangements and fluffling pillows. Sure, I think that me and my style are probably annoying to a certain brand of person and that is totally fine; I’m annoyed at myself at times, but the hateful comments are just so strange to me.

Ultimately they are clearly more upset with themselves than others and just projecting that hate outward, and you just have to be grateful that you aren’t filled with negativity.  There was that phrase, ‘Hurt people, hurt people’, i love – the concisity is just perfect.

BUT sometimes they are telling … when I did the “15 do’s and don’ts to finding and keeping an internship/assistant post” there were 102 comments and like 80 of them were positive and supportive, but the ones that were negative really made me think. There were enough of them that said the same thing that clearly there was some truth in it. In that case, they were totally warranted and provoked an interesting diologue. So while they were hurtful, they were also not necessarily wrong and they were coming from a genuine place, not of hate but of personal experience. I did engage in the comments and even wrote a few back and forth emails with negative commenters to try to understand each other better. I still feel the same way and stand behind that post, but clearly I wasn’t projecting myself how I wanted to and for that I was sorry.

But all the “you suck,” “your voice is annoying,” “you should get invisilign to sponsor you,” “you just put garbage in a room,” “my three-year-old could design a room better than you,” etc. don’t really affect me too much anymore because I have a secret weapon and his name is Bill Cosby. Keep reading.

My advice to anyone that has to deal with negativity in any way (facebook, blogs, or general anonymous haters) is to remind yourself of this quote from the wise Bill Cosby:

BOOM.

Indeed. I’m certainly not an inspirational quote kinda girl, but I love this so much and this quote has literally helped me 100 times (when I’ve been bummed about mean people leaving negative comments).  I actually think to myself, “Good, because that means that I’m actually influencing someone emotionally.”  Having a point of view, being slightly controversial, and having a defined sense of self and style can be polarizing (although it’s not like I’m Bethenny Frankel or Brandi from RHOBH), but it’s also what sets you apart from the people that don’t have any of these things. It’s also what gets people to relate to you and love you. Ultimately, you can only be you and it’s just so much easier being you than trying to please everyone.

So thanks, Bill. I’ve loved you forever, but it wasn’t until two years ago that I read this quote and you really became one of my idols.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

And hey, all those haters out there, just stop. It’s cowardly and cruel.

  1. sue

    ohlordy… now there's constructive criticism & healthy debate, both of which i encourage… but i struggle to believe people actually hit send on such hate-filled messages… next up please post on how to develop a thick skin, cause i think i'm going to need one too! :)

  2. Lisa

    I agree Emily. I think everyone will face criticism from people in their life, whether at work or from family/friends. One of the greatest challenges in life is standing by your words/actions, and if you can, thats all that counts.

    And honestly, why would they spend time reading your blog if they don't like your style? I would hope they have a better way to pass time.

    And more more importantly, all of us who read your blog are super dedicated fans- you have completely influenced my own personal style and I look forward to reading your blog everyday rather than doing work like I should be doing. So keep it up!

  3. Molly

    You are just awesome Emily!

  4. I was just reading an awful exchange on another blog where a few negative Nellies (putting it way too lightly) came in as "anonymous" users and completely railed on the guest blogger, a very well known color expert, blogger, and savvy business woman. And right before that, was on another popular blog where a reader accused the author of stealing materials leftover from client projects. What is going on??!! It's a shame that there are people in the world who think that their opinions are the only right ones, and don't have the patience or emotional intelligence to either a.) keep their meanness and negativity to themselves (the preferred method), or b.) engage in a debate as a rational person with an opinion or a question. Anonymously bashing bloggers and/or designers, or anyone of course, is cowardly and is behavior that we must all work hard to ignore. I thought about responding on that other blog but you know what, that's what they want. I believe the best response is no response. And a comment as completely rude as the one you got, Emily was totally unwarranted and unfounded. Thank you for bringing this issue into the light of day, and here's to getting back to what we all love about being a part of the social web! P.S. You are very talented!!

  5. EMILY!!!! D: This is making me feel like I never want to have my blog be as popular as yours because of how weird and awful it might get in the comments section. When I read the title of this post, I was imagining it would be about accepting CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, like from clients or classmates and professors in design school, but when I read about Douchenuts Mc. Stupidpants just pooping all over your soul like that, I kind of took it personally! JEEZ!

    You are a real chance-taker when it comes to interior design, and some of the stuff you've done takes a lot of confidence to pull off. I've held back a lot because of the weird chances I knew I'd be taking when it comes to graphic design. To truly trust yourself and let it show in front of the whole darn country, that takes serious cajones. And overall I totally dig every "after" result I've seen of yours. It certainly aint everyone's taste, but what is, you know?

    And you have a really gorgeous smile. My parents also eschewed orthodontia for their kids, cuz we were, well, poor… but everyone tells me they love my smile. From some angles in certain pictures my teeth make me cringe, but I couldn't imagine my face without 'em!

    DON'T EVER CHANGE!!!!!

  6. Agreed. I never really understand people who write negative comments, I feel like, why are you even following? No one is forcing you to be here. I think it's more about themselves than anyone they are bashing really.

  7. Great post and I love that quote, it is SO true. If I engage with the haters, I sometimes like to ask, how is your comment positive? If someone doesn't like what you do, they are entitled to their opinion and entitled to say it. But the difference between "you suck" and "I think that would look better if….", speaks volumes about the author.

  8. Case in point: People who have nothing better to do , than to sit on the internet wasting time writing rude and hateful comments… are probably very bored with their lives and nothing to show for their time. So they make themselves feel better at the expense of other peoples awesome successes.

    Haters need to find a new hobby. xx

  9. Sara

    I have NEVER understood why people feel the need to be so mean and hateful, posting the most ridiculous comments on blogs, in news articles, etc. My only thought is that it makes the commenter feel better about him/herself. That is my theory anyways. I'm glad that you keep Bill Cosby's quote in mind. It's so true… you can't please everyone. Hopefully you don't let the haters influence your style or filter how you write or your personality. They're not worth it!

  10. As an interior designer myself, I totally understand. Why is it the negative that seem LOUDER than the positive comments? I think being Designers, we are more in tune to quiet humming, in order to create/design on a professional and successful level so it's hurtful when unnecessary and often incorrect statements like that come through.
    I've replied with "I gather it's not your particular style and that is OK-Have a great day!" or "I don't tolerate virtual bullying so if you can't control your anger, you will be blocked" depending on the level of the comment.
    Keep up the great work and GREAT advice! xo

  11. Sunne

    Also know, that for every hater, there's a hundred of us quietly following you – getting excited when there's a new post – but who don't always leave comments.

  12. James

    Those who do all the work will be criticized most. The critics are those who do nothing. They can't empathize with doers, because they have not done.

  13. Birdie

    Emily, that quote really just helped me a lot. I'm an architecture student, and yesterday I presented a project I'm doing for a church for FREE and have been working on for months, I got tons of negative feedback and no gratitude from a lot of the people. They would shut me down before even letting me explain reasoning for my design moves and then simply state they hated it without saying what they would prefer. SO frustrating and degrading!

    That quote though is so true- you need to stick with your ideas even if people are at first not a fan of them. It is not possible to please everyone. I can think of so many great professionals who have done this. Brush off the haters :) & want to let you know that your writing is my stress relief at the end of each day :)

  14. Mari

    This is such a nice post, Emily!
    I love how your blog just isn't about decorating, that you give us glimpses of you and your life.
    You rock!

    <3

  15. CT

    It's very interesting and encouraging to see how you deal with the haters. I myself am amazed at the sometimes innane and sometimes extremely insulting things people will post on the Internet. As a designer, I am very used to criticism at work. You learn early on to not take it personally. However when I set up my blog, I decided to moderate all comments. This is my corner of the internet and as such, I feel it is my right and duty to hold the bar to a higher level. I don't have a problem hitting approve on a comment that has a differing opinion (especially if it's well stated and thought/discussion provoking) or a constructive criticism but I don't see where I am required to allow any idiot with access to the internet to rain on my parade. If someone really has such a strong desire to post a negative comment, perhaps they should set up their own blog and create a whole rebuttal post. At any rate, I hope you keep on doing what you're doing because I really appreciate your posts and look forward to seeing new content from your blog pop up on my Google Reader. Cheers – CT

  16. Dana

    I loved this post! I think the bottom line is that once you have negative comments, you know you've made it! As twisted as that sounds,

  17. Mandolyn

    Sunne's comment is spot on!!!: "Also know, that for every hater, there's a hundred of us quietly following you – getting excited when there's a new post – but who don't always leave comments."

    YUP. I try and comment when I can, but don't always get to it. You've become one of my favorite blogs—I always look forward to each new post.

  18. Elise

    I think that "Haters Gonna Hate" is a great thing to remember. I actually have that hanging on my bulletin board (but without the awesome pic of the gentleman in the pink suit). Emily, you are an absolute delight. Those haters are hateful about something else (their little appendages, perhaps?) and are taking it out on you. And probably everyone around them. I personally love your design sense; until your show debuted I watched HGTV but never felt like my "style" was represented. And your personality – reflected on your blog – is really winning and funny and is why I have your site favorited! Please don't change a thing. Also – Karma's a bitch so those haters are gonna get a nasty case of hammertoe real soon.

  19. David

    Hey Emily! I just came here and stoped to give some reading to your blog and I found it absolutely great and inspiring. Im from Argentina, Im 23 and Im an Integral Designer just graduated specialized in Graphic Design and I just became a kind of obsessed with your show "Secrets From A Stylist" they are airing here thx FOX LIFE channel and I must say, although what you do is interiorism, your concepts and "secrets" and the way you work actually inspire me and I learn from it to have a a whole new vision on the works I make as a graphic designer which it makes it more dinamic. So thank you for that.

    Besides that, the internet is full of assholes… unless the comments are negatives but constructive and coming from a good place or just pisitives, don't pay attention to the rest. We dont need negative energies in our lives. Ignore, ignore, ignore, it is what makes them angry the most. We are the ones who only knows the hardwork we put and the things we had to pass through to get our goals and be in the place we are.

    Congrats on everything! xx

  20. i love this post because of your openness. when ppl do stupid things like that, i realized that they have their own insecurities and issues so i feel sorry for them! i am glad you aren't getting sucked into the negativity.

  21. Jennifer Fogerty-Gibson

    We love you, Emily.

  22. Stacy Ross

    Anyone that uses "doucher toolback idiot" in a sentence is #1 in my book.
    Plus…as my grandma used to say "screw 'em if they can't take a joke."
    Okay. Maybe she didn't say screw. She was way more colorful than that and she was always right.
    You're the bees knees, girlfriend.

  23. Jess

    There's a lovely Maya Angelou quote that I wish more people would take to heart : "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

    I never comment on your blog, but this post moved me to leave a remark. I have a love-hate relationship with comments. On the one hand, it can add value as people share their own experiences and can provide words of thanks and encouragement. On the other hand, it opens the door for people to hide behind an anonymous handle and spew hatred and nonsense that they'd likely never have the brass to say to someone's face. While you are out doing an amazing job in a field that you love, this man hides behind a computer screen attempting to take away from something you've earned. His and the other comments you mentioned aren't intended to create dialogue. They aren't intended to be productive. Like many voices these days, they're only intention is to be spread negativity. I grew tired of being angry at these people and decided it's easier to feel bad for them. After all, if they spend their free time doing something like being mean to people they don't know online, what must their real life actually be like? Find strength in knowing that you are among the few that not only have an incredible talent, but have been able to turn that talent into a career.

  24. Fiona

    I thought this was a great post. I'm a fiction writer (getting very close to getting my first book published) and it's so true. You cannot please everyone. For example, there is a best-seller out there that I've heard over and over is the best-written book in years, and when I picked it up, I thought it was totally mediocre. But does that matter? There are tons of people who LOVED that book and the author made a ton of money. It's just not my taste, for whatever reason. (Maybe it got too much buildup in my mind.) And my book isn't going to be everyone's taste, and as long as people aren't really, really mean, I don't care. Even if they are really, really mean, it's probably not really about me or my book, you know?

    To Birdie, who wrote another comment: That sucks. I once got thrown into a presentation like that at my first job. My boss (who was not a good boss) never took me to one of their presentations or gave me any instruction about how to present (like, laying out your reasoning straight off the bat before they can reject you) and then threw me into a presentation BY MYSELF. Of course, the feedback came back that I was too young and inexperienced to be presenting by myself–which I was. Just chalk this up to experience and know that you're improving your presentation skills. Maybe check out presentations on Youtube or ask a real architect (a professor?) if you can go along on a presentation to see how they handle things.

  25. Mari

    Oh my two comments on the same post…but I just had to!…hehe..
    I love the quote that Jess post above, so I went and google it to find out who was/is Maya Angelou. (I'm not American, so I wasn't super surprised at my lack of knowledge), and Maya lived with her grandmother, Annie Henderson!
    And I just had to point it out!

    <3

  26. Holly

    This is a great post for MLK Day! I LOVE Bill Cosby for so many reasons and that's one of them. So sorry you received those awful comments… yea, those haters are out there. The Apostle Paul said "don't be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." I try to remember that every day. Thanks Miss Emily!

  27. Suzanne

    I always look forward to reading your posts. Your advice can also be practical for everyday life. It reminds me of another quote "never wrestle with a pig; you get dirty and the pig likes it". Unfortunately, not an easy lesson for me to learn!

  28. Deda

    I love your work! Two weeks ago i spent all saturday afternoon whatching the first season of your show and it was really awesome

  29. Kelly

    I have learned (from personal experience) that those who spew negativity are often depressed and unhappy with their own lives, but they lack the self-awareness to realize that, and instead turn their bitterness outward at others. The people who spend their time on-line (or "in real life") tearing others down do so because they are unhappy with themselves, and they want others to feel the same way. That whole Misery loves Company idea, I guess. At any rate, while I myself have not received near the amount of unfounded criticism that you have dealt with, Emily, it *is* hard to not take it to heart. You just have to breathe and remember that what others say about you (and how they say it) is ultimately a reflection of who THEY are, not who YOU are.

    Count me as one who also is a huge fan of you, your blog, your personal and professional style, your voice, your word choice, etc., etc. You are the cat's pajamas. The Bearcat's pajamas, even. ;) You are making life beautiful for those around you, with your own unique personality, talents, and skill sets, and that is inspirational to me and many others.

  30. Kimberly

    I was so furious reading this post, to be honest, I couldn't read it all. You are quite simply fantastic and I personally believe you are the most relevant stylist/designer of our generation. Do not EVER let anyone bring you down with their cruel, nasty, vile remarks because truthfully the person that says them is probably all those things and worse. I just love you and think you are the greatest. I mean, your OKL sale I purchased items just because I knew your hands had been on them (okay, that sounds creepy but I swear I'm a happily married woman, no single white female here, honest). You've inspired me more than I could ever put into words, both in design and in life itself. When you get posts like that, just put their E-mail address in the spam folder so you never have to see or hear from them again because it's one thing to critique, it's a completely different thing then to verbally assault and that's just what those message are. They serve no value other than to demoralize and degrade and you are far too kind, intelligent, talented, wonderful etc… etc… to have to deal with messages like that.

  31. Emily, I love your blog and your show and you have really helped me develop an eye for design. I am excited every time I see a new post on your blog. I'm sorry that you have to deal with people who have nothing better to do than post negative comments on blogs they don't like.

    "it seems weird to delete something that someone feels, because it's their right to feel that way." Everyone has a right to feel how they want, but you don't have an obligation to provide a platform for them. Delete those hater comments! :D

  32. My favorite quote on this subject is via my Mom to me (and then via me to my kids!) ~ "Consider the source" If it comes from someone who is obviously just a 'hater,' as you put it, don't let it ruffle you. If, on the other hand, the criticism comes from someone you know cares about you, it's wise to take it under consideration and see if you need to rethink and/or change something.

    P.S. I think you're a very talented designer and super witty writer.

  33. Sarah Zindt

    It is so pathetic that people negatively comment on your blog. I am another silent follower who happily neglects work to "tune in" to your weekly posts! I delight in your quirky humor, helpful tips, and kitty obsessions. You have assisted me in picking out my living room throw pillows and basically guided me in mantel design via your videos. My boyfriend doesn't understand my newfound appreciation for creepy portraits, disembodied heads, or brass figurines from the 60s. You are absolutely fabulous and such an inspiration to so many of us!! Thank you! If you are ever called a megalomaniac again you should say, "Thank you! That has always been my favorite dinosaur!"

  34. Kelly

    Wow… It amazes me how people just like to tear others down. They must have nothing else to do if they are making such comments. So sorry you've had to endure this behavior. I believe you're right to just let it ride, let it roll off your shoulders. Haters are usually jealous so maybe you should take it as a complement?! LOL! You're a good girl because you love navy blue & green & I fully enjoy your blog! Keep up the good work! ;)

  35. Heather

    My husband said to me once, "If everyone likes you, you're doing something wrong." Kinda applies here too. This topic fully is transferable to everyday life. Thanks Emily.

  36. I will admit, I did write a negative comment on a post you did about Design Star, like two seasons ago. I didn't think it was negative when I wrote it, but in hindsight, I could have said it better and with less snark. For that I am sorry (like I am sure you really cared but alas I think it is right thing to do to apologize if you feel you have wronged person.) Regardless of what I have said about your commentary, I think your work is beyond reproach – it's beautiful, focused and speaks to an audience. As you said, you have a point of view and that is something so many designers don't have – it will continue to help you on your path. Your honesty and ability to take critiques shows how little ego you do have — it's refreshing and a lesson to other designers, like myself, that being humble will take your further than anything. Stay true to yourself….

  37. I delete nasty comments. I see our blog as our house, and I don't let nasty people in my house and I don't let them set the tone on our blog.

    I don't mind if the comment is constructive or an 'I disagree with you' type of thing, I will post those. But some people are just nasty, and if htey had an honest concern they could email us and take it offline.

    You are so right: Haters gonna hate.

  38. You are simply amazing and one of two interior design blogs I follow. I feel like most of those people are just trolling which has its whole crazy weird following. They dedicate whole groups to it, where they try to take over websites and the conversation by just posting negative comments. It reminds me of this newsroom episode
    http://www.hbo.com/the-newsroom/episodes/1/08-the-black-out-part-1-tragedy-porn/synopsis.html#/video/video.html/eNrjcmbO0CzLTEnNd8xLzKksyUx2zs8rSa0oUc-PSYEJBSSmp-ol5qYy5zMXsjGyMXIyMrKlAzXZGhqZGxmYGKsllpbkF+QkVtqWFJWmqqVl5pSkFtmmpSaWlBalpqiVZaaW2+aV5uQAALE0JJ8=

    thanks for all your amazing advice!

  39. Gina

    You're awesome. There's my 80's reference but seriously, it's true. I have to let you in on something, I can only attest to it because I've found it to be true for myself and for my friends. But something magical happens when you turn 40. It's like you're covered in a magical, negativity type repellent. You just couldn't care less about what other people think of you. The negative, hurtful ones. In fact, you'll probably find yourself laughing when you read such things. Then you'll revisit your 20 and 30 year old self and again laugh at what used to set you off. When they say it gets better with age, oh they were so not lying. So there you go, you have a wonderful spirit now but just wait until that new decade comes along. :D

  40. Hi Emily, I really like these candid posts from you, so keep them coming. I can never understand how anyone can write these things to someone, no matter what the topic is. I always wonder, would they say that to you in person, to your face? I just have to think that there is something seriously wrong with anyone who would try to hurt someone else that way…that their soul is broken. Regarding your intern post, on which I commented and emailed you, it was controversial and thought provoking, and I did not necessarily agree with all of it. BUT, there is still no reason for hateful comments. I think you are handling this topic with dignity and grace.

  41. Thanks for this post Emily! I am about a year into blogging and it's starting to gain popularity which means more strangers commenting on what I'm doing. It's weird to get attention like that even though I'm obviously asking for it by having a blog. One of my favorite quotes to get me through negative comments is "Well shit at least I tried." Mostly just because it makes me laugh not for any real inspirational value. I've been "following" your career for a few years now and I'm a big fan of your work!

  42. Laura

    Your writing is delightfully irreverent with a side of hot pink sunshine. And while I can't remember how I stumbled upon your site – you are at the top of my reader.

  43. Katherynn

    Dear Emily,

    I'd say to forget the hate but I know that's way easier said than done! But, please don't belittle yourself or what you do.. You, my dear, do much more than make flower arrangements and fluff pillows! :) I'm an interior design student and I come to your blog and watch your shows because you transform spaces! You bring out your client's personalities and create a space where they can live happily! You enhance our lives with your style, talent, and fun personality and wonderful sense of humor!

    Negativity sucks and I'll never understand why people are compelled to share it or oppress others with it. I was taught that we should keep our mouths shut if we can't say anything nice. Niceness helps, encourages, supports. Hate does nothing but oppress. I'm so glad that you have people in your life for whom you can turn to for support and encouragement. I've followed you since your Design Star days and I've never felt that you were a narcissist or a megalomaniac. I definitely don't get that impression from your blog posts! You share your life, your designs, your great finds. I for one love it, and come here and read your posts and am always entertained. They're always filled with humor, and great stuff! Keep it up pretty lady!

  44. Sabrina A.

    I see comments like those one of two ways:

    a) Hurt people hurt people. The quote is from a movie but utterly relevant when people can't tactfully disagree or offer constructive criticism. To be that malicious and hurtful only tells me that they've endured the same at some point and never had anyone to talk about it or learned to grow/heal from it
    OR
    b) Bitches be cray

  45. Zunni K.

    I honestly don't understand people sometimes. If they hate your designs why are they following your blog? How very peculiar.
    I love your blog; I've bookmarked pages like your "how to mix patterns" and found it enormously helpful. I don't adore every picture of every design that you have posted, but I do adore your style and find you and this blog inspirational and joyful, and I look forward to reading every entry. And I'm very grateful. So, thank you, and please continue just as you are.

  46. I will admit, I did write a negative comment on a post you did about Design Star, like two seasons ago. I didn't think it was negative when I wrote it, but in hindsight, I could have said it better and with less snark. For that I am sorry (like I am sure you really cared but alas I think it is right thing to do to apologize if you feel you have wronged person.) Regardless of what I have said about your commentary, I think your work is beyond reproach – it's beautiful, focused and speaks to an audience. As you said, you have a point of view and that is something so many designers don't have – it will continue to help you on your path. Your honesty and ability to take critiques shows how little ego you do have — it's refreshing and a lesson to other designers, like myself, that being humble will take your further than anything. Stay true to yourself….

  47. Evelyn

    What a great post. Thank you.
    I recently stumbled upon your blog and discovered you out here (or out there).
    I have totally enjoyed your posts. You have made me laugh out loud many times this week while I recover from the flu.
    I have been taking this time to try to understand how to wrangle my house together. It ain't easy. But it's better than just staring at
    The problems forever….
    So I really appreciate your advise and tips. The fact that you are hilarious in the process is a big bonus.
    Thanks for the great posts and keep them coming!
    Happy MLK Day!

  48. Jenny

    Awesome, awesome, awesome. PS. I love Bill Cosby too…as a kid I had his stand up on tape and my family would listen to it in the car on road trips. He's the best as are you.

  49. Suzan

    Interestingly, I had kind of an emotional response to this post. I am not a groupie or anything but the thought of anybody being mean to you makes me kind of want to track them down and rip their fingernails out. Of course, I never would. I don't think. You just keep being the authentic awesome person you are. And if you ever need backup, give me a jingle. I have people…

  50. I read a blog article recently about the "non-commenters" and totally felt convicted by it- to start commenting. But being the dumb-dumb I am, I didn't adhere to those inner-rumblings of truth. Then I read this tonight and you've driven it home: I am a consumer of LOTS of blogs/thoughts/lives/pictures/inspiration/fun/banter/etc every day! The LEAST I can do is to leave a comment of encouragement to help outweigh the ball-less meanies!

    And I know you didn't write this to grapple or dig for compliments (as a silent follower for years now, I feel confident that you didn't)- but dude, keep killin' it!!!

    Also, another good line you could respond to the ball-less meanies with: "Come at me, bro."

  51. cvjn

    Emily, I find is staggering that people leave you negative emails at all, much less that they leave them about the things I love best about you: your smile and your style! Please know, I come here almost daily, and I don't comment often, but I think you are so beautiful and talented and charming and somehow both confident and self effacing. I felt it was necessary to put that out there to combat some of the negative energy that has come your way.

  52. Very well said, Emily! Like usual, you made me laugh, especially "other little appendages" – ha! I love your decorating style, and in my humble opinion, anyone who doesn't probably loves microsuede la-z-boys and wrought iron wall decor and thinks brick red is the only acceptable accent color. And are you really trying to impress them anyway? Keep doing what you do, please!

  53. Jen

    It is I, your imaginary Best Friend. I still think of you and Oprah and myself crafting in my backyard whilst drinking wine and eating pasta. I have had enough therapy in life to have matured into a fabulous mental space so here is my take.

    Negative comments will always bug you (or insert whoever's name here) until you love yourself enough to not EVER care what anyone says."

    I know so cheesy and simple. Yet, so fine a statement. I am 36. The past 2 years have sucked ass in the way of finding myself. This may be the ultimate cheese of a paradigm, but it is def goat or gouda – yummy and perfect.

  54. Molly

    Part of what you're talking about in this post is a customer service tactic: differentiating between the unhappy and the impossible. It's so helpful to learn to step back from people who are just trying to complain or to hurt. Your method is spot on. It's much more important to interact with those who genuinely care.

  55. Kelli

    I've never commented, but read often. I think you are a rock star in your field, Emily! Keep doing what you do and thank you with all my heart for sharing what you do with those of us that are unseen. Your posts are a delight to my day!

  56. BOOM.

    And the crowd goes wild.

    Well said, Ms. Em.

  57. Shell Li

    In times like these I like to remember this quote:

    "Over time you learn to separate the meaningful criticisms from I'm eating Cheetos and my dick is orange and I have an opinion about a thing you did"
    -Wil Wheaton

  58. Emily, thank you for writing this post. Sometimes it's those topics that we avoid that are the ones we need to write about. So, I appreciate your courage to tackle this. But since Bill Cosby was on your side and all … you were basically just going to TEACH.

    I really did like your advice, and adding the perspective that if you're getting criticism, it means you're actually doing something and not hiding under a rock. (Now, those people never get hurt by criticism …)

    Also, it took real gumption to actually write negative comments people have written about you! Lesser women would have torn them up and burned them. But you, you are a class act, and a good example of how to "keep it classy." Thanks!

  59. I've grown a VERY thick skin blogging on Tumblr. The more readers I get, the more negatives comments I get. People love to tear down people they perceive as more successful or popular than they are. I've had entire blog posts written ripping me apart when I posted Fez hats, pinatas, and the lists goes on and on. On Tumblr you CANNOT delete negative comments if the person reblogs your post so I see on my "dash" comments like: "white person's craft", "this is f**king ugly", "dumb b**ch culturally appropriating ____'s culture" and the list goes on and on. So most comments don't bother me but the ones where I actually feel intesnse anger directed at me and make me feel unsafe do disturb me. The worst comments I get I now repost on my blog so tens of thousands of people can see them and see what I have to deal with.

  60. Hi Emily, you put this so well. The more popular, and well known you become, the more likely you are going to get negative comments. Even though the positives will far outweigh the negatives, those few nasty ones can really sting. I don't understand 'haters' – I try and surround myself with only positive people, but you can't control this on the internet. On a positive note… I think you're awesome! I haven't seen your TV programme, as they don't play it here in New Zealand, but I absolutely love your style, and am learning a lot from following your blog. So, thanks. x

  61. Hi Emily, you put this so well. The more popular, and well known you become, the more likely you are going to get negative comments. Even though the positives will far outweigh the negatives, those few nasty ones can really sting. I don't understand 'haters' – I try and surround myself with only positive people, but you can't control this on the internet. On a positive note… I think you're awesome! I haven't seen your TV programme, as they don't play it here in New Zealand, but I absolutely love your style, and am learning a lot from following your blog. So, thanks. x

  62. Hi Emily, you put this so well. The more popular, and well known you become, the more likely you are going to get negative comments. Even though the positives will far outweigh the negatives, those few nasty ones can really sting. I don't understand 'haters' – I try and surround myself with only positive people, but you can't control this on the internet. On a positive note… I think you're awesome! I haven't seen your TV programme, as they don't play it here in New Zealand, but I absolutely love your style, and am learning a lot from following your blog. So, thanks. x

  63. Hi Emily, you put this so well. The more popular, and well known you become, the more likely you are going to get negative comments. Even though the positives will far outweigh the negatives, those few nasty ones can really sting. I don't understand 'haters' – I try and surround myself with only positive people, but you can't control this on the internet. On a positive note… I think you're awesome! I haven't seen your TV programme, as they don't play it here in New Zealand, but I absolutely love your style, and am learning a lot from following your blog. So, thanks. x

  64. Hi Emily, you put this so well. The more popular, and well known you become, the more likely you are going to get negative comments. Even though the positives will far outweigh the negatives, those few nasty ones can really sting. I don't understand 'haters' – I try and surround myself with only positive people, but you can't control this on the internet. On a positive note… I think you're awesome! I haven't seen your TV programme, as they don't play it here in New Zealand, but I absolutely love your style, and am learning a lot from following your blog. So, thanks. x

  65. michelle

    why is it that negative people are always the most vocal? those of us who lovelovelove what you do and who you are need to speak up more!!! i will try!

  66. wendy

    Haters will always hate like bitches get stitches lol.
    I think people that give you "crap" are just a bunch of unhappy human beings and it makes them livid when they see a perfect blonde doll with an awesome sense of humor that makes a places look fabulous. I honestly can't thank you enough for all the things that you have tought me threw your blog. You are just so refreshing, don't let negativity ruin your days just remember how awesome you are :)

    Greetings from Costa Rica

  67. Lauren Talton

    You are beautiful and your style is unique and special. I teach high school so I'm used to criticism ;). You keep doin what you do. You rock tha house

  68. Linda

    Emily, you are a fascinating blogger and stylist. Ending your blog with Bill Cosby was the perfect touch–and in stylist fashion, you gave us a picture of him, too! Love you! Live long and prosper.

  69. Adam

    There are enough Candice Olsens out there doing contemporary design. I can appreciate your fresh perspective. Having said that, I can understand the harsh feedback. Yours is a very specific style, and it doesn't resonate with everyone. I personally like it, but that's the only perspective I can speak from. Having said that, It amazes me how egotistical some people can be. You're not narcissistic. If anything, they are. YOUR STYLE ISN'T THE SAME AS MINE, AND IT MAKES ME WANT TO SPREAD PATHOGENS ALL OVER YOUR FRONT LAWN BECAUSE IT'S DRIVEN ME CRAZY THAT YOU DON'T THINK LIKE ME!!! I WILL YELL AT YOU AND SPREAD VICIOUS, BITING STATEMENTS ON YOUR COMMENTS UNTIL YOU FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGE WHAT YOU LIKE AND BECOME MORE MAINSTREAM!!! ACTUALLY, AFTER THINKING ABOUT IT, MY BABY'S FECES ARE A LOVELY SHADE OF BUILDER'S BEIGE, AND SO I RETRACT MY PREVIOUS STATEMENT OF RUBBING ITS FECES ON THE WALLS BECAUSE THAT'S SUDDENLY A COMPLIMENT! GO TOOLBAG YOURSELF IN THE FACE! (pardon all of the caps lock. I started having too much fun with it). Anyway, as a graphic designer that's bombarded by commonplace compositions and boring solutions all day, its a breathe of fresh air to see someone take some risks, play with interesting layout, and have fun doing their job as opposed to rushing through a project to a boring, unsatisfying finish where you end up trying to defend yourself by saying, "I swear, this has never happened to me before." NAVY IS KING!

  70. Kris

    Frankly, I think you should delete the negative posts. I enjoy reading others comments because sometimes they have helpful suggestions, and I would rather not read the negativity. We all project and see what we are. So don't waste any time taking anything anyone else says personally, because it really is all about them. And getting mad at people for doing something that we don't like creates the same bad energy, so the best thing to do is stay balanced, let it go, and do not get attached to it.

  71. Such a good post! I usually skim and look at the pictures on the design blogs I ready (confession), but this was definitely worth the read! Love your blog.

  72. Heather K

    Everyones a critic. Now everyones a critic with a computer! Stephen Fry did a funny bit on how one should never read the comments left on blogs (and here I am leaving one!) I love how you handled this and think your incredibly talented. Plus the photos you used to illustrate your point are priceless! :)

  73. Melissa

    What is so unbelievable to me is that if you go to a blog or open a magazine or turn on the tv and do not like or agree with the content, you have the freedom to end what you do not enjoy. Period. Constructive criticism can be eye opening, especially when presented in a positive way. I really think that the haters love the attention of the response to their venom. It fuels the fire. I like your responses of, "You might be right" and ""wow". Might I add "I'm not for everyone" and "please feel free not to come back."
    You rock! Keep on.

  74. You never fail to impress me! I was already a huge fan. (I've made you famous to all my non-design oriented, non HGTV watching friends) and somehow, I'm now a bigger fan. ♥

  75. Emily,

    Your blog is one of my favorites. I love it not only because I think you are very very talented, but also because I love your way of thinking and because you are always fun and positive!

  76. Jenni Kaipust

    Emily, reading this post while eating my breakfast. What a great way to start off my day! Very motivational! You go girl!!

  77. Ginnie

    Wow, it makes me cringe to read those few choice tidbits of comments that you've shown to us… I agree that you must be doing something right, because the happier and better you are, the more that haters are going to want to bring you down to their level of their unhappiness! Thanks for sharing, Emily!

  78. thank you so much for posting this emily—these words definitely resonate beyond social media and the internet—the ability to deal with criticism in life and work, even in personal interactions, can be incredibly debilitating and you give such a nice perspective and mindset here that seem so simple but in the moments of feeling so down can be hard to remember. you are so wonderful!

  79. thank you so much for posting this emily—these words definitely resonate beyond social media and the internet—the ability to deal with criticism in life and work, even in personal interactions, can be incredibly debilitating and you give such a nice perspective and mindset here that seem so simple but in the moments of feeling so down can be hard to remember. you are so wonderful!

  80. thank you so much for posting this emily—these words definitely resonate beyond social media and the internet—the ability to deal with criticism in life and work, even in personal interactions, can be incredibly debilitating and you give such a nice perspective and mindset here that seem so simple but in the moments of feeling so down can be hard to remember. you are so wonderful!

  81. thank you so much for posting this emily—these words definitely resonate beyond social media and the internet—the ability to deal with criticism in life and work, even in personal interactions, can be incredibly debilitating and you give such a nice perspective and mindset here that seem so simple but in the moments of feeling so down can be hard to remember. you are so wonderful!

  82. thank you so much for posting this emily—these words definitely resonate beyond social media and the internet—the ability to deal with criticism in life and work, even in personal interactions, can be incredibly debilitating and you give such a nice perspective and mindset here that seem so simple but in the moments of feeling so down can be hard to remember. you are so wonderful!

  83. Bobbi

    Another 'inspirational' quote – one that I learned at church – that helps me is 'hurting people HURT people.' I think it helps to see people who say hateful things with eyes of compassion for what is going on behind the scene. So much of our world is only interested with the surface, and blog commenting is definitely SURFACE relationship! Your kind soul shows through, Emily, and you personally inspire me to love what I do and accept me for me. And Orlando is just a gem :) Keep on keeping on!

  84. Paula

    Emily,

    I cant believe the horrible things that people have written to you. I check your blog every single day-sometimes twice a day, because I enjoy your writing and your personality so much. Its a refreshing change from neutral blogs that have no point of view, no personality, no quirks and no "flare". Honestly, your voice and style is what makes you so incredibly unique and likeable and it keeps things real. It reminds me that I am reading a PERSONS blog and not a machines blog. While I may or may not always agree with your decorating choices, I always LOVE how passionate you are about it and it inspires me every single day. ( And to be honest I pretty much love everything you do)

    For every cruel comment, just remember that there are readers like me, that almost never comment on posts, but love them and appreciate them all the same. My days would simply not be the same without reading your blog.

    Thank you for being YOU!

  85. Sarah

    One of the things I love about you is that you're so different than me! It makes me want to branch out and expand (and live in glamourous, expensive California).

  86. Della

    When you put yourself out there in such a public way you can't help but attract some negative criticism. Maybe it's jealousy, make it's people who are just unhappy with their lives, maybe it's just someone having a bad day. Maybe you just aren't their "thing". That's fine. You're obviously a lot of people's "thing" since you've been so successful.

    I know you aren't fishing for comments but I always like reading your blog because it's funny and self-deprecating. I love your style and your approach to blogging. Don't ever change.

  87. Jess

    In something so subjective as design it's impossible to please everyone but as long as the client is happy and you've enjoyed doing it that's all that matters. Thanks for being such an inspiration- I stumbled upon your blog just a few weeks ago and it's quickly risen to my everyday must visit list. I've always been nervous experimenting with interior design (what if the color's all wrong? what if the light is too big? too small?!) but all your tips and the images you post have made me start to step outside the box and have fun with my apartment! Plus the way everything is written in such a humorous and witty way just makes it fun to read. So thanks!

  88. people hate your positivity. i know better; to decide to be happy, no matter what, is a discipline, and i appreciate it.
    i thought the commentary on your how to hire an intern was a little misguided, if not ignorant, especially about people who're trying to get on TV or a piece of your celebrity. this piece, by a real reporter, granted real access to watch lilo at work, outlines what kinds of dirtbags are out there in hollywood looking for work. with lilo at the top of the list.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/13/magazine/here-is-what-happens-when-you-cast-lindsay-lohan-in-your-movie.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
    i imagine you get five of these low lifes for every semi-viable intern candidate. i think you could have been much, much harsher.
    take care of yourself, we're rooting for you.
    xxx

  89. For 1 people that chooses to hate you – because they are jealous – there are many more that simply just LOVE you! Keep up the good work and just be your lovely self! xo Ana

  90. Jessi

    I've never thought your voice was self-absorbed or megalomaniac. In fact, you are often self-depricating, in a charming way. This is YOUR blog about YOUR life and YOUR job and YOUR skills, so of course you are going to talk about yourself!

  91. When people feel the need to spew negativity, it says more about them than it does about you. What a sad life it would be to feel that bitter all the time! Take heart in knowing that ALMOST everyone thinks you're wonderful. As an interior designer in LA, and a blogger myself, I'm pretty picky about what I read on the subject. I came across your blog recently, and I love it! It's a great balance of real information, inspiration and fun, and I really like your style. Keep up the good work, and don't let the turkeys get you down.

  92. I think you're awesome and I love everything about you, your show and your blog. Keep it up mamacita!

  93. Logan

    Please know that I love love LOVE your show and your blog. Although its probably little consolation, I tend to believe that the haters are probably very sad, unhappy people in need of an outlet for their pain. So, however much they have hurt me (or whoever the designated recipient of their mirth may be), the hater probably hurts ten times as much. How sad for them.

  94. melissa

    insert round of applause here.
    great post. love your blog. love your show.

  95. Andrea

    Hating you would be like hating sunshine and sprinkles. Who the hell hates sunshine and sprinkles? Love you, mean it.

  96. erin

    The haters must secretly love you like the rest of us — especially the multiple posters — because they spend so much time stalking your blog to find something to post about. :)

  97. Jane Marie

    Emily: I am a recent follower of your blog and really enjoy it. Just keep in mind that the people leaving hateful and irrelevant comments are really no different than the bully on the playground. They are just hiding behind their computer, knocking others down to make themselves feel better.

  98. SallyJ

    I think you should pass the negative emails on to friends or associates to answer for you in outrageous ways. Then you can have a contest for best answer, and have a good laugh at how RIDICULOUS this stuff is. For example:

    "You are a megalomaniac"

    Dear Reader — I KNOW! Isn't it THRILLING? Best, Emily
    Or
    Dear Reader — If I weren't so INSANELY busy plotting the brass animal figurine coup d'etat of Conde Nast executive management I'd reply to your email. Cheers! Emily

    ****
    "My 3 year old can design better than you can"

    Dear Reader– Fantastic! Contact HGTV right away! If she gets her own show maybe you can retire by the time she enters kindergarten. Let me know if she needs some help pitching it! Best, Emily

    *****
    "Get over yourself"

    Dear Reader — Been meaning to get to this for the longest time! Unfortunately I am SO over-scheduled. I'll have to pencil it in for Tuesday, March 12 from 10:15 to 10:32. Thanks for the reminder! – Emily

    ******
    "You just put garbage in the room"

    Dear Reader– I hate to dispute with you, but you are not entirely accurate here. I think what you meant was: "You just put VINTAGE garbage in the room". Best, Emily

    You get the idea… :)

  99. Ok, I've been a political blogger for 5 years now and I've found that women bloggers get this S^*% all the time. Women are conditioned to blame themselves when someone says something nasty (don't ask me why) so they stop blogging. This is just what the negative commenters want. They want to shut you up in the political blogosphere. Apparently, we are still running a white male affirmative action program in this country and any attempt you make to express a different point of view is going to get attention. Plus, men just like to sling it around. It makes them feel powerful.
    Here is what I have told female bloggers who run into the nasty commenters:
    They are just little black pixels on a screen. They can not hurt you.
    For women, the internet is the great equalizer. Yep, believe it or not, this is the only forum where you can say whatever the f^&* you like and get away with it. Not only that but once you realize that the comment is specifically tailored to make you feel bad, you can take your time and formulate a devastating comeback. Time is definitely on your side. If you're clever enough, you can make that a$$hole feel like he has the smallest penis on earth and that if you catch him intruding on your space again, you will humiliate and mock him without mercy. Then do it. Feel free to edit his comments and make him sound like a moron. Moderate his responses so he can't get a word in edgewise. Then when you get tired of toying with him, send his sorry ass to the spam filter.
    I had some of these guys on my blog for the first couple of months. But once I made an example of a few of them, they disappeared and never came back.
    Oh, and they will complain that you are censoring them. Not true. If you were the only blog on earth, you would be ethically obligated to give them a platform to say whatever stupid thing popped into their heads 10 times a minute. But the blogosphere is big. To paraphrase Douglas Adams, "You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to the blogosphere". If the commenter feels like his voice MUST be heard, he can go start his own blog. He could call it the "Emily Henderson doesn't know squat as a stylist". And he could attract his own audience.
    If he does that, you must never mention him, or the blog or link to either. Let them do the hard work of being pricks. You are under no obligation to help them.
    Besides, we like what you do. Everyone has an off day (and now you're wondering which day I am referring to) but all in all, Emily, you're damn good at what you do. Very few people can do it.
    That's why you get the big bucks.
    You do get big bucks, don't you? Ok, little bucks. Whatever. We still can't do it. But you can so don't sweat the idiots.

  100. Jackson

    You are awesome! I enjoy your blog, your personality and talent is what keeps me coming back. Ignore the haters and keep being amazing!

  101. Jenny R

    Yes, people are pretty mean at times. I submitted my son's nursery to Apartment Therapy Family and they accepted it…yeah! Well, yeah until the comments came in. They were awful and it broke my heart. I work in a creative field so I'm used to criticism, but there's a face attached to the critiques and I am always able to respond. It was hard and i don't think I would ever do it again. Good for you for having the courage to put yourself out there and for keeping perspective.

  102. Sara

    Thank you for this post. Though I don't have a blog, I think this advice is helpful & applicable to everyone.

    Also, please never change your teeth—I love your teeth!! You live in LA, and so little on TV or from LA is at all real & almost no-one has 'real' teeth anymore. It's wonderful to see someone who is lovely & still real.

    Hugs.

  103. Fan

    Love this post, love your blog, love your style, love how you let yourself shine through just being you, would love to see you break the boundaries and go for a wild new colour palette, no blues, greens or brass included, it would be fascinatiing to see.

  104. Jill F.

    Negative comments are always more about the person who makes them than the person they are aimed at. (At which they are aimed? I know you aren't supposed to end your sentences with prepositions. :)) Anyway, I am one of the "quietly following" generally, but I was moved to comment because I think you are a wonderfully creative person and I enjoy seeing your design work! Also, I love your sense of humor! So don't let the losers get you down! Feel pity because they have nothing better to do with their time.

  105. "and other little appendages" haa hahahahahahahah. Seriously, megalotalented.

  106. Tim

    Let's here it for the three S's: Shell Li, Sabrina A. and Suzan. (Suzan – Consider me one of your people.) Keep up the good work, Emily.

  107. Today I came across a hater in disguise. He was out to get me and I didn't even realize it. I just felt this urge to defend myself from his "witty" comments and he made sure to make me feel guilty about my position on the subject of our conversation without ever sharing his own opinion. He was out to get me and whatever I said it was never right, reasonable or valid. Yet, he was the one starting off the conversation with an offensive comment. I realize now the he was actually amused by consistently questioning my reasoning, while he never shared his own opinion nor really contributed to the conversation… Now I just feel plain stupid for engaging in his questioning. You can never win with haters, their sole purpose in life is to put people down!

  108. Hi Rusti and welcome. Thanks for your nice comments. Hope you find the information useful.

  109. MelissaB

    +1 to the comment about readers quietly enjoying your blog but not commenting. I don't normally read the comment section and am shocked you get such negative comments. If I don't like a blog I don't read it. Its that simple. Why leave such terrible comments.
    Either way, I love your openness, honesty and how you process the negative comments. We all get negative feedback from time to and and I'm going to put the Bill Cosby and Maya Angelou quotes in my pocket and save them for future use. Thank you for the great life lesson and fabulous design tips.

  110. Jenni

    Excellent, excellent post, Emily. I've had more experience with haters than I ever thought I would when I first embarked on this little thing called "blogging," and the way I deal with it has come full circle. First I was totally one of those "you are soooo mean, why don't you just not read my blog if you don't like it?! Oh yeah, and SUCK IT!" But now I really try to take something from the criticism, if there is something to be taken, address concerns if there are concerns to be addressed, and move on. Occasionally I will also rewrite someone's comment for them in a way that is less bitchy, but still gets the criticism across constructively… haha. It feels SO good. I did that in this post, if you care to see: http://storyofmylifetheblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/my-new-ride.html
    The commenter in question still hasn't responded, which I like to think means I stumped her… But we'll see. There's time yet.

    Anyway, thanks for a great and witty post. You are a fabulous designer, and I really enjoyed watching you on your season of Design Star! :)

  111. koolbeanzzzz

    Twice, today, I have read about negativity like this and posting negative comments on design sites, so I wanted to share this quote that always comes to mind when I read negative comments. I have always loved it and it is from Yehuda Berg of the Kabbalah Center.

    "Words have tremendous power to heal & bless, and terrible force to harm & curse.

    Our intention determines all. That's why it's important to consider the person with whom we are speaking and to know where our heart is.

    Today, think before you speak. Be in control of every word that leaves your mouth. Use your words as a force for helping people." — Yehuda Berg, The Kabbalah Center

    Emily, keep up the great work! You inspire and bring a lot of happiness to many :)

    Cheers!

    Koolbeanzzzz

  112. addie

    Right on Emily! I am so glad you addressed this question because it helps the majority of us out here in internets-lands who are also daring to share our stuff, whether it be pillows, patterns, art, writing, etc. Putting ourselves out in the world open to anonymous comments is courageous and scary no matter who you are or whether you are on tv or not. I admire your bravery to engage with the honest critiques and to throw out the rest. You bring so much positive energy and authenticity and brightness to what you do it is worth recognizing and celebrating. Thank you!

  113. Pingback: The Heartographer » You can’t please ‘em all, no matter what you make or do

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  115. Kim

    People…they’re so funny! I don’t understand why they take the time or even bother if they don’t like something/someone! Just walk away or turn the channel. The fact that they are putting effort into hating on you means they are noticing you and THAT in itself should be a compliment. Not to even mention that you are amazing and talented! Seriously, I miss SoS…by the way did you realize that the initials to the show are SOS?? That’s awesome, just figured that out myself. Maybe you have mentioned it and if so, oops. You are definitely an inspiration to me and I started giving my boyfriend the style diagnostic when he bought his house so I could help him with decor. :) Our styles are definitely different!
    I really appreciate you writing this though. It helps a lot being that I just started a fashion truck and here in the Twin Cities it’s pretty foreign. I get a lot of push back from events that I want to attend but the general public really seems to love it. I was feeling so discouraged and this really helped me think I need to just keep on plowing through. Next year it’s gonna ROCK! :)

  116. Kim

    Oops again…I stand corrected. The initials are NOT SOS but that would have been cool. I think I have been saying Secrets OF a Stylist this whole time. Oh well….at least I watched every episode and still do whenever I see it come on! Details…details!

  117. How sad! That people are so cruel to say such things and how funny that you used the Bill Cosby quote to make you feel better! I ran into that quote this past week and was using it to make me feel better about my no rules approach to decorating. Maybe I found it on your blog and just don’t remember. :/

    Personally, I’m not surprised at the rude people out there on the internet but it really doesn’t stop how it affects you. I’ve been running into a lot of designer hate lately on the internet on various blogs, it wasn’t personally directed but still made me feel bad seeing all of this “do this and don’t do that or you can’t be a serious designer, spiel.

    It’s funny, but designers can be some of the most self absorbed and rude people there are, not realizing they are pushing potential clients and readers away from their blogs, because they make themselves an authority on what is right or wrong for your home. When really there are NO rules, it’s a matter of taste. I mean lets face it, no one is going to die if someone shops page 132 on the pottery barn catalog and uses everything in it for their living room. It may be unoriginal, yes, but will it make that person happy? Then really that’s all that counts.

    Some of the designers will state there are no rules then go on to give several rules in their post after stating their are none and then talk down about people who use big box stores to decorate their home, claiming it’s not original enough or high end enough. I’ve run into both arguments over and over, and I’ve also run into many more people who are offended at their comments, though the snooty designers do have their own following.

    Don’t get me wrong things like scale are important and helpful to non-decorator types to help them understand why something looks right, but where they buy that decor and whether or not they mix it up with original pieces is entirely personal and should be left up to them. They should not be made to feel bad that they want to shop the whole Pottery Barn Catalog for their rooms. There was a designer that put that look together after all

    . Maybe some designers are just afraid they will become obsolete so they have to create a “I’m better than ZGallerie and Pottery Barn catalogs and catalogs suck. There was a time that catalogs did suck, there was this generic super matchy look that, well in my personal taste, sucked, but I don’t find a lot of catalogs doing that anymore, instead they mix and match chairs to the dining table, and mix up the furniture in the other rooms of the house, but they still use, mostly their own products to do so and I see nothing wrong with that, as long as the pieces do not look like they came from the same set. I mean sometimes they still do use matching sets, but I really do see that less and less. . ( BTW, There are some designers predicting the eclectic look will die out and the matchy matchy look will come back in. They say it’s inevitable and those two looks wax and wane in interior design.)

    I’m sure someone is going to gasp with horror when they read what I wrote, but that’s how I see it and I’m not going to change my thoughts on it. Ok, so I’ve gotten way off track. My point is that these cruel remarks you received over your decorating style or something your client loved, are just ridiculous. Decorating is such a personal thing, and there really is not right or wrong, that i simply can’t understand cruel words being used over it.

    Decorating is suppose to fun and a no rules approach allows it to be so, but when people start getting dogmatic and rude, it just ruins it for eveyrone.

    Here is another quote that I use to make me feel better when people’s rude opinions make me feel bad about what I love to do:

    “Have you ever considered how much pure stuff and nonsense surrounds this subject of interior decoration? Probably not. Almost everyone believes that there is something deep and mysterious about it or that you have to know all sorts of complicated details about periods before you can lift a finger. Well, you don’t. Decorating is just sheer fun: a delight in color, an awareness of balance, a feeling for lighting, a sense of style, a zest for life and an amused enjoyment of the smart accessories of the moment.” – Dorothy Draper, Decorating is Fun!

    Personally I’m going to collect quotes, including the Bill Cosby one, and put them up all over my blog and office for times like this.

    I really didn’t intend to write a war and peace post originally. Sorry!

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