Reviews – The Flip Side
By Constance Azura. Original entry can be found here.
It has been said that a WL's review can take her career straight to the top. Put her name on the map and get herself noticed. I remember when my first review went up, I was ecstatic, thrilled and could not have asked for anything more. Then the second, third and many more, each one giving me the confidence knowing I really did meet expectations if not surpass them, and the once shy and withdrawn me, found a drive and passion to excel and succeed with my newly found path in life.
As much as the expressions and opinions of others gave me a big boost of confidence, I never thought how much it would actually affect me mentally and emotionally. To the point where it makes a massive impact on everyday decision making, the way I felt and saw myself, and realising how much I actually believe those opinions to be true and probable not only to the reviewer but every reader and commenter also.
Sometime last week I read a reflection on an encounter that had been long planned, by months. Preliminary communication was constant, dedicated and the suspense of finally meeting was high up on the pressure bar.
The evening itself had already set a high bar, the feelings of anticipation not making it any better, the Friday evening bumper to bumper traffic made it even worse with the icing on the cake having to deal with issues on the personal side of things.
What I thought was a pleasant and enjoyable evening was not the case when the apparent truth came out. I read descriptions of my character as being 'common', 'vulgar', 'simple', 'fake', Highlights of the evening being 'the champagne' and the low points 'not worth even talking about'.
I still tortured myself by reading it about ten times over, each sentence burnt and engraved in my memory never to be forgotten. I believe every word he's written and I have begun to self sabotage. I would be interstate and I won't advertise a tour, I hide at home most days and think about how disgusting and ugly I am and doubt myself more and more. Thoughts would follow and I would just ask myself:
"Who am I kidding? Who are you?"
"You're nothing but a disappointment not worth thinking about."
"You're not worthy"
I guess with the positive praise I have received over the years, I can't be everyone's cup of tea. But I just want to say that as much as I appreciate praise, I need to also be set for some that are perhaps not so nice to read or hear about.
But as a reviewer, if you should feel so strongly about an encounter that did not meet any goals and expectations, I would want to know that is the case and not be led to believe that the evening was enjoyable, fun and positive with a courtship that was honest. To find out months later that it wasn't the case, that your date was actually disgusted, bitter, disappointed but yet still happily continued past the agreed four hour duration instead of ending it earlier due to conflicting personalities ..
Let's just say it was not an easy piece to have read, especially when you thought differently. But it also made me realise how much of an impact it really does makes on your psyche so much that rather than an informative piece for a forum I believed it to be somewhat of a gross misjudgement of me as a person that was rather one sided.
Point of what I'm trying to say is, everyone is entitled to their opinions and it as their experience, but words really do hurt. We are merely sensitive mortals at the end of the day.