The Free Motion Quilting Project: Dealing with Negativity

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Dealing with Negativity

Time for a new Light Up Your Life post! Two weeks ago I dealt with a lot of negativity online and figure it's high time I share a post about how I deal with the negative comments and emails that arrive daily. Find many tips in this quick video:



Yes, I do deal with negative people online and often receive hateful emails and nasty comments on this blog, Facebook, and YouTube. Many times quilters are surprised to hear that I receive negative messages like this, but I've worked online long enough to know that no matter how nice and giving you are, there will always be people ready to complain and cut you down about something.

Understanding the Negativity Bias

So how do we deal with negativity? I admit in the past I often let a single bad comment ruin my whole day or week. I would obsess about what that person said, completely ignoring the multiple comments and emails that arrive at the same time with positive messages.

The thing that really started to turn the tide for me was learning how our negativity bias. Our human brain is hard wired to pay attention to negativity. It helped keep us alive once upon a time because a brain focused on noticing negative changes (Gee, it's colder today than yesterday. Hmmm...) is more likely to take action to stay alive (I must make a quilt to stay warm!)

If you get a raise today, it will feel great, but you will quickly adapt to the extra cash because it was a positive change. However, if your salary was suddenly cut, the sharp pinch of less money will be felt daily as you suddenly have to make careful choices about everything you purchase.

In terms of dealing with negative messages, for every mean email that arrives, you may receive 20 - 50 positive messages, but the weight of the criticism will feel so much bigger, more valid, and more important to address.

Protecting Yourself from Negativity

While it's no fun to realize our brains are so negatively focused, it's helpful to accept it and being to take steps to protect yourself. You know that getting horrible comments on your blog is no fun, so an easy solution is to set up moderation so nothing gets posted without you approving it first.

I go one step further by requiring people to login to an account and provide a name and email address before they are allowed to post a comment. When I made this change on the blog, the number of nasty comments dropped to almost none because suddenly people had some level of accountability. They couldn't hide their identity and suddenly didn't want to be caught writing such a terrible message.

The next thing I changed was who checked our main email account. Josh took over this for me in 2010 because he is far less emotional and much more logical in the face of criticism. I would take every nasty email personally and begin questioning and obsessing about every detail. He can glance at a book-long wall-of-text diatribe and shrug. "Just a crazy being crazy." is his logical response.

It does become more challenging in places like Facebook where a single comment from one person can quickly become an avalanche of mean. We have learned to delete first and ask questions later as we put out small fires that could otherwise turn into massively destructive flame wars.
goddess quilt | release your light
Another way to interpret the ring of flames around Release Your Light
is as a ring of protection, guarding you from the negativity of the world.
 Making Mean Funny

Yes, I intentionally insulate myself from negativity, but sometimes a particularly barbed comment will slip through and I'll be presented with a fist full of scorn in the face, usually first thing in the morning.

http://www.freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.htmlThese days, thankfully, I don't immediately start down that old road of self doubt. I'm far more stable and self assured than I used to be and I now see my reaction as a choice:

Do I choose to let this person ruin my day, my week, my peace of mind?

It really is a choice and these days I rarely allow myself to be bothered by a nasty comment. Instead I turn it into something to laugh about. Here's an email I received last year during the Building Blocks Quilt Along:
I just watched your video on how to construct a Sawtooth Star block and I feel I have to speak up.  I can't believe how  many errors you made in constructing this block and yet you call yourself an instructor!  I think it would behoove you to learn from other quilters how to make these blocks more easily and more precisely before you put your "techniques" out to the public...(rant went on to precisely indicate how I should have pieced the block)...

Sorry to be so brutal about this but I've been quilting about as long as you have and have learned from many teachers. I think if you want to proclaim yourself as knowledgeable about how to do these basic things, you really should learn them yourself before trying to teach others.
Yep, this is a golden example of an aggressively mean email pleasantly disguised as a righteous helpful advice message from a person who clearly has way too much time on her hands. Notice how she intentionally hit triggers like "you call yourself an instructor!" and "you really should learn yourself before teaching others" that are designed to make me feel small, stupid, and absolutely unqualified to make a single video ever again.

But oh, I can make this so much worse! Let have some fun with this message and make it really crazy!
I JUST WATCHED YOUR VIDEO ON THE SAWTOOTH STAR AND I'M FUCKING APPALLED!!!! I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW BADLY YOU SUCK ASS AT PIECING AND WOULD DARE TO SHARE THIS VIDEO ONLINE!!! HOW CAN YOU CALL YOURSELF AN INSTRUCTOR??!!! YOU SERIOUSLY NEED TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL YOU STUPID LITTLE GIRL AND LEARN HOW TO ACTUALLY PIECE BEFORE SUBJECTING YOUR IDIOCY TO THE PUBLIC!!!!!
Mwahhahahahahaha! Now this is just plain insane! It makes me laugh at the sheer absurdity and lightens my load to the original message. It is a choice - letting someone rile you up and hurt your feelings. I much prefer to manipulate their message into something so over-the-top that it holds no power to upset me.

So what about you? How do you deal with negative people? Have you developed strategies for insulating yourself or making their criticism funny? Definitely share your advice in the comments below!

Dealing with negative people will never be easy, but it's absolutely possible to develop strategies that will protect you from the deep sting of mean messages. Never hesitate to insulate yourself from negative people or situations. We only have one beautiful live to live, so make sure it's surrounded with the people you love and the kindness you deserve. 

Let's get moving, let's try something new!

Leah Day

65 comments:

  1. *applauds*

    When I'm not quilting, I work in customer tech support for a WordPress based company. The amount of negativity and complaints I see on a daily basis can be draining - if I let it.

    The up side is most of it is not directed at me personally. I admit I take extreme pleasure in dealing with someone completely irate in the most pleasant and helpful polite words I have. Basically, it's super hard to continue to be an asshole to someone who is persistently nice to you. ;)

    It is good you have someone else screen those nasty ones though. I see stuff like this every single day and I always makes me wonder if they would ever say the same things in person. (most of them, not likely).

    For anything I just can't shake off - I go RAGE QUILT! :D My co-workers think this is hilarious, partly because I say it's really hard to continue to be upset by someone when you have a sharp needle thisclose to your fingers. ;)

    And keep on keeping on - the higher profile you get, the more this happens (still terrible though). If you weren't doing something right, then no one would criticize. I figure most of 'em are jealous they didn't think of it, or they are afraid to do all you're doing.

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    1. Wow! That is a very tough job and I can just imagine what you see every day Andrea. I love the idea of rage quilting and getting that hurt out of your body with physical action. I might even make a rage quilt that I only add stitches to when I'm really upset. Thank you for sharing!

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    2. Andrea, you "hit the nail on the head!" Face to face would never happen with those mean people. Their self esteem is so bad that for them to survive the day they need to "take another down," to build them up. Leah, you go girl! Please keep up the great work but most of all, thank you for giving to us a part of you. As long as I've been quilting I will never know it all or wish to because, then the learning stops and one stagnates and gets an ego the size of Texas.......those people are no fun to be around and I wouldn't take a class from them until "hell froze!" Taking a new quilter under my wing is the most fun I've had in years. I'm more creative and can share techniques that work for me. Also, I'm sharing some of my "stash." ;*) oh yes......which makes room for adding new fabrics. Being a "fabri-holic" makes me a happy quilter. Now I must go quilt! "Make it a good day."

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  2. Hmm, there sure are lots of crazy out there. The first thing I try to recall is that if someone is lunatic enough to go through the trouble of composing a mile-long message full of garbage, then search out an email address or similar to send said garbage to, it really reflects on that person only, and nobody else. Crazy indeed is crazy.

    Passive-aggressive also flourishes online. Your example of the passive-aggressive message masked as "nice and helpful" really is just a nasty barf from a place of superiority. High horses, in my book, should be recognised as such, and dismissed as a place driven by insecurity and other personal problems. If someone has the insisting need to place themselves above others, they really aren't balanced. And an unbalanced person should be pitied. If they'd reach out as humans on the same level, they might show some humility, but since there's passive-aggressive and other nonsense, it really isn't worth paying any attention whatsoever to.

    Shame, because amidst all the negative feedback, there might actually be a grain of truth. Celestine Chua has a good post "Facing Negative Criticism?" with short video recently published on her Personal Excellence blog:
    http://personalexcellence.co/blog/negative-criticism/

    If someone feels like behaving like an ass towards fellow human beings it is indeed difficult at times not to take negative barfing to heart. Even when something is presented in one's own name, some people simply haven't developed a filter regarding what is appropriate to say, how to say it with respect, and also when to say it. The important step is to recognise, like Celestine says, that we are under no obligation to take anything to heart, simply because someone else thinks we should do that.

    And the most important part, like you wrote, is to focus on the good. I don't think it's fair to the 90+% of people sending positive feedback to ignore their comments completely in favour of the few rotten ones. Also, we do have the power to control our thoughts. Feelings are what they are, but we are in charge of what comes next. I love a quote by Gandhi: "I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet." It is challenging to grow, become more balanced and less affected by the actions of others, but it is doable.

    Thanks for making me think today :)

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    1. I love what you said about people not being balanced and lashing out to people they perceive as beneath them. We all walk on the same ground. Thank you so much for sharing Gandhi's quote! I've never heard that before and I absolutely love it!

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    2. Here's another one by Eleanor Roosevelt: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." I'm all for self-improvement, nobody is perfect, and I feel I owe it to myself to be the best version of myself that I can be. I've read some of the comments posted after mine, and have to say that I don't agree with all of them.

      There's nothing wrong with negative feedback (as opposed to "not saying anything if I have nothing nice to say"), as long as it's presented respectfully and a place without ego driving the comment. Of course one should also consider the timing, whether it is appropriate to voice it, or whether it's simply a matter of differing opinions. There should be room for the latter, without critique being voiced; we don't have to like the same things or do stuff with the same methods.

      So it's important to analyse exactly what happened when someone said or wrote something to us. Perhaps it came from a messed-up place? Does it matter? What I mean is that should we ignore negative feedback even when it's presented in an aggressive or hurtful way - if there's truth to it?

      It's not a competition after all, a case where I "win" if I don't do as the commenter told me to. But if I did follow the advice, despite the crappy delivery, I would *choose* to do so by own free will. And I would do it for me, not for the sake of anyone else.

      I think it's important to separate negative feedback into two components, so we can see properly what's going on; 1. the delivery itself, 2. the topic of the message. Because sometimes it hurts to hear what we know is true already, and observing ourselves in the mirror isn't always nice, a walk in the park, but can in fact demand quite a bit of courage. If we can manage to sift through the barf itself, and find the core message, I don't think it should be dismissed, if there's some value to it. It can be difficult, though.

      However, if we dismiss everything that even smells of non-nice as crazy or judgmental or jealousy or whatever, we may miss opportunities of self-improvement. Empowerment is when we have clarity and strength to step away and observe with calm, then make an educated decision on how to proceed and why.

      And speaking of empowerment, a quote by anonymous: "Girls compete with each other, women empower one another." I will never understand why some people don't try to lift others up rather than tear down.

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  3. I had a well known quilter whom I will not mention her name yell at me on Facebook. She put words in my mouth and the funny part were they were her words two days earlier. The written word does fall flat and some take it wrong. In your examples that you posted I think they are jealous of your abilities. There is no wrong way to make a block. You make them the way you like to. People are judgemental and I think this is a huge flaw.
    Looking at videos of other quilters I see mistakes I feel they are mistakes, but it works for them. Hopefully people read their words before they submit their statements, but again I think they are jealous. There is a reason they are not doing what you do. Chris

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  4. Love, love, love this post!!! You said it so well. There are far more good people in the world....far more kind words...kind actions. Fabulous post. You are a smart lady.

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  5. <3 your blog. <3 the video that Ninawithfreckles shared. Great food for thought all around!

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  6. Great post Leah!
    I'm sorry so many people feel compelled to rant and critique.I always tell myself that we should encourage others because the world already has enough critics.
    I think it's hilarious how you exaggerate these statements with profanities and bring out the craziness in order to put things into true perspective,that's a great processing tool.
    Social media does bring out some behavior that is truly pathological so when you see things like this you just got to say to yourself out loud "This person is nuttier than squirrel turds!",laugh and then refuse to internalize it.
    Thanks for sharing so much of yourself,your beautiful art and lovely family with us!

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  7. My mama taught me that if I didn't have anything nice to say, I shouldn't say anything. I am shocked at what people have actually written to you! I'm just grateful that I've found your blog, and have learned from you. Keep up the good work!!!

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  8. I am not surprised by someone being critical as it is rampant online these days. However, I am appalled by the use of foul language. I have followed your blog from early on and find you to be very intelligent, talented and creative. You have been very helpful to me in my free motion quilting journey. Keep up the good work. Thank you very much!

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  9. Feel compelled to comment. Also work in an environment where there is a fair amount of abuse going on, however very rarely is it personal. That comment above is a very personal attack designed to make you feel small, disguised with some ranting about the right way to do something. How very strange. Just goes to show how successful you have become. Keep up the good work and yes, let somebody else read them.

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  10. Keep marching in your parade Leah! Your cute, inspirational and have encouraged me to "free motion" quilt my own quilts! If it wasn't for you, I'd still be sending them out to get quilted just because I was afraid. Keep up the great work and hope you can sneak a trip in to Canada one day :)

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  11. I've received negative comments on line as well. To tell you the truth, I just ignore them. They used to make me feel bad. I decided I didn't want to go there. I just delete them now. It's so easy to be mean online. Nobody gets to see you and you don't see the poor person you're berating. I work in an environment where people make critical remarks all the time. I hate it! I love your videos and your posts. Keep them coming! You know we love you!!

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  12. I would do the same thing I did when two family members choose to send me nasty emails after I made choices they didn't like - DELETE! I didn't even give them the chance to get in my psyche as I deleted the emails before I had even finished reading them. Keep up the good work, both with your instructing and mentally!

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  13. thanks for the wonderful videos, books and stitching advice...I am a hand quilter and do some limited machine quilting...this past spring our small group all bought your book and participated in learning 4-5 stitches a week and brought back samples for discussion. I learned so much and thank you for all you have done to promote machine quilting. You are a very talented young woman (you seem young cause I am 68 haha)....and take a beautiful quilt you have done for your "insulation" and wrap it all around you. Never stop what you are doing!! thanks Mary Beard in Austin Texas

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  14. Live is too short. I love what you do, and for those who don't... well, don't let em get to you. Most are likely valuing their self esteem either! Great post!

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  15. So sorry to hear you are the victim of trolls! It is very difficult to understand their mentality...they must be the unhappiest and most antisocial people on Earth. I don't know why the Internet seems to attract them. I wish they would all do us a favour and get some therapy.

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  16. If you have to engage with the negative commentator, as an earlier poster said, being excessively polite and well mannered works wonders. Not only do feel in control, If they come back with more, it shows them up further. Otherwise I've had to learn to deal with the negative comment, I think of it like a radio, turning down the volume on the nasties, and turning up the volume on the good.

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    1. i love the imagery of the radio. thanks for the thought...

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  17. I use to work at a call center for a cell phone company!! Some of the things people say to others is down right nasty....I use to listen to people scream at me because they screwed up and didn't want to admit it.....I have had my life threatened over a cell phone service....I could not believe what people do to me because they cannot use their phone!! At first it would stress me out then I would mute them and listen to them and chat with my neighbor next to me or just roll my eyes and laugh.....Then I would tell them the same thing I told them at the start of the conversation.....I have learned tough love along time ago when had teens...it wasn't that I didn't care I developed a thick skin and found 2 pleasant words to say! "POUND SAND" this is my way of taking their crap to the next level and signing off hahahahahaha!! You don't need to be told you are an excellent instructor look around your sewing room...you know where you stand!! I love your work....I hope I can bre half as good as you are!! Take care!!

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  18. Good for you, Leah, at figuring out how to re-direct some of the crazy that comes at you. I have learned a LOT from this post. Thank you!

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  19. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I was once given the wonderful advice to "consider the source" and then decide if I want to worry about what is being said!!!

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  20. This is a great post. I love your exaggeration technique; it made me laugh, too! And it's good to recognize the "negativity bias," because if you start dwelling on a negative, you can ask yourself how much weight you are giving it.

    One thing I do (this doesn't apply to your situation) is to avoid comments on articles that are bound to arouse negativity (such as political issues, but there are more). I have learned that we "absorb" what we surround ourselves with, so why not make it good?

    Thank you for continuing to put yourself out there! There will always be negative people, and you just happen to be available. So many of us appreciate you, though.

    p.s. I'm smiling, picturing a "rage quilt." It wouldn't have any gentle curves!!

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  21. Thanks for sharing today and so many other days! I have been reading your blog for years now and appreciate your positive voice. Whether during yoga.."bent legs for the rest of your life is ok" or struggling with free motion "it is beautiful because a person made it, not a machine" or wrestling with family "surround yourself with people that love you," your voice in my head has warmed me countless times. Thank you for being so publicly brave about your pursuit of a life filled with kindness. You are touching more lives than you know!

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  22. I am pretty sensitive so it is difficult for me to read negative comments … even when they are not accurate. I work on this all the time. So I appreciate your sharing this Leah. Thank you for being so honest and authentic. You are my favorite teacher. You are the one who inspired me to be a quilter. I just love your work and your classes … all of them. I am an older woman who really respects you as a younger woman. I strive to be more like you everyday … in a real and authentic way.

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  23. After years of reading your blog, I realized after reviewing this one, I have never really said thank you for your positive voice!

    Whether during yoga, accepting my bent knees "for the rest of my life"or while facing my free motion frustrations remembering "it is beautiful because a person made it, not a machine" or wrestling with family.."it is ok to say no more," your voice in my own head has warmed me countless time. And now yet another earnest share that again mirrors my own journey. Thank you!!!

    Thank you for being so publicly brave (sometimes with naked truth!) about your PURSUIT of a life filled with kindness, including kindness to yourself. You are touching more lives than you know!

    Let' go be brave! Let's go be kind! Let's go be like Leah Day!

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  24. It didn't even occur to me that you would be the recipient of such negativity! Although I don't know you personally, I follow you and find you so positive,inspiring,and seem incredibly sweet!
    Recently my 2 "best" quilty friends totally stabbed a dagger in my back....and all basically because I am a modern quilter...I was fb unfriended, blocked from our fb group, and kicked out of our monthly sewing group...not to mention trash talked and "dumped"...I let all that hurt for one day...then realized they are petty jealous mean girls who don't properly handle any relationship and I am actually RELIEVED that their negativity and junk is out of my life. People tend to think that quilters are nice...but there unfortunately are a lot of snarky mean girls that grew up to quilt!

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    1. Most of the petty and mean girls we all knew as kids turn into petty and mean women. They're just more stealthy with age. Good for you, eject that garbage!

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  25. Great message, Leah. It astounds me how people will say things online that they would never say to someone in person. Though you may have restricted the negative comments from your sites for your own sanity, it also makes it much nicer for those of us who do want to hear what you have to say. I follow a QAL where there is so much negativity from other followers it really is not enjoyable, even though the lessons are good. Thank you.

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  26. Thank you for the lesson on how to deal with negativity. It is something in my life that I want to avoid, but find that there are more negative people out there than I see positives. My only way to deal with it is to shut it out in my own mind. However, it is very difficult not to obsess over it. I see so many times when we are out at restaurants or retail shops, that people are rude because some small detail is missed or just a I am better than you persona. My husband and I often get thanked for being nice to the servers. It isn't difficult to make someone's day by being nice to them. They may be having a bad day and often a little kindness will help. If we visit a restaurant often and get to know the host/hostess or server, I will then do a quilt and surprise them with the gift on a visit. The surprise and delight at seeing someone light up when a gift is given, especially a quilt that has been hand made is worth all the work of making the quilt. I know that I may never see that person again, but I have done something that they will remember as a kindness. Thanks for sharing Leah. You made my day!

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  27. I am reading this in complete shock! How can anyone be mean to you Leah Day?? You have such a sweet, giving soul ... I personally enjoy your tutorials, classes, etc. Here is a big virtual hug from me to you!! Did you know I want to be just like you in my quilting?? You have inspired me tremendously to stretch my self and try new tecniques and free motion with a bit of confidence ..:) Thank you!!

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  28. Keep on keeping on and that will really piss them off. It makes me mad to see people post hateful things like that. The first thing that always comes to mind though is that THEY have the problem. THEY obviously feel really bad about themselves and it gives them a quick sense of power to talk down to someone else. Especially hiding behind a computer screen in their basement all alone. (they couldn't possibly have friends) Sometimes when I get upset about something negative I take a deep breath and think. Wow, their life must really be miserable. I have to imagine what is in their mind and how they must be feeling in order to be so hateful. Then I come back to my reality and KNOW that my life is pretty darn good. Too bad theirs is not. :) Thanks for all you do and share with us!

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  29. How on earth can someone call forth such negative thoughts about sewing and quilting? Isn't that our happy place? I was at my LQS last Saturday taking a class and the instructor mentioned you many times. And in a good way! So you do have a positive footprint in the world. Stay the ray of sunshine that you are!

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  30. I took a class at my LQS recently and your name came up frequently. In a good way! So your positive impact is certainly bigger than any negative comments unhappy people feel empowered to send your way. Keep radiating your sunshine.

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  31. Leah, I never would have thought you would get negative comments, you are so sweet. I believe we need to take away from all the blogs and videos, etc.what is helpful to you and eve what is not. If something was not helpful to this complainer, rather than complaining about what was not helpful, find and be thankful for the nuggets that were helpful. There was a reason she took the time to watch the video, if she didn't enjoy it, don't watch it.

    I would say the same about feedback. I used to be a corporate trainer and let me tell you, there were days all I did was get negativity or at least it seemed so, especially when the material was mandated. I learned to strip the negativity and search the meaning to see if there was a gem there I could learn something from. If there was something in the comment to help me improve, I would give it some thought. If there was nothing there, I would just leave it. People even in mandated training have the option of paying attention and finding a nugget or resisting even those things that would help them improve.

    You were my first inspiration to do fmq. I am still at the beginner level but am going forward because of you. Thank you for that. Don't waste time even reading the rants. You have nothing to learn from those who only wish to hurt.

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  32. You seem like such a nice young person - I can't imagine anyone giving you such an awful e-mail! Iv'e enjoyed your videos a lot. Just remember there is a lot of nasty people out there and sometimes and you just have to consider "the source" and realize that "your much better than them"!

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  33. Oh Leah, this is terrible when people are so negative. I appreciate your good sense to ignore it. I can't imagine anyone criticizing you for anything. Goodness.
    Most people that are negative towards others, or disapprove of the way they help others through teaching, they really have some emotional concerns that they should address them selves.
    I love everything you share. You are a giving person. We all have dark corners in our lives that we have had to clear out. It just goes with being human. Some of it, well most of it we really just have to let it go.
    Thank you for all that you do

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  34. I sometimes wonder if the brave young voices out there in the blogosphere and who give instructional videos a whirl shock the sensibilities of people used to how things used to be which included more "official" credentialing, more editorial control, etc. If that is what a person wants, they can find it. But having these additional new voices is vigorous, challenging, and egalitarian. Thanks for addressing this topic, Leah. I can relate to it in my work hat and very much hope your moments of this kind of angst are very few indeed. I know you help quilters every single day.

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  35. I love your obviously sweet spirit and love of quilting. Sometimes I watch your videos simply to hear your calming voice while learning a new technique. I write a Property Owners Blog that keeps me pretty busy with all the drama going on in our community. Needless to say, I receive 'negative' comments. It is difficult to be negative while looking at a smiling face. Since I tape-record all Board meetings, I have proof of the accuracy of my statements. So...I truly feel JOY just knowing that my words are being read.
    Leah, Please add this comment to your balance scale -- the Positive side!

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  36. Thank you Leah for your comments on negativity. FB and Bloggers have really become a place for people to be ugly.They seem to love a public abuse forum. I try never to write anything that will hurt or be negative in response to anyone's comment because I recv and see too many negative responses. I have learned so much from you since joining your blog. It's people like you who make up for the ugly ones. I will try out some of your methods. Thank you again.

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  37. I, too, am shocked that you of all people would receive negative and hateful comments. Leah, you were my first quilting instructor. I found your voice so sweet and soothing that I just had to follow you. You made it OK to make mistakes in my quilting, and you gave me confidence to free motion quilt. I have an only daughter who sends me negative and hateful emails that cut my heart out. I haven't spoken to her for a year because of this. I refuse to stoop to her level. I have been comforted by the advice given to you by many of the above comments. I know you are a sensitive person like me by just listening to you. I'm sorry you have been the subject of these hateful comments and wish you peace in your heart. Like someone else said here, Leah...we all LOVE YOU!

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  38. LOL--thanks 4 putting up this article--I was absolutely stunned to find out that folks would actually send you negative emails. Quilting ? Nice young mom quilting ? Like there is absolutely nothing negative about you. quilting is so gentle--its hard to imagine--but I guess folks can be jealous of almost anyone & I really think its jealousy & envy that prompts so much negativity. Of course, I'm like you in that I have an online business & get lots of positive feedback--but that one or two creeps who criticize or make mean comments do kind of spoil your mood for a minute or two. I think you are on the right track--having you husband triage messages for you & finding the humor. :) Most of the time I try to keep a sense of humor at weird comments--it helps to withdraw or omit folks from your online forums who seem to be chronically negative & I have occasionally taken an aggressive stance with folks who have attacked me to my face because that seems the only way to get them to back down--they want you to slink away and feel bad.
    I have to admit the most humorous comments I've had lately on FB is on some promo pix I had made for a calendar--a few folks have asked me to cover my legs (I'm wearing a modest dress) & someone even wrote they didn't like to see me move on stage (in jeans & a long sleeve shirt) Oh please. Someone even wrote my husband that he should force me to close & cover my legs--we do laugh over this--I mean like what do they think? That we are a Taliban family or something where the husband dresses the wife for promo pix ? LOL :) But thanks 4 your posts--it helps me see that there are some jerks out there that even take swings at totally innocnet and sweet folks & to know that its nothing you have done--its just their problem :)

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  39. I am so sorry (and appalled!) to learn about the negativity you have had to deal with! But thank you for shedding some light on the problem. It's a sick, lion killing, world out there. I'm in the grateful gang who love your posts, and have learned so much from the wonderful videos you provide FOR FREE! Please don't be discouraged, and keep on with your fantastic teaching.

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  40. Thanks for sharing this ... I never imagined that you would receive nasty or negative comments. Your husband is a real keeper for all he does with/for you. I thoroughly enjoyed this video... blessings to you and your husband.

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  41. I think I have more of a Teflon personality when it comes to social media. I look at something negative and say either to myself or sometimes out loud, what a f%^&*() a@# h@#$. And then I hit the delete button. I belive that they weren't raised well and their moms should be ashamed. You need to be true to yourself and the rest of us will back you 100%

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  42. I felt sad that you had to deal with such terrible, negetave comments.. It's difficult to learn that people can be so mean and cruel...a person like that is a bully. Their bullying can be subtle, brash, vulgar (as in that XXX rated post) and sometimes it is presented in a humorous manner, with underlying meaness and "digs". Life is way to short to allow that kind of negativity. "They" are among us! There is no getting away from that kind of nonsense because "they" are everwhere ,and so the best way to cope is with humor - smile, and keep a safe distance when you can. : )) Keep a happy heart and look around at your life, your good friends and family...that is all that matters! Bless you!

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  43. I just love this post, & really needed to see this today. My Husband has an incredible way of perceiving & being nonreactive to negative, asshole behavior. His view is: "If I allow them to get to me, they win; I refuse to let a jerk have that much control or power over me". He has been able to do this since he was a teenager. How? He had a rough childhood & has seen how pain, anger and resentment have controlled & nearly ruined the lives of his Mom & siblings from his father leaving them... decades ago. I haven't reached this point of enlightenment yet, so I continue to learn from my wonderful husband of 33 years. Leah, thanks so much for sharing not only your beautiful quilting, but your life experiences and feelings too.

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  44. I needed to hear this today. I just lost my best friend of 19 years because she was mean to me. I don't need her negativity or belittling. I am sad she is out of my life, but glad she's not there to make me feel bad anymore. Now if I can just quit thinking about it.....it's like a worm in my head...

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  45. Leah, You are wise beyond your years (I believe this as I am so much older than you, lol). In the midst of negativity, it is difficult, but I try to stay positive by creating pretty things, sharing of myself, and finding the beauty in people and world.
    Thank you for your gifts of sharing your talent as these gifts are of far greater measure than any attempts to bring negativity into your life. Love is the answer.

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  46. Please continue sharing your thoughts, trials & lessons learned as you travel the path of creativity, growth and fulfillment. You've not been traveling alone. I look forward to continuing the journey with you!

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  47. Leah, I'm so sorry you have had to deal with "social misfits". Everyone is right, bad behavior does seem to be more rampant with social media. Please know that there are many who follow you because, they like how you teach. I'm in my 60's and have been quilting for some time. I go with the attitude that I can learn many things when I go to a class or watch one. I may feel like my way works better sometimes but, I still should have enough "good manners" to be willing to listen. This dog has learned many new things from you.
    You're a sweet young lady, I admire your talent in quilting, your joy of sharing, and your enthusiasm. You have such a supportive family and a family of followers. Copy down and, print all these positive comments. Cut them apart, fold them and place each one into a bag, canister, box or, whatever you like (make it pretty). Then when you get a nasty comment delete it before even finishing. Now pull out 5 slips of positive comments from your container and read them. Your emotions will come right back where they need to be. If not read 5 more and keep doing so until you realize that individual is not worth your anger, your time, that they are only a distraction from your creativity..
    By the way put those 5 positive comments back into the bottom of the container - you just may want to reread them again. Thank you again for being you.

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  48. ALL you GIVE freely to QBL (Quilting Blog Land) and you are subjected to this type of rude behaviour...I shake my head, have no words...does this person have a YouTube channel? A website that thousands of quilters visit? Several Craftsy classes? Taught all over the US? (I think) Um I'm thinking .... NOT. You helped me so much when I got my longarm secondhand and had no clue as to how to get used to it. Yep, You, on a domestic, helped me BIG time, on a longarm. I even wrote a post called "I Love Leah Day!" Recently (like end of May) I had a pattern published on Moda Bakeshop and I was CRUSHED when 3 comments (who jumped on the first troll's negativity wagon) wrote very mean things. They all knew it was my first pattern yet they chose to be exceedingly rude. I was happy to be in the new bloggers' hop and Stephanie of Late Night Quilter, a psychologist by day, helped me deal with them and see that you really have something unique when people knock it. I always think, and would teach my Junior High students, that if you can't see yourself saying the words to the person's face, then don't write it (hiding behind your computer). You do awesome work, you teach and share such great FMQ designs, and you are, as others before me have said, so open, honest, sweet and personable, that it is such a reflection on this person's lack of character to feel the need to so meanly and wrongly put you down. Love seeing the old f-bomb flying around the all-too-stuffy at times quilting world too btw. ;-)

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  49. Since taking up patchwork in 2004 I have acquired several shelves of patchwork and quilting books and numerous DVDs. I don't agree with everything I read or see but pick the bits and pieces that work for me. I wonder if those people who are so free with their online advice also have the same responses to authors of books and DVDs?

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  50. Leah you have some good advice and have dealt with this issues very well. My thought is this: if they want to criticise and think they know better than YOU then why aren't they out there "sprouting" their knowledge? Because they don't have the same get-up-and-go as you and they're envious. I say to them "stiff bickies". People who criticise are not happy people and are usually their own worst critics and rather than focus on themselves they will use any excuse to project their unhappiness and self-loathing on to you. They are like an emotional vampire trying to suck good eneregy from you and give it to themselves because it makes them feel good. You on the other hand already feel good so not letting them rob you of your positive energy is a challenge when doing the work you do. I think you're doing a great job and I appreciate all that you do. Thank you!

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  51. This really inspiring to read. I love your overall positivity and any-one-can-do-it attitude. I have to laugh at the example email you included in your post, because, honestly, what that person is criticizing is part of what I love about your teaching style. You make mistakes, you accept them, you encourage others to accept their mistakes, and by including your mistakes in your videos you help us all to learn from and recover from our *own* mistakes. I think that because you're willing to make these mistakes visibly - you are a *better* teacher for it. It's encouraging to know that what we do doesn't need to be perfect or mistake free to be wonderful and beautiful. Keep it up!

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  52. I was so astonished about the negative comments you have been receiving. You are such a pleasant and knowledgeable person and I love your blog. You have taught me how to have fun with free motion quilting through your You Tube videos. Unfortunately this world seems to have more and more angrier people dwelling on this earth and you have such a right on attitude about negativity. Thank goodness for your husband, as he seems to put things into perspective and makes things right. You be strong and ignore these crazed people.

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  53. I have no idea just how many dozens (hundreds?) of times I've read your words online or in an email, watched your lessons, watched your classes on Craftsy, read your articles in a quilting magazine, learned so very much from you and thought, "What a wonderful young woman, an excellent teacher and so kind to share this with everyone". Thank you for all of that, dear Leah.

    I worked as a teacher's assistant in public school classrooms for almost twenty years, worked with about one hundred teachers. You are right up there with the best of them, and they were taught how to teach and what to teach. Please do not let ANYONE tell you that you are not a good teacher or that you are not qualified to teach about quilting. I learn from you every time I see anything you have written or shared.

    By the way, I bought your crib sheet pattern and our three week old granddaughter seems to really like her custom sheets, her mommy and daddy certainly do! Thank you for such clear instructions.

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  54. I too am a bit shocked at how anyone could take all that you give and turn it into any kind of negative. Clearly, anyone doing that is a loon. I love your re-written solution. Laughter truly is the best medicine. I don't believe there are any bad words--just appropriate ones. You know how to use them appropriately in my view. Keep laughing to stay mentally healthy and physically well. I like how you ease the wrinkles in your life in much the same way you avoid them in your quilt, by skillfully easing your way through them...A forever fan!

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  55. I just have to say I absolutely LOVE this post.... and how true it is...... blows my mind how one mean comment can totally derail you if you allow it....... and the posts...... how these people can be so cruel is just beyond me.......

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  56. Hello Leah, I am heart broken to read about the awful emails that you have received. You certainly do not deserve them as far as I am concerned. All I want to say to you is please remember "their are more people in the world that care about you and your quilting world than people who should go somewhere else". So thank you for your encouragement and amazing blogs and videos. Which give me new skills, designed to help me on my quilting journey. I will continue to love all that you do from my home in Adelaide Australia.

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  57. Thank you for sharing your ideas and I hope I am able to remember this. I have a very hard time dealing with this, and from time to time ponder removing myself from the computer/online community. It's just so appalling to me that people act like this and I will never understand it.
    I like the idea of a bubble of light protecting me from the fire/hate/anger/sickness of others.
    Sending you love and light :)

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  58. You go girl - I love that you have learnt to ignore the ignorant. Vicious bitches who cover their vitriol in sugar. Please know that you are my inspiration - along with two or three teachers here in South Africa who have your patient and compassionate teaching methods. I refer to your book 365 FMQ Designs, I have a couple of your on-line classes and I LOVE getting your blogs. Long may you carry on just the way you are

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