How to survive Trip Advisor

A couple of weeks ago I did a Thought For The Day on the radio about the experience of being reviewed on Trip Advisor – based on the brilliant line from Baz Luhrmann’s Sunscreen: “Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. And if you succeed in doing this, tell me how”.

TripAdvisor-630x350I got quite a bit of feedback from that particular thought, and the first thing I want to say is a massive, massive thank-you to everyone who has been encouraging and positive about The Dock, whether on Trip Advisor or any other outlet… seriously, it is hugely appreciated (and it is worth checking out Dock Cafe’s Trip Advisor page to see how much love is out there)

Some people were kind enough to get in contact and confess that they knew exactly what I was talking about when I described my sleepless nights of defensive fretting when something negative pops up: whether it’s one comment in a hundred or a hundred thousand, the critical stuff just seems to stick – and hurt – where the positive comments can so easily slide off.

FullSizeRenderMy wonderful mum, possibly worried that I was in a fragile emotional state, was moved to write me a card with her advice on the subject, hard-won through years of experience – and while much of her advice to me relating to haircuts and fashion choices during my formative years may have been questionable (see left for proof), her thoughts on this subject were so helpful and wise and sensible that I thought they were worth sharing:

IMG_1030Go Saintly
Repeat constantly: “All will be well” and “This too will pass” and “Time heals”

Go Religious
Pray for strength and wisdom

Go Psychological
Is the insult a result of the person’s background, upbringing, fear, prejudice, bigotry, frustration, misplaced anger, ignorance?

Go Norn Ireland
Repeat “Wind yer neck in”, “Just get over it big fella”, and “Up yer nose sideways with a wire brush”  (in private)

Go Active
Rant, shout, cry – while digging the garden, sawing down trees, jogging for miles – or some form of strenuous exercise

She’s very wise, my mum!

I was also sent this incredible, beautiful article from Guardian columnist Lindy West , which left me in a puddle of manly man-tears. As I said on the radio, given how much I know I fret over the very occasional and mild criticisms I receive, I genuinely don’t know how people in the public eye cope under the mountains of aggressive abuse that’s sometimes directed their way.

Lindy’s story at first made me want to just give up on the whole human race in utter despair – but then when the ray of light comes out of the blue towards the end – well, you should read it and I challenge you to finish it with a dry eye!

And remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. And if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.


(PS on the subject of it being a scary world out there on the world wide web, you may have noticed that the Dock website was down for a few days… all fixed now! (although we’ve lost a few blogs from January)

2 thoughts on “How to survive Trip Advisor”

  1. Oh gosh negativity certainly is hard to brush off regardless of the quantity of it vs the quantity of positivity. Been there! What you have to remember is, the people who think negatively about you don’t understand you! x

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