I realized that the often quick, curt, casual way I interact with people online through, for example, Twitter and gchat, tends to make my speech more hyperbolic. I either “love” or “hate” everything. People have “epic” “breakdowns.” Everything is either the “best” or “Worst. Ever.” The other day I caught myself writing that I “hated” a certain comedian, which is entirely not true. I don’t know this person. He’s done nothing that has ever had any meaningful impact on my life or on anything I hold dear. I just don’t like his work. It took me a moment to realize what I was doing, stop myself, and rephrase what I was trying to say.
The deal is that, more often than not, we know and understand when people in our lives are exaggerating for effect, or using hyperbole to convey humor or a greater point. We often become what we say. (As if you needed more reason to ever avoid saying the term “YOLO” out loud.)
The reality is that most people do not know or care enough about you to hate you. The internet will always be populated with trolls, but those people are entirely distinct from people who disagree with or criticize you. People are able to not enjoy your service, product, or performance while having no opinion of you as a person. People are capable of not enjoying a pizza dish while also not actively plotting to bring on your demise and that of your restaurant. And those are the people worth listening to. They can potentially make you and what you do better.
*and Salad Bar Law Firm Gelateria