Imagine you are a stand up comedian. You just finished your set and you are about to head to the bar for something to drink. On your way to the bar, 1 of three scenarios take place.
You step off stage and make your way through the crowd. Halfway to the bar, a group of five people walk up to you to tell you have great your set was. They are trying to engage with you and are fans, and it is strongly implied they just want a little bit of your time to tell you how awesome you are. However, you really don’t want anything to do with them, you’ve heard compliments before and kinda brush them off. You continue to work your way to the bar, alone, to get your drink.
Same scene as scenario 1. This time you make it to the bar and place an order. One person who is sitting there sipping their drink looks over at you. They tell you that they didn’t think you were funny at all, and that they didn’t understand why everyone was laughing at your jokes. You immediately start to get defensive, turn to face the stranger, and proceed to argue. It’s not the first time someone didn’t agree with your set, but you’ll be damn sure you won’t leave without telling them that they “Don’t have a sense of humor”, “You don’t care what they think”, and a dozen other reasons why you are awesome and they are not. You leave the bar and the rest of your night is ruined thinking about why one person didn’t like you.
You step off stage and make your way through the crowd. Halfway to the bar, a group of five people walk up to you to tell you have great your set was. They are trying to engage with you and are fans, and it is strongly implied they just want a little bit of your time to tell you how awesome you are. Even tho you’ve heard compliments before, you’ve never met or talked to this group of people before. Happy that you were able to connect with anyone after the set, let alone five, you proceed in small talk. You then mention you would really like to get a drink and ask if they want to come get a drink with you. All six of you proceed to the bar and place orders. One person who is sitting there sipping their drink looks over at your group and sees you standing there. they tell you that they didn’t think you were funny at all, and that they didn’t understand why everyone was laughing at your jokes. Before you can even start to get defensive, the people in your group turn to the stranger and tell them they think you are awesome, that they don’t want any problems, and they are just there to hang out with the comedian. The stranger realizes there are 6 of you and one of them, realizes they can’t get under your skin like they would have wanted, and turns around to finish the drink alone. You then look at the group of five people with you, say thank you, and continue have a great time. A couple minutes later more people in the show start coming up to tell you how much they think you are awesome. You leave the bar in such a great mood realizing that one person didn’t get you riled up, and that you were thankful to have interacted with people who simply wanted to share some praise.
These scenarios happen to us everyday. The occupation and mediums constantly change.
From playing a show, doing an open mic, singing karaoke, doing a book reading, and even posting your photos and art on social media.
No matter what you share with the world, there will always be a different response than what you expect. You just have to choose your reaction.