Do what is right – someone will have something to say about it no matter what.

How to deal with people who disagree with you

I am occasionally paralyzed by what others think of me, and I have the unfortunate habit of basing my opinion of myself on the opinions of others.  This is hilarious based on two things:  1) I basically live my life on social media and 2)  I am creative for a living.

No matter what, we are going to be judged for what we do, whether it is the way we grieve, the way we create art, or the way we tell our personal stories and live our lives.

Someone, somewhere, is going to have something to say.

This could be positive feedback, or negative feedback.  You should see how nervous I get before I post a photo on the Stonehouse page (like physically ill nervous for some photos), or before I post something of mine on the Schoep page.  I am terrified of what anyone might say.  I may look like I don’t care, but some days I REALLY care.

I need to get over it.  We all need to get over it.  It’s not that easy, though, and it’s even worse when those closest to us cannot understand why we care so much.

For myself, I just need to make a decision, act on it, move forward and no longer listen to the critics (or at least hear them a little less).

This is obviously easier said than done, so I have a little quote up on my wall from Eleanor Roosevelt:  “Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway”.

Do you agree?  Do you care what others think?  Or have you grown up enough to no longer care so much?

And welcome to all my new readers!  This journey has been amazing 🙂


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18 Comments on Do what is right – someone will have something to say about it no matter what.

  1. Liz Roloff
    April 23, 2014 at 9:49 pm (6 years ago)

    Sometimes the idea of not caring what other people think feels like the go-ahead to do whatever we want and it makes me worry that it creates a more selfish or uncaring approach to life. In our current world where so many people have access to us (like right now when I submit this comment!), there are plenty of people who don’t even know you who feel they have permission to criticize (and it’s not constructive, sometimes it’s just mean). On the flip side, I don’t want to be constantly worried about my next move or thought or artistic creation because someone may disagree with me. I think the key to Eleanor Roosevelt’s sentiment is that it’s our heart we should look into for what we’re about to do. If, in your heart it feels right, then hold your head up and do it. Your heart won’t steer you wrong.

    • Hannah
      April 23, 2014 at 10:33 pm (6 years ago)

      I agree wholeheartedly! There is a fine balance.

    • Patricia LeBlanc
      July 27, 2014 at 8:27 pm (6 years ago)

      I feel as you do as well Hannah Stonehouse Hudson and for doing what I think is right I have received much criticism as well but that will not change the person I am. I grow more every day. My business is one of the things I enjoy doing the most. I always take way more designing than maybe I should and I to get so nervous when the item is completed and sent to my client. I know they are sad. In my FB world I try to do what I can to always acknowledge my FB friends. Thank You Hannah, don’t change a thing. You are perfect just the way you are.

    • Karen Anderson
      July 28, 2014 at 2:21 am (6 years ago)

      You can please some of the people all of the time…and you can please all of the people some of the time…but you can’t please ALL or the people ALL of the time ~~ Abraham Lincoln

  2. Kaye Jones
    April 23, 2014 at 9:59 pm (6 years ago)

    Hannah just let it go I used to feel the same about everything maybe because I had a husband for twenty years that nothing I ever done was right or good enough he is no longer in my life for obvious reasons although we have a son together who I reared on my own from the age of five he is now twenty five and a gorgeous son who I am proud of when I feel people are judging me I just quietly in my mind think to myself well what have you done with your life !
    And usually the answer is not much so don’t even think about it it’s your photo and if you love it that’s all that matters. You have an amazing zest for life and an amazing eye for photography so just go with the flow Hannah and don’t ever let anyone put you down or anything that you do. I hope this helps. Oh and I just brought a Nikon 5200 twin lens camera am so excited have been trying it out on my sons dog playing soccer

    • Hannah
      April 23, 2014 at 10:31 pm (6 years ago)

      I’m so excited to hear about your photo adventures! I also love hearing your response to others who judge. I may do something similar :).

  3. Alison
    April 23, 2014 at 10:07 pm (6 years ago)

    Oh, does this one hit home. I often look to Eleanor Roosevelt for positive quotes. I’ve spent my whole life apologizing for being me, from an abusive childhood and divorce, when I really had no reason to be so down on myself. I’m an overachiever to compensate for anxiety, low self-esteem. As an adult, I know I need to get over the sensitivity and fear of criticism, to be able to handle confrontation. One needs to stay true to oneself, to believe in one’s abilities; however, I’d rather be on the caring side of character than indifferent and uncaring.

    • Hannah
      April 23, 2014 at 10:30 pm (6 years ago)

      You are so right! The balance between not caring and caring too much is hard to do sometimes. You and I sound very similar :).

  4. Alison
    April 23, 2014 at 10:47 pm (6 years ago)

    Hannah, I might also add that, like you, I’ve often been physically ill before performances because of my shyness and anxiety about measuring up to all the expectations. It was a big factor in leaving a music major and becoming a teacher… and even there, the demand for creativity and performance from my class was a major undertaking that brought pleasure as well as fear of judgment. I’m guilty of always trying to please everyone else before my own needs, also of trying to nurture/rescue/make a difference for others, if I couldn’t change my own situation. Your work is amazing, so don’t ever doubt your eye for magical photos.

  5. Rhonda
    April 23, 2014 at 11:34 pm (6 years ago)

    Hannah, this is so true.. I have always felt I was the topic of the day for some people, and just had to say enough is enough and live my life without letting those who feel like they need to judge me keep taking up space in my head. I do care to a point of what people think of me, but at the end of the day the only thing I want people to remember is that I was fair, I cared about others and didn’t do anything that would hurt another person. I always try to be kind hearted and do for others, but for some that is never enough.. So I live my life they way I want and just so I know what my intentions are I am a happier person! Thanks for posting this. It makes one really think about things..

  6. Andrea Kotula
    April 23, 2014 at 11:40 pm (6 years ago)

    I care what others think, but I do what I believe is right anyway. I don’t always know what the reaction will be until later, but so be it; I have to be true to myself. I’m not as tough as people think, so when there’s negativity to deal with, I feel a little sorry for myself for a while, or indignant, or even angry. But I let it go as soon as I can, and sometimes that means stepping back for a bit. But not forever. You just need to keep doing what you believe to be right.

  7. Amy S.
    April 24, 2014 at 1:32 pm (6 years ago)

    I care what others think to some extent, however, I try my best to live by the words of this quote. The words you write are so true. Everyone has an opinion….but so often when people express their negative opinions towards others work or actions it is because they are insecure about their own. Your work is beautiful and you are inspiring. You have done something with your photography that I have longed to do with mine for many years. Art is such a subjective thing. Just because one person does not like a piece that doesn’t mean it is not amazing. Keep up the good work.

  8. Magaret
    April 24, 2014 at 1:38 pm (6 years ago)

    How true that our actions are sometimes saddled with what other people think or day. This is what I have learned…their brief opinion is just that brief and then they move on to comment on something or someone else while sensitive souls ruminate on whether we are good enough or not,or could do better. I trust my heart and reasoning to steer me right…however, if I need a second opinion I go to those select few I trust and respect. Still we all skate on ice

  9. Linda Cote
    April 25, 2014 at 12:08 am (6 years ago)

    We face this daily. There is courage in doing the right thing rather than the popular one. Following the crowd, to get approval from the crowd, gets you no further than the crowd. As I approach my 60th birthday, I reflect on lessons learned. The person who’s opinion matters most is the one you see in the mirror. Celebrate the uniqueness in you. In the past I found myself trying to explain my choices/actions to sometimes deaf or hostile ears. People are comfortable with homogeneousness, and sometimes “different” threatens their safe and predictable world. It confirms the rightness of their choices if you make the same ones. I came across a saying I enjoyed: “Never explain. Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe you anyway.”

  10. Stephen Aforismo
    April 25, 2014 at 3:23 am (6 years ago)

    Hi Hannah, I always live by one rule. I allow people to think whatever they want and even criticize me, but I reserve the right to agree, disagree or ignore them.

  11. Chris Balin
    April 26, 2014 at 6:59 pm (6 years ago)

    Doing what you feel is right can be a scary, lonely place, but you have to be able to go to sleep at night, so from a moral perspective, doing the right thing is a given for me. Artistic expression is a little more complicated, because EVERYBODY has an opinion, and they are not shy about sharing it, especially on the internet and social media, where they can spout off to their hearts’ content and almost never be held accountable. The trolls often say things just to get a rise out of people and usually don’t care who they hurt in the process. Those people are easy to spot and should be banned and ignored.

    The willfully ignorant and opinionated types are a little harder to deal with, because they have a way of jamming themselves under your emotional fingernails and just smolder there. That stinging lingers despite all attempts to ignore it and that’s when the self-doubts can creep in and choke you. That will lead you down the primrose path to depression and bitterness. Unhappy people don’t do well creatively in the long run because we all want to be liked and our artistic efforts appreciated.

    The best cure for this that I’ve found is that one person you touched or helped with your creativity and who shares that impact with you. One little candle to hold off the darkness when it starts surrounding you, which everyone goes through from time to time. That’s the emotional valildation, which is the most fragile component and the most easily disturbed by the thoughtless masses who post on the internet.

    On the other hand, the spiritual and artistic validation must come from within, not from the outside. When in your heart you know it’s good and right, nothing anybody else has to say will ultimately matter, because you know you are being true to yourself and your creative drive. There’s no joy in being what others want you to be, instead of who you really are.

    My artistic principles are simple:

    1. The Muse Rules
    2. Do No Harm
    3. Always Just Gotta Be Me

    As for the Negative Nancies out there, Billy Joel said it best: “You can speak your mind, but not on my time….”

  12. Patricia
    May 6, 2014 at 7:39 pm (6 years ago)

    Thanks to the wonderful and wise Eleanor Roosevelt.

    From Henry Ford:”If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you are right”.

    From Elvis Presley: lyrics to “Walk A Mile In My Shoes”.

    From Patricia: My life, be supportive or go away. Been there, done that. I will always miss you Michael, R.I.P. (three years).

  13. Sachiko
    July 27, 2014 at 7:19 pm (6 years ago)

    I feel the same way, and the main thing is you cannot please everyone in this world including yourself. So, yes, the balance is very important. We all have this intention to please someone and ourselves. But we are all different, everyone has different way of thinking, feeling, way of expressing (by words, music, art or anything). And if my way of expressing is offended to others, I just feel sorry for that, but I just cannot change myself.

    And it is perfectly OK that we are all different, and we all should agreed to disagree. That is the world we live in. I do feel regret of my action and words all the time, and I feel so sorry for what I said or did later on, then beat myself feeling down like why did I say that? or did?, but I cannot hold my true feelings, if someone doesn’t like what I say, this person will leave, but if someone agree with it, then this person will be with me until something goes not smoothly, and we have no control over the perfect peaceful world all the time.

    Each time what I feel and think, I am trying to use words and action not to hurt someone but that kind of fear is eventually eat you up not be able to say nor do anything. We are all living, and we cannot avoid negative comment or words from others of what we do, that is the true life, so like you are saying, drink up those negative words or comments, then move on. Then we create and tell our life long story of how it was like “Oh, I did such awful things to this person in the past, and hurt someone’s feelings, oh yes, I was so selfish, such a bad person” or “I had such a wonderful time with this person, oh it was such a beautiful and fun memory” one day when we get really really old and ready to leave this world.