Everyone wants to be liked. In today’s era of social media, this is truer than ever before. We might want others to agree that we are talented, this is, sadly, not always the case. Young gifted jazz dancer Crystal Kei, 17, understood that after uploading her first video of her dancing on YouTube.
The dance prodigy and Instagram lifestyle guru, who has more than 11.5K followers, has learned not to care so much about what others think of her, especially the cyberbullies that set out to damage her self-esteem.
“I had just started dancing, and I really enjoyed doing my own choreography. So I created a YouTube channel and started uploading videos of me dancing,” the Renaissance College Hong Kong student said as she thought back on when she first started out.
Her 12-year-old self did not expect to receive such negative feedback on her videos, nor did she expect the personal attacks.
“When I read the comments, which were posted soon after I uploaded my first video, they made me feel really bad about myself.”
Crystal said she wanted to give up at first. She was embarrassed by her own dancing. However, after spending some time thinking it over, she decided to make her critics her motivation to work harder. Crystal was determined to do better in her next video.
“My second video still got a lot of dislikes, but I realised something – that I couldn’t please everyone.”
Most the criticism, she recalled, was not helpful – just mean messages designed to upset her.
“But I didn’t feel as bad about them as I did when I saw them on my first video. They pushed me to improve my choreography,” she said.
A stronger person
All the negative comments Crystal received have made her stronger, and shaped her into a more emotionally-mature person, especially when it comes to dealing with criticism.
“It’s an important life skill to be able to distinguish constructive criticism from destructive criticism, and ignore or not let the latter to bring you down.” She added that, regardless of what other people say, a person can control how they feel about themself.
Crystal admitted it’s not always easy to ignore the horrible things people say. It’s more effective to change how you see them, rather than try to change people’s opinion of you.
“There’s a reason people are following your activities and are attacking you on social media, it could be jealousy.”
She added that if these aggressive netizens care so much about you that they continuously spent their time attacking your self-confidence, you’re probably doing something significant.
“There will always be people who disapprove or dislike you. But if they’re out to hurt you without even knowing you, I don’t think they’re worth thinking about, or worth worrying over.”
Finding the good in the bad
It’s easy to only focus on the negative comments, but that might mean you are not seeing the ones that contain helpful advice, Crystal said.
“Back then, I would get so many negative comments on my videos, even the constructive comments sounded like an attack.”
While constructive criticism is not always sugar-coated, or given in a friendly manner, one way to set it apart from hateful messages or personal attacks is to think about the reason or intent behind the message, said Crystal.
“There is always some truth to those comments, even if it’s sometimes hard to take.”
Edited by Nicole Moraleda