This is a subject I have long wanted to write about but I had no solid opinion up until now.
With the popularity of online review websites such as Yelp.com, I usually read the reviews before going to a business. Often times I read and look for the negative reviews and that fills my head with negative preconception about the business. The preconception is the problem by itself and not the business, at least not yet because it is not your own experience.
Good thing that I still give the businesses a try and often time my experience turns out to be more positive than the negative review that I just read.
The basic psychology behind writing negative reviews
It is well known that people rarely bother to write a positive review because everything is going smooth, but the moment shit hits the fan, they spare no moment to vent out and complain online on Yelp or other sites before even trying to resolve it with the business owners.
Guilty as charged, I was such an impulsive person, taking my frustration online instead of trying to sort it out with the concerned parties.
One would sometimes write negative reviews after they tried all they can to resolve the situation with the business owner. They write negative reviews as a last resort.
All in all, writing negative reviews are highly subjective and are charged with high emotions. And as we know, emotions are volatile and after we calm down, we may realize that we overreacted to the situation and have been very hard and perhaps unfair to the business.
Let me ask you this: Do you think a business owner aspires to fail and amass negative reviews? Of course not. So even if the business screws up, it is unfair to be so harsh.
Why it makes no sense sometimes to write negative reviews about a business?
As stated above, negative reviews are very subjective. Besides if you are writing a negative review about a business then your review will become stale, inaccurate and false when the business improves itself. Will you remember to go back online and update your review? It is a mess and too much of a headache to hold on to those emotions that lead you to write the review in the first place.
Often times, a business owner contacts you back to apologize and offers to compensate for the inconvenience. Later you realize that, indeed, the business made an honest mistake.
Other times the business owner does not care to fix the situation or whether you write a bad review or not. It is for your own sanity to let the issue go and not write a public negative review. Just stop doing business with them.
Should you still write negative reviews?
Maybe better write a critic and not an emotionally charged negative review. If you can be objective or if you have something valuable to share then go ahead, but be gentle and factual.
For instance, people keep on attacking me because of my two articles about Amway and WWDB. They think I am attacking Amway or WWDB and forget that I was only sharing my experience and not belittling the business opportunities themselves.
In my opinion, if someone tried to scam you, withhold information from you in order to trick you or take advantage of you, belittle you, take you for a fool or tries to play on your emotions then it is okay to share your experience and critic their approach.
Writing reviews about businesses
I decided to no longer write negative reviews about a business because the business keeps evolving and striving for success. If it goes out of business then it failed with or without the negative reviews.
If I have a problem with a business, I try to take it to the owners. If they resolve then it good, if not then I look for an alternative.
Think back of the days were people had no internet, how did they resolve their issues?
Besides, don’t you think for a moment that your review can be unfair or at least a bit unfair? If that’s the case, then if you were that business owner and you received a bad and unfair review, how would you feel?
Success leads to success and failure leads to failure. Let the future of the business take its own course.
Writing reviews about other things
It is okay to write a review about a product for instance. Do not attack the company that created the product, instead share your experience with the product. For instance you can say that the product is not robust and breaks easily with simple use. If the product breaks, contact the company and get a replacement. In that case, in your review you can talk about the low quality of the product and how generous the company was to offer you a free replacement for instance. That review was helpful and objective. No harm in that.
In conclusion, from now on, I will take control of my emotions and reactions. If I decide to write a review about a business, it should be positive only. In worst cases, I can be objective and constructive in my review without harming the business or attacking it.
Finally, as a self improvement and corrective measure and to put into practice my new found reasoning, I went back to Yelp and deleted all my negative reviews. I figured that there’s no need for me to hold on to those emotions and keep them public anyway. I found it helpful to save those reviews and archive them in my journal.
Be kind, gentle and responsible for every word and thought for they can be more harmful than actions sometimes. Also remember that before you can get angry at anyone or anything, you are angry within yourself first! Be positive for your own sake.
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