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why we need to stop commenting and start encouraging

Encourage.
Encourage.

Super cute! Love this! Looks awesome!

These are some comments that I have recently received or left for others. If you're someone who makes and shares things that are hopefully super cute, lovable, and awesome, these are great things to hear. Seriously, I appreciate every single one.

But I've been thinking about comments for a few weeks now.

Actually it started when I read some negative comments about something that I supported. The discussion wasn't about me personally, but it felt personal. And the truth is, I've done the same thing. But I started thinking about it more.

I started thinking about how these negative thoughts have a real impact. Yes, we should be allowed to express our opinions, and yes, saying that we don't like something can bring change. But these things also can bring hurt. And some words came to mind.

Encourage.


Encourage one another & build each other up.

What if we used our words, our comments, our replies, our interactions...and we encouraged. When we love something. When we disagree with something. When we are proud of someone. When we don't particularly care for someone.

What if instead of leaving a comment that says "Cute! (Smiley face)" we paused to think about how we could say something that builds a person up in a real way?

What if we considered that small businesses are run by individuals with feelings and we didn't talk about them behind their backs, as if they won't see, knowing full well that they very likely will see? (I'm so guilty of this!)

What if we just reminded ourselves that all these little snip-its of conversation can add up to bigger things? Good or bad!

Encourage.
Encourage.

I'm convinced that I need to comment less, and encourage more. I need to take time to say something real (and mean it!). Do I love quick notes and "likes"? Yes. Will I continue to leave notes while I "heart" what folks share? Also yes.

But I will also make a true effort to share more things from my heart. Join me?

Crafty notes: The purple print fabric in the photos is from JoAnn, and will be used in an upcoming blanket project. The triangles will also become something quilty, and not the heart shown. The arrangement of triangles to form the heart was inspired by Must Love Quilts.

22 comments:

  1. nice observation mollie. i'm definitely going to join you

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  2. Mollie,
    I'm relatively new to the blogging community. I've written a few posts of my own on my baby blog (it's still too new to be grown-up!) but mostly I'm a lurker on other people's blogs.

    What I've realized that I LOVE about the blogs I read is how positive people tend to be in the comments sections. (other than the trolls, of course!)

    Thank you for the call to action to encourage people even more...it's so important for all of us to feel validated in our work.

    I really enjoy admiring *your* work. I see those cute little smileys you put on everything and they do nothing but make me smile, too. :)

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    1. Thank you so much Kristen. Making folks smile is one of the best parts about my work. And now you've made me smile too!

      Keep encouraging the people you encounter!

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  3. Hi! I guess that's kind of why I mostly don't comment on blogs, even when I am thinking "wow, that's lovely!"
    But there is one meaningful thing I can tell you.
    You inspire me. The beautiful things you make, the way you behave towards your readers and such, drive me to admire you.
    Seeing the things that you create makes me believe that I can create nice things as well.
    Thank you, Mollie!

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    1. Oh, thank you. I'm not just saying this...your encouragement has me all emotional. And you absolutely can create nice things. I especially like the gnomes and mushroom bracelet that you and Coralie made!

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    2. Oh my!
      I'm so stunned about that comment!
      I had not expected that you would go and see!
      Well, thank you very much! (your blog is one of the few that made me want to make one!)
      I wish you (and anyone else who might read this) a good trip on the creative path we've chosen =)

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  4. Great post, saying encouraging words can only build someone up. Looking forward to see the quilt.

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  5. I always try and actively encourage and support other people. If they are artists or bloggers. I know how powerful words can be, both good and bad. It can be really lovely if you are sharing pieces of your works to have appreciation and kindness shared, especially if the work you share if tutorials or freebies like you so often do!

    I won't lie, sometimes I probably give simple comments too, maybe if I am tired and can't properly articulate my feelings on something. I still see the beauty in what has been made though, and hope others will too.

    I don't like to share negative words or criticism, because it just isn't what people really want. There are some people that really do want that. For example, on DeviantArt, you can select to have work critiqued and get any opinions, so that if you are open to it, you can use it to improve. But I think you might have to be ready for the good and bad.

    I also agree with you that many small businesses are one person or very small. They don't have the 24/7 support that many large companies do. But, they probably provide a service (depending on industry) that means something to them. Especially in the creative fields, and that is their 'life work' what they live and breath and devote so very much of their time, you have to see that as well.

    I hope that you are able to share your appreciation more and can encourage others. Although, I think you do a pretty amazing job now. :D

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    1. Thank you Kya. Words are powerful, and that's a great thing to consider as we say anything, anywhere. Not that I always remember that as I start typing or open my mouth. We're works in progress, right?

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  6. This is something I think about a lot... and I too often post a quick "That's so cute!" or "I love it!"... sometimes because that really is all I have to say at that moment, but sometimes because it's all I have time to say! (I too appreciate when people leave likes, and such comments for me! The only time I think it's ever bugged me is when it's part of a blog hop, and it's obvious the person didn't even actually look at what was posted, but was just running through the hop to get followers).

    For me though, those quick answers are more of an Instagram/FB thing, because I'm looking at *so* much more content on those sites. When it comes to people's personal blogs though, if I comment, I try to say something more meaningful, because the content of blog posts is usually more in depth and meaningful itself.

    When it comes to negative comments... I'm sometimes amazed by what people will say, and how rude it comes across. I was an art major, I work in the world of Graphic Design, and my life is spent with other people critiquing my work, telling me how to change it, what doesn't work for them... so I've got a pretty thick skin when it comes to critiques, and I actually enjoy them... but often times, on the Internet, it's not critiquing, it's just insulting, and that's a problem. I think you can build someone up with a critique when they're done right, so I don't think it's a bad thing to say something that offers advice or a different perspective.

    As creators, we should know to take everything with a grain of salt!

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    1. Yes, yes, yes. I should say, as a creator, I'm still encouraged by quick comments on social media. Also, constructive criticism or critiquing can be so helpful! Complaining and saying that we just don't like something is different. Like you said, people simply insult others.

      Thank you for your encouragement!

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  7. Thanks for this reminder! I'm guilty of just saying "cute! :)" a lot on IG especially.... I will try to be more intentional about offering encouragement to others! Your website is very encouraging to me, I visit it every morning, M-F :) Thanks for all you do to keep us stitching and creating!

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    1. There's no guilt to be had over saying something's cute! You hit the nail on the head, however, with the word "intentional". I think that's my true goal here. To be more intentional about true encouragement.

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  8. Good for you! You're right and you're an incredibly creative lady! I SO enjoy your positive attitude and inspired creations. Keep it up!

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  9. ive had the same feeling as of late. and not just on blogs, fb and instagram but in life. i think we have a habit of complimenting people on their looks and not true attributes, so i have been trying to compliment in a more meaningful way. negativity is just never a good thing. thanks for making me take stock of my habits. i love your blog for the inspiration it gives me to do crafty/sewy things. you are always a source of creativity for me.and even your simple little smiley faces bring me happiness! keep on truckin!

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  10. This food for thought! I often do 'small' and quick comments as I am normally reading blogs in the 5 mins I can grab away from RL!! In the last year or so, maybe the last two years, I have come to realize that saying something, anything is more often better than saying nothing. And, for example, if blogger has shared something deep and meaningful/emotional/sad it's very often those entries that get no comments. This make me feel sad, and in that situation I push myself to jump-right-in and say something (anything) instead of being too scared at saying something wrong. So instead of over analysing my comment I type something I feel is meaningful. I like to think if the roles were reversed I would appreciate something nice that someone has tried to articulate. Crikey, I have gone on a bit there, I think it sort of just came into my head there for a moment and I tried to make it understandable!

    I like your blog and I like that you seem to have lots of cute new ideas that anyone could jump into and try out!( ie it's accessible) and that's quite liberating! (like enjoy the process even if we're not all super talented at embroidery, for example). x

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    1. You're so right that something is better than nothing. I hope that my post doesn't discourage people from sharing even the small positive things. They encourage too!

      My thoughts on this are simply that it would be so good if we intentionally find ways to encourage more often. As you have done! Thank you!

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  11. Oh! Mollie, that last picture with the triangles just pulled apart ever so slightly is so interesting to me! It makes me want to explore EPP with pieced fabric more, or even just using applique differently to adhere the units to base cloth. So many options! Thanks for getting my mind off and running. :)

    In regards to commenting, I'm guilty of being maybe a little vapid at times. I think it's great advice to really be specific when you let someone know that you appreciate their work. I can practice asking myself more "why do I love this?".

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  12. I had a college professor (a million years ago) who told us to never put anything in writing that wouldn't want the whole world to see. And that was before the Internet! I love this idea of going a step beyond positive. We all put so much heart and effort into our work. It's so gratifying when someone notices!

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  13. Heeheee - I am as long winded as can be but sometimes I simply wanna say "good job." I comment more when so moved or as time allows. Love you and your attitude Mollie!

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  14. I absolutely love this thought! It's so easy to get into a routine of browsing pretty blogs (and social media sites) and leave without ever really letting that person know that they've made an impact on their day. Thank you for the reminder!

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