Catching Flies with Honey

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine told me that her sister had read my book and enjoyed it. I asked if she thought her sister would post a review. I told her that getting reviews was like pulling teeth and that I thought it was perhaps because people think reviews need to be lengthy like a book report when a sentence or two is just fine.

We discussed the issue a bit more and then my friend said something I’d not considered. She said maybe people are more apt to give bad reviews. That when people are dissatisfied with their experience at a restaurant or stay at a hotel, that they tend to write about their negative experiences.

I thought about what she said. Is it true? Are people more likely to complain rather than praise?

We all complain. Whether it’s about traffic, the weather, work, there’s always something. I’m guilty. However, I am learning that if it’s something I can’t control, it’s just a waste of time and energy. If it’s something I can change, I am going to do something about it. It’s a conscious effort to let things slide, but sometimes it’s necessary.  And when I have to complain, I remember that you catch more flies with honey.

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11 thoughts on “Catching Flies with Honey

  1. I only read books that I think I will enjoy and as I look back, there’s only one book in the last two years that I didn’t give a positive review and that’s because I didn’t finish reading it. There was nothing really wrong with the story — it had just been so poorly edited that it was too frustrating trying to read it. Just as an aside, I’ve never understood why anyone would want to catch flies!

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  2. Hi Sandra, If I encounter really bad service then I always write and complain. It not only tells the company what I was not happy with, but it give them the chance to put things right. Sometimes, these companies don’t know what is going on and most always seem really delighted to hear from you. If they don’t know then how can they put things right? That’s how I look at it.
    Likewise, if I receive great service from somebody I always write and inform the company about it.

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    1. Yes, it is very important to let a company know if something is wrong. But, it is equally important to let them know when something is right. I just wonder if some people out there only ever want to point out what is wrong. I do both as well, and when I complain, I always make sure to let a company know what they got right. I also don’t allow one bad experience somewhere to dictate future visits. After all, we all can have a bad day and make mistakes, it doesn’t mean we are like that all the time. Thank you for expressing your views, it is appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting question! As an author, I’m not a good person to judge. I only review books I enjoy. I know some people who never review…it just doesn’t occur to them. Then there are people who really enjoy reviewing and get a kick out of having their opinions read whatever they are. I love getting reviews and will take the bad with the good – part of life. 🙂

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    1. Until I became an author I didn’t review either but mainly because when I either read books from the library or bought them from stores. I didn’t know how to go about posting reviews. Now that I do, I post reviews but only when I like the book. I just wondered about the complaints people post about things, if these same people post positive stuff too. Thanks for your opinion, it is appreciated.

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  4. Great post! And very thought-provoking! I’m much more likely to post comments and reviews if I have a positive opinion. I don’t think it’s wrong to criticize as long as it’s constructive but I’m more positive focused and just don’t care much to post unpleasant or very critical things. When I see statuses on social media or blog posts I don’t like, I usually just skip it and move on. I’m much more likely to criticize if it’s objective than just my opinion. For example, if I read a book full of grammatical errors (which I don’t mind too much usually), I’m more likely to say it than if I just read something I find to not be interesting just because it’s not my cup of tea. I don’t want to influence someone not to read or purchase something just because I don’t like it. But objective criticism can apply to everyone even if not everyone cares. Like the spelling errors for example, some won’t care at all that there’s lots of errors and some people would never care to read a book, even a fascinating one, if it’s full of errors.
    But even in non-positive reviews, I think it’s important to be respectful and civil.
    I see reviews for books where they tear the author to shreds. I think that is very unnecessary. It takes a lot of work and courage to write and publish a book and even if I don’t like a book or product, I appreciate the work put into it and the courage to put it out in public.
    My dad is the opposite. He’s often so ready to complain, even in an unnecessary way. I often hear him say he’s going to leave a negative review or call up and complain but it’s rare I hear him say he’s going to praise or recommend something. Most reviews and comments I see in general though are positive. I know my observation is limited but I see this as evidence that more people are prone to positivity in this sense. I think both praise and constructive criticism are important but I think it’s generally better to focus more on what’s right in the world than what we don’t care for. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well said. I always try to make any comments or reviews lean more toward the positive side. If I don’t like something at all, I won’t comment. If I have had a bad experience somewhere (like at a restaurant) I usually try the place again – sometimes things just go wrong. It would have to be really bad for me to feel it necessary to write something, and even then I would try to find something good about the situation. Thank you for your input, it is much appreciated.

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  5. I think people are more likely to complain about things that they cannot change. It bothers them that they cannot fix this or that, so the next course of action is to complain about it. It is a very hard thing for people to accept something for what it is. Just my 2 pennies on this.

    Liked by 1 person

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