Why Do Mean Online Comments Hurt So Much?

Recently I looked at a video of myself singing that I had posted on YouTube about a year ago. For some reason I didn't think about one very challenging aspect of this: the comments!

I love reading your comments on my blog or my instructional videos because they include your ideas, reactions, and suggestions for future videos. But comments on my performances are quite another thing...

For some (not all) of these, I need a different mindset entirely 🙂

I found myself getting pretty worked up. But the weird thing was, certain negative comments STUNG, while other comments didn't faze me.

I wanted to better understand WHY certain online comments are so hurtful, while others are no big deal.

In this video, I'll talk about (1) how the negative thoughts we choose to hear reflect a shadow side of ourselves, (2) how it's important to witness and forgive the negative thoughts that we all carry around within us.

I'll also teach you an easy and effective meditation for overcoming fear and negative thoughts that may be holding you back. It's all about mindset!

Can you relate to this? Have you ever read a mean comment about you or someone you love and experienced the need to respond, defend, or attack back?

Lots of love,



Felicia Ricci

All stories by: Felicia Ricci
    • james

      Fel, you seem to explain things that I able to understand. Wow!! Soft, elegant with a mixture of sound I REALLY am taken by........outstanding!!! Would love to hear more of your singing. I've only listened to a handful of your videos and I was amazed at the difference in my voice.

      I've never had any vocal training and always thought the warm ups were ridiculous.............the way you explain those just really sunk in where i could understand as to WHY I would want to do these warm ups and was amazed to see how it really helped with the clarity of my voice. I love he way you explain about the sound release slowly out like and instrument. You must be cancer sign?? LOL BTW I don't know how anyone can find something mean to say about that voice. REALLY beautiful........i follow your videos as often as I can. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas and personality!!


    • Janie

      Great video just what I needed to hear this morning. There is a natural warmth that radiates from you and I love how you explain singing techniques. I used to sing and play my guitar when I was young, wishing I was Joan Baez ...... Then I moved to Ireland and I heard the great musicians and singers. I thought I was no good so I stopped. Then I moved to France .
      I have just started singing again, after 22 years of silence ! I only sing and play my guitar at home with all doors and windows shut and sometimes the curtains too;) Yet singing makes me feel alive and happy, creative and even spiritual. Its a shame negative thoughts stop us from doing things we love. Thanks for the fun way you teach and for going deeper into the psychological under currents that we all have to face and accept.

    • Joseph king

      Hi Fel
      Great insight on negative comments!
      Another thing is do is this: disarm the perp! How?

      Perp: you are an AH!
      Me: you're right, probably bigger than you think!
      Perp: (to self)..." hmmmm that didn't work!"

      Perp: " your singing sucks and your nose is too big!"
      Me: "my cooking sucks too and have you checked out my ears?"
      Perp: (to self) " damn, nothing gets to this guy, I'll go work on someone else!"

      Anyway, it took me a long time to learn this "agree" technique for dealing with idiots!

      Keep up the good work.


  • Annemarie

    Fel, you are simply amazing. Thank you for the inspiring thoughts and comments. As you say at the end: "We're all in this together..." What you describe in your own very personal way is of great benefit to others - and we have all experienced similar things. It makes us aware that we are all part of this huge human family....

  • Glau Almeida

    You are so right! Bad comments only hurt us when they say exactly what we already think about ourselves. For me, it's my weight. I feel like I'm a lesser of an actress because I'm fat, I'm always over conscious about it when I'm singing, I keep thinking that people are staring and judging my waistline. It's terrible! But right now you're doing us all a great service by sharing things that we all feel, but are afraid to share. Thank you for this video!

  • Cristina Radu

    I think the social media comments doesn`t have to bother us, even if they are negative. Everybody can tell that you`re not good, you don`t have a good tehnique, etc.. maybe they`re right, maybe not, but it doesn`t matter if you ar working on and you love what are you doing.
    Personally i don`t care about negative comments, i love what i am doing, and i`ll keep going on.

    I like your tehnique and it helped me a lot. Thank you ! You`re great!

    All the best!

  • Cheyenne

    Thanks for this Fel. I totally understand and I think your are amazing and such a great singer. That was such great advice you gave there, keep up the good work!

    I love your hair by the way.

  • Prem

    Nice take. You slyly turned the whole thing into a vocal exercise 🙂

    Much happiness and luck to you. It takes courage to put oneself out there. And while we seek results in all we do, it's also the journey that counts.

    Sorry, rambled a bit 🙂

  • Ed Cornell

    Felicia, you are a generous person and learning to be compassionate with yourself. Thank you for bravely sharing your struggles, ones that we all have at one time or another, and thank you for sharing some wise advice. Sing with joy!

  • Lorenzo

    Wow...you are an amazing personality. The points you brought to light in this video were so profound & enlightening. Truly appreciate you sharing this insightful message and it was such a powerful & wonderful message. Thank you.

  • Mary

    Hi Fel, Great video and very perceptive concepts. Our life is like a garden and we need manure for the garden to grown. Those darker parts of ourselves are part of the process of growing a beautiful healthy garden and all can be perceived as experience that will help in the evolution of our lives. Great work on your part and you do have a fantastic voice! Mary

  • Jordan

    Fel, you are absolutely FABULOUS. Thank you for your courage. You inspire me and give me hope.

    You are so talented, so brave, so strong. YOU GO GIRL!

  • John Perinbam

    I agree with your points. Incidentally, my band once had 2 reviews of our CD on the same web site - one reviewer said we were absolute crap, the other said we were great! Just goes to show that a lot is in the eyes (and ears) of the beholder.

  • maureen sullivan

    Thank you so much for this inspiration. I have been trying to work through this exact thing for two weeks! Yes 2 weeks. In a recital a few weeks ago I forgot the lyric. I was devastated! I did pull it off recovered on stage and got a nice response from the audience. This a the first time ever that I had lost the lyric of a song. As I work hard on my confidence I was pleased that I did not let it impact the total performance. However weeks later when I told my vocal coach that I wanted to audition for a show, his comment back to me was "you know you can't forget the lyrics to a show like this." Yes he is right professionalism tells me you must remember your lyric. But to hear this from the person I let see my most vulnerable self, the person I trusted to protect me, well I was shattered. I could not get over this. And I stopped my lessons with him. Until today I could not release the resentment. And I have tried. Your insight into why I feel this way is exactly right. I will use this meditation. And I will share it. I am very grateful.

  • chris

    Thank you...You are such a sweetie for me to listen to and look at... and it isn't even breakfast time !!!!

    "We are all in this together, my friend", you say....well, thank you thank you...I need to hear this and another's voice saying this, from time to time...This 'sociability' you are able to conjure is heartening for me... and frisky too !!!!

    In my mind, I have developed what I call 'the role of the disarmer'...disarm myself by habitually using phrases - either aloud or silently - such as 'Oh! Thanks for noticing' and ' Oh! So you can see/hear it too' and 'Silly me, and here I was thinking I was the only one who noticed!'

    Also, my friend terms it as 'developing the roles of the person who eats humble pie, alot' ; 'gets used to eating humble pie/ likes the taste of humble pie.

    Once a teacher told us: "It's a fact of life that it's a sociometric truth that about 1/3 of people in the world will love you, 1/3 will hate you and 1/3 will not care either way...." .....which certainly reminds me from time to time that I do not need to reside any longer in the fogs of loneliness which tend to create the anxieties of self-criticism I sometime easily generate (Whow...such a long sentence...so many clauses...no wonder I run out of breathe,)

    Thanks and go well and thanks for all the related comments.

  • Kirstin

    Hi Fel,

    I really like that you have made this video on how to deal with criticism, especially criticism from ourselves.

    I have drawn lots of inspiration from a concept called Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg. If you have the time and chance I think you will enjoy his message and ideas and concepts and processes a lot.
    Here is a glimpse into it, and what I make of it:
    There are these mean voices that we use to talk to ourselves sometimes. They scold us and say mean things. Like you said, it is important to listen to them, not to what they are saying(it may not be true), but to what need is behind those words. When we can connect to this need behind the voice we can gain the ability to grow, because we want to, because it serves our needs. Instead of sometimes doing what the voice says out of guilt, shame or fear. Those Feelings are no good motivations to change, we are likely to resist them and not grow as a person.

    Have a great day!

  • Paul

    When you put yourself out there and are totally being yourself, trolls are always ready to take you down a notch.

    You don't need to justify yourself or necessarily improve yourself or grasp for visions of greatness to give yourself an ego boost. Nobody is perfect and you accept imperfection for a start. But, you don't accept anything which affects your peace or innate positive sense of yourself. You just have to denounce those things as opposed to grappling for what you think was lost (i.e. your feeling of self-worth), because it never leaves you, it just gets temporarily smothered by something negative. You just renounce the negative to reveal it again. A Christian might say something like "I reject you spirit of self-doubt in the name of Jesus. Get away from me". That's how I look at it anyway.

    And yes, I am a Christian. And being Christian makes one's actual sense of self-worth immutable and unshakeable. Because, after all, God thought one day that it would be great to make a young lady named Felicia Ricci to come into the world. So, it follows that if God thought it was worthwhile to make me with my specific nature and personality, then who am I to disagree! 🙂

    And anyway, as far as I can see, you have nothing to worry about. You don't seem phony in any way, totally yourself, being true to yourself. I admire that very much. And I think as we get older and wiser, those are the things we tend to admire in people, as opposed to what the younger generation admires.

  • Michael Fortress

    Hi Fel,

    Anyone making any kind of a negative comment about you had better be a well-seasoned professional, since anyone else isn't good enough to measure up to you. You're among the best. I love your videos and wish many blessings for you.

    Mike Fortress

  • Paola

    Hi Fel, You are such a lovely person. You are right, it's those things that we are not sure about ourselves that we are most sensitive about. It's easier to just hide! And yet you still go out there and help the rest of us. Thanks, Fel.

  • randy

    hey fel. negative comments are just a part of life nowdays and when you step on that stage you become a bigger target.so how do i deal with it? just watch your own video learning gutiar. myself and all the people that ive worked with over the years that still play and sing and still enjoy it have one thing in common ,a good sense of humor..if you have that youll land on your feet.if you dont its gonna be a rough ride. thats what ive seen anyway. so fel just keep singing baby. i think your great. randy.

  • Sue Voiss

    Kudos for using your experience to reflect, analyze and find solutions. Not only did you do this for yourself, but you shared with others. Thank you. Awhile back, I encountered a very hurtful comment and worked through it by reflecting why it bothered me so much, analyzing the intent behind the statement and working through it by using the comment in a musical I direct. The scene was a hit with the actor's character persevering, and spreading an important, compassionate message to the audience.

  • Eva

    Hi Fel, you are an amazing teacher! You bring up ALL the important topics and not just "basic technique". I love this so much and it's a huge help for us. How important is to deal with this topic for me? When i started to sing in a band many years ago, I got one negative comment and i gave up singing for 3 years...With your videos and online courses i already became a lot better than i ever thought and i'm able to sing songs i never dared to think of and gained a lot of self-confidence. Now i learned that one wrong note doesn't mean i can't sing, it's just something i have to practise more, and that is okay. I learned that this is a process and not just something you were born with or not.
    Thanks so much for making these videos! 🙂

  • Layla

    You are a very wonderful person Felicia. You deeply know what you're talking about, and not just in terms of having been through it, but in terms of understanding how our mind and body works, and this is the most amazing thing about you. Thank you so much also for this video then, it's always great to hear from you.

  • marilyn

    Beautiful! I agree that the external pressures reflect the thoughts and feelings we're carrying inside and I also agree the only sustainable, healthy way to deal is to extend compassion and acceptance to every single part of us. And, when I'm in that mode you're right again--I'm able to extend forgiveness and understanding to others, too.

    Thank you so much for this video.

    Coincidentally, I'm off to my cushion now for some much needed self-care!

  • Tim


    Thank you! You are such a great person and teacher/mentor. Always keeping it real and allowing us to experience and share your discoveries. Face those fears and criticisms with a open mind and discovering a bit more of the reasoning. Then using a realization to improve and better it in our own mind, which in turns gives us more strength to handle our own internal comments. And perhaps change those negative comments into positives.

  • Deryl Mogg

    First: I don't know why you millennials keep calling this "Social Media", it may have started out as such but it is only Anti-Social Media now.

    Second: There is a complete difference between Criticism and Critique. Go look it up on 'Grampa Google' and you will see the difference. People will say so much in the anonimity of anti-social media that they would never say to your face.

    Third: Everything that you say, Fel, is absolutely true. I have lashed out before.... think before you hit the enter button. I usually give it a day or two.

    I do a lot of open mikes. I often ask people, friends and strangers, "How did I do?" And I always get "Great, wonderful, beautiful exciting.... etc."

    This helps me not one little bit.

    If somebody tells me that I sucked at something that I thought I did well; that would not hurt my feelings. I would revisit and see if I could do something better. If somebody tells me that I was 'great' at something that I know that I sucked at, that doesn't help at all. That hurts my feelings a bit,only because you are not really my friend, are you, because you are not being honest with me.

    Thank you for the meditation, Fel. I hope that what I have said helps someone, somewhere get better and have a wonderful journey.


  • Patrick

    Firstly, Felicia, you are simply gorgeous and since you got married you have a lively twinkle in your eye that makes you irresistible.
    Don't be phased by the morons - they are out at the extreme ends of the Gaussian curve and statistically include about 2% of any population. Remember it was the 2% that crucified JC. They are mad, bad and dangerous, but if you bend to their nastiness you are immediately sucked into their little black worlds. Ignoring them is actually the very best thing you can do.
    I write occasional political commentary and, for fun, often apply a voice and perspective at different points on the political spectrum. Truly, it makes no difference what you say or where you position yourself there are always 2% of any population that will find it all offensive. Nutters! By definition half of any population has an IQ below average.
    Just be your beautiful, wonderful, generous self and continue to share the gift God gave you . She meant you to use it and will want to know why you didn't if you don't.
    Nothing but admiration and gratitude here.

  • Tom

    Solution: Just go shopping! For me, a new piece of gear might help.. Seriously, watching the video made me go back and look at some
    of my comments just to see how they "play" a year later. Actually not that bad - but I was worried. I think there are ways to offer critique
    without tearing down the recipient. Read: "good" and "bad" ways to offer advice. My goal is always a "win-win" with the idea that I
    am trying to help without pulling somebody down. Instead, trying to pull them higher. I hope I succeeded.

  • Jim Durbin

    I think I may have said something one time that as a joke that could have been taken wrong. If I did, I am sorry. You have helped me more that you know. I am 74 and wanted to sing all my life but didn't think I could. What I wanted to say to you was something that I read last week. A man once went to a wise man and asked him how he could stand to have people say that he wasn't wise. He said, " if you gave me a gift and I refused to take it , who would it belong to"? The man said, " it would belong to me". The wise man said, "yes'. If you don't take those comments , who do they belong to? Thank you so much for that video on fear, I can't wait to try your meditation idea. I have lived with these fears a long,long time and can't wait to see what they look like, I think. You are practically glowing.

  • Pamela Stewart

    Fel, good thoughts well expressed. I think that the crushing things said on social media relate a lot to the relative"safe anonymity" of the writer. I have received emails that got to my gut, just as you described. I think that often the person who critiques in a mean way is often in a very dark spot themselves, just as you suggested. Keep up the good work and keep singing!

  • Cathryn Sheeran

    Hi Fel,
    I just wanted to let you know I got your email about this and I usually don't click on these emails or read them but I had to say something. You are the most genuine person I have seen online, especially on YouTube. I was always a scared singer and I watched your videos to try to break through those fears. I couldn't even take vocal lessons (and I work at a music store with a wonderful vocal teacher) because I didn't want anyone to hear me. With your videos I have broke through that fear and now I have been taking vocal lessons with this teacher for 2 months. I love it! My nervousness still gets me sometimes but I am so excited to get over fears that held me back for so long (I am 30 years old now but been singing to myself since as long as I can remember!) and I want to take this time to thank you for helping me finally open up by forcing myself to do your weird twang and other weird sound exercises...haha! Now I am not as afraid to make mistakes or sound silly. When I do make a mistake I think of you and just laugh it off and try again.

    It is true that many times when we have positive things to say we don't say them but if we don't like something we complain easily. (Plus YouTube is also crawling with trolls and bullies. And I am sure there are some who are simply envious, in which they should go practice, like you said, anyone can sing!

    Also, I think you may help me more than once here. I have thought many times of setting up a YouTube channel but am also afraid of the mean comments and it has held me back. Even when I write on FB I struggle and it takes me an hour to write a comment (a way shorter one than this!) because I am afraid of offending someone or sounding stupid later. I guess I am a real scaredy cat!!!! but this video may help that as well. Thanks for all you do Fel! And love your webpage! hugs!

  • Kari Johnson

    Brava you CrackerJack rock star!!!! I agree... it's amazing how often we're tempted to surrender our power "to the dark side"... to strangers who are not deserving of our trust... to Mr. & Ms. CrabbyPants who are plagued by their own grief... Dearest Fel, wth the fabulous hair, thanks for your transparency and vulnerability and bubbly brilliance! What a blessing you are! Love ya kid! Keep on rockin' your mission girl, we got your back! ~k

  • Chris Wilkinson

    Thanks Fel for your wisdom on this, and to others who commented here.

    Having just heard your critique of my video on the course, I used that meditation to help absorb the positives of what you said which, although I felt were 100% honestly offered and real, there was part of me that I felt wasn't fully grounding the positive.

    So, sure, it's easy to get a buzz from a positive critique, or feel "someone I value likes what I do" and so on, and that's all good, but what I did was take myself into that powerful ideal triumphant place, listen to the critique you gave and note my feelings and thoughts as I heard the positives and do the same as you suggested with the negatives - breathe into them, "I see you, I hear you, I feel you". I found those almost external responses to the positive were more deeply embraced and taken in. I felt less "high" from them, less kinda "aw, shucks, thanks" and more like they were deeply a part of me. I was more balanced afterwards, still feeling good, but grounded.

    I hope that makes sense to people!

  • Caroline Newman -Lamin

    Ohhh I am so in love with your reaction. Fel you are just who you are, and that is how it should be. Am grateful for this message, coz I have been struggling with comments and feedback from others and even from ME. From ME might sound funny, but its true. God bless you

  • Javier

    Fel. I am becoming a fan of yours!! I love your tips!!????????????
    I have a natural sensitivity to music and I can play by ear stuff and sing. however, i never got a formal education on music. And besides of that I am not as disciplined as I wish I was. So, today I kind of ant to sing right. I am taking this baby steps to singing. And maybe find something else. As a father of 3 at age 47 I have to ensure I get bread to my table. But I don't want to be at the end of my life not doing the things I like.
    I hope your teachings help me. I appreciate the time reading this post. And thank you for sharing your experience.

  • Nicky

    Fel. I feel quite gutted over this post. First of all let me say I'm a very big fan. Wether you know it or not you have helped me an awful lot. I find your YouTube videos brilliant and genuine and above all highly professional. I have been a professional actor for 20 years and I still have problems with tension when I especially need to sing. Your passion and intelligence in making your point clearly comes from the fact that you are a performer too and that's what I need from someone. Someone who knows what it's like to be at that level. There are plenty of singing things on YouTube. Some of which I subscribed to but something was always missing until I came across you on YouTube. Now you are the only person I follow so I just felt bad that you are receiving some negative comment. And you're right. People commenting like that have a grievance with themselves first. And want to make others feel as small as they do. Ever hear that joke 'how many actors/singers does it take to change a light bulb......100.....1 to do it and 99 to say....I could have done that so much better'....I just wanted to say that I think you're great and bang on with your videos, insight and excellence. So long may it continue. Kindest regards Nx

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