When I am in the various Facebook groups that concentrate on Etsy there are 3 words, when said together, that me very sweary. They put the hairs up on my neck and I have to forcefully sit on my hands or walk away from the laptop or else I am shouting NO NO NO at the screen. The husband is used to me now and just glances up and asks if someone has said it again.

It is the words ‘please be gentle’. Now on its little lonesome, it is a perfectly fine little sentence, a plea from the heart. But when it’s followed or proceeded with “What do you think of this I just made” or any one of its many variations it makes me angry.

If you really want to know what people think of the item you just poured blood, tears, and sweat over you don’t want them to be gentle. You want the ugly truth so you can improve. If all you hear is sugar-coated ‘oh its so cute’ you not going to improve. You’ll stay where you are and then wonder why you’re not improving.

In fact, you might as well just say “What do you think of this, please lie and only tell me good things as I am not really interested in what you think unless its nice words and I don’t really want to learn and improve”

You don’t want gentleness, you want the truth. You want to know if it’s not good enough to sell, it’s plain ugly, or if anyone can even fathom out what it is. Otherwise, you are just wasting your time and energy. Unless you are one of the lucky ones who were dipped in fairy dust at some point in life, most people don’t create a masterpiece on their first try, or create a best seller with their first creation. You will learn as create and grow and you won’t do that with candy-coated feedback.

And while I am on my little soap box spluttering words, the people who are saying oh it’s nice when really they are thinking ‘Struth that is ugly but I do not want to upset them’ – just stop it. If you can’t tell them the truth just don’t say anything.

So that’s it, I have shared my guilty secret with you – please be gentle gets me very sweary and reach for strong coffee.

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