When you do something and make it public, there is a chance that you will receive feedback on what you've done. In the past I saw every piece of feedback almost like a request. With time I realized it might not be the best way to handle feedback.
The feedback can be classified differently. One way is to classify it by emotion associated with it. Do you see it as a negative feedback or a positive one? Both of these types could be valuable. When receiving positive feedback, I love to ask people what could they improve in the experience. Sometimes they may have interesting ideas! Before we move on to negative feedback, let's look at feedback from other points of view.
Another aspect is the objectivity of the feedback. If it is objective — the feedback may look like it has more value than the subjective one. However, I find them to be equally important. Often the objective feedback is simply a processed form of the subjective one. The person who was giving it just made some effort to process it. So the subjective one just has to be processed by you. If you ask the person some questions, such as, “Why do you believe that to be true?” or “What makes you feel this way?” — especially if you ask them multiple times, could lead you to some valuable objective results!
Another thing to consider is the person who is giving feedback. Who are they to you? If they are your friend or relative — they would favor giving you positive feedback and encouragement, although they might actually think differently about your work. Who are they? Do they have a career in some specific area that might be affecting their feedback? Take design: visual designers would tend to give feedback related to the graphic side of the design, ignoring the user perspective or marketing. Not every user sees the design from the point of view of a designer. So you have to understand what biases the person giving feedback might have, and process their words accordingly.
Don't feed the trolls.
Getting back to the negative feedback: you need to handle it with extra care, it's like playing with fire! Is it subjective or objective? If it's subjective, is the person genuinely frustrated or are they just trolling? Are they negative because they for some reason think you owe something to them or they are just lost and need help? Do they need a solution to the problem or just publicly stating their opinion?
One more important thing about feedback — it is not about you. It is about the thing you created or the action you did. It's easy to get offended by negative comments, but remember that you personally have nothing to do with this.
In conclusion, understanding the motives of the person, asking them questions about their experience and keeping your personality away from the product should help you to handle the feedback better.
Do you have any tips for dealing with various kinds of feedback? What do you usually do with the feedback you receive?