How many times did you hear that as a child? Or do parents even teach their children to be nice these days?
I see it every day in my job. People who are so miserable in their own lives that the only way they know how to feel better is to tear down someone else. I see it on the Kindle boards, in mean-spirited reviews, on Facebook posts. But I was raised to be nice, to not say anything if I can't say something encouraging, to smile in the face of a verbal attack.
Most of the time it serves me well. I can go to sleep at night knowing I didn't deliberately try to hurt someone, tear someone down, destroy their dreams, or ruin their career. Other times I wish I could fight back, that I could tell people exactly what I think. Maybe when I'm in my 80's I can quit caring what other people think and give back as good as I get.
Until then, I will do my best to smile through the mean reviews, to smile at the people at work who take their miserable existence out on me, to not respond when I'm treated unfairly. And I will continue to support my fellow authors who go through the same thing, who sometimes feel like giving up when their hard work goes unappreciated.
For readers, the best thing you can do for your favorite authors is to "like" their books on Amazon, B & N, etc., post a positive review for books you like and refrain from posting a review for a book you didn't like. That's what I do as a reader. There are NYT best-selling authors whose writing style I just can't stand. So I don't read them any more, but I don't post negative reviews because they have others who love their writing and I don't want to discourage anyone from trying their books. Reading is subjective. Just because I don't like it doesn't mean others won't.
I can't stand reality TV shows, but others like them. I can't stand most modern sit coms, but others love them. I hate horrow films, but they have millions of fans. So just because I don't like them, that doesn't mean they're bad. They just aren't for me.