Does Negative Feedback Help or Hurt?
I'm not sure that anyone likes hearing bad feedback, but depending on how you look at it, negative feedback can be helpful.
Having someone point out something that doesn't work for them in a story can improve your writing. It can even inspire ideas for future stories.
For instance if someone picks out something in a book they feel needs more development that might be an opportunity to write another story expanding on that character or world. Sometimes a reader saying a story is too short could mean they're interested enough to want more. Those characters or that particular world might be worth exploring in a longer work.
Other times negative comments can't be taken as anything but dislike of the work. Not everyone is going to enjoy every story. Knowing you satisfied a reader feels greats. As a writer that's what I hope to do, but realistically I know that pleasing everyone is impossible. What one person loves, someone else won't and vice versa. If you go to the movies with friends, each person will leave with a different opinion, which is great. Diversity offers more options. For instance some people like bad boy heroes, others like sweet ones. Some readers love blood and guts while others like milder stories.
Listening to comments both good and bad is important and helpful, but ultimately it's up to you to decide what works best for your stories. Sometimes you won't agree with the majority. Other times you might want to make some changes in future works.
How do you feel about negative comments? How about positive ones?