The Power of a Positive Comeback

by | Apr 24, 2024

How do you personally handle feedback? There are a few email newsletters that I send out (both work and personal)  and recently I received a snarky letter from a guy (actually a minister)  who received my newsletter. I am assuming he didn’t really want to be on my mailing list, or didn’t like what I wrote. I’m surprised he didn’t just unsubscribe, or report me for spam. But, he didn’t. Instead, he clicked ‘reply’ and wrote me a letter. Athough he didn’t come straight out and say, “I don’t like you and I don’t like what you write,” he said a bunch of passive aggressive gobbledygook that meant the same thing. His attitude was, “Who are you to write to me and speak into my life about anything?!”

Instead of ignoring him, or writing something snarky back, or deleting his email, I decided to act as if I was thankful for his email. I chose to respond by telling him I was grateful for his feedback.  I wrote:

“Thank you so much for connecting! The fact that you’ve reached out and taken the time to write this email means so much to me. Your words have spurred me on. I appreciate you. Love and Blessings, Deanna.”

I kid you not that this guy writes me back every single week now, in response to my email newsletters…sometimes even more than once! He responds to literally every one of them with positive feedback. Imagine my shock when just today I got a response from an email that contained my speaking itinerary over the next few months and responded with, “I’m going to see if I can make it to Jacksonville to hear you preach and meet you in person!” I responded that I can’t wait!

This got me thinking, what would happen if we take no offense and respond with a thank you to everyone who says anything to us, good or bad?This might be a totally bat doo-doo crazy idea, or it just might work. Proverbs 15:1 says,A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

What if we just start thanking everyone for sharing their thoughts,  even if we don’t agree with what they say?

What if we begin responding with,”Thank you for reaching out…” even if they say something we don’t want to hear? 

What would happen if we begin to value the words of the people we don’t agree with?

I had the thought that this might specifically help in three areas:

A positive comeback de-escalates situations.

When we answer softly instead of harshly, it has the potential to decrease negativity and possibly bring the other person’s tone down to match ours.

A positive comeback encourages communication.

When you speak in a kind tone, it lets a person know they are valued. Instead of shutting down, they open up. I realize they could open up and get worse, but there’s just as good of a chance that they will open up and possibly share what the root cause of their problem is. Many times, whatever they were negative about is not the real issue. In fact there have been a plethora of occasions where whatever someone exploded on me for something that had nothing at all to do with me!  People rail out at all kinds of things when their health is failing, their marriage is on the rocks, their kids are a mess,or they don’t know how they are gonna pay their mortgage this month.

A positive comeback helps you maintain control.  

By this I don’t mean that you control the person, but that you control you. Self control is one of the fruits of the spirit and so important for believers to possess The most important person you lead each day is you. You are also the hardest person you will ever lead. Responding to people with a soft answer in a positive way is master level control! It’s a superpower!

So to wrap it up, I can’t wait to meet my new friend in Jacksonville!


  1. Nancy Tallagsen

    LOVE THIS!!! Thank you!! <3

    • Dr. Deanna Shrodes

      You are so welcome. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. <3 Love you.

  2. Jill Susa

    Wow, Deanna. This is so incredible! I believe this is an answer to prayer for something I’ve been praying about. I had been asking for direction on how to respond to someone. I love how the Lord hears and answers prayer. You’re amazing! Thank you for sharing. Be blessed.

    • Dr. Deanna Shrodes

      I love these perfectly aligned God-moments. You’re amazing too. Love you lots.

    • Laura Elizabeth Flora

      I was taught that old saying if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. LOL, BUT man I wish people would have told me what you have just said in this blog….

      And this part right here Deanna “The most important person you lead each day is you. You are also the hardest person you will ever lead.”

      Like WOW’
      I needed this … I still struggle with leading myself, I am definitely the hardest person that
      I lead, I am working on myself in this area.

      I am so grateful for you and your words in my life

      I honestly can’t tell you that I 💯 agree with everything but 99 Percent I do and that
      1 percent it’s like who cares sometimes it’s just different opinions etc….

      One thing I do is, I take everything you write
      to heart and I make myself Learn and Grow From It All….
      I Really Do,
      I Learn and Grow,

      I have learned so much about myself and others since meeting you and
      I have made changes for the better and even though I am a work on progress 😉 I am progressing and doing the work that I need to be doing…

      So I will always be grateful for you 💞

      • Dr. Deanna Shrodes

        We all struggle with leading ourselves. You are not alone.

  3. Abby

    We are a work in progress daily to the desire level of self control that is required in our lives.

    • Dr. Deanna Shrodes

      Yes! So true! As Eugene Peterson once said, “A long obedience in the same direction.”

  4. Sue Visaggio

    Yes, awesome word…….. as someone said…………”in a world where we can be anything, be kind.”………thank you Deanna for the reminder. Love you.

    • Dr. Deanna Shrodes

      Yes, kindness is always in vogue!

  5. LaDonna

    This was an awesome post!
    Just made me 😊
    Love you bunches!

    • Dr. Deanna Shrodes

      Your comment made me smile! Love you lots!


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