I am much better at discussing a person's problem with them real time and recommending a solution than doing this online.The format at stackoverflow is very much forum-based, (i.e. not real time), and really hard for me. I have posted two solutions now that have gotten downvoted with no real comments as to why they were down voted. Or at least one of them did not tell me why my solution was downvoted.

This creates a reputation sinkhole, where points you have earned over a long time seep out like a bad leak.

Anyway, I get very depressed by this, and tend to be less likely to post potential solutions for people, thinking...yeah I know the answer to that, but I am sure someone else will know and post it.

Anyone have any mindhacks to help me not get so depressed and anxious about downvotes?

Edit: Thanks for all the great suggestions.

  • 4
    Fight Harder. Get Mad and give a ton of good answers and get your rep up (and delete any wrong answers). Jun 22, 2010 at 17:11
  • 11
    Lithium. Make sun-tea from old laptop batteries...
    – Shog9
    Jun 22, 2010 at 17:15
  • I'm not seeing any downvotes in your Stack Overflow profile?
    – Pekka
    Jun 22, 2010 at 18:15
  • @Down: I believe profile shows up/down-votes you CASTED, not RECEIVED. Jun 22, 2010 at 18:44
  • 2
    @poly Your profile lists your questions and answers with their vote totals as well.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jun 22, 2010 at 19:05

4 Answers 4


Stack Overflow isn't a forum - it's a question and answer site. If your answers were down-voted then it's highly likely that they were wrong in some respect. Having comments is a bonus, but it isn't the norm. Remember that votes (both up and down) are not personal, they are on the merits of the post. If people are voting for the person we have systems in place that can detect and correct that.

You just have to re-examine your answer and compare it to the other answers if any. If you can spot the flaw correct it and hope that the down-voter will come back and remove the vote or that others will see the now more correct answer and vote it up.

If you can't see the flaw or the up-votes don't come then just delete the answer and move on to the next question. You'll regain the lost points when the post is deleted.


One thing you can do is delete the answer that has downvotes. All points lost (and gained) in that answer will be given back to you on a rep recalc.


You can delete your questions when you find out that they are wrong, then whenever your rep gets recalculated in the future, you'll get your rep back. Also it will keep you from losing more rep.


You have two options.

  1. You can delete the answer. After a rep-recalc you will gain all points back.
  2. You can make the question Community Wiki. You will not gain points back but you won't lose(or gain) anymore either.

Personally I prefer option #2 and commonly after the -4 mark will make a post community wiki.

  • 2
    Uh... when it gets to -4 I would reach for the delete button. Jun 22, 2010 at 21:34
  • @George, I don't like deleting though because it loses track of what people disagree with(on Meta/subjective) and why my answer is wrong.
    – Earlz
    Jun 22, 2010 at 21:51
  • It really depends on. If you see yourself the answer you gave was stupid misleading or you simply misunderstood the question, then you should definitely delete it. But if you know your answer was quite good, then you should not delete it, but better ask the others what was wrong with it maybe you can learn something yourself.
    – OlimilOops
    Jun 22, 2010 at 22:14
  • What does it mean to "make a post community wiki"? Jul 17, 2010 at 15:02
  • 1
    @funk meta.stackexchange.com/questions/11740/…
    – Earlz
    Jul 18, 2010 at 18:53
  • @Earlz, awesome link, thanks for that. : ) Jul 31, 2010 at 16:28

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