The other day I had the pleasure of chatting via email with a good bloggy friend who I don’t chat with nearly enough these days (she knows who she is), and we got into a discussion about blog commenters who leave messages on posts that are either certifiably insane, over-the-top crazy, or so freakin’ nasty that you almost have to do a double take to make sure you’re actually reading what you think you’re reading.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve received some pretty amazing, uplifting, and inspirational comments since I started blogging back in October of 2009, but let me just say that I’ve had more than my fair share of the negative stuff too. I’ve been called a bitch more times than I can count, and I’ve even seen the dreaded “C” word thrown around once or twice. I’ve also been told I’m about as intelligent as a 13-year old, completely and hopelessly ignorant, and my own, personal favorite — someone once told me that my son is going to be a serial killer when he grows up for having such a bitch for a mother. (True story.)
Sadly, those negative-Nellies aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Haters LOVE to hate — and the only thing they hate more than whatever it is they happen to be disagreeing with is not having a platform to voice their opinion and be heard.
And THAT my friends is exactly why not every comment we receive is sweet, encouraging, and rosy. Blogs offer people a place to be heard where they can throw out insults, derogatory remarks, and messages of pure hate and evil simply BECAUSE THEY CAN DO IT WITHOUT HAVING TO REVEAL THEIR IDENTITY. (Translation: They’d never have the balls to say that shit to your face.)
But I’m one step ahead of these freaks, because I grew a really thick skin a long time ago. However, I wasn’t always tough, and when I first began my blogging journey, mean-spirited commenters almost broke me a time or two. On that note, I thought it might be helpful to put out a list of advice & tips on how to deal with negative commenters if you aren’t quite to the point where you can laugh off what they said and move on.
1. Silence is GOLDEN — If someone leaves you a horrible comment, the absolute WORST thing you can do is acknowledge it, or heaven forbid actually REPLY to it. Haters WANT a reaction from you — that’s their main goal — to get under your skin and make you question your words. Trust me — the best way to defend yourself is to ignore them completely. That’ll hurt them way worse than anything you might have to say.
2. Turn on comment moderation — Ok, so I know comment moderation can be kind of annoying when you’re the commenter, but remember that your blog is YOUR blog. It’s YOUR own personal space, and you have the right to decide what does and does not get published in your comment field. If you are noticing a trend of more and more negative comments coming in, it might be time to do a little damage control by turning it on. (Why do you think mine’s been on for like 2 years?!)
3. Change your way of thinking — And by this, I mean instead of taking a negative comment personally, view it as a total win for that particular post. Even though someone is disagreeing with you — you still struck a chord with them and got them thinking. Isn’t that why we blog in the first place?
4. Accept & Realize what blogging means — You are putting your thoughts, opinions, and personal emotions out there for the world to see every single time you hit publish, so you’re kind of setting yourself up for people to challenge you on occasion. No matter how much you believe in what you are saying, someone is going to disagree with you, and that’s OK. Not everyone in cyber-space is going to like you or want to be your friend — and that’s OK too. Focus on the people & commenters who do lift your spirit and boost your confidence instead of the ones who are shamelessly trying to tear it down.
5. Breathe in, Breathe out, Move on — (Yes, I stole that line from one of my favorite Jimmy Buffett songs.) It’s kind of been my mantra over the past couple years, and believe me — repeating that statement in my mind has gotten me through more than one major life challenge. It’s only natural to be hurt by someone who makes hateful remarks towards you — but don’t let it get you so upset that you dwell on it for too terribly long. The next time someone offends you — just repeat “Breathe in, Breathe out, Move on” in your head. I promise you’ll feel better.
And if all else fails, just send anyone who’s hating on you my way and tell them to pick on me instead. I’m totally used to it, and I’ll gladly kick their ass for you.
What is the worst comment you’ve ever received?