Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Comment


I cannot be the only one…who has logged into their blog on any random day only to be blindsided by a less-than-friendly comment left by a reader.  After reading the aggressively negative comment I find myself going through a range of emotions: First, I feel defensive, thinking to myself, “What did I do or say that caused such animosity,” secondly, I feel defeated, “Maybe I shouldn’t write anymore,” and lastly, I remind myself, “What I write is not for everyone…and obviously this particular post was not for the comment leaver.” 

I blog about a touchy subject, Parenting, with so many parents in the world, all with diverse parenting styles, it’s easy to understand how a parenting experience that I blogged about (that was so simple to me) could potentially cause negative feelings in another parent.  With this understanding in mind, I decided to create personal guidelines of how I want to deal with the negativity when it comes
The prickly feeling of an angry comment.
knocking on my blog’s doorstep, and here are my thoughts:

1.     ALWAYS respond.
I respond to the opposing comment by acknowledging their point and hopefully clarifying my point further.  If the person insulted me directly, well…I don’t step into that arena, mud slinging based on the opinion of others simply isn’t my thing, I am not that type of person, nor do I want to be.

If your choice of response is to really give it back to the commenter feel free, BUT know that when you put your opinion and thoughts out into the ether you are welcoming others opinions and thoughts back to you as well.  That is where the idea of an online “community” comes into play. Think of it this way, you couldn’t proclaim I hate pizza and not expect at least one person to think that you were crazy for doing so, and then proceed to explain to you why they think you are nuts.


2.     Let it GO!
I am not one for grudges, how terribly heavy it is to hold onto disappointment, annoyance, or anger, so when you receive a comment that is less than complimentary face it and let it go.  I don’t allow the negative comment to become the entire theme of my post by discussing it with other readers.  If another reader brings up the offending comment in their comments, address it calmly, and move on.


3.     Do NOT delete the comment.
Sure, I have the power to obliterate the comment, but I don’t. I leave the comment, respond to it, and make it known that I believe in what I have written, as well as, that I am open to discussing other points of views. 

I do have one caveat to this decision of to delete-or-not to delete and that is if the comment includes hateful or seriously dirty words, defined as, any words that I, myself, would not use in a post on my blog. If any of those Whoa-Mama type of words are included in a reader’s post, it would give me cause to delete the it.  With the deletion of the adverse comment I would submit a comment of my own explaining why I deleted the post, acknowledging that the comment was received and read, but I can’t, in good taste, allow certain words to be included in my daily rays of sunshine (aka: my blog).

4.     Feel GOOD that something I wrote moved someone (even if was in anger).
I began writing my blog because I was surprised how many of my thoughts on parenting were not reflected in the other mother’s around me.  I took to the Internet and was thrilled to find other honest, smart, and brilliant Mama’s who felt similarly, but I am not naive enough to think we are the only ones out there.  If my thought on a particular subject sparks something in someone, enough to have them comment with such passion, then I think it’s healthy for me to read it and try to see their angle, and hopefully I can get a different perspective.

These are just a few of the guidelines I have put in place for myself and my blog, these little rules make me feel better when faced with a challenging comment, and help me keep on track (instead of crying to the heavens, “Why….why?”).

Do you have any personal rules for dealing with a comment that is unflattering to yourself or your blog? If so, please share them with the rest of us, that way when we get those “kind” of comments we react with our level heads instead of our emotional ones.

21 comments:

  1. I have only had a couple of comments that were negative by one blogger. I published them... explained my point and finally sent her a message on her blog ... very nicely. Once she read what I wrote, she apologized and became one of my followers.

    I don't write about parenting (I love my children but I wouldn't win any awards :'( ...)

    However, I do write my own opinions... people are pretty good... I'm like you, I don't hold a grudge ;-)

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    1. I love the way you handled the situation! You obviously are very adept at expressing yourself if you were able to turn the negative comments into a positive relationship. Nice work.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. that is a great way to look at it!! I really love the positive reaction you have towards it. I havent had any negative comments but i would probably do the same just ignore it. Can't please everyone :)

    Delightful Ideas
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    ReplyDelete
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    1. Well, don't get me wrong, I went through a few other emotions that were not so positive before I came out on the positive side. :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  3. Hi, visiting from the sits Saturday link party. Your blog name attracted me to check you out..

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    1. Thanks for checking out the blog! I hope it didn't disappoint :)!

      Delete
  4. I've only had it happen to me once on my site, but when I write for some of the bigger sites, the negative nancy's come out in droves. I just think, well "name of publication" thought what I had to say was worthwhile enough to publish, so your unnecessary anger and negativity is your problem.

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    1. I feel like the negative comments keep people from expanding their writing horizons. When I read articles on Huff Po I am astounded by how brazenly rude some of the comments are. I can appreciate your way of thinking, your writing is worthy of where it is being published, if people disagree, well...that's their problem, not yours.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  5. Love your positive way to deal with a negative comment!

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    1. Thanks! I had to work my way through all the other emotions that were less positive to get to here, but I am glad that I didn't get down and dirty with the commenter.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts!

      Delete
  6. It is excellent that you have inspired passionate comments, means you're doing something right and hitting buttons!

    Even though I mainly write about movies, the majority of my posts are written towards a discussion of the film's theme, adding a personal take, perspective or experience - yet I rarely attract comments, good or bad.

    I, in fact, just yesterday decided to hide the comment form on my blog and left an option for readers to make comments on facebook should they so desire.

    Stopping over from SITS!

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    1. I am surprised you don't receive comments on your blog, especially about movies, people love to talk about their opinions on movies.

      It seems to me that the people with something negative to say are more likely to leave you a comment than those who enjoy your blog...strange that way.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  7. Comments that disagree with my point view and are written constructively will stay on my blog. Attacks on me or my readers will be removed immediately. I'm the type of person that loves engaging in dialogue with readers, even when they disagree. I just draw the line at vile comments or attacks which, thankfully, I haven't gotten on my blog.

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    1. I am with you, engaging (even if the opinion is opposing) is a great way to create dialog, but rude and down right mean is not. If a comment is more mud slinging than simply disagreeing...delete away.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  8. I just started my blog, and have written two posts that I thought would attract negative feed back. I held my breath, neither post received negative feed back, both were well received. I feel the same, if a reader gives me their opinion which by asking a question at the end of my post I am asking for then they are welcome to it. If it is an attack on me or another reader, or foul language, then that would be addressed and removed. Bravo for being classy.... Have a great Day!!!!

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    1. I think it is important to set the boundaries for the comments on your blog before you receive a zinger and aren't sure how to deal with it.

      I agree completely, attacking another reader or foul language are both good reasons for a comment to be removed from your blog.

      Thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  9. I think you handled that comment perfectly. I had to read it twice because I was surprised someone posted it. As you've said, you write for yourself. I think it's good practice to receive negative comments. Some day, when you publish that book that's inside you, you'll be able to handle any negative comment because you already practiced here.. Also, there are days your readers are in terrible moods and just need to vent, Your blog may have been the place for her to vent. But I still think she should have signed her name.

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    1. Thanks Marcia! I realized later that I must have touched a nerve with that reader, possibly something similar had happened in their life, and I created a perfect chance for them to get that frustration off their chest.

      Thanks again!

      Delete
  10. Great post. I especially respect your maturity and poise when responding to negative commenters. I'll learn from that!

    A

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    1. Thanks! Hopefully the negative comments will be far and few between, but it's nice to not be caught off guard when a cloud attempts to rain on your parade.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  11. I had a bad comment on my blog. It was so weird. I wrote a favorable review about a restaurant & a reader told me she was disappointed I didn't have the restaurant's signature dish despite my favorable review. I emailed her & explained why I ate what I did & she was still stubborn & didn't like my explanation. I guess you can't please everyone

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