Have you ever heard the saying, “When you point a finger at someone else, you have three (fingers) pointing back at you”?

It reminds me of negative publicity business owners are subjected to which is often generated by their competitors.

Look at Donald Trump. He’s the subject of tons of negativity. People pick on everything from his business practices to his hair. But what happens? He gains more notoriety, becomes wealthier, and even more powerful than before. In some respect I think it may “feed” him to be better, to be bigger, and to prove his naysayers wrong.

The same holds true in blogosphere. Anyone who has written a blog for any length of time can expect to get negative comments, hate mail, and/or to be bashed. It’s the nature of the game when we put our words on the world wide web for everyone to critique.

Today’s Lesson

Big name bloggers get slammed on a regular basis. Darren Rowse of Problogger, John Chow and Lorelle (of Lorelle on WordPress) have all had their share. Even smaller bloggers get “hit”. Catherine Lawson has, as have Hunter Nuttal Vered, of MomGrind and Natural of Thinking Out Loud

Last week I got slammed/bashed or as the person(s) said, “exposed for what I am”(?). Granted I could go on and write pages in my defense, however, I’ll let my readers decide if I’m authentic and if my blog is worthy of being read.

When, where and by whom I was bashed is not the issue or topic of this post. What has become my greatest concern is other bloggers. Knowing negative words could cut like a knife, what if a new, or older, more sensitive blogger gets slammed? How will they feel? Will the cruelty stop them from blogging? Will they be so crushed it affects their personal life? Their career? Or will they lash back, get caught up in the basher’s “game”, and make matters worse?

I believe we can all learn from each others experiences. Let’s open the floor for discussion and talk about how negativism in blogosphere can best be handled.

Today’s Lesson

Have you ever received hate mail, negative comments or been bashed?

How did you deal with it, and what did it teach you?

If you have not been the subject of negativity, how do you think it would affect you?

I hate to ask, but I will, have you ever bashed someone in blogosphere? If so, what did it accomplish?

In every cloud is a silver lining. To the person(s) who bashed me, I say “thank you” for the inspiration for this post. To those who came to my defense, I will be forever grateful.


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Look Who's Talking
  1. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. You handled this like a pro! I admit I was furious about this and it wasn’t even about me. My first instinct was to leave a nasty retaliation, but I resisted. The best thing to do is ignore it.

    And like you say, we can all make up our own minds about the blogs we choose to read. At most this is only going to create a buzz that will drive more traffic your way.

    I give Blogging Without A Blog 2 thumbs up.

    Davina´s last blog post..Awakening To A Balanced Life

  2. My blog has received negative comments in the past. Not constructive, but negative. Or, they may have curse words involved. Frankly, we’ve deleted them. Though I can’t recall the specifics, it was concluded that it would be best to delete them.

    I would make every effort to stay out of a fight if my blog was insulted. What good does it accomplish? Ignoring it is probably the best course of action. Only should one defend themselves when there is no other choice.

    I have never bashed a blog. I may leave a comment in which I respectfully disagree with a sentiment in the post. But I certainly make no attempt to try to make the blogger/blog look bad. Comments which disagree are part of what makes blogs alive. But it must be done very respectfully.

    Bamboo Forest´s last blog post..Make This Halloween a Ghost Dad Halloween

  3. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    HI Davina – Thank you. Yes, we all have the right to choose what we read. If we don’t like the blog (for whatever reason), we’re under no obligation to stick around. That’s what I like about the internet. We have choices, and many of them. Thanks for the 2 thumbs up. 🙂

    Hi Bamboo – There is a difference between constructive and negative comments, isn’t there. My first derogatory comment I took as being negative, but after the initial shock, realized it was actually constructive and I learned from it.

  4. Hi Barbara,

    No matter what you do, even helping homeless kids (and I mean that literally), somebody is not going to like what you do.

    That’s OK. I disagree with my parents and friends on a daily basis.

    However, I believe that net is minefield of misunderstandings. So I believe we should proceed with utmost courtesy.

    Miguel de Luis´s last blog post..Typing, a basic skill.

  5. I have never bashed anyone in blogosphere and don’t think I ever will. I’m too small in this area to be receiving any drama I guess, but I’ve had my own weird bashing-ups in life. How did I deal with those incidents? I just ignored them – which wasn’t the first thing that ran through my mind to be honest – and I’m glad I did. Sometimes people bashers are looking for attention, whether they realize it or not, and I don’t think I want to feed that energy. 😉

    Irene | Light Beckons´s last blog post..Synchronicities

  6. I have received a couple of bashing mails in the past. 😆 one very recently, I was forced to reply to that and it stopped there!

    ‘Ignore’ is what I would say to deal with pure negative bashing without any base… However, one needs to distinguish ‘criticism’ and ‘bashing’… We need to take constructive criticism positively and act upon.

    Did I bash anybody? Well, a couple of times…but not for any publicity or to draw some pleasure out of it… But when people say totally unethical things, I guess we need to react!

    (One bashing was about a famous blogger writing a paid review about some drug on his blog. I thought it was an altogether unrelated topic for what his blog stands for.)

    Ajith Edassery´s last blog post..Lypha.com – cheap web hosting solution for your blog or website

  7. Nope, no bashing received at Delightful Work. I haven’t had one negative comment that I’ve wanted to delete. That’s not an invitation to be the first! 🙂

    No I’ve never bashed anyone and I doubt that I’d have the time to write an effective bashing if there is such a thing.

    I read the bashing you’re referring to and I refrained from commenting anywhere on that post. Essentially I believe that it was more about the basher than the bashee. I always seek to understand and I like to give folks a break and just write it off to them being stressed about something else.

    No one is consistently courteous and thoughtful. We all have our wounds that occasionally surface inappropriately. But even that is a matter of perspective and opinion.

    It’s just life and sometimes our best doesn’t get expressed.
    I like this mantra that could be applied to any public forum where you may have opinions shared about you. Not everyone is going to love and support us.

    Some will
    Some won’t
    So what

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s last blog post..Clarity Empowers Progress

  8. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    We can’t please everyone, can we! So far, although I’m still fairly new at this, I have not had any really negative comments. I hope I handle them with dignity and respect. I hope I don’t “retaliate”. For good or for bad – people can say what they want on the internet – and remain mostly anonymous if they choose to (or not). I have no problems with people disagreeing with me – it helps me to get better. Bashing, though, is not necessary.

    If there is a way to turn a negative into a positive – I would go that route – maybe use the negative comment as a feeder for more conversation on a particular topic (kind of like what you have done here with this post).

    And, no – I have not bashed someone else in the blogosphere.

    Lance´s last blog post..At One Hundred, Life Is…

  9. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    To be honest, the thought of you being “exposed for what you are” is so absolutely ridiculous that I laughed a little bit when I read this – I can’t imagine what it must be like inside their head (I haven’t seen the post concerned).

    I have only had one awkward occurance – some emails went back and forth, but they didn’t resolve the situation, and I had to end up ignoring the person.

    Robin´s last blog post..How A Lot Of Wind Changed My Plans

  10. Writer DadNo Gravatar says:

    You were exposed for exactly what you are…. someone who can take something surprising and hurtful, and let it roll like water off a duck. Great job Barbara, and high five Davina.

    Writer Dad´s last blog post..At Least I Don’t Have Zits

  11. Barbara,

    Rgarding the post in question, things like this in general, and myself…here is a little ittybitty background…One day some meanie wrote a really nasty comment on Naomi’s blog about her and it made me so MAD that before my brain could engage my fingers fired off a *Piece of my mind* to that offender, letting him no in NO UNCERTIAN TERMS how wrong he was. Within a second I regretted it and a second Later Michael Martine posted a comment saying “Wendi, don’t feed the trolls”
    and he was absolutly right. I knew better. I sent Naomi an apology email and asked her to delete if she wanted to. Even when it is our fondest desire to defend our dear friends like yourself, the best course of action is to ignore the “trolls” who are trolling for attention and flame wars and the excitement that causing a big internet huff can stir up. I think you were picked on because you have a loving and loyal fan base who he was sure would grab the bait and rise up to battle. When it didn’t happen the whole thing faded away and that is always the best way to handle it in all situations. You- and your community-should give themselves the thumbs up for handling this with dignity and restraint!

    Wendi Kelly-Life’s Little Inspirations´s last blog post..Teeter-Totter Tribulations

  12. BetsyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I hoped you were going to write about this with equanimity, and you’ve taken that high road — which is ultimately steeper and more difficult — and I applaud you for it. The situation you refer to was painful in many ways, certainly for you, and definitely to read. Some sort of pain or need with the basher, too, was highly evident.

    I cut my teeth in online political chatrooms, and learned early, after daring to venture into an “opinionated” discussion on the “A” issue – the issue that we dare not speak its name but it’s about choice – that I’d better have a very thick skin, an awesome command of facts and citations, well as the ability to call out nefarious tactics and identify them. The tactics, not the perp. We don’t want to be ad hominem, after all, do we? 😀 It was either all that or don’t bother playing, because they’d be all over you like a cheap suit, shred you to pieces and spit you out like yesterday’s cud.

    What I found is that there are an extraordinary number of ugly thoughts residing in the heads of people who for all intents and purposes may look normal on the street. 😀 And I learned that group dynamics will take over and there is a high possibility of piling on the poor victim unless a leader emerges to call a halt.

    The difference in this recent situation was its continuance, which I presume was allowed on the basis of protecting the (almighty?) dialogue. I hope, if it had been my venue, I would have chosen to discontinue the opportunity for it to happen again within the string. It was ironic that this situation, arising out of bemoaning “high school-like” behavior, quickly deteriorated into the most venal example of what it purportedly had been against!

    Drama queens of any gender are too high maintenance to have a mutually meaningful relationship. You need to establish that you’re giving them no quarter from the beginning, or they’ll wiggle and dig and pick away at you. Because you have something they want, desperately.

    It’s just too much like work, as my dear hubby would say. As old as I am, I’ve had enough high drama in real life, thank you very much, that I’m not about to indulge it from an amateur. 😀

    Betsy´s last blog post..SENTINEL

  13. BetsyNo Gravatar says:

    oops forgot to check notify…sorry!

    Betsy´s last blog post..SENTINEL

  14. There was this one time when I received a rather negative comment on a group blogging site where it was targeted against my friend’s article.

    I just deleted the comment but referred it to my friend in private instead. 🙂

    Daniel Richard´s last blog post..5 Awesome Video Tutorials From Google For Webmasters

  15. NaTuRaLNo Gravatar says:

    Hold on, someone bashed our Barbara? Bashed and Barbara don’t even belong in the same sentence together, so I don’t get it. Exposed? I don’t see you as anything but what you are, a teacher, a helper and blogging friend.

    Have you ever received hate mail, negative comments or been bashed? I have received a negative comment or 2 and mostly because of misunderstandings.

    How did you deal with it, and what did it teach you? Once I contacted the person directly by email and we cleared up the misunderstanding, apologized and kept it moving. Another time publicly on my blog, I “fought” back, but not in a mean way. I don’t allow strangers to challenge my character ever, period. Hate the post, hate my blog, bash my writing, but I’m off limits. It taught me that people are so quick to judge before they have all the facts and that people don’t read or think.

    If you have not been the subject of negativity, how do you think it would affect you? Well I also received some “constructive” criticism, only because I asked….so it that case, I was helped to see me in a different light and through someone’s eyes who didn’t love me….even though it wasn’t the most pleasant thing to read. When people say unkind things to you, it does hurt, well it hurts me because I’m sensitive, I rather you try to be my uh behind, than say unkind things to me. It can make you want to give up or that negativity can motivate you to be better than you already are…I would be discouraged.

    I hate to ask, but I will, have you ever bashed someone in blogosphere? If so, what did it accomplish? No ma’am. I’ve left a comment that was again, “misunderstood” and the person contacted me and we cleared it up, but I have never attacked anyone. It does’t accomplish anything other than making the basher feel superior, when in fact, they are less than.
    Weakness is not meekness, but power under control.

    NaTuRaL´s last blog post..Answering Comments: Obligation, Optional or Off?

  16. Being a perfectionist, I really have a hard time with being criticized. If I make a mistake, I have a hard time getting over it. I am sure that to the criticizer it was not THAT big of a deal, but to me, it stays a big deal for awhile.

    I think you are SUPER great, Barbara!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep up the awesome work.

  17. What the? Natural said it. “Bashed and Barbara don’t even belong in the same sentence together, so I don’t get it. Exposed? I don’t see you as anything but what you are, a teacher, a helper and blogging friend.”

    How could anyone ever consider bashing you . . . and for what? I couldn’t even think of something. In fact, even though you know there are some things you could probably do to make more money blogging you choose to focus more on teaching and community. I admire you for that.

    Have I ever bashed anyone?
    No. I’ve disagreed with an article before, but never bashed.

    Has someone bashed me?
    Yes, however I think in some weird way they thought they were giving me some constructive criticism. They wrote a blog article picking away at my website and showing how basically my website sucked. I took the high road and instead of bashing him on his blog, I left a note thanking him for the review, but I was really pissed. Remember, these things show up in search engines and I don’t need potential customers finding this guy’s stupid article which isn’t even valid anymore as my site has changed.

    What did it teach me?
    To be careful who you send a message to mentioning how much you relate to that person and see similarities.

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz´s last blog post..How Can A Blog Help Your Business?

  18. One of the most valuable lessons my parents have taught me:

    People who feel the need to put others down in order to build themselves up are deeply unhappy.

    Think about it: when you’re happy, do you ever feel the need to lash out at others? Of course not. You just go happily about your own business.

    It’s a good lesson to learn and to remember, because whenever I encounter meanness, I always know that the person who does it is deeply unhappy. It really puts things in perspective.

    Vered – MomGrind´s last blog post..Should “A-List Bloggers” Close Comments?

  19. Linda AbbitNo Gravatar says:

    In my very first week of blogging I wasn’t bashed, but received a highly negative comment. It hurt me deeply, and I wondered if this is what blogging was going to be like. I thought it over for a few hours before replying in a cordial manner (like I would to a guest in my home), and put it behind me. Glad I followed my instincts, took the high road, and didn’t let it discourage me.

    Other than that, I haven’t been bashed or done any bashing — nor do I plan to. Bashing, on line or off line, is just not my style.

    Thank you for seizing another “teachable” moment for us, Barbara.

    Linda Abbit´s last blog post..How a Bus Stop Helps Prevent Wandering in Alzheimer’s Patients

  20. Barbara, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to bash you! I’m sorry that happened.

    I have had a couple of comments on both blogs that took me aback a little. Some have just been insensitive, but one particular made me think and in the end I decided she had a point – even if I didn’t want to hear it!

    Vintage Mommy´s last blog post..Only Children: Lucky or Lonely?

  21. MayaNo Gravatar says:

    Have to agree with Vered here.
    Comments are such a reflection on the person who does the commenting. People have some weird insecurities. And there are so many folk who will are too cowardly to put themselves out and/or expose themselves or their personalities on their blogs, but will judge and slam indiscriminately the ones who have the courage to do it. I’d pity them and move on 🙂

    Maya´s last blog post..Embracing our cultural identities at work and in life can only be good for us

  22. Scott McIntyreNo Gravatar says:

    I think there’s a world of difference between making a comment which is ‘bashing’ and one which takes a differing viewpoint, Barbara.

    Of course, the context and whether the comenter is a regular on a blog matter.

    I personally would never dream of trashing someone online- I don’t do it in ‘real life’ and wouldnt’ do it in the blogosphere.

    But, that’s where the issue is… being relatively anonymous online can make someone apt to behave in ways they wouldn’t do normally.

    As yet, I’ve not received any negative comments aimed at me – but they may come further down the line.

    However, my attitude is that the person’s opinion wouldn’t matter as they don’t know me.

    As long as I’m happy with how I have acted or what I have written, I’ll just ignore it.

  23. Thanks for the link, Barbara. I can’t believe I missed your bashing. Exposed for what you are? That’s ridiculous!

    I’ve gotten a few negative comments, but almost all of them were on just two posts (and I enabled comment moderation in response). I’ve received a few comments that weren’t negative toward me but had to be deleted because they were attacking other people.

    I don’t think this can be completely eliminated. However, I guess we should congratulate you, Barbara. After all, if you have critics, that means you’re making enough of a difference for them to notice you, like Donald Trump. So Barbara, now you’ve been exposed for what you are–a rising star in the blogosphere!

    Hunter Nuttall´s last blog post..How I Attracted A Lamborghini Gallardo In Five Minutes

  24. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Miguel – You’re absolutely right. Even those who attempt to help the less fortunate will be criticized for their efforts. It happens all the time in real life, so we should not be surprised when it happens online.

    Hi Irene – Well put, “Sometimes people bashers are looking for attention, whether they realize it or not, and I don’t think I want to feed that energy.”

    Hi Ajith – Like you, I’ve come to the defense of a blogger. Once on Problogger the comments started going completely off topic because of what one of the commenters said. Although it wasn’t a post I had strong feeling about either way, I left a reply as an attempt to get the comments back on track.

    Hi Tom – I love your mantra. It’s so true. All we can do is do the best we can with what we have to work with.

    Hi Lance – I can’t imagine you would ever bash someone. You seem like such a gentle soul. If it happens on your blog, I’m guessing you would handle it eloquently.

    Hi Robin – Taking an “issue” offline is one way to keep it off of blogs, but like you say, even that doesn’t always work.

    Hi Writer Dad – Thank you. My years have served me well. 🙂

    Hi Wendi – I like that statement, “Don’t feed the trolls”. I’m going to remember that. And you’re right, my community does get thumbs up for not taking the bait.

    Hi Betsy – I hear you. Our words can be totally misconstrued even if we have the best intentions. I’m thinking it’s bloggers like you and I and others who have experienced a lot of life who can teach those who are new to the “game”, it shows much more integrity when we walk away from a situation, than to stick around and participate.

    Hi Daniel – Yes, sometimes comments are best deleted. Often they just add fuel to the fire.

    Hi NaTuRal – Hey, I LOVE your new avatar. That’s too cute. 🙂 You’re words are good for my ego. You’re right. Receiving negative comments could make a blogger want to give up. But like you said, it can also motivate us to be better. It would be sad to see a blogger who has a lot of potential to quit just because one bad apple got enjoyment out of leaving them a negative comment.

    Hi Jennifer – Thank you for your kinds words. Reading your comment made me realize I’m so happy I wrote this post. As you can see from the comments most of have had to endure negativity on or about our blogs. I pray you are never exposed to harsh words, but if you are, please don’t hesitate to contact me for support.

    Hi John – You all better stop the compliments. I’m getting big headed. 😆 Just kidding. Trust me, I know what I write and what I do will NOT be everyone’s cup of tea.

    You have brought up a great point. With you having a blog on your business website, negative comments can be found. I think you handled the situation great and even if someone were to read the “critique”, they would see you for what you really are. A great person.

    Hi Vered – Your parents gave you superb advice. How lucky we all would be if we were taught that early. For bloggers (or anyone), that would be a great quote to copy and have close at hand.

    Hi Linda – I’m glad you shared your story and how that negative comment was making you doubt yourself. Thank goodness you were able to put it behind you. If you hadn’t we would all be missing out on your wonderful message. You handled it perfect.

    Hi Vintage Mommy – Thank you. That’s one thing about when we put our words “out there”; people will critique them and if they don’t agree, may voice their opinion(s). Like you said, the words helped, even though you didn’t want to hear them.

    Hi Maya – You’re right. Our comments are a reflection on who we are. Many don’t expose themselves on their own blogs, but as we travel through blogosphere, their personality begins to come through. Sometimes it’s not pretty.

    Hi Scott – Yes, differing viewpoints can be expected, and depending on the topic, they can vary greatly. That’s one thing I do love about comments. If a question is asked, I may already have my own opinion, but as I read the answers I begin to see the complete picture. Comment sections can be quite informative and educational

    Like you, I don’t thrash people in real life either, but as you said, being able to be relatively anonymous online, some gain great pleasure from negative behavior.

    Hi Hunter – You’re welcome. I remember you took quite a beating for a couple of your posts.

    You’ve brought up something I haven’t had to do (and hope I never have to); deleting comments because they are attacking other people. That’s another fine line we walk. When is a comment an attack or just in disagreement with a previous commenter?

    Thank you for your encouraging words, Hunter.

    To everyone – I read your comments and know in my heart, all of you are why I do what I do. You are all so supportive and encouraging. I am truly humbled and grateful for your friendship and kindness. Thank you all so very much.

  25. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara I am so sorry about the bash comments and hope that that is over with and things are moving on. I agree about “feeding the troll” and “unhappiness” of the commenters and heard those lessons in my growing. Aren’t we lucky that we have had experiences that built up our ability to handle these “things” and now look at the amazing gift that has arrived – a treat for each of us reading about the situation and how you handled it – they added an opportunity for each of us to heal the wound and sting. Did your mom ever blow on a cut or scrape to ease the pain? Our words add breath and movement to take away the pain and “blow it off” Getting to the ignoring part is often so hard. What a wonderful teacher you are – thank you.

    Patricia´s last blog post..I Do Not Know Anything Different

  26. The bashing was bizarre. That was the first time I commented on that site. I subscribed to comments and the responses were flying around all weekend. I was like – whoa, this totally derailed.

    I have had someone disagree with me but have not been bashed or received any hate mail. I have not bashed on anyone but I have disagreed in the comments. Recently I left a differing point of view comment on one site and the response I received was unrelated to the topic and somewhat insulting. I almost ignored it but instead replied back with how I felt about it and received an apology – in the comments and through an email.

    I also involved in two minor “battles” right now but it has stayed behind the scenes. No names have been named publicly. I believe I am in the right in both instances and am defending myself but am also giving the others the benefit of the doubt and allowing them to make the appropriate changes.

    When someone really bothers myself online and in real life I try to imagine the person as a baby – everyone started out innocent and sweet – it helps reduce my anger.

    Kim Woodbridge´s last blog post..(Anti) Social-Lists 10/26/08

  27. Dot Com DudNo Gravatar says:

    I have received maybe 1 truly negative comment on my blog and I just handled it politely and moved on. I’m yet to receive any really harsh words but I am curious to see if I can “ride the wave” when it does happen.

    Dot Com Dud´s last blog post..How I Promoted My First Blog Contest

  28. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    First, I’m sorry to hear anyone “bashed” you? Frankly, I can’t imagine what you could possibly have written to cause this. Sometimes it’s just someone trying to make a name for themselves. It sounds like you handled it well, but I’m sure it still bothered you. I don’t know many people that can walk away completely unharmed, but I’m glad you found a positive out of it.

    I one time received a comment from a person on another blog I did a guest post for. I was surprised, but I found it a learning experience. She brought up points I had not considered. Although she was a little defensive and I believe misintrepreted my point, I do believe I learned something from it and came away relatively unscathed. However, on my own blog, I have never been bashed. I’ve had those who disagree with my position, but it’s always been done politely. It’s hard to say how I would react if I got bashed, it would really depend on the circumstances. However, I know a blogger who stopped blogging because of something that happened to her. It makes me sad and I keep hoping one day she will come back. I really liked her blog.

    Debbie Yost´s last blog post..I’m Going Back to Bed

  29. Pink InkNo Gravatar says:

    Sorry you had such an experience, Barbara, but it sounds like you handled it well. Good for you!

    I haven’t had bashing, though I’ve had people disagree with me in the past and I just handle it as respectfully as I can. I’d prefer that people are honest than just saying “nice” things all the time. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised when someone who disagreed with me vehemently once or twice now comes around and seems to consider me a friend. I suspect it’s because I didn’t lash back and still welcomed them on my blog.

    Pink Ink´s last blog post..A Long-Distance Family

  30. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    I realize that once I share my inner thoughts and “weird” experiences, I may invite bashing. But what is a blog without our little insights, values and contributions?

    I’d just ignore or go far from bad vibes. Like what Irene said, it is best not to feed on the energy.

    Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..Trick Or Treat?

  31. I’ve not been bashed before…but I’m certain it’s only a matter of time. And when it does happen, it’ll hit like a ton of bricks, no matter what I say now.

    I think there is a difference between bashing someone and respectfully disagreeing with them. Educating someone or fueling a discussion is fine…but personal attacks should be left at the door. This problem is much worse on major social networks (YouTube has it bad), and not so much on personal blogs…in my opinion.

    Matthew Dryden´s last blog post..Separation Anxiety

  32. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    I wrote a post poking fun of Bob Dylan a few months ago. A few angry fans commented back, giving me a piece of their mind for making fun of their Prophet.

    It was just a very mild bashing, however. That’s about the only negative feedback I’ve ever received.

    It was nothing compared what was (ahem) recently seen in the blogosphere.

    I just don’t understand what the bashers think they’re accomplishing. The only people they’re making look bad are themselves.

    In fact, the net effect is they only generate MORE support for the bashee. (Is that even a word?) 😉 Especially if the bashee takes the High Road and refuses to get dragged down to their level.

    As I mentioned on Haydens blog, the best thing to do with bad behavior is to totally ignore it. Don’t reinforce by giving it any attention.

    Friar´s last blog post..Vikings Versus Pumpkins

  33. Within a few months of starting my blog, I received an email from one of my readers who was offended at my interchangeable use of the words “God” and “the Universe” in my articles. In wanting to understand where the person was coming from, I emailed the person back. In the second email, the person told me that my articles were nothing better than “schizophrenic rantings.” The person also informed me that I had no clue as to who they were because the email they used wasn’t theirs but belonged to someone else. I deleted the emails and did not answer them back again.

    Recently another person left a 4 page long comment on my blog that had absolutely nothing to do with my blog article. It was a hate-filled, political commentary that was signed anonymous. I was told if I published it, I could even claim it as my own. Why would I want to? It was nothing but hate and fear. I deleted it instead of publishing the comment. Giving a voice to that kind of garbage is not why I blog.

    I may disagree with something that someone says in an article but constructive disagreement is different than negative criticism written just to spread hate and fear.

    Patricia – Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker´s last blog post..Raw Food Diet Adventure

  34. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Patricia – Thank you. Oh yes. I remember cuts and scrapes being blown on. Trust me. I blew it off soon after it happened. Life is too short to do otherwise.

    Hi Kim – I wish you well on your off line battles. Hearing the other side is important and it sounds like you’re being very fair. I like that how you envision the other person as a baby. Who can get mad at a sweet infant?

    Hi Dot Com Dud – Welcome to the BWAB community. I hope you never have to deal with harsh words, but if you do, just remember what you read here. 🙂

    Hi Debbie – Thank you. That’s a sad story about your friend who stopped blogging. I don’t even know her and it makes me sad. I pray she healed from the incident.

    Hi Pink Ink – Thank you. That is one thing about blogging. No one is going to have everyone agree with them, but we’re all adults and should conduct ourselves in a proper manner. That’s great that the blogger continues to visit you. You handled it right.

    Hi Evelyn – You’re right. Blogs are usually about us and our passions. If others don’t care what we write about, they can click off.

    Hi Matthew – I hope you never get bashed, but if you do, I’m sure those in your community will come to your defense.

    I didn’t know it’s worse on YouTube and major social networks. I guess it’s a good thing my blog keeps me busy.

    Hi Friar – It’s funny that you used the word “bashee”, as I edited out a paragraph from this post and had used that word, and asked the same question.

    Isn’t it amazing how “stars” get such a loyal following and if you write something negative their fans come out of the woodwork.

    Hi Patricia – Oh my gosh. You’ve had your share, too. You did the right thing by just deleting them. You’re right, there’s nothing wrong with a disagreement, but when it escalates into hatred, that’s when it’s time to draw the line.

  35. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    @ Writer Dad, thanks for the high five! You have noooo idea.

    Davina´s last blog post..A Ghostly Life Experience

  36. CarlaNo Gravatar says:

    Since I am pretty new to blogging (a total of one year – more in the past six months) I haven’t received a bashing yet. I almost cant wait to get my first hate mail just so I can stop anticipating it. After reading the responses here, I have an idea what to do when that happens to me – nothing and delete.

    Carla´s last blog post..Green and Chic Updates | Free Shipping

  37. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

    In my opinion, the best way to survive a bashing is to feel pity for the basher. He/she apparently has nothing better to do, and he/she needs to attack other people to validate him/herself. If that’s not pathetic, I don’t know what is. If you can really pity the fool, there won’t be anger.

    Kelvin Kao´s last blog post..John McCain puppet

  38. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I’ve been bashed a whole heap in the blogosphere and real life that I think I’d get bored if nobody was bashing me. I think I would hate to be ignored more.

    You remember that Ethan guy who used to have Slam Blogger? I actually asked him to bash my blog on there in the end – thought it would help with traffic. But then God told him to stop being a naughty boy and he packed in.

    Cath Lawson´s last blog post..Are These 4 Social Network Sites A Waste Of Time?

  39. I’ve only been bashed (and that’s too strong of a word for it for my situation) when I guest posted on an A-list blog. It was pretty clear that the commenters were trying to impress people by scoring points off the newbie. I don’t imagine the blog owner was impressed, and I certainly wasn’t. But it did show me that when you get a taste of success, you get everything that comes along with it. Fortunately, it just fired me up!

    Sara at On Simplicity´s last blog post..Three Biggest Benefits of Living Simply

  40. DotNo Gravatar says:

    You’ve gotten the kind of support you deserve here! I have never bashed anyone. I had a couple of really negative comments on my blog by people who didn’t even seem to be talking about the actual content. I followed Leo Babauta’s approach and responded by asking for more details on exactly what was wrong and thanking them for the feedback. Not getting the explosion they were hoping for, the two people (or same person with two identities) disappeared. So will this stuff.

    Dot´s last blog post..Things I Learned from a Visit to Dooce

  41. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    While I’ve not been bashed on my blog, I recognized the potential early on and established a comment policy on my blog:

    Comments are welcome on Exit78. Constructive criticism is welcome. Even if I don’t like it, I probably won’t edit it or delete it.

    I’ve got some simple rules that most people won’t have problem meeting. Comments not meeting the rules will either be edited, if possible, or deleted.

    * No rude, mean or obstructive comments.
    * No obscene or otherwise offensive language
    * No spam
    * Comments should generally be on topic and should seldom be longer than the post being commented on.

    Off topic comments are allowed, unless it gets out of hand.

    A blog isn’t a democracy — but even democracies have rules.

    I didn’t come up with this out of the blue. I borrowed bits and pieces from other blogs and websites until I had something that works for me. If anyone else what’s to use any or part of it, feel free.

    Mike Goad

    Mike Goad´s last blog post..Just Grazing Away

  42. JenniferNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, along the lines of what Vared said, I have learned that people see in others what they see in themselves. If they see negativity in you it’s because they see it in themselves and are projecting it onto you. Barbara, I think your community speaks for itself. The truth is always known or comes out eventually. You certainly don’t have to fight back. The truth speaks for itself.

    I’ve had a few negative comments – nothing big. I simply used my assertive skills, showing respect to them first with a disarming statement and then stating my needs. Works great.

    I have to admit my first instinct was to be mad at this person who bashed you, but then I took a step back and looked at it for what it was.

    We love you Barbara!

    Jennifer´s last blog post..Have You Told Yourself this Lie?

  43. Nope, nobody loves me enough to hate me yet.

    Jannie “Funster”´s last blog post..How much are you paying?

  44. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Carla – Call yourself fortunate that you haven’t received any bashing or hate mail. It’s not a pleasant experience, but it’s one that can almost be expected at some time. Doing nothing and/or deleting is usually the best response.

    Hi Kelvin – Yes, bashers are often just looking to stir the pot. As you said, if we have pity for them, the anger vanishes.

    Hi Catherine – I remember the guy who was bashing blogs. Then he wanted you to take over his blog. Go figure.

    Hi Sara – I’ve seen that happen when guest writers post on A list blogs. It’s like they’re a target. It sure puts the author in a precarious position.

    Hi Dot – That’s a great technique to use. Ask more questions and thank them for their input.

    Hi Mike – That’s a short and sweet comment policy that says it all. Your comment was a good reminder for me to consider adding one here. I may be borrowing part of your wording. Thank you.

    Hi Jennifer – You are so sweet. And as you know, I adore all of my loyal visitors. You’re right, the truth does speak for itself, and as bloggers we need to remember that when someone tries to discredit us.

    Hi Jannie – Now I can see why your name if Jannie “Funster”. 😆 Great line.

  45. Eric HammNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve yet to be bashed, but I know it’s just a matter of time. Being a people pleaser by nature makes it hard to deal with criticism, but running a business for the last 5 years has helped thicken my skin and realize, as you said, that most negative ‘vibes’ are the result of the other party having their own issues. That’s why most of the time you’re better off just letting it go.

    You handled the whole bashing thing well. I think most of us were more blown away than anything else. Kind of one of those, “No she di ‘nt” kind of reactions. 🙂 Eric.

    Eric Hamm´s last blog post..M2A! October Week4: The Benefits Of Intentionally Stressing Your System

  46. One thing I HATE about blogging is that there are “gurus” who “teach” that one way to get your blog “noticed” is to bash on someone “bigger” than you. UGH!!!

    So, if you break into the 5 figure range in Alexa – expect to be bashed by some IDIOT who wants to increase his/her traffic.

    The thing that I LOVE about blogging is that by the time you achieve that feat, you’ve got a devoted fan base that sees the attack for what it is.

    Kathy @ Virtual Impax´s last blog post..80% Discount To Celebrate Successful-Blog’s 3rd Birthday

  47. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Eric – Yes, it’s inevitable when we put our words out there. Having a think skin, life experience and knowledge of why others bash will help understand why it happens. I don’t see you getting bashed, but if you do and need support, you know where to find me.

    Hi Kathy – Hmmmm. I never thought of that. A five figure Alexa rating will bring out the bashers? Makes sense, but like you said, our fan base by that time is loyal and knows to ignore the incident.

  48. Wow, this one brought out something in me because I was once bashed by a bunch of pilots in Detroit for a story I wrote about something I did that could have killed me and/or others becuase of a decision I made.

    It was a story that had been in my blog or many months before it somehow got their attention. Within hours, I received a string of negative comments, many of which were bashful in nature with curse words and so forth.

    I antognized over whether or not to publish them because I do believe in the power of free speech; however, like Michael Martine told Wendi (see above), these commentators are trolls who do nothing but routinely bash others for whatever reasons. To publish their comments would be like letting a killer in your house. Would you do that? NEVER! Why would you then let them have free rein in your blog, which I consider to be your home of sorts?

    I’ve never bashed anyone in the blogosphere. I might have left comments disagreeing about something but I have always written those in diplomatic, respectful ways. There are ways of disagreeing and I even encourage that but they need to be done respectfully.

    The best course of action when you’re attacked? Delete them. Spam them out of existence if you have to and move on. No need to prove yourself to anyone else. You know what the truth is. These people are nothing but trolls who want some attention for themselves. Don’t give them the time of the day because they do nothing but waste your energy.

    That’s my take. We all have been attacked in some way, form or shape. How we deal with it is largely up to us. BTW, after deleting comment after comment relating to my pilot story, within 3 or 4 days the attacks stopped. That’s because I wasn’t feeding any energy to it. Ignoring them did the trick.

    Stephen Hopson´s last blog post..How Making an Irrational, Last-Minute Decision Can Change Your Life