Any blogger who blogs for any length of time will probably receive a derogatory comment or two.
Sometimes, a visitor, for whatever reason, feels a need to demean us with cruel words.
Other times, it’s unintentional.
Unfortunately, the words can hurt. Even leave a scar.
With blogging you’ll often hear, “You need to develop a thick skin.”
For the blogger who is genuinely a kind person or prefers to live life thinking positive thoughts, this statement can go against all they practice in the real world, whereas the seasoned blogger who has witnessed many instances where a commenter has attacked the blog author, prepares for the inevitable.
Thick skin or thin skin, new blogger or seasoned blogger, words can still hurt.
The initial response to hurtful words may be that we want to immediately lash back. However, by analyzing what’s behind the words, we often find it’s not us for whom the words are intended.
- The comment may be a spam comment; a comment carefully written to sound like a real comment, then plastered throughout the internet on any blog which will approve it.
- The post we’ve written may “push a button” for someone, and we just happen to become the recipient of their outburst.
- The person who comments may inadvertently (sometimes purposely) attack us instead of the message.
- The commenter may have taken something out of context, misread what we wrote or have taken each word literally.
- The comment may be meant to be humorous, however, we don’t “get the joke”.
- A fellow blogger may be jealous of us, our accomplishments, the speed at which our blog grew, our popularity in blogosphere, or…, and may feel by using unkind words, our loyal followers may leave us and join them.
- The other person may be a narcissist and they treat everyone in real life AND in blogosphere the same.*
Some bloggers set themselves up for negative comments.
- We may purposely write a controversial post, hoping to “stir the pot”, get tons of comments, or get our post linked to on StumbleUpon, Twitter, Digg, etc…
- We may have inadvertently worded our post in such a manner it appears we’re looking for controversy.
- We try to be funny, but others don’t understand our humor.
Derogatory comments can be handled in a number of ways:
- Determine if it’s a spam comment. If so, mark it as spam** and delete it.
- If we inadvertently publish something that offends or stirs the emotions in others and their comment is rude, we can say something like: “Thank you for sharing your thoughts.” and/or “I always enjoy hearing opposing viewpoints.” DO NOT ENGAGE IN CONFRONTATION unless you’re prepared for it.
- If our humor or something else we’ve written has offended a reader, we can apologize for the misunderstanding.
- If something we’ve said is misconstrued, we can reply by saying something like, “Thank you for bringing that to my attention; I should have elaborated. What I meant to say is …”.
- If the other person appears to be a jealous fellow blogger, a troll or a narcissist who is baiting us to interact with them, simply saying “Thank you for sharing your thoughts.” will usually end the discussion.
In the event the other person continues to torment us, it’s best to mark their comments as spam**.
Although it would be easy to delete all negative comments we receive on our blogs, oftentimes hearing/posting an opposing point of view can help to broaden our knowledge base plus generate a lively discussion in our comment section.
That said, if comments appear to be a form of online or cyber bullying, it may be necessary to report the offender to the authorities.
Have you received negative comments on your blog? If so, how did you handle them?
Have you ever received a negative comment which still has an affect on you?
Care to share?
*To read more about narcissists in blogosphere, check out the guest post, Warning! Online Bullies Hide Behind Their Words written by Betsy of Passing Thru and Lori of Think Like A Black Belt, as well as their free ebook,“The Narcissist – A User Guide”
**If comments from a specific IP address are continually marked as spam, Akismet and other spam blockers may “assume” the comment author is spamming blogs and may automatically throw their comments on all blogs into spam.
For more information about online and cyber bullying check out: