Discussion

{DISCUSSION} Humility

How should bloggers react to negative comments?

I have been blogging for 2.5 years now. In that time, my blog has changed so much and I have interacted with so many different people. Some were great. I have made some amazing friends and truly broadened my viewpoint on the world in only a few short years. Others, however, have not been so great because the internet has trolls. But I kind of ask for it.

I mean, I host controversial discussion topics in the hopes that people will comment with whatever they believe because I want to discuss things. And I have definitely received comments that I didn’t agree with or that were negative towards the topic or towards me. Some of these comments are ill-informed and simply opinionated. Some are well-informed and I’m in the wrong, but it doesn’t matter what they are because you still need to respond in the same manner.

You need to respond with humility.

Now, I’m not talking about responding to haters who are cussing out your mother with “oh, well that’s nice. I’m sorry you feel that way.” No, I am talking about responding to people who genuinely want to have a conversation, but who may be of the opposite opinion from yourself and who may get a little heated regarding the discussion. There is nothing wrong with that.

Quite frankly, it amazes me how many people shy away from or blow up at another person who possesses a differing viewpoint from themselves. Why freak out when you could use that opportunity to enlighten yourself or enlighten another person? If we all spoke like civilized, patient human beings, a lot more would get done in the world.

In saying all this, I don’t mean to be all: “Look at me. I’m a saint! I stay completely cool and calm under pressure” because that would be an outright LIE! Hahahaha! You all know how aggressive I can be. You all know how heated and argumentative I can get, especially those who have left me long comments before. I am passionate about the topics I discuss and I ENJOY discussing them. To have someone with a different viewpoint join the conversation is often a rare treat because like-minded people are drawn to my blog.

More importantly, it’s important to remain professional when being called out. Whether it’s because you missed saying something, spoke incorrectly, or only have 60% of the facts, you can’t get all worked up about it when someone points it out. Why? Because you literally have nothing to gain from blowing up besides what? Defending your pride? Your pride ain’t worth look like a dumbass. Hard truth.

I wanted to bring this up because this happened to me last week’s discussion: “Publishing Industry Meets its Quota.” I had intended for the topic to be broad, but I am ill-versed in many genres and I got side-tracked while writing my post so my discussion came out a little wonky. It was not at all like I intended and someone called me out on it.

They posted it in the comments for EVERYONE to see that I had completely forgotten to offer representation to multiple under-represented peoples in my discussion and I was GRATEFUL because I WANTED to talk about them. That part that I had missed was VITAL to the conversation and I immediately sprang up to repair that issue by editing my post, which is fine! There is nothing wrong with editing your post afterwards, but own up to it. Don’t edit, delete their comment, and pretend like nothing happened and you’re fucking perfect. Ya ain’t.

You’re human. And to err is human. Deal with it.
Besides, being perfect is exhausting and not worth your time.

This got a little preachy, but I feel like it needs to be said that bloggers are only human. For 99% of us, this is a hobby. Not our jobs. And no matter who you are, you should treat every other person like a human being, like yourself. Even when they point out some tiny flaws. (Though, if all they do is point out flaws, dump their ass and find better friends. You deserve good ones! πŸ˜€ )

But what do you think?
How should you respond to negativity?
Leave your thoughts below!


And check out my discussion from last week:
Publishing Industry Meets its Quota

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25 thoughts on “{DISCUSSION} Humility”

  1. I like your view on how to respond and how you can learn from other people’s opposite opinions. I don’t think I’ve received negative comments on my blog, only once on You Tube (but people on YT are just crazy, even worse these days), but I’ve had very nasty replies to comments I’ve left elsewhere.
    I’m fascinated by how much energy people spend with being ***holes in comment fields these days. I read a tweet yesterday about how comment fields should be inactivated everywhere because people can’t handle it. Now on social media sites there’s so much hate, and it makes me so sad, I actually very rarely open Facebook these days because there’s so much negativity and hate and I can’t stand seeing it. If people could spend that energy on something that makes them happy?
    Anyway, I hope that I will be able to differ trolls from someone who just disagree with me, if I would get any negative comments. I’d love to be one who responds calmly and without being personally offended. People can be so terrible online 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    1. People are terrible. There are multiple sides to human nature and while we assume that ‘good’ is inherent and what people want, it just isn’t true. There are people who ARE happy being trolls. They find joy and excitement in spewing hate and causing chaos, and the internet is a perfect avenue for that because no one will ever know who they truly are: cowards. Most societies do not support this behavior, but the internet allows anything to become possible. Thus the trolls are born.

      I have been fortunate to not have been attacked either. I have had a few troll-ish comments on Youtube, but I do not get attacked personally. Why do some people get attacked and others don’t? That’s the real question because I’m not hiding my opinions. I offer my ideas up on a silver platter with a machete in reach and yet I have somehow remained safe. Meanwhile, my blogging friends have been ridiculed ENDLESSLY. That, in my opinion, is the real injustice.

      As to the negativity of social media… such is the downfall of a connected world. The negativity and judgement and opinions have always been there. They just used to be whispered behind closed doors at dinner parties instead of out in the open and at the click of a button. Nothing has changed. The veil has just been pulled aside. :/

      Like

  2. Uggggh, I hate the amount of negativity floating around on social media and I hate it that so many people feel the need to direct it at others. I’m hypothetically a proponent of taking the high road in those situations (people like that aren’t worth our time),but it’s so hard!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is hard, Layne. I completely understand just how hard it is to not shut someone down when they are rude or negative or something of the sort, but that’s exactly what they want. Trolls are looking for interaction. They want to get a rise out of people and it’s actually better to not engage because then they aren’t getting what they want. Though, I would sometimes LOVE to get into a verbal tirade with them (as I did in my earlier years), but you can’t win against a troll. You just can’t. Sigh

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  3. To me it feels like that people who engage in long winded and nasty internet arguments about various topics have way too much free time.
    So far it has not happened on my book blog but i used to have a personal blog where i had all sorts of assholes being outright horrible. I have not even responded cuz didn’t want to spend time entertaining them or upsetting myself. I couldn’t always help it tho, but not engaging was better.

    I think discussion is great. Don’t know why some people feel personally threatened if someone disagrees tho. Especially if it’s an internet stranger. I mean, i do get upset in real life sometimes if my BF or friend disagrees on something that is very important to me, but not the point that I’ll be nasty to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have been there, Norrie. I’ve been on the internet since I was ten and, as a ten-year-old, you don’t know much about internet trolls. You just think people are being nasty and you try to put them in their place, but you’re right. You can’t. You really can’t engage because you won’t win against someone who is just trying to make chaos and get a rise out of people. As hard as it is, it truly is best to not engage and I’m grateful for all the features on WordPress that allow blocking of spammers and trolls. Makes life a lot easier. πŸ™‚

      I think some people have too much pride. I really think that’s what it comes down to. They can’t fathom being wrong about something or misinformed about something so when someone calls them out or points out a flaw in their argument, they blow up. They have to be right. Even when they are wrong, they have to be right. It’s a sad world we live in when pride is more important than the truth, but such is the downfall of humanity. :/

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve not had many negative comments at me, I think those that have been are trolls anyways so you can’t reason with them. Personally I think the whole world needs to remember a few things:

    1) As you say you ain’t perfect so don’t criticize. People should always respond positively. If you see something you don’t like, ask them about it. In this medium it’s really easy to lose perspective.

    2) If you are criticised then respond positively and professionally like you say.

    3) People are very easily offended these days I think. Part of the reason for this is the internet crosses cultural barriers that we’re not used to dealing with normally. We all need to be more accepting of what we see.

    I think that’s it…I’ve sometime thought about crossing the controversial barrier but I’ve shyed away from it. So I stick to what’s a bit safer, but good on you if you’re willing to tackle the scary stuff. I hope you’re well πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha! I’m not so sure it’s ‘willing to tackle the scary stuff’ as much as being a troll myself. I have been on the internet for a long time (despite my young age) and I have seen a LOT of trolls and dealt with a LOT of trolls and I can kind of enjoy being a troll. It’s annoying as fudgecicles for regular people, but there is a delightful, dark joy in being a troll. I know, I’m crazy. Hahaha!

      That’s not to say I go out and troll people. I’m too busy for that, but I troll more by calling people out on things and by posing difficult questions. Most people don’t respond. Most people don’t want to be brought out in the open and be proven wrong. They’d rather hide behind their computer screens and remain anonymous and ignorant because ignorance is bliss and then every so often they’ll spout random garbage that is blatantly false. That is where I troll, I guess. When I have time and energy because it is quite exhausting to have long tirades with people who will NEVER admit they could possibly be wrong.

      I don’t think people are so much more offended these days as much as aware. Reality today is not reality 70 years ago. Back-handed compliments and slang that was used at that time is now brought into the light and shown for the ugliness that it truly is and a lot of people get annoyed by that because most people can’t handle change. Change is hard, but it’s part of life. To remain static, is to end humanity. It might be difficult, but I think it will benefit society in the long run, but first people need to lay down their pride. Until then, aggression will reign.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I see what you mean and I’m with you all the way on this. I think if people don’t reply to you calling them out then that to me says that they know they’re wrong and can’t justify it or else they would. I find so many will not see they’re wrong and try to make it right by throwing shit at someone else.

        I think what you do isn’t trolling… it’s something else and I haven’t got a name for it. One of things I pride myself in is being able to change, but I find so many just can’t. It’s like they’ve not evolved it yet or something lol.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hahahaha! Careful with the word ‘evolve’ because there are still plenty of people in the world who can’t even handle that single word. So how can we possibly expect them to change and be flexible? It just comes down to most people not liking change and fearing what change can bring because it’s not what they are used to. It’s a shame. And it’s the reason society is taking so long to progress. Hopefully the newer generations can make some progress though. They show a lot of promise… when they’re not eating tide pods. >.>

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    2. Simon, I really like your 3 things to remember. In some ways it reminds of something someone in improv once told me, the concept of “yes and”. When someone responds with “no”, they are reducing possibilities, while “yes and” builds.
      Granted, sometimes the truth is you disagree, but, as you say, there are ways of responding that are honest, but also polite.
      I once talked with a friend about how often people will interchange “I think this is a good idea” with simply saying “This is a good idea,” even though the first emphasizes that it’s an opinion, while the second implies it’s a fact.
      Sometimes people are very ready to be offended, ready to get angry, but it’s important that “I” not exacerbate the problem. Fortunately when online, we always have the option to step back and wait to respond. Unlike in person, or on the phone, we have time to compose ourselves, calm our emotions, and apply some careful thought, and for that I am grateful.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a post after my own heart! I love having discussions with people who share opposing views. I often find that these are the most enlightening and worthwhile ones. And for the most part, I have been blessed with the opportunity to carry myself in a proper manner and find fellow bloggers, friends, etc who do the same. Nothing beats a good, productive debate ❀ But unfortunately, there will always be a troll or two lurking among the shadows.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Unfortunately, you are right, Danielle. There will always been trolls lurking around the internet because they clearly have nothing better to do, but they are not worth our time and that is what blocking and spam notices are for. πŸ˜‰ I’m so happy to find other bloggers who enjoy a good debate as I think we need more of that in the world. πŸ™‚

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    2. One of my favorite things is knowing that I’m with safe people, confident that it’s safe to disagree without worrying that a difference of opinion may escalate into something else.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I agree as long as the comment are respectful. If it’s only bashing with no purpose than ill intent I won’t open the discussion nor comment back because it will only go downhill. What’s the point? If the other has another opinion and voices it respectfully then yes please! As you said it’s stimulating.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely! I never support engaging with people who are clearly just trolling for the sake of trolling. It is one thing to play Devil’s Advocate in an argument/discussion. It’s another to be blatantly rude for no reason or because someone disagrees with you. That is simply a waste of energy and bloggers ain’t got energy to spare. πŸ˜›

      Like

  7. Gosh. This person who called you out in the comments sounds like a real B****! πŸ˜‰

    Anyway, you’re right about this and again, I applaud you on the way you take criticism and actually want to learn. That’s rare.

    I’m all for different opinions. You’re never going to agree with everyone and that’s okay. I have a lot of “unpopular” opinions (I hate both John Green and Taylor Swift – NOT SORRY!!!) but I’ve had great discussions with people who disagree with me.

    However, pop culture is different from discussing more serious matters. As a woman of color who identifies as a feminist I have had people (typically white men) stalk every piece of social media I own just so they could call me names and threaten me. And while I engage with them at first and let them get out whatever childish tantrum they are throwing..sometimes you gotta block people. It’s important to remember that conversation is different from verbal abuse, and nobody needs that kind of negativity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh, right?! She was totally a- πŸ˜‰

      Hahahaha! I think my ability to take criticism and learn is from years of writing and being DESTROYED by people. πŸ˜› You gain a tough skin in writing and only by learning and listening will you improve writing, and I’m glad I could adapt that mentality to the rest of my life. πŸ™‚

      I’m totally in the same boat as you, woman! Not a TS or JG fan. (Or JK Rowling, but that’s another tirade altogether. HAhaha!) I personally believe some of the best conversations come from people who disagree with you. It’s not really interesting or fun to agree with everyone all the time. It gets boring and repetitive after a while.

      First off, I want to say that I am very sorry you have had to endure the bigoted, misogynistic hatred of small minded people. It is appalling to me that people like that CONTINUE to exist in this world. To those people, I wholeheartedly believe you should block them. They are trolls. Their only purpose on the internet is to gain attention and disturb the peace. They are not offering anything interesting or useful to a conversation and deserve not even a millisecond of your time!

      P.s. I am always here to support you, Rae! (and I am happy to … you know… rough up a few people on your behalf. If you get my drift. πŸ˜‰ )

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s a rare quality Melanie. I’ve seen writers hop on Twitter and Goodreads and argue with people because they chose to use a harmful trope about a marginalized group and got called out. Instead of listening and learning, they tried to silence them.

        Please don’t apologize for those jerks (that wasn’t the word I wanted to use lol). I appreciate the sentiment but it is not your fault. Those people were adults and they made their own choices.

        I might have to take you up on that offer sometime, and you if ever need to rally the troops I’d be happy to help πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh! I know! I remember some of the scandals that came out a year or so back with The Continent and then Carve the Mark, I believe. The worst part is that the publishers didn’t catch it! Those books went through writing, editing, agents, editors, AND publishers, but it was the READERS who saw the books for what they are. That just baffles me. It goes to show how little the publishing industry understands and (apparently) cares. They need to answer for the complacence they’ve had in these situations because they are a HUGE part of the problem. And the authors. Psh! Don’t even get me STARTED on them. -.-

          Hee hee! I’m glad we can be so supportive of each other, Rae!

          Liked by 1 person

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