The Internet has changed us in many ways. One of the effects was the fact that we are no longer communicating face-to-face and rather trying to “read” what other people might have in their minds while writing those comments to you.
Angry comments are also unavoidable. No matter how good your content is one way or another it will trigger some people. And we are not even talking about politics. Your opinion might get “weaponized” fast and once that happens it will take just a few minutes before an angry comment from across the globe will be sent to you.
Why? What for? Are they actually listening to me? All those questions will be running in your head, but it’s quite easy to cope with those comments.
There are a few simple strategies here and you should decide for yourself which one you pick (or make up your own).
Let’s discuss possible scenarios of how to deal with negative comments.
Scenario #1: Ignore it
You wrote your own opinion — they have replied with their own opinion. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Nobody will waste additional energy and time on replying.
Is it the best strategy? In my opinion, it’s somewhere in the middle. Some comments are not worth replying to at all. But in some cases, you want to clarify your points in case your reader has misunderstood you. Especially if the feedback was indeed valuable.
Scenario #2: Appreciate the feedback and reply politely
I think this strategy works really well in most of the cases. There is no need to accept the opinion of another person, but you might take some time to analyze it.
Reply with respect and do not use offensive language that the other person might have used. It might be hard to resist replying in the same manner, but ask yourself if this will actually make you feel better. Does it benefit anyone if you reply the same way? Most likely the answer is “no”.
You will be surprised how many people are shocked when instead of “punching” back you reply with respect. They might even change the opinion about you (if you care about that).
Scenario #3: Apologize and re-evaluate your opinion
We all make mistakes. In fact, I think the more mistakes you make during your life the more you will understand it. I’m not talking about fatal mistakes, of course. It’s rather about wrong conclusions or the inability to look at the problem from different angles.
If you legitimately offended someone — just apologize. Make sure that you are sincere about it and that’s what you actually feel. This will make the whole conflict go away and might even end up with healthy communication. Win-win for everyone!
Scenario #4: Reply back with anger
Now we are getting into the territory of scenarios where the outcome will be questionable. Sometimes it’s hard to resist replying back politely and you just can’t control your emotions.
In this case, you could possibly reply back using a similar kind of vocabulary. Will it benefit anyone? Most likely it will only make things worse and instead of making other people understand you — they will feel even worse about you.
Nobody wants to be around people who can’t control their emotions and look at confrontation on all possible fronts. To be honest that kind of scenario might just show that you are not better than them.
Scenario #5: Delete the comment/opinion
My personal approach to this is that this scenario is not a great idea. Deleting someone else opinion shows to everyone (including yourself) that you are vulnerable to someone else opinion.
You might want to delete that opinion if it shares some personal information about you or endangers your life, but if that’s just their personal opinion — leaving it ignored like in the Scenario #1 might be fine. It will stay there and remind other people about anger management.
There are two cases where I delete the specific comment without a second thought:
- If this comment is a Spam or Fraud
- If this comment is clearly offending my audience. This is something that I cannot tolerate
You are free to write your own opinion and other people are free to reply to you. That’s called “freedom of speech”.
Some people are emotionally fragile or just need attention — that’s why they leave angry comments or confront you. It’s also fine, just reply with respect and let them feel better. In fact, a healthy discussion might even heal them in some way.
I think that we could always find enemies if we want to. But instead of taking all those comments personally, it’s a much better idea to stay out of the “battle” zone in the comment section. It’s not worth your time to even think about those comments (especially if those have no constructive feedback), especially if you know that this is just their personal opinion and nothing else.
One of my friends said at the beginning of the 2000s:
“It’s easy to be a warrior and look cool on the Internet”.
This phrase means that some people like attacking other people on the Internet, but they will never do it in the real life. Because that task is so much harder that way. I think that it reflects many comments really well.
I have this Medium blog and my YouTube channel and replying with respect to any comment has been my personal strategy since the beginning. I might have failed on that couple of times, but most of the time there is nothing better than knowing that you can voice your opinion and still feel good about yourself since your anger management is a functional module.
Also, if you would like to see my personal example of handling negativity in the comment section feel free to read comments on one of my recent articles. It’s full of examples.
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