If you receive comments on your blog, more than likely, at some point you will run into people who will disagree.
As a Christian blogger on my main blog, Inside Cup, this happens. By no means should any Christian blogger feel deterred to not talk about tough topics, but you do need to accept that some things are hard to hear, some things people can have different views on, and some just need to be ignored.
There are a couple of tips I’ve learned since 2016 on what to do and how to distinguish various disagreeable comments.
1. Notice The Tone
This is can be hard to do since the voice tone we read with can be easily manipulated into what we “think” we hear versus what the people actually intended. Some people write bluntly but that doesn’t mean every word they write is meant to be read with sassiness.
Some people are gifted in writing with gentleness even if they disagree, so this is really helpful. If people are saying what they like about your post and are also sharing what they disagree with, pay attention to that! I’ve gotten caught up in ONLY hearing the “bad” stuff about my post when the commenter also shared things they liked.
2. What Is ACTUALLY Being Said?
People are allowed to disagree.
What’s important is to look at what they are saying.
- is their statement beneficial? – Could this help clarify your post?
- is their statement not accusative? They weren’t accusing you of the things you feel “they might be implying.”
It is extremely helpful to NOT assume what people are saying. Take their word for what it is and do not add to it. I have been guilty of this and have to rebuke myself occasionally, “Now, they did not actually say that, so I don’t need to get upset over something that is not there.”
- if accused, is there any truth? – As a Christian blogger, I often write about the things we need to do in our walk with Jesus. It’s very easy for statements to be misunderstood because I did not make them as clear.
I’ve been accused of focusing on works (people earning salvation through what they do, which isn’t true. Jesus is the only way, there is nothing we can do to earn salvation.) Now, several months, almost a year later, when I looked back on some posts I can see why people were misunderstanding. I realized I needed more statements for clarity.
It’s very helpful to step back when we struggle with what people are saying. Sometimes that means giving it a few days or asking for a second opinion from someone we trust to be honest.
3. Know When To STOP Responding
Some comments that disagree can spark an amazing conversation. However… they also can easily go downhill. It’s important to know when to stop responding.
- if you are responding to “validate” and “explain” why you believe or think certain things AFTER you already clarified (which should be your first response) STOP!
More than likely, if someone did not agree with the actual post, you’re probably not going to convince them in a comment.
I learned this the hard way after going back and forth in one discussion.
What To Do Instead– Validate and repeat what the COMMENTER is saying to YOU. Make sure they understand that you do hear them. Some people sound “strong” in their first comment because they expect a certain reaction from us. But being gentle and showing others we hear them can calm a storm before it happens. I’ve experienced it multiple times once I worked on not focusing on myself. It’s still hard to step away, but it’s needed.
4. It’s Obvious They Didn’t Read The Post & Possibly Want A Fight/Reaction From You
I have been cursed at and told it’s people like me who make individuals not want to go to church. This accusation came from when I wrote my post series on dreams. The commenter was very harsh, belittling, and a LOT was said. However, I was not really troubled by the comment, and here’s why.
- The person made claims that I refuted in my post. If the person had read more than three lines this would have been shown.
- Going through the comment it was mainly focused on the person and their experiences. Which showed that this comment was more of a venting session for this individual. You know, if someone needs to vent and wants to do it in a comment that is safe for them, I can take it because it was CLEAR this anger was not really at me. In fact, I think most of the time people get angry at those they don’t know it’s because of unresolved conflict and strangers are easier targets to vent to or be upset with.
- I also clicked on the commenter’s blog and saw that this person was going through a lot. Their comment had little to do with me and more with everything else going on in their mind and in their life. It was humbling as a reminder to see, again, not everything is about me. It also was an opportunity to pray for the person.
I DID NOT RESPOND TO THIS COMMENT!
Do not be the fuel for these comments. Do not enable or encourage negative talk. And DO NOT ALLOW THE COMMENT TO BE VIEWABLE BY OTHERS! STOP THE FIGHTING OR “STICKING UP FOR THE BLOGGER” BEFORE IT STARTS!
When people attack others, there is NO GOOD REASON for encouragement that other people attack the attacker. It’s just not good. That’s not what Jesus wants.
Now, there are comments that lead to good discussion, even if they disagree with your post, that’s completely different. But comments that have nothing to do with the post, especially if they are negative and belittling, get rid of.
My rule is if a comment does not relate to the post’s content, I more than likely will delete it. This includes:
- negative comments, cursing, belittling, etc.
- Follow Me comments
- URLs only (people tend to send pictures or YouTube videos with no context, and most of the time they have NOTHING to do with the post)
- People discussing things about their own blogs or posts
- People lecturing or preaching on topics that, again, have NOTHING to do with my post’s content
I have had people get angry because they weren’t seeing their comments and they knew that their comments were inappropriate. Again, these are comments not to respond to.
Please keep in mind, sometimes comments do not appear NOT because they didn’t relate to content but because occasionally comments go to SPAM. It’s important for bloggers to check their spam folders every day they check their blog or at least weekly.
I hope this post has been helpful in your blogging journey. Remember, take a breath, step away, and be willing to make mistakes.
(NIV) James 4:10, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
Have you ever encountered troubling comments? What did you do?