A few weeks ago, I wrote this amazing 1000 word post describing an incident that had happened with another blogger. It was honest, heart-felt, open…and also filled with little jabs and zingers like “this blogger is trying to solve integrals when she only knows basic math.” I even had a picture showing integrals. It was an emotion-filled vent on the surface, but a petty post at the core, and I didn’t realize it until the next morning. As part of that post, I wrote:
In situations like this, the only thing to do (other than eat that pint of ice cream in the freezer) is to “be like Christ” and try to understand where she’s coming from.
After I wrote that line, I took a moment, said a quick prayer asking for understanding, finished my post, hit the “Save Draft” button and then went to sleep. (If you know you might be a little emotional, then you definitely want to sleep before you post.) That night, I dreamt that I was vacationing on a tropical island – beautiful, calm, serene – paradise. I woke up feeling amazing. Like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Why? Because I actually understood what had happened. I understood the other blogger and her perspective. She was still wrong, but I understood her. And that was all I needed. That morning, I posted about something completely different. That lengthy 1000-word post was relegated to permanent draft status.
Here’s the thing about being a blogger. A good portion of us are women, and if we’re being 100% honest, when you have a large group of women together, there is usually DRAMA. I would say 99% of all drama stems from misjudgement or misunderstanding, or a combination of both. And like a snowball turning into an avalanche, drama can easily spread from one blogger to a whole network of bloggers. Most of the time, it isn’t pretty. And most of the time, it isn’t pretty for any of the parties involved.
At times like that, I think we could all use a little bit of time to find our own emotional tropical island paradises – taking a moment to step back out of the drama and look for the big picture, look for understanding. Understanding doesn’t mean you have to agree – it just means you have to see where that person is coming from. When you separate your head from your emotions, you’ll start to see that most of the comments that are made don’t need a response. You can let it just drift down your Twitter stream like a leaf flowing down the river or just delete the comment and ignore.
To help all of us have a more drama-free blogging experience, you can follow these simple steps if someone takes a jab or says something mean about you.
- Do NOT respond. Many times, our knee-jerk reaction is to say something that we “think” is witty or is a good zinger back. It usually isn’t as witty or as zingy as you think, so it’s best not to do it.
- Take a deep breath. This is to help calm down any emotions that perked up when you first read the comment. Breathe deeply, ooohm, or hee-hee-hee-hooooooo. Whatever you need to do to get calm. Do this for at least a minute, even if you think you’re calm. You can also watch this video – it will help zen you out:
- Do something else for at least 10 minutes. This is just another step to help detach emotions from the scenario. Write a blog post, watch TV, prepare breakfast – do something to take your mind off the comment for a solid 10 minutes or more. Do NOT think about the comment during this time. If you do, reset the 10 minute clock.
- Do you still want to say something? Do you know the person? Do they know you? If you answered “no” to either of these questions, IGNORE THE COMMENT. About 100% of the time, people who DO know you will rise to your defense and you get to stay on the high road.
- Is the comment particularly mean, disrespectful or rude? DELETE THE COMMENT. Keeping comments that are any of those things is like allowing someone drag dirt throughout your home and not cleaning it up. They may be visitors, but ultimately the blog is your house. Feel free to clean up any dirt that other people try to leave.
- Walk away. If you’ve reached this step, you’ve decided to either ignore the comment or delete the comment. Now you can walk away with your peace still intact! Remember “sticks and stones.” 🙂