Bookish Discussions / On a personal note...

Leave A Comment Here…”Kindness Is Not Overrated”

Let me first say this: I LOVE COMMENTS! One of my goals this year is to visit blogs more often and comment when I have something to contribute and share. Even if I have nothing relevant. Maybe just to say “hi” and “I like your post and your blog and you”. A simple “like” on a post makes me smile.

I have been told more times than I can count that “You are too nice“. So in my younger, impressionable years I tried to be more snarky, more controversial, more un-nice. But that’s not my knee-jerk normal reaction. I can’t fake it. Yes, I sure can be tough and challenging when it’s something I am passionate about-just ask my kids, family and friends. And I do have a wicked sense of humor, have dark thoughts at times, practice daily being less-judgmental and gossipy. But usually I am guilty of the “too nice” attitude.

When I was told it again recently, my demeanor completely changed. I rallied back with “What’s wrong with being too nice? That’s actually a ridiculous thing to say.” I’ve also heard “You think too much” and my favorite, “You’re too thoughtful“.

So it got me thinking about blog comments. What do YOU do when someone shows up on your blog and blasts you, your post, your opinions, your book review, the way you write? Do you publish them and voice your opinion back or simply send them to spam and trash?

I spam/trash mine.

At this stage in my life, I have no time for, as they call it, “internet trolls”. People who make absurd and negative comments on MY blog. I am not the be-all, end-all in all things books nor life for that matter. I simply enjoy talking about books and sharing my thoughts. I don’t delete comments that disagree with me. I enjoy input, others’ opinions and bookish discussions but I do delete the same few who keep showing up spewing rude and ridiculous thoughts. Because guess what guys, it stings, and my overactive thoughts sometimes can’t let it go. I don’t want to get into an online debate sticking up for myself, especially with someone who doesn’t put themselves out there and hides behind anonymity. I’ve better things to do and to focus on.

I LOVED this post and response from Savidge Reads when he was attacked on Twitter. I don’t think I would be as smooth and if I did engage, I would be exhausted.

I’ve seen other online blogs/sites give warning that inappropriate comments will be deleted. It happened again recently when I posted that I thought The Girl on the Train wasn’t this years Gone my opinion. I don’t think they really read my review…I LIKED both books, in different ways, for what they were, but I didn’t see the comparison between the two. Such venom and anger. Jeesh! Maybe it was the author. 😉 But seriously, I have had a few repeat offenders on different posts and I just gave up trying to justify their thoughts. So in the trash they went. Maybe they’ll get the hint when they see their comments never showing up.

Here’s a great post originally posted on BlogHer but linked recently on Twitter by Andi at Estella’s Revenge about writing blog comments if you’re not sure what to write.

Honestly, I’ve sat on this post for weeks, again not sure of how it would be received and then something wonderful happened. Actually two things. Two podcasts. I love TED Radio Hour in which each podcast focuses on one topic and compiles several different TED talks into one. Guess which one gave me a little nudge to publish this post? It’s titled “Just A Little Nicer”  with Sally Kohn, Krista Tippett, Robert Wright, Karen Armstrong and Daniel Goleman about compassion and empathy. The podcast should be listened to by everyone in the human race. And then this one from Dear Sugar titled “How Do I Survive The Critics” with an appearance by George Saunders. After I listened to it a little voice in my head screamed “POST IT!”. There are so many wonderful points, humor and insight in both podcasts but my overall takeaway is (paraphrased of course):

  • It’s easier to be more compassionate and kind. It’s necessary for our health.
  • We have to validate and appreciate someone else’s experience even if it isn’t our own.
  • Karma, Karma, Karma.
  • Emotional Correctness vs. Political Correctness: It’s not what you say but how you say it.
  • Having a sense of humor and being able to laugh at yourself helps on all levels.
  • Constructive criticism can hurt but open yourself up to the meaning behind it. “Everyone doesn’t have to love you” – Cheryl Strayed
  • Consider the source. Don’t sweat it if it comes from someone you don’t value.
  • This is supposed to be enjoyable and fun. “Don’t let them get your sense of play”-George Saunders
  • Show up, put it out there…but be prepared because the world now owns it.

And so I’m not changing this blog or how I do reviews. I am going to continue to be kind and supportive to my fellow bloggers and engage in healthy debates over books and issues. If I really didn’t like a book it most likely won’t show up here, I just find that a waste of my time. I might still acknowledge it and point out why it didn’t work for me but there will be no “blasting of books” on this blog. If you’re looking for that or what to avoid, go to Goodreads and just read the 1 star reviews. If you have a negative comment about this blog, a post, how I write or about me, go ahead and leave it, but you’re wasting your time. Just because I’m nice, doesn’t mean I’m a pushover!

(photo credits: Google Search)

So again, what do you do with rude and crazy comments?

15 thoughts on “Leave A Comment Here…”Kindness Is Not Overrated”

  1. I mentor middle school students for an organization, and we teach these kids a simple, but powerful five words: I refuse to be offended. I wrote a book on a student being bullied and I chose to incorporate our five core values: sacrifice, integrity, responsibility, respect and courage. I believe what you say and what we say can literally change people’s lives just by being convicted on being nice. Never cower to what people say. Stand up for what you say. Thank you for your post.

  2. This is a lovely post. It depends I tend to post the comment and write a comment back as to why my opinion is different. There’s a comment currently lingering in my inbox that I need to address but I think it might offend other readers of my blog. There’s such a fine line between criticism and a personal attack!

    • Totally agree. I value people’s opinions and enjoy dissecting books but personal attacks that don’t even relate to the post are obnoxious. And much congrats on the Bloggie nomination!! Well deserved! 🙂

  3. Bravo 😀 It’s your blog and you can do whatever the heck you want with the comments you receive. Intelligent debate and constructive questions are one thing, mean comments are another.

    I was often accused of being too nice. You’re not alone. I haven’t heard that in a few years..hmm. Either I’ve changed my ways or people don’t care anymore 😉

    Keep doing what you’re doing!

  4. I’ve never had any mean comments. That makes me happy, but if i did get one that was deliberately snarky and mean spirited I’d delete. I only have time for people who are adding to the conversation. You can disagree with me, that’s fin, but be respectful.

  5. I’ve gotten nasty comments a couple of times. The first time I published it and got upset and cried. The commenter was mean, but at least she had a point. The next time it happened, it was some weirdo telling me that I just didn’t GET that Lolita was a beautiful love story and that I should never be allowed to review another book. (Lolita is NOT a beautiful love story, it’s pedophilia, so ewwww, Troll.) I just deleted that one. I mean, they misspelled a bunch of stuff and it was an old post. I figured the vitriol would do more good where nobody would ever see it :).

    • Yes, I believe that commenter on your Lolita post was definitely a weirdo/troll. Thankfully, it doesn’t happen often here, only a few times, but I agree with you-I’d rather just make it disappear and not have to share the junk with others.

  6. I think the only way you can be “too nice” is if you allow others to run you over, and I don’t get the impression your’e a rug to anyone. I think many people who utter the “too nice” comment are actually wishing they could be nicer so they didn’t pale in compare. Goodonya for staying true to who you are.

    As for comments, I’ve not been blogging long enough, nor do enough eyes fall on my words, to get any negative comments yet. My blog is visited mostly by friends, and though many of them are in the industry they are very kind and supportive. I’ve also met great people through Shannon/River City Reading, and they have been nothing but the same. Maybe that negative comment day is coming, but until them I’m enjoying the people I’m mixing with.

    I try to comment as much as I can, and to pick out something in particular I liked about a post. But sometimes it may be as simple as “thanks for writing this, it made me think.” I’m firmly in your camp of wanting to create a positive community (and that does not mean nothing contrary, but there is a way to express a contrary opinion that sparks a fun debate rather than hurts feelings).

    Thanks for this post!

    • Great points Lauren! What’s strange is that this is my 3rd year blogging and don’t have a huge number of followers, so I always find it amazing when new people find me. And when it’s someone new who decides to leave a weird or rude comment, I wonder why they even bothered? There are so many other sites to check out. 🙂

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