How to deal with criticism online

Fact: Everyone online has an opinion about everything.

How to deal with criticism on your blog _

Some of those folks are able to express their opinions in clear, constructive, kind ways. They’re able to have robust discussions with friends on social or in the comments section, and they understand that many issues have many sides so it’s easy to stay respectful of others since we’re all so different from one another.

Then there’s everyone else.

Seriously, though, trolls make up a small group. They’re just so LOUD. And they’re usually pretty good at isolating a personal issue and attacking, which can feel crushing… and raise our hackles.


Instead of fighting back, here are a handful of productive tips on how to deal with criticism online…

Take a few deep breaths.

Inhale through your nose and into your belly. Repeat several times, as many times as it takes for your blood to stop boiling. Then…

Re-read the comment. 

Hard truth: Sometimes there’s a grain of construction criticism or even, gasp, accuracy in the tough comment. Maybe the person’s intention isn’t to troll you at all. Maybe they’re trying to help you. Re-read the comment after your blood stops boiling and assess from an honest place.

Then, you have two options:

First, accept that there’s a nugget of truth in what the person is saying, despite perhaps missing the mark on tone. Thank them for taking the time to share their critique, then figure out how to change or improve upon their point.

Second, realize the person IS being a jerk, not helpful, just mean, or attacking you. If that’s the case, go back to those breathing exercises for a few…

Take action.

You can reply and defend yourself, thereby engaging the troll (aka “feeding” the troll), and keep the vitriol coming.

You can delete.

You can delete AND block the person.

Or, you can go with a combo and reply with an overabundance of generosity: “Hey, there. While I appreciate that you took the time to share your insights, your comment is {{fill in: mean, offensive, inappropriate, unhelpful, etc.}} and violates this website’s comment policy. I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt here and thinking maybe you hadn’t had your coffee yet, but if your further comments are in this same vein, I won’t hesitate to delete and block. Now, if you have something constructive to share on the topic at hand, please do! Otherwise, go get yourself that cuppa Joe!” 

Easy? Nope.

Worth it? Usually yes, though if the person was hateful, racist, aggressive, threatening, etc., go with the delete and block option, and don’t look back.

Otherwise, fight shittiness with kindess.

That’s my rule! At least when it comes to my tips on how to deal with criticism online!

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