Wondering how to respond to negative comments? If you are online, you are going to deal with negativity. Just read the comments section of any newspaper article and you will see just have prevalent this negative attitude can be. Luckily for most bloggers, the negativity tends to stay with news websites, but even if you don’t court drama, eventually it will come to your blog.
When you get that first negative comment, you are going to experience a lot of emotions. Anger, offense, hurt, confusion. Also common is feeling the need to justify, argue, defend, and explain yourself. But rather than acting on any of these emotions, you should instead take the following steps.
First, if you are on that emotional roller coaster, step away. Do what you need to do to calm down so you can give your response, if you choose to offer one, the thought is deserves.
Next, do a close reading of the comment, ensuring you fully understand what the reader was trying to communicate. As we all know, things like tone and emphasis are lost when communicating via text, and you do not want to escalate things over a misunderstanding.
Then try to understand their point of view. While it may differ from yours, that doesn’t necessarily make it wrong. If you are going to salvage this and keep the reader on your side despite the disagreement, you need to put your empathy to work.
Consider that perhaps you were wrong. It is difficult to admit that we can get it wrong, especially on a forum as public yet personal as a blog. However, with some reflection, you might discover that the truth is you didn’t get it right this time.
Keep in mind that this advice really only applies to comments that are negative but not aggressive. If a reader comments in a manner that is rude, aggressive, or threatening, responding isn’t going to be in your best interests. Instead, ignore and consider deleting the comment. It is one thing to engage with readers who have a negative response, but it is another to fight with an online bully.