Blog comments – do you take them personally?

This is just a quickie while I wait on hold with the IRS. My workdays are just so interesting lately.

Anyway, I was scanning through blogs I read regularly and have noted this trend where bloggers get opinions that are critical or different than their (the blog writer’s) solutions and their feelings get hurt. I read the comments and do not see much to take personally – people have different opinions and experiences and reality is there are few one-size-fits-all solutions for day-to-day issues we each face. My imperfect self appreciates the differing perspectives and if I disagree I disagree. No harm, no foul, no need to take a blogging break, or to take my blog private. Maybe there are unpublished comments that are really mean? Use the delete button and forget it?

It’s funny that I say that, because I do not have a particularly thick skin and an real anxiety when I started blogging was whether or not I could handle critical commentary. I do take comments personally in some ways – I was moved to tears this morning when reading the kind, supportive, and practical comments on last night’s post about my job – but even if every single one had said “suck it up and deal” I would have taken it to heart long enough to examine my behaviors, reactions, and solutions. This outlet is priceless to me, and if there are mean people commenting they are entitled to their opinions just as I am entitled to not publish them.

This is an ongoing curiousity for me. I hope I never attract haters that make me feel really bad, but then again, the blogs where I have seen this phenomenon I did not find the published comments offensive or even that critical.

27 thoughts on “Blog comments – do you take them personally?

  1. When someone can hide behind a computer screen, it’s easy to be rude. I do think that some comments are down right mean and unwarranted but other times the blogger can’t handle anything that is against what they believe. That’s probably the hardest part. For those blogs I normally don’t comment because it’s a waste of my time and I don’t like being called mean when my heart was in the right place when giving advice.

    • Agreed, Kay. I have given up commenting on many blogs I randomly follow for that precise reason. I am never intentionally mean – simply not my style – but to comment disingenuously seems far worse.

  2. I was called out on a blog recently. Why tell everyone you need to buckle down and pay off debt and then go a buy a rv, remodel your kitchen, buy a car. Best part was she got mad, stopped comments, and said unless we had the type of car, went rving, or fixed up your home like her we didn’t understand. Oh I understand, you enjoy getting a reaction from other’s, then cry when confronted. Cheryl

    • I think we are reading many of the same blogs, because I know precisely who and what you are talking about and its one of a couple I have noted recently. It’s their money, spend it however you see fit, but please don’t whine about how much you owe and continue to make big purchases. Money and time are finite resources. If you have big goals, you need concrete plans to make them happen. I did not read a single mean or inappropriate comment, but you would think we said terribly personal, hurtful things the way she reacted. Oh please – grow up! I’m voting her off the blog island and not visiting again even if she returns.

  3. I have no problem getting different opinions from commenters – it’s when they get nasty and rude that I take it personally and take offense. There is no need for that at all. I know which blog Cheryl is referring to and I don’t recall seeing any comments that were rude at all. I think most people were just trying to understand where she was coming from and she took offense to that. I’m currently reading another blog with a similar situation going on, as far as commenters not agreeing with her choices in a particular situation. It would seem that if just about everyone that is commenting think you are making a mistake – odds are good that you are, LOL.

    • Me too! That was one of the ones I was thinking about, because while I don’t remember her actually replying to my comment, I was trying to understand how debt and reitrement savings fit into the instant gratification process she was going through. Honestly, I don’t care how you spend your money; personal finance is just that, personal. But please do not whine about having debt and dreaming about a big future that does not seem particularly realistic or possible based on your spending/savings habits. From the comments I read, that was the whole point – you have finite resources and only so much time to save for retirement, kids’ college, etc., etc., etc. There was nothing mean or rude said that I saw.

      • there is another blog, that I realized I have read for several years now. I just seem to pop in on her blog every so often – just to see if she has ever made ANY progress….it’s constant posts about goals and getting out of debt and absolutely nothing has changed ever. There was one point where she finally made a big life change, and I thought “Ok, this is what she needed, now she can get on track” but, nothing changed. I think the only reason I keep popping back in to read, is just to see if she actually makes headway one of these days. LOL. I don’t think I’ve ever left a comment on her blog – it’s just too hard to be supportive when it’s been years of exactly the same thing, round and round, over and over.

      • I am quite sure I know which one you’re speaking of, and it’s sort of a frustrating read. I gave up awhile back, yet I too still check in periodically to see if the trainwreck is any closer to be cleared from the tracks. Nope, not yet.

  4. I do try to leave constructive comments for bloggers who seem to struggle with debt. As I’ve dug out from that hole and am standing on the mountain now, I like to think that my 20/20 hindsight might possibly help them view their struggles from a new POV.

    I don’t think I am “better” them anyone else but having fought and won many battles with spending/saving maybe something I can impart might have a positive impact on their journey. I may be older, may have survived stuff they are experiencing now so I might have some good ideas so why not share, right?

    It’s all said from a place of love and caring because I truly want them to succeed with their money/life. There are a few bloggers who reacted negatively to my comments in the last year so I’ve been more reticent to speak up anymore.

    From my experience in the past with leaving critical comments on blogs most bloggers don’t want to hear it or take it personally when it’s not meant to be. And some bloggers have a very thin skin and really shouldn’t put stuff out there if they can’t take the criticism because you KNOW it will come…..

    • What I am discovering about getting older is to choose my words carefully and be mindful of what I say, how I say it. I like how you put it about debt – digging out from the hole and now standing on the mountain – but I guess there are those who blog just for the gratification of sharing and not wanting to hear/face the reality of their choices. I am relearning to vote with my time and not visit anymore where constructive discussion is discouraged.

    • *laugh* Exactly! I also realize that I can be ridiculously stupid when I am writing about something that happened (arguing with M about a shower curtain? REALLY?) and how silly I am for taking it all so seriously.

  5. I take to heart all the comments my readers leave…I feel like if I am putting myself out there, then I am soliciting your opinions as well. Only if a comment is particularly mean or hurtful do I delete it, but I don’t usually engage in a debate that isn’t worth the fight.
    I find I get the best advice on the blog and I feel people need to remain very open minded that it is a public forum…so you may not always like what you hear.

    • Exactly. I try to embrace a similar attitude, sometimes with some pouting. The different perspectives and experiences can certainly do a lot to blow out the cobwebs and fog in my own thinking.

  6. I deliberately wrote in early posts that I welcome debate and I like it when people call me out on things when they think I’m full of shit. If I say “oh I’m never going to do X” and then I do X and deny it…I’d rather someone say “hey Ann, this is what I’m seeing can you help me understand?”

    I like to debate and really appreciate the different perspectives because it often helps me look at things an alternate way. Even if I think about it and then say – hmmm no, not quite. Sometimes it means I haven’t articulated things the way I really wanted to. Often it leads to a subsequent post to try to explain something further (which is about to happen with my latest Fox post).

    The vast majority of people are fine in their comments. Sometimes people obviously have not read any of my other stuff, and I might roll my eyes at the comment but don’t take it personally.

    I think it’s only happened with one blogger where he personally attacked me based on something I had written. I left it all up there and other readers actually jumped in on my behalf. We don’t talk anymore, which is too bad… but at least it hasn’t happened all that often.

    I am pretty careful on the blogs I comment on, however, as I tend to be pretty straightforward and not everyone wants to hear it.

    • I think this is one (of many) reasons for the success of your blog. You’re direct. You don’t shy away from disagreements and are willing to admit when you err. I love it when people are straightforward, even when I don’t want to hear it, because typically they are seeing things differently from the place of their own experience. I hate the absolute polarization that dominates headlines these days and the way it stifles disagreement and anything that tries for critical thinkings is labeled as criticism. That’s a broad generalization, I admit, but it’s just so frustrating. In blogs and blogging it’s your site, do what you wish, but please act like a grown up and at least try to understand that most comments are simply different opinions, not personal attacks.

      • Thank you Janelle. Sometimes I read other peoples beautiful and lyrical writing and wish I had the capability to write like that. But I just don’t – nor do I, if I’m being honest, have the interest.

        I find it ironic that there are people who blog who don’t seem all that interested in self-examination. It’s at least not why I blog and admittedly when faced with people who are obstinant in their willingness to be open, honest, and vulnerable… I’m less interested in what they have to say.

  7. I think the contradictions some bloggers make drives me the craziest. It’s one thing to change your mind (I know I do) but it’s another when it’s every couple posts. I’m going to do x, no I’m going to do y, oh no I’m going to do x again. I get that you live and you learn but at some point you have to wake up and see the holding pattern you are in.
    P.S. That really sucks about our job. I have no advice but I hope it works out for the best for you. Also, I like the honesty of your blog and not caring if people judge you.

    • Thanks, Kay. Things will work themselves out with the job, but how much I suffer in the interim is still up for debate.
      If people judge – and they are going to – I’d rather they see me in all my flawed reality than in some cardboard cutout of me. I change my mind constantly, and I’m okay with that. I change my mind for good reasons, bad reasons, because I’m weak and cave, or because I’m strong and can admit a mistake, and everything else in between. I am forthrightly honest about it and own my wishy-washiness when it hapens. I always hope to never make the same mistake twice, but there are a few I have enjoyed so much I have made them multiple times. Such is the way with life and blogging. Sometimes we think we are ready to do the work to achieve the goal, only to realize that the work is a lot harder than anticipated. So change of direction, then guilt, then change back … and on and on and on. It’s get tiresome to read.
      Thanks as always for reading and commenting, Kay.

  8. Well we all seem to read the same blogs! I usually don’t comment on the personal finance blogs until I have seen how they react to comments and then usually don’t comment period. The gap between what they say they want and what they do – and how no one understands them or they get defensive etc – drives me nuts. It is your money, your family, your debt – just own that these are your choices too – no one makes you buy anything. If giving up things you loved is too much of a sacrifice that is ok – but be responsible for the choices you make. No we won’t understand them because all we know is what they have shared in the past which is never everything (and could never be everything). Most “mean” comments usually just point out the inconsistency – and the truly mean ones should just be deleted. A price you pay for public sharing.

    • It’s rather sad the state of affairs. I rather like this realm of sharing, because I’m exposed to a lot of different ideas and things I had not considered. I also know for me personally, knowing others share my struggles and understand how difficult it can be, yet are still willing to give me a boot when needed keeps me going forward.

  9. Where I have a blog that discusses personal finance, I welcome different points of view because we all have a lot to learn from one another. I think once you decide to blog and put yourself out there you, open yourself up to those “unprofessional” individuals who like to make an a** out of themselves. I will post those comments also. I plan on keeping the comments active and as long as I blog and the only comments I plan on deleting are the ones that are threatening others or harassing.

    • You know, it’s been quite awhile since we have had anything but mortgage debt, yet I still read PF blogs and getting out of debt blogs because it reminds me of where I was and how slippery that slope if you do not watch your footing. I don’t feel superior to anyone, and I am all too familiar how my own spending addiction could easily become A Very Big Thing in our lives once again if I don’t keep myself in check. I pray that someone will call me on it if I start getting too free and easy with my credit cards, paying interest again, signing up for loans based on the low monthly payment. Been there, done that, bought and shredded the t-shirt, do not want to revisit that unhappy period.

      • That is really great to hear! It is a smart move to stay ahead of it! I really enjoy reading your blog! It’s a nice escape from the PF world! ☺

      • Why thank you! I have actually referred a couple of my friends over to yours as well, because I think the more compassionate, sensible people talking about handling thorny financial problems the better.

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