I was raised to look at the bright side and make lemonade – all that cliche stuff. I think we all know there are times we don’t feel chipper or cheerful and don’t want to be Polly Perky all the time. Though I’m generally an upbeat person, I didn’t realize the value of staying positive until I began blogging. As any blogger can tell you, if you’re going to do this for a while and run a popular blog, you’re going to take some hits. You’ll probably be insulted, have swipes directed at you in blog posts, and you may even be accused of silly things you don’t ever do.
So what do you do about it?
In short, nothing.
As someone who has been blogging for a decade now, I believe I have some wisdom to share. They were difficult lessons to learn, but I think I found the formula that works for me now.
Don’t Go on the Defensive
I can tell you that if someone attacks you or spreads rumors, the worst thing you can do is go on the defensive. Everything you say and do will be picked apart. The people who do the attacking will think every single word and phrase, no matter how innocent, is somehow directed at them. It will become nothing but a tit for tat free for all and your reputation might withstand some damage. The people who believe in you will always be there for you, and those who respect you and what you do will always ask for your side of a story and make an informed judgment. The people who don’t believe in you? Well, I’d like to say they don’t matter, but the truth is it hurts when you’re attacked, no matter who is doing the attacking. It’s best to remember that everything eventually blows over and people forgive and forget or move on. The people who really don’t like you, probably won’t ever like you and it’s best to let them have their rant.
The one thing I’ve been called out on the most is when I respond to attacks against me. The truth is, no one wants to get involved. The people who visit your blog don’t want to be drawn into a blog war. Let me rephrase that, with the exception of a few who enjoy a good train wreck, most of your community isn’t interested in who you get along or don’t get along with. They come to discuss the issues, not to see your latest fight. Retaliating and having back and forth bitchfests are immature and unprofessional and it’s a lesson I learned the hard way. No one is above reproach, not me and not the other guy. It takes two to tango. Retaliation is just an invitation to war.
The worst thing you can do after an attack is to fire off an angry post or round of tweets. It may feel good at first, but you’ll regret it later. Step away from the keyboard. Go for a walk, have a drink, spend time with your family and do your best to ignore the negativity. It hurts for sure, but when you let it consume you, that’s when you make everything personal and begin alienating your blog’s community. Plus when you fire back, people pick apart your words and take everything as a personal affront, even when it’s not. It’s not worth it. Ignore it. Things will eventually die down and you can get on with your life. If the other person continues the attacks, you’ll have to wonder why your business is more important than his. Use that to satisfy you rather than letting it eat you up inside.
Like Water Off a Duck’s Back
No one likes to be on the receiving end of negativity. If it happens, you have a couple of options. You can fire back, which hardly ever turns out well, or you can let it go.
What what you do? How do you or would you handle negativity directed your way?