At what point do critical comments become bullying?


As a person with Avoidant Personality Disorder, I’m not the type to readily confront others on their bad behavior, but at this point, I’ve gotten so fed up with one commenter I no longer care if what I say makes them mad. It appears that lately, this commenter has been criticizing every one of my posts, it seems, just to be able to criticize. This commenter and I have some serious disagreements about several issues related to the content of this blog and life in general, and that’s fine and dandy; I don’t expect or even want everyone to agree with me all the time. After all, my opinions are just opinions, and disagreements, if presented respectfully and in a way that doesn’t seem like spamming or bullying, can can lead to healthy debate.

But this commenter has reached a point where their snarkiness has become trollish and bordering on bullying. Not only that, but this commenter appears to ALWAYS be here, because they always seem to comment almost the minute I put up a new post and are usually one of the first to comment, if not THE first. Yet this person rarely if ever “Likes” anything I post (which is fine in itself, many people don’t use the Like button). But I don’t understand why, if this person dislikes what I have to say so much, they always seem to be here, watching and waiting. It’s creepy to be honest. I feel like I’m being stalked.

Not only is it creepy and hurtful, it’s also incredibly BORING and ANNOYING.

I have informed this person I am almost at the point of not approving any of their comments, because I’m just so damn sick of it. I HATE drama, including online drama, but this is just too much. I need to take action.

If you blog, how do you know if a commenter has crossed the line into trollishness?

The simple answer is: if you feel like your boundaries are being invaded. Here are some things to pay attention to:

1. Do you get a creepy, stalkerish feel from someone who frequents your blog?

2. Do they snark on or criticize almost every post?

3. If they run their own blog, do they post articles about your blog or about you that are excessive and/or critical?

4. Have other bloggers complained to you about that person or have they stopped coming to your blog because that person ran them off?

If any of these things are true for you they are red flags and you should listen to them. The same thing goes online as well as offline, and if someone is making your blogging life less fun and causing you undue stress, please listen to your instincts. There are basically two things you can do if this happens:

1. You can stop approving comments or block that person from commenting.

2. You can try to reason with the person and let them know why their behavior is bothersome to you.

First of all, try to determine if it’s just you overreacting. Sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re just reacting badly to someone disagreeing with you, but if others have complained, or they are leaving because of that person, or you just feel uncomfortable only with that one person, then it probably isn’t just you being over sensitive. If you’re like me and hate being harsh and like to give people the benefit of the doubt, you can try #2 first. But if the bad behavior continues and your warning seems to fall on deaf ears, then it’s time to take more drastic action. (I have already tried to reason with this person so that leaves me one choice).

At the end of the day, it’s YOUR blog, YOUR rules. If someone continually violates your rules or disrespects you or your other commenters, it’s time to enforce your rules.


29 thoughts on “At what point do critical comments become bullying?

  1. Don’t worry, Chica! I have unsubscribed from your blogs so I will not be tempted to comment. As a parting comment, it’s not my fault that you never let me know what you thought of my comments in the past. I thought we were engaging in intellectual debate. Be assured that the “bullying” and “trolling” will not continue.


  2. That sounds awful… It’s good that you’re standing up for yourself. Thank you for the tips on what you can do and the warning signs. I find it very difficult to stand up for myself as well, although it is easier when I do it afterwards.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Yeah me too. Sometimes that keeps overshadowing the relief. It can take a couple days before I can feel relief.

        I find it especially hard to stand up for myself on the moment when it’s happening, right there on the spot and face to face. I’ve been working on it really hard, so lately I’ve been (finally) able to ‘back out’ afterwards by sending a message. I know I should say it immediately, but at least it is progress.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I see stuff like this on so many blogs — one or two readers who truly seem to have nothing to do with their time other than read blogs they disagree with and then post derogatory (and often highly insulting) comments. I know some bloggers who just block anyone who annoys them, and at the other extreme I know some who will engage in long dialogues with their antagonists. Everyone has to do whatever works for him/her, and I really have no idea how I would handle it if it ever happened on my blog… guess I’ll find out when (or if) the time comes. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Unfortunately, on WP you can’t block, all you can do is not approve comments. I can’t honestly say this person was extremely abusive, but I found her comments continually condescending and undermining, and I just had enough. But yes, this goes on all the time, unfortunately. I don’t want to waste time arguing because I think it triggers people, especially on a blog like this one, where so many people have suffered abuse and are easily triggered by discord, even online.

      Liked by 2 people

      • You can’t block on WP? I thought you could. But you’re probably right. Too bad.

        Human beings really do have wildly varying tolerance levels for conflict and controversy and confrontation — some love it, some hate it, and most probably fall somewhere in between. But this is your space, and you have a right to set the level at a place that’s comfortable for you, and conducive to what you’re trying to accomplish. Good on you for standing up for yourself.

        Liked by 1 person

      • To block a commenter or even specific content:
        Admin : Settings : Discussion : Comment Blacklist
        (Right above the “Follow Comments” check box.)

        A comment that fits the Blacklist criteria will go to Spam. (Something to only use in extreme cases.)


  4. I think that its your blog and you have a right to set boundaries if you feel violated.

    I told you that I believe in the Fallen Angels. The Narcissist/Psychopaths who woke us up and brought us to the place we are today. They woke up us from our continued perception that we have to tolerate people who break our boundaries.

    I often feel like sleeping beauty who took a bit of the poison apple along time ago. The Prince (A Narc/Pyscho who is a Fallen Angel) also grew up suffering from unhealthy boundaries issues. The princes mother objectified him. Loved him with cold empathy only when he pleased her with her unreasonable and Insaine ideology of perfection.

    The Prince gives you a kiss (a love bomb) and it shockingly wakes you up from the spell of inner child Narcissistic abuse. Your under a spell and your living in a forest coldly asleep. Your blood had absorbed the poison apple.

    Then you wake up and recovery begins. This Fallen Angel/Prince taught you a lesson. The lesson is that you deserve to live life for you and you deserve friends, family and partners that love and respect you with healthy boundaries.

    You… Lucky… My friend have deep sincere empathy. Do not feel guilty for establishing your boundaries.

    *If I had time to write an article I'd write a Fallen Angel and a Sleeping Beauty article. Because I believe seeing the beauty within what the universe sends us. Its an enlightenment of our inner consciousness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel the same way about you, you have always been a beacon of light and one of the most supportive people I’ve met in the ACON community. I think you have a lot of empathy. I like your analogy of narcs to fallen angels. Indeed, they are. I would not be as strong as i’ve become were it not for them, so maybe they do serve some purpose (even if some of their traits have rubbed off on me). Read yesterday’s post about grounding yourself and the way trees adapt to harsh envronments and that makes them stronger and develop deep, deep roots.

      Liked by 1 person

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