Why do people read (and comment on) blogs they don’t like?

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This is going to be a pretty short post.   Someone who I won’t name had been commenting frequently on my political posts, and their views are almost the polar opposite of mine.   I can’t say this person is exactly a troll, because their comments weren’t offensive or abusive enough to qualify as troll comments, but their views were certainly at odds with mine and he/she wasn’t always very nice about it either.

I asked this person why they were reading my blog since what I have to say seemed to anger them so much, but got no reply.    He/she would be silent for a few days, and then make another negative comment.

Now I get that not everyone is going to agree with me, and I don’t expect them to.   I wouldn’t even want everyone to agree with me 100% of the time, because that’s boring.   Healthy debate is good.   Different points of view can make you think in different ways and consider other points of view.  But this person wasn’t open to civilized debate and seemed to disagree with me about just about everything I said.

Today this individual said they were unsubscribing.  It didn’t hurt my feelings; my only reaction was, what made you wait so long?  It wasn’t as if there was any doubt about where I stand on certain issues.

I really wonder why some people waste their time reading blogs they disagree with or don’t like.  If they just HAVE to read blogs that make them angry (like the pleasure you get picking at a scab), why do they bother commenting?    I really don’t get that.   If I don’t like a blog, I don’t bother reading it.  There are so many other things I can do with my time that are more productive and give me more pleasure than making myself angry or upset reading a blog I hate.    There are so many good blogs out there that give me great pleasure to read, so why would I read one I dislike?

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That one annoying commenter you can’t get rid of.

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“Tiny Yapper” — Artwork by Mike Reed

We bloggers probably all have at least one of them.   You know, that one annoying person who seems to disagree with all your opinions and just wants to argue but can’t seem to stay away from your blog no matter how often they are shot down or ignored.

I’m not talking about trolls.   Trolls are abusive and nasty and sadistic.   They seem to get their jollies from angering and upsetting site owners and their readers with abusive, ad-hominem attacks and name-calling.  They can never back up their arguments.  They seem to exist just to upset others.

No, I’m talking about people who have vastly different opinions and beliefs than the prevailing opinions and beliefs on the blogs they read.   They don’t actually abuse, though they can be very sanctimonious and self-righteous. They waste their breath arguing with you and your like-minded commenters, and act as if we’re all wrong and only their belief system is the right one.

I have a commenter like this right now.    This individual is extremely annoying to me.  It’s not even because we have vastly different opinions about most things; it’s that this individual is so self-righteous and smug about it.    I could just delete their comments, but this person does have a right to their opinion, so I approve them anyway, as much as dislike most of them.   I don’t like this person though, so after posting one useless counter-argument, I refuse to engage this person further.   Now I just let the comments stand as they are, without further comment or engagement.  I think that’s more effective than arguing with someone whose mind probably can’t be changed because they’re so sure you’re wrong and they’re just trying to “save” you from your wrong thinking.    I just don’t feel like wasting my time.  I have better things to do.

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I thought my freezing them out might have made this person disappear, but no such luck.  They are still posting comments that seem intended to make me ragey, although I don’t express my annoyance.   This person seems completely oblivious that I’m giving them the cold shoulder by not Liking or commenting on any of their comments.

I don’t understand people like that.   Fine, I can understand a troll’s motives.  Sort of.  They are usually sociopaths and like to stir up trouble.   Upsetting people is entertainment to them. They get off on it.   But “that one commenter” isn’t a troll.  They believe what they are saying.  They are right. You are wrong.  Period.   They don’t name call or use ad hominem attacks.   They are just insufferably smug and self righteous about your wrongness and their rightness.

I don’t understand why someone like that would spend time writing comments on a blog whose prevailing views are so different than theirs.  Why not read blogs where most of the people there will agree with you?    It just seems like a huge waste of time to me.

If you blog, how do YOU handle these kinds of commenters?

Email and me.

email-delay

This isn’t really my philosophy, but I just liked the cartoon.

I have a terrible problem.   I am absolutely awful when it come to responding to emails.  I procrastinate forever.  So far this week, THREE people thought I was ignoring them or wasn’t interested in what they had to say, because they had sent several emails and I hadn’t responded.  (I finally did today and feel a lot better).

It’s true that I do get a lot of email, and can’t answer every one of them in a timely fashion.  It’s also true I get a lot of spam email and opening my in box and picking out the spam from the legit stuff can be a chore.   Maybe that’s part of the reason why I procrastinate.

Also, I was locked out of my email for three days last week and finally had to set a new password to get in.  Remembering passwords is something I will always be bad at, and for that reason I learned the hard way to never erase my entire history because that means I have to log into everything again and I always forget my passwords.  Even though I try to use the same password for every account I have (not recommended!), somehow there is still at least one account I can’t for the life of me remember the password for.  In fact, that’s how I got locked out of my email.  I erased my history and forgot my password!  😳

But I digress.  I suck at answering emails.  It’s not because I don’t like you, or have any beef with you, or because I’m not interested in what you have to say.   I’m just really bad with this particular method of communicating (phones are another — I can’t stand them) and I really have no idea why.  It’s not that much work to answer an email — it just seems so clunky and inefficient somehow.

Now, if you follow me on Twitter, I’ll probably talk to you so much you will get sick of me! I’m a Twitterholic.  I’ve had people actually unfollow me on Twitter because I talk too much there!  I know not everyone loves social media (and frankly, I hate most of it, especially Facebook), but I loooooovvve Twitter, so if you follow me there, I won’t be ignoring you.  If you want to talk privately, you can DM me.

Or just comment here — I try to reply to all my comments, or at least Like them so you know I read them, even if I have nothing new to add.   I also share all my posts to Twitter (they get auto-posted), so if you follow me there, you will never miss a new post.  My Twitter feed is in the sidebar, and you can just follow me from there too, if you already have an account.

Sh*t haters say.

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I have haters. I’m cool with that. As a person who was bullied a lot during my life I wasn’t always cool with it. I will never like being hated, but now I regard it as a hazard of the trade. If you blog, even if you blog about unicorns and rainbows, someone is going to hate you. I guess I’ve grown used to it. At one point I almost took my blog down because of the haters, but I’m so glad I didn’t. Continuing to write exactly what’s on my mind in spite of people sometimes disapproving of what I say or even hating me for it is good practice for worrying less about what people think of me overall. It just doesn’t matter.

Criticism isn’t the same as hate. I’ve had critical comments too, and some of them were perfectly justified (and where appropriate, I’ve apologized or admitted when I was wrong). Even where I had to defend my viewpoint and saw no need for apology or backpeddling, I realize people are going to disagree with you sometimes. They are entitled to their opinions and the right to express them. That doesn’t mean they’re bullies, trolls, or haters.

But some comments run into the trollish category. Comments become trollish when they become personal attacks or are based on lies. Here are some of gems I’ve run across during my two-year tenure as a blogger.   All are lies, or at least exaggerations. But now such comments are actually funny to me because of how clueless they are.

Enjoy!

“Yeah, she has a fuckton of followers, but none of them are friends. She doesn’t have friends, she has fans. She’s just collecting fans for the supply. They will drop her like a hot potato when they realize how phony everything she says is.”

I don’t care about having fans. I’m very close to my blogging friends and consider them to be as real as real-life friends. I care about them very much and feel like they care about me. Maybe you’re just jealous because my blog is more popular than yours.

“I think she is being paid off by people like Sam Vaknin because she quotes him so much. I bet she is giving him some favors on the side.”

Now this is funny. Sam stumbled on my blog and commented here about 5 times shortly after I started this blog and that lasted for about a month before he blocked me. As far as the second thing, are you serious and do you realize how stupid you sound?

“Lucky Otter is a sociopath.”

Smear campaign much?

“She was never abused. She was probably the abuser. She just tells that story to get more fans.”

Bullshit. And the “fans” again.

“There’s something seriously fucked up about someone whose son is a gay furry. She must have been a terrible mother.”

I’m proud of my son. In spite of having broken people as parents, he knows exactly who he is and is a lovely, intelligent person with a ton of empathy for others.  Do you even have children?   

“I’ve seen photos of stuff in her house, and she’s not poor like she says. She’s got a house full of antiques and is always going on vacation.”

Those “antiques” are things I picked up at Goodwill and yard sales for about three to six dollars each. I probably make less than you do, my income being at the official poverty level. I suppose driving on the Parkway (which is two miles from my house) a few times a year and taking pictures is a “vacation.” Alrighty, then.

“Her blog is monetized. She’s only in it for the money.”

I had the opportunity to make a little pocket change from the ads, which comes to about $40 a month. But I’d be doing this even if I had to pay to do it. If I can earn some money from it, I don’t see why I shouldn’t.

“She plagiarized my post!”

That is a lie. I LINKED to your post and quoted from it. And I promptly removed the offending post after you lost your shit over it. Most people would have LIKED the extra views that link would have brought them.

God, I love my haters.  They keep me entertained.

My worst blogging “sin.”

ohnonotagain

As a WordPress.com blogger, I’m proud to be part of a community of other great bloggers, some of whose experiences are so similar to my own.    I feel close with these bloggers and have come to care about their day to day struggles and their hopes and dreams, almost as much as I care about my own.   I have been inspired by their words and their ideas, have laughed with them, and sometimes, cried with them.

But I have a big problem and I feel terrible about it.    I’ve been really bad lately about following up on these bloggers’ posts and commenting as much as I could.   It’s not that I’m not interested, because I am, very much so.    But lately, life has been getting in the way.  I have been working longer hours than usual, and I come home from work exhausted and just wanting to crawl under the covers and sleep for days.   Of course, I don’t do that but sometimes I do take a nap for an hour or two.

Then, after eating a quick dinner and showering, I FINALLY get to sit down with my laptop to answer all my comments (I get quite a few so that takes a while and I like to try to answer all of them if I can), checking emails (I get a number of those too), and THEN trying to get in a new post or two on top of that, it’s already 10 or 11 at night (and sometimes later), and sleepiness is starting to take over.   Then I remember I have once again failed to check my friends’ blogs (I’m thinking of Rubycommenting, Katie’s Dream, and Prairie Girl’s blogs in particular because these wonderful ladies always comment on all my posts–if I’ve left out anyone else, I apologize for that), even though I had every intention of doing so.

I promised myself that tonight, I would definitely check these blogs for new posts and try to comment, but lo and behold, I got into an hour long phone conversation with my son about my plans to visit him next week, and now it’s 10:40 PM and I have no energy left to read anything else and I have to be up again at 6:30 AM.   So once again, my friends’ blogs have gone unvisited by me.

I hope my blogger friends will forgive me–I’m not ignoring your posts on purpose.  Tomorrow,  unless I am dead or in the hospital or abducted by aliens, I will be “driving by” your blogs and reading your posts and also commenting or at least Liking your posts so you know I actually read them.   So please ladies, be patient with me.  And thank you for all your comments here.  🙂

Replying to my haters.

I was browsing through some old posts, and found this one from almost a year and a half ago. I’m reblogging it because it makes me laugh. For that reason, I think it deserves to get another 15 minutes of Internet fame.

Lucky Otters Haven

love_my_haters

Not everyone likes this blog. I have a few haters. The following are not really troll comments (which I delete immediately or don’t approve) but criticisms of me and this blog. (A few do come close though).

It’s okay to have haters. All bloggers have them. All writers have them. I don’t expect everyone to agree with or understand my motives for having a blog like this. Having haters just means something you said pressed somebody’s buttons. It’s inevitable, especially when blogging about a controversial subject like narcissism instead of posting brownie recipes.

I decided rather than try to reply as these comments come along (which can disrupt the flow of a conversation), I would put them here in this one post. (I’ve been saving them to Wordpad). Obviously this blog isn’t for everyone. I am not identifying the handles of these commenters.

Fortunately, I have not received many of…

View original post 1,656 more words

I don’t know how they do it.

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There are so many great blogs I want to read and keep up with more than I do, but I spend so much time working on my own blog, and it’s so  hard to find enough time.    Bloggers who are far more popular than this one still manage to find time to read and Like their followers’ posts and even comment on them.    I probably have one tenth the activity they do, but it’s a real challenge keeping up.  I’m in awe of them.  How do they do it?

How to deal with haters and critics.

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I want to reblog this excellent article about how to deal with haters and critics.  Every blogger has them, especially if they write anything besides recipes or decorating ideas (and those bloggers probably have haters too).

I’m a people pleaser.  I hate being hated.   When I’m criticized, I clam up and shrink into the walls.  As a person who writes about sensitive topics,  I’ve occasionally had run ins with people who did not like what I had to say.   At one point I nearly stopped blogging because of my hurt feelings.  But why should I do that?  Why should I let one or two judgmental people intimidate me and silence me?  I’ve been silenced and intimidated all my life.  Writing about my feelings and making them public has been one of the most healing things I’ve ever done for myself.   How insane would I have to be to allow a few malcontents I’ve never met and know nothing about to silence me?  Pretty insane.  The only person who can silence me is me.

This quote in particular really stood out to me and from now on I’m going to think about this whenever I hesitate to post something I really want to post, just because someone out there might not like it:

Criticism and negativity from other people is like a wall. And if you focus on it, then you’ll run right into it. You’ll get blocked by negative emotions, anger, and self-doubt. Your mind will go where your attention is focused. Criticism and negativity don’t prevent you from reaching the finish line, but they can certainly distract you from it.

However, if you focus on the road in front of you and on moving forward, then you can safely speed past the walls and barriers that are nearby.

Haters and Critics: How to Deal with People Judging You and Your Work

By James Clear

It doesn’t matter how you choose to live your life — whether you build a business or work a corporate job; have children or choose not to have children; travel the world or live in the same town all of your life; go to the gym 5 times a week or sit on the couch every night — whatever you do, someone will judge you for it.

For one reason or another, someone will find a reason to project their insecurities, their negativity, and their fears onto you and your life, and you’ll have to deal with it.

With that in mind, let’s talk about being judged and criticized. And just for fun, I’ll share some of the most hateful comments I’ve received on my articles. And more importantly, the strategies I use to deal with them.

Here’s what I’ve learned about dealing with the people who judge you, your work, and your goals.

The Biggest Critic in Your Life

It’s easier to complain about the outside critics, but the biggest critic in your life usually lives between your own two ears. Working up the courage to move past your own vulnerability and uncertainty is often the greatest challenge you’ll face on the way to achieving your goals.

When I started my first business, it wasn’t the criticism from outsiders that held me back. It was my own mind worrying that people would think I was a loser because I skipped getting a “real job” to “start some website.” I didn’t tell most of my friends about what I was doing for almost a year because I was so worried about what they would think about it.

When I started writing, it wasn’t the hurtful comments from readers that prevented me from getting started. It was my own fears about what they would think if I wrote about the things I cared about. I wrote my ideas in a private document for a year before I worked up the courage to start sharing them publicly.

Those are just two examples of the types of internal fears and criticism that so often prevent us from getting started on our goals. It can take a lifetime to learn that just because people criticize you doesn’t mean they really care about your choice to do something different. Usually, the haters simply criticize and move on. And that means that you can safely ignore them and continue doing your thing.

But that is easier said than done because we all like to be validated. Some people like it more than others, but everyone wants to be respected and appreciated to some degree. I certainly do. I know that whenever I choose to take a risk and share my work with the world, I wonder about what my friends will think, what my family will think, and how the people around me will see me because of that choice. Will this help my reputation? Will this hurt my reputation? Should I even be worrying about my reputation?

Especially with writing, these questions created an internal struggle for me.

On one hand, I believed in myself and I knew that I wanted to contribute something to the world around me. But on the other hand, I was scared that people wouldn’t approve of my work and would criticize me when I started sharing the things I cared about or believed.

I’ve written previously about the challenge of putting yourself out there by saying, “You can either be judged because you created something or ignored because you left your greatness inside of you.”

Eventually, I decided that it was more important to contribute something to the world than it was to protect myself from criticism.

Read the rest of this article here.

Being firm with spammers.

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Yesterday I had a new commenter who I must have hit a nerve with one of my posts. Some of you probably know what I’m talking about. He or she comments IN ALL CAPS, says their keyboard is stuck but I don’t believe it. This person proceeded to comment all day, saying pretty much the same thing over and over. The comments were poorly written and made little sense. He or she implied that I was stupid because I didn’t understand what they were saying. I doubt anyone else did, though.

Now I’m a pretty tolerant person, and usually allow comments that don’t agree with my posts, even to the point where the comments become trollish. I find it hard to say “NO” and not approve or delete comments that constitute as troll posts or spam. Setting good boundaries has always been a problem for me. But at this point, I feel like this site is being violated, and these continuous unreadable comments are flooding my inbox and this blog.

For awhile I stopped replying or “Liking” these nonstop comments but continued to approve them (“don’t feed the trolls”), but that didn’t stop them from coming. Whoever this is seems to be on some sort of crusade–for what, I’m not sure. It doesn’t matter. I had about eight more of these comments waiting for me this morning. Finally I replied saying that if they continued I was going to have to delete them, because they are distracting to the main content of this board and could run off my regular readers.

I apologize to the rest of my visitors who may have been put off by this spammer or afraid to comment themselves. I need to work on setting firmer boundaries, and I’m starting right here, right now. NO MORE OF THESE ALL CAPS SPAM COMMENTS will be approved. To you, SPAMMER, go spew your badly written vitriol somewhere else.

Question about comments.

I hope another blogger can help me with this problem.

I have my blog set up to disallow comments on posts older than six months, but I regularly get new comments on posts much older than six months old, sometimes over a year old! I checked my configuration and I definitely have comments disabled for posts older than six months, so I’m not sure what the problem is.

I hope I don’t have to go back to the beginning of this blog and disable comments manually for every post! That would take way more time than I’m willing to spend on it.

Has anyone else had this problem and how did you solve it?

UPDATE: The box wasn’t checked. Oops.  I’ll see if that works.  Comments should be closed  for any posts older than 120 days (4 months)