At what point do critical comments become bullying?

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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.

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Search terms that make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.

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I just read a short post by another blogger who wrote that in her search terms, she found her full (real) name followed by “bad parent.”

That’s pretty alarming and would suggest this blogger may be being stalked by someone she knows.   I’ve been lucky that way I guess, but I remember a few months ago, I did see a search term that said “Lucky Otter is an idiot and a psychopath.”   That made me sort of cringe a little inside.   I hate it when people hate me.   I have no idea who used a search term like that, nor do I want to know.   Probably someone I pissed off in a blog post.  Who cares?   Much more creepy than that was the time I found this in my list of terms:  “I want to f*** Lauren Bennett.” (That isn’t even my real name). This was followed by a few more words describing doing something that was even more unmentionable on a blog like this one. I bet I’m twice the age of whatever sociopathic basement dweller searched for this blog that way.

Most of my search terms are pretty boring.  So boring that I stopped making posts listing the “funny” search terms because there really aren’t any funny ones.  They’re all about as interesting as staring at a beige cinder block wall.