1. Remember that you most likely don’t like everyone, and not everyone will like you
It’s a tough pill to swallow sometimes, but you can’t please them all. Now that doesn’t mean that people need to make it well-known to the entire world that you aren’t exactly their cup of tea, but it is the truth. You are bound to make some enemies on the journey through life even if it was never your intention. People should have better things to do with their time than leave rude remarks about you on the Internet, but sometimes they don’t. Just remember that it’s their problem, not yours.
2. Fight the odds of the negative overruling the positive
Sometimes (okay, most of the time) when something negative happens, it’s only a matter of moments before it seems like nothing positive happened before that point from it. All of the good things that were associated to that part of your life rush out like a flood, leaving behind only the footprints of a negative action or word. Suddenly we forget why we were doing it in the first place and we think that it’s only created a negative response, ready to throw away all of our hard work. Don’t let this happen. Not just in blogging, but in life in general. When something negative happens, remind yourself of the positive things. Even if it’s like pulling teeth to dig through the bad to find the good. Most likely, if you were doing something, you probably had a good reason for it. So remind yourself of that reason and any other good reasons associated with it. Remind yourself that it’s just one negative thing compared to however many positive things have already happened with it. And if you struggle when you’re faced with those negative moments, write the list out ahead of time. Take the things you love in life and write down why you love them, keeping those lists for the moments when you’re considering throwing it all away.
3. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything (out loud at least)
A lot of people I know think I don’t get upset about anything. They think I’m the calmest, most laid back person alive, never letting anything get under my skin. And while I’d love for that to be true, it’s not. I just have a hard time saying mean things to people because I know I’m likely to regret them. So I don’t say them. At least not out loud. I’ve had my share of unsent letters, written with the meanest words I know. I’ve said things to my husband in a venting session that I would be ashamed to hear myself say at any other moment in time. But it works for me. I constructively get my rage/grudge off my chest and forget it ever happened when I can no longer utter the cruel words that so wished to shout when I was first hurt. I allow myself this time to get it out of my system, knowing that once it’s done, I need to move forward from the situation. And it works for me. So figure out a constructive way for you to get it all out in a way that isn’t going to leave you regretting your words or your actions and move on. But whatever you do, don’t just hold it in. It will never have a place to go and will someday come back to do just the opposite of what you’re trying to do – come out in a negative manner, making you no better than the person that upset you in the first place.
4. Sometimes it’s truly just them and not you
Blogs are such an interesting aspect of life. I for one, am relatively open on my blog but if I were to meet you on the street I would be so quiet and reserved you’d hardly know I was there. The Internet provides something for me to essentially hide behind and feel comfortable baring my soul to the world. But for some, it provides something to hide behind and say things, rude things, without the consequences that life outside of the Internet brings. Anonymity lets people do, and say, a lot of things that aren’t necessarily right which means that it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s directly linked to you when you somehow step into their line of fire. Maybe they’ve had a bad day, or maybe their anger is directly related to something much deeper than the words or actions that fell upon you. You will most likely never know so it’s important to not waste your time trying to figure it out and instead focus on making sure you’re happy, never letting someone who isn’t worth your time of day take that away from you.
5. Approach everything with an open mind
Easier said than done, I know. Especially when it’s pretty clear that the people around you aren’t doing it. But it’s worth it, I promise. Wording is everything on the Internet. It is SO easy for miscommunications without the ability to understand facial expressions or body language no matter how many emoticons or LOLs are thrown into a conversation. Remember this when you’re writing, and remember it when you’re reading. Write without alienating your audience and read without judging the writer. Try to focus on the intention of what’s being said as it’s not always in line with what’s being said or done. If the intention seems rude, then so be it. Leave it alone. There’s not much more you can do other than frustrate yourself trying to remedy a situation that is not your problem.
The How-To/5 Tips is a weekly series, dedicated to answering some of the most popular questions I’ve been asked through consulting and on my blog. Want tips on something similar in nature? Or maybe you want more personalized advice? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.