Online Writing: How to Deal With a Rude Reader Comment

Interacting with readers has the potential to be one of the most rewarding parts of online writing. At some point, however, every writer has to deal with a rude reader comment or feedback. This kind of criticism can ruin your day, hurt your feelings and leave you wondering what you're supposed to do next. First of all, try not to take it personally. Every writer suffers through these types of comments. Next, consider different ways you can deal with the nasty comment, keeping in mind the image you want to portray by doing so.

Ignore it

You're not obligated to respond to every comment, so use your right to ignore rude remarks whenever you feel there's nothing you could say to better the situation. This is perfect for irrelevant personal insults and particularly mean-spirited jabs. Leaving the comment up means you won't be accused of "censoring" your readership, and not responding shows that you also deem the comment unworthy of a reply.

Add some sugar

When life gives you sour reader comments, make lemonade. This is effective for comments that are rude but at the same time argue a point that is relevant to the article or blog entry in question. Start with a quick "Thank you for reading," then concisely defend your point of view, making sure to back up your statements with any relevant sources. Keep it cool, sweet and classy, and the poster won't even know how to respond.

Throw it right back

This is one tactic with which you have to be careful. However, it can work for a personal blog, especially if you're fluent in the languages of humor and snarkiness. Take your rude reader comment and turn it into an opportunity to get some laughs and show off a quick wit. You can even devote an entire post to ripping the comment to shreds, as long as you're able to do it in a way that comes off sharp and funny, not bitter and irritable. Also, don't let arguing with a reader distract you so much that you lose valuable time you could spend on something more productive.

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