A few weeks back, Kiesha wrote a stellar post on what to do when you think you've offended a blogger you respect. Reading that post got me thinking about all the ways we bloggers get offended by each other and just how harmful these upsets are to our blogging momentum.
The truth is, we all get bent out of shape by other bloggers now and again. It might be because:
- A blogger gives us less attention than they give bloggers with more subscribers or traffic.
- We send a pitch or a guest post to a blogger and don't get a response.
- A blogger writes a post that insults our values, beliefs, or opinions.
- We consistently comment on, link to, or tweet a blogger's posts, yet they never reciprocate.
- A blogger swipes a post idea we mentioned in a forum conversation or comment.
- We follow a favorite blogger on Twitter or friend them on Facebook, but they don't follow us back.
- A blogger makes negative remarks about us or our blog.
No, there's definitely not a shortage of feather-ruffling situations in the blogging world. The trouble is, every minute we spend ruminating about these offenses is a minute we could have spent writing brilliant content and connecting with our readers.
Still, our feelings are real, and denying them isn't a healthy option. So what's a boiling-over blogger to do?
Check out these tips for moving from peeved to peaceful:
Examine your motives. Why have you been commenting on, tweeting, or linking to this other blogger's posts? Is it because you value their content and feel your readers and followers will benefit from it or because you want to gain something from the blogger? Sometimes the quickest way to calm down is to see how shabby our own behavior looks when held up to the light.
Starve the trolls. Some bloggers will say or do anything to get attention and links, including talking trash about you or your blog. They're hoping you'll race over to their comment section or Twitter stream to defend yourself or write a rant post that will go viral and keep the situation alive. Engaging with these folks only prolongs and elevates things and keeps your anger smoldering. Take the high road and ignore childish antics. You'll calm down much faster, and ultimately, the blogger's negativity will define them and not you.
Assume nothing. Emails get lost, bloggers have eerily similar post ideas, and words and actions are often misinterpreted. Chill out by considering the real possibility that your assumptions about a blogger's behavior may be totally false.
Be a professional. Many of our peers are blogging to put food on the table. Their welfare depends on using their time wisely, which means they don't have time for a lot of personal interaction. Give your fellow blogger the same degree of respect you give your doctor or child's teacher. Looking at things from a professional perspective not only tames tempers-it boosts the level of respect you have for your own blogging activities.
Ditch the expectations. Other bloggers have a right to hold and express opinions vastly different from ours. They also have a right to like what they like, Tweet what they choose, and network with the bloggers of their choice. Remembering that you are not the boss of anyone but yourself takes the wind out of your anger's sails.
Stop the replay. There are times when the incident that offended us is minor, but we replay it in our heads so many times that it feels major. Even if another blogger hurt you with their words or behavior, you're the one hurting yourself now every time you rerun the incident in your mind. Stop replaying the 'victim tape' you'll immediately feel better.
Holding on to a blogging grudge ultimately hurts you, your readers, and your blog. Meanwhile, the target of your temper is likely unaware of or unconcerned with your displeasure. The next time your blogging nose gets knocked out of joint, take a minute to say, 'ouch,' and then try one of the above techniques for putting that nose back where it belongs-on your own blogging business!
Your turn: How do you handle your temper when you feel offended by another blogger?