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When our comments are being expressed on today’s ubiquitous public platforms, we must always watch what is being written. It never seems to fail, regardless of the content being discussed, that a handful of people will have negative opinions to share in response to the things that we write. If we are quick to assume the worst and quickly type out a harsh sentence, how are we positively contributing to the world around us? To be a gracious commenter means to speak words with a simple elegance that supports the prospect of a more hopeful online community. This doesn’t mean we should stay silent and not voice our opinion, but instead, when we do speak we speak graciously using words of encouragement.

If you don’t have anything nice to say, maybe you’re just not thinking hard enough. Here are a few ways to be mindful of how we share online:

Compliment or Constructively Criticize

What value will the reader gain from your response? Are you complimenting their efforts or providing constructive criticism to help them grow? If you are not doing either, is responding with a degrading comment really going to benefit either of you? Criticism can help others learn more about themselves when said and received with humble intent. 

Actions Have Effects

Remember that words have power, and think through the impression yours might leave on the person on the other side of the screen. Whether the comments are anonymous or not, when one receives a hateful remark it can hurt because when they read it, they don’t hear the writers voice, they hear their own. When you find yourself in the position of wanting to respond negatively to someone’s post, consider the reaction of the receiver. To be a gracious commenter, you must take pride in all that you share and consider how the other individual might react to your comment.

Now, when we receive negative comments, it can make us feel defensive, insecure and may be difficult to swallow. Here’s how to respond when life throws you bad reviews:

Dont Take it Personally

Rather than seeing negative comments as a personal attack, learn to take them as feedback from someone else’s point of view. However, if you feel the comment is purposefully degrading, try responding in a polite way to keep bitterness from rising up in your own heart. Remember, you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone. If you concentrate on finding the good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude.

Learn from Teachable Moments

Sometimes the easiest way to handle receiving a negative remark is when you are removed from the conversation. It’s simpler to see the faults of an issue when you are an uninvolved third party. Use real-life situations to compare and learn from. Examine how other people or organizations have faced negative comments and take note of what you liked about how it was handled and what you would do differently.

A gracious lady is one who is selfless and considerate of the world and the feelings of the people around her. To be gracious is to be someone who is humble and desires to praise others rather than deliberately seeking to embarrass them. The act of being a gracious commenter is about making a conscious choice; to embrace a character trait that is to be remembered, respected, and appreciated. By sharing positive voices, online communities might just be a happier place to share ideas, stories and opinions. Let’s work together to open more a optimistic dialogue between public platforms, strengthen healthier online relationships and share our opinions a little more graciously.

Image via wolfeyebrows


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  2. A very well-written reminder to us all that our actions AND words do have weight no matter how anonymous we may appear to be on the internet. Thank you for including both the active side of leaving a comment and the art of accepting comments for what they are. Well done!

  3. These are all good tips. I feel like sometimes people forget that the things they say on the internet have weight. So often I see people commenting things I doubt they would ever say to someone’s face or even on the phone. We have to remember that there are people behind the blogs and that for the most part we are all on the same team, attempting to achieve similar goals.

  4. I love this, it’s a great little reminder and a step toward a more positive community and a better world. Thank you for these words!

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