One of the great dynamics of blogs is the ability for people to leave comments. Comments are a great place for people to agree with what you have written, but also a great place for people to disagree or to share a different viewpoint.
I’ve noticed an interesting thing, and that is that most bloggers fall into one of two camps:
- They agree with whatever the commenter said or
- Never admit that they may not have been 100% right in what they wrote.
As is true with many things in life, the key to this is balance. If we as bloggers agree with every comment left on our blogs, we’re not really engaging and benefiting from the synergy that comes from truly discussing a topic honestly.
On the other hand, there are bloggers who never admit that an element of what they wrote was wrong, and in my opinion, that is even more troubling.
Criticism or disagreement is never easy, but one thing I’ve learned is that if a person disagrees with me, there is probably at the very least a kernel of truth in what they wrote, and I can learn from it and grow as a result of it – even if most of what they wrote was “wrong.”
I still have a long way to go with this, but here’s what I’m trying to implement in my blog and other aspects of my life:
- Don’t take disagreement with a blog post as a personal attack. Just because someone disagrees with you, doesn’t mean they hate you or think of you in a negative way. It just means they disagree, plain and simple.
- Look for the kernel of truth in what they wrote. Even if you have a sharp reaction against what they wrote, if you can separate your feelings from it for just a moment, you will likely see that what they wrote in their blog comment contains at least some truth.
- Acknowledge where you were wrong. This doesn’t mean you have to agree completely and it doesn’t mean you have to kiss up to them. All it means is that you are acknowledging that you hadn’t looked at it that way before, and they are right, in at least certain areas.
- Be honest about where you disagree. After acknowledging your agreement with the kernel of truth that they presented, it’s fine and even healthy to stand for what you feel the most strongly about. This helps keep you from simply agreeing with every single blog comment, just for the sake of agreement.
One of the greatest life skills we can learn is humility. Humility is not the same as low self esteem, and in fact, generally speaking, the need to be right all the time that some bloggers seem to have is often an indicator that they aren’t as secure as they make themselves out to be.
I’m still growing when it comes to blogging authentically, and responding with both boldness and humility to blog comments that don’t agree with me, but I am growing, and know that this is a process of growth that will continue for a long time.
How do you handle it when people disagree with your blog posts? Do you find it difficult to find the kernel of truth in what they wrote? On the flip side, how do feel when you write a thoughtful comment, disagreeing with something a blogger has written, only to have it ignored or shot down completely? I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you feel about this from both sides of the coin.