Expressing yourself in a blog or comment

There are many topics I would love to write about.
The “touchy” topics.
My look on Feminism. Religion. Voting. Mental Health.

But I am scared.
I have not always experienced the most pleasant comments.

The blog I wrote about Guilt comes to mind.
I describe how I was raised up as a Catholic but sometimes all the religion make me feel bad, scared even.
I felt guilty all the time.

I wasn’t searching for advice, or anything other than you sharing your own experience.
Certainly not a comment like:

“I don’t like pity parties. Eventually we all have to suck it up, grow up and move on”.

Both when you write your blog and comment, you have to be a little more emphatic with the audience or writer of the post.
I see self expression in three levels: Experience, Opinion and Advice.


Experience

Experience is my personal favorite to write.
It are simply facts.
It might not be the same fact for everyone, but it are YOUR facts.

And nobody has the right to judge you on that, because they don’t know the entire background story.
There might be 5 other reason why you are being more sensitive than someone else would be in a certain situation.

Opinion

A little more sensitive to write about.
I have seen many people who don’t know how to give their opinion.
The other day I discussed voting with someone.
They shouted: “If you don’t vote, you’re not allowed to complain!”.

I don’t agree with that statement anyhow, but the way they say it just made me angry!
Had they included something simple like “I think” or “In my opinion” I’d be more understanding.

Advice

Has anyone ever given you advice in the comments that you didn’t ask for?
Wasn’t that a very annoying situation?

People often think they know better.
I recognised this in my post Mental vs. Physical illness.

I expressed that sometimes I wish a physical ilness instead of all the mental load I feel on a daily basis.

I could have expected the “You don’t what you’re talking about” comments.

But do they?

I’d invite everyone to live my life, but start from where I began. Not just continue at the point where I achieved a lot already.

Have you ever been careful with how you write certain topics?

Have you experienced the “nasty ” comments?

48 thoughts on “Expressing yourself in a blog or comment

  1. write whatever you want to express yourself. I get the Catholic guilt but I’m pretty sure God will understand. as far as everyone else goes, tell them to push off if they don’t like what you have written. there’s naysayers everywhere and the best way that I know how to deal with them is to simply ignore them if they want to be rude.

  2. I avoid certain topics as well! I think the only time I got a crummy comment though, was on a short video I posted of me riding my bike with my son. He had a helmet on and I did not. We live at the beach, on an island for goodness sakes, and everyone rides beach cruisers everywhere. I got berated for not setting a good example and “putting our lives in danger” by using my phone while I was on my bicycle. It was a vey long and angry and ridiculous comment.

  3. I hate to see you scared to write, because your posts are just a pleasure to read. There is so much variety between them. You never get bored. Yes, some topics are more serious than others, but that is life. It’s not all just sunshine and rainbows. We can’t (shouldn’t?) just sit around in a circle braiding each other’s hair.

    In the beginning of my blogging, I was a bit apprehensive about writing about the things I wrote about, but I didn’t have a big audience, so I had nothing to lose. I feared for nasty comments, but they didn’t really come.
    Then, my blog started evolving (more followers, etc.), and I felt more free. There were people who wanted to read my stuff, so I wrote what I thought. And then people started disagreeing with me. But that is what I wanted. I WANTED discussions. So that’s all good.
    Around my 1 year of blogging mark is when the comments started being hit and miss (this is still a rather small percentage of overall comments). Some people take things out of context. Some nitpick without seeing the big picture. Some people get upset and tell me what I shouldn’t say or do because of x,y,z.
    That;s the nature of free for all comment section. And while I can frown at a comment or two every now and again, I’m ok with it. Free speech.

    Oh, but I do consider the topics I write about recently. I’ve been experimenting with different genres and what works for other bloggers might not work for me. So while I try to be diverse in my writing, I am aware of a box I am thrown into here on WP.

  4. If people are unpleasant it means you’ve touched a nerve. I don’t see that as a bad thing, they reacted to you. The fact that they couldn’t react with reason and decorum says more about them than it does about you! We write to get a reaction, sometimes it won’t be favorable and that’s okay. You never have to tolerate nastiness though.

  5. I know that my blog is not everyone’s cup o tea. I am fine with that. I have been slandered on my blog, but in a sense that is why I began to write. Not because I enjoy being disparaged, but because I think people are fed up and everyone needs an outlet.

    Don’t be afraid to write about what you want Andrea. Write whatever you want.

  6. I receive nasty comments sometimes on my Facebook page. It’s easier to share things there that you have an opinion on. I’m like you, I want to talk about the personal stuff but people are very sensitive nowadays and I want to be as fair as I can. I just think we should have certain discussions and I don’t want to push anyone or make them uncomfortable but I think if we talk about things more often people would be more aware of different ways of thinking.

  7. Oh man! There are definitely those types and environmentalists who can really annoy me. Please, like they do everything perfectly. Sometimes I feel like you are not allowed to be human anymore! 🙄

  8. I haven’t been in your shoes where I had to face aggressive or judgmental comments. But I totally get what you are saying. A blog is not a newspaper, it’s your opinion, and your are entitled to express your opinion. We do need to learn and teach each other the art of expressing our opinions in comments so as to not hurt and offend !

  9. I write a lot, primarily because I teach 3 bible studies a week, preach once or twice, and journal my devotions, trying to condense them into a lesson for the day.
    One thing I have found, I can’t avoid certain issues, but I do need to write about them in a way that I can get past the defenses many people put up, to get what I am saying ot be considered by their heart and soul. (this, oddly enough is harder for those who see themselves devout as opposed to those who don’t believe/depend on God)
    As to comments, well those are few and far between – and mostly generic…

  10. And that’s all I had to say 😉 nah, pressed reply too fast.

    I like disagreements too, but a statemenys without background or experience story don’t mean much to me. Or without empathy for my experience!

    Freedom of speech. Another topic I have an opinion about.
    Maybe for another blog 😉

    I like bloggers who vary topics. That’s why I like yours and am against niches.
    But I don’t find many of those.

    I remember the blog I wrote about selflove. Most people write about how to improve it. I wrote that I already had it. Then someone questions “are you sure”?
    Better not comment at all next time. Just hit like and leave.

  11. Coffee might not be everyone’s cup of tea 😉
    Joking aside, I do think your audience doesn’t consist of softies.

    I agree with “write what ever you want” for everyone, but sometimes people need to consider how they write it.

  12. Ugh social media and nasty comments go hand in hand.
    I tried Reddit for a while. Terrible, toxic environment.

    I often times think just to post a disclaimer. If that topic isn’t for some people, they might as well skip it.

  13. Yeah disclaimers are so needed now. It sucks when you can’t speak your mind and let people know how you’re feeling without someone getting angry and making you regret sharing. You’re not trying to call people out, you’re just trying to bring attention to something that bothers you.

  14. I love that you are talking about this Andrea! Yes I have received comments that were hard for me to read. So far it’s been mostly on my muckraking post about the school I worked at. When they came in I celebrated with my husband. I said, it wouldn’t be true muckraking if I didn’t get comments like this. Raking up muck typically unearths a lot of worms… and other unpleasant grubs. I did not approve every comment, however. Primarily because I believed that six comments that came in within 5 hours were all written by the same person, likely an admin if not the founder herself, and totally fabricated.

    I had a hard time not approving comments, because I don’t agree with censorship, on principal. However I had to make an exception for this.

    I would like to quote here the founder and manager of the truly useful Writing Support for Bloggers FB group I am a part of.

    “Censoring comments can be difficult, and feel like you’re being unfair. But your blog, your rules! You really do have every right to control the messages, and the commentary, that appears there. On especially polarizing topics like this it can be helpful to decide ahead of time what you will and won’t allow in terms of comments/discussion, and even prepare some responses of your own in advance to keep emotion out of the equation as much as possible. Also you can always turn commenting off altogether on a particular post if it’s not serving to move your message forward. You want engagement, and being open to discussing opposing views brings a level of authenticity, but your website is not a public forum where everyone gets an equal say. It’s your blog. They can start their own, ha! Or write a piece for the local paper, etc. You’ve worked hard to create a platform to share your stories and truth with an audience, don’t feel bad about “censoring” who else gets to influence what messages that platform shares.” – Rigel Celeste

    Her guidance galvanized my resolve not to approve certain comments on my blog, if it isn’t feeling right to me to do so. So I do believe that we have a prerogative to exercise our moderator powers and keep some comments we feel uncomfortable about private.

    That being said, I almost want to question if it’s even worth writing about a topic that ISN’T going to get you any nasty comments. Aren’t those the topics we need to be writing about most? Aren’t those the least written about? Should we not be the courageous ones and stand with one foot in our fear and the other in our power and speak our truth? I don’t believe in waiting on the world to change. I’ll be the first to change. The world can catch up.

    You should check out @esoterica (Existential Ergonomics)’s recent post “The Beauty of Being Vulnerable.” I found him/her actually while reading through comments on your blog 😉 I learned a lot about vulnerability and positive psychology from that post, and I ended up citing it in one of my own blog posts where I passionately defended an opinion of mine that not everyone shares. The bottom line is, when we are vulnerable, we think we are being weak, but psychological studies have proven that others view our sharing our vulnerability as courage. Viewed through this lens I think your whole perspective on sharing those more intimate moments and opinions may be a lot rosier 🙂

    The truth is, we may think we are alone in our feelings, but that is only because we have not shared them yet. I think there are a lot more people who feel the way I do about a lot more things than I think. We are all black sheep. There are herds of black sheep out there. Sharing what makes us feel vulnerable opens us up to an every day magic that is not acessible to those who keep all their stories locked in a diary.

    To me, the bloggers who really stand out are the ones willing to speak their truth, especially when it is most scary to do so. In fact the whole underlying goal of my blog is to empower other millennials to speak their truth as I stand in my power speaking mine.

    In this way we bloggers are really leaders. We are leaders in our community and I take that responsibility into my heart every time I write for my blog. If my words don’t burn through the paper with their power then they’re going to have to be revised.

    So far I’ve written about a LOT of things I should have been scared to write about. I can’t tell you honestly if I am actually being brave though or if I am just foolishly fearless 😉 anyway, I’m writing them, and when I get the nasty comments I will rejoice that I have crossed the line far enough to make an impact on at least one reader’s heart.

  15. We all open ourselves up to comments and judgement when we write something and then send out to the universe, especially when it is something personal. We open ourselves up and become vulnerable to all who see what we write. Unfortunately, there are a lot of very mean, very critical people out there who only want to bring others down. There is not much we can do about that, sadly to say. Do your best to NOT let those comments hurt you. Although, this is much easier said than done. We are all human, and words DO hurt us, as much as we want to say they don’t. Focus on the positives and throw away the rest.

  16. I have definitely received a few rude comments here & there! When people don’t write “I think” before their opinion, it’s because they believe themselves so much they don’t believe anyone else could disagree… soo annoying!

  17. I enjoyed this. I definitely have experienced worry over other people’s reactions before I write something. The fear even affects how I speak.
    I shared this on Twitter. Thank you for the discussion.

  18. I like writing about life/personal experiences too. The awareness that I may offend someone with how I describe my opinion on a topic is something that took me a while to grasp. I think I’m more aware of it now after posting for more than a year. Once I wrote briefly on the topic of my teen years and being aware other people my age used recreational drugs at parties or for fun. I remember I wrote about being very much against that sort of thing but then rereading what I wrote, I felt perhaps I was too harsh. Later I edited the sentence to put less emphasis on how “wrong” drugs were and instead wrote I personally wasn’t into them.

  19. I think we all have such topics we badly want to write about but somehow we’re afraid to a wave of haters who don’t get the point. Nevertheless, you might get as well many people who will comment constructively on the matter. And that’s a great value for our blogs 🙂

  20. Yeah, definitely nobody should ever pay too much attention to it, but it can still ruin a moment for you.
    Everyone who blogs, works hard for it. It should be rewarded instead of downgraded.

  21. That’s a touchy topic too!
    I am against drugs too. When I say that, people tell me “like you are perfect all the time”.
    Did I say that? Ugh.
    Though I have never experienced drugs myself, so it’s not really an opinion based on experiences. But I can’t imagine it be good for anyone.

    BTW, I go back to old post quite often. Just to check if they weren’t too much.

  22. I think on one hand people really want want to read such blogs, but when you do, they get mad.
    I do like to provoke friendly discussions!

  23. Not everyone in the world is going to like every opinion that you might have. Unfortunately the internet has given us the freedom to be nasty about it. As writers and bloggers, we’re going to have to develop a thicker skin. If sucks but I don’t think there’s a third option here. Keep saying/writing what you feel 🙂.

  24. You should only speak your truth and free yourself from the things that come to you. Not everyone will see your side. The ones that are aligned with the world and with its people (out universe and everything that comes with it), those are the ones whom will understand your truth. Never worry about anyone else as long as it’s your truth! That’s what I do and I do not get (maybe I do, but I am extremely blinded) the right answers only from the right seekers and those are the only ones staying by my side and will be behind you when you know them🙏🏽😘 keep up only with the good experience and that’s all you need with you always!!!

  25. I, too, was raised Catholic, but I’m an Atheist now. I can’t really say all the things I want to say in my blog, because most people need to believe in a god. I do poke fun at the Bible, though, but I’m careful how I do it.

  26. Really interesting, Andrea. I’ve been lucky not to have had any nasty comments. BUT I am consciously careful (sometimes I get tired of being careful, so my approach may change with time). I use something I had to do when writing academic essays…I say ‘could mean’ ‘may suggest’ – you get the idea. But I believe also that we’re the ones writing the blog, so we have to be ourselves – that is our right, it’s our opinions, feelings that we are conveying and we shouldn’t have to shut these down. So you keep going as you are! Oh, and, religion seems to bring out the worst in people – I’ve noticed in other blogs, especially american ones, which I really have no time for(the staunch religious ones, I mean), where they are forcing their ‘truths’ upon others as if they are right and other opinions are wrong. I’m more Buddhist, Taoist, if I’m anything at all – and I’m ready to defend this if necessary ;>)

  27. I have not been careful at all in most of my posts. And people judged me for it, even though I would always explain by opinion by means of an experience.

    It’s really up to one individual what makes you more tired: Being careful, or keep explaining yourself in EVERY comment you get 😉
    But I completely understand you.

    Religion is a very complicated to talk about! I have done that once, and someone told me to quit the “pity party and believe that God has given me more than I deserve and we’re all sinners from they day we’re born”.
    That is just too much for me!

    I will continue this way, because it are usually the most interestin posts.
    I will write one with a difficult topic today as well. I’m scared for how much shit I will get haha.

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