How to Handle Negative Comments

If you run an online community service where others are encouraged to participate with their own thoughts, you’re sure to come across negative comments throughout your blog or forum’s life. While negative comments may be one of your greatest fears as a social media participant, they are a reality. Furthermore, the way that you deal with negative comments can either make or break your online reputation—and the reputation of your business.

Tackling bad comments on the blog

Check out the following tips on dealing with negative comments in the online arena:

1. Walk Away

Whatever you do, do not respond to negative comments immediately. Chances are that you’re fairly upset or offended by the comment or comments, and replying while in an emotional state of mind isn’t the best way to deal with negativity on your blog or forum. Instead, give yourself a couple of hours (at the very least) to sit on the negative comment. Then allow yourself to respond.

2. Don’t Ignore the Comments

While it may be tempting to simply ignore the negative comments, this is not the wisest route. By ignoring and/or deleting negative comments, you may be tempting your unsatisfied readers to make a louder outcry on a more public forum. You want to take on the negative comment and see it as an opportunity to work on your customer service skills, if nothing else.

3. Climb into Your Reader’s Shoes

Believe it or not, some negative comments can actually be constructive underneath their offensive surface. Furthermore, this is the Internet. More times than most, things get misconstrued in the online world. Do your best to see your reader’s point of view on the subject at hand. If you’re able to understand their perspective, great! Use this as an opportunity to improve your blog or forum and thank your reader for his/her constructive criticism. If you’re unable to understand their perspective, just write it off.

4. Keep Your Ego in Check

It might be your first instinct to say, “It’s my blog, and I’ll say whatever I want to!” and storm off in a huff. But keep this in mind: it’s a free world. Your readers have all the right in the world to leave negative comments on your forum or blog. It’s your duty to respond to these comments as maturely as possible.

Handling bad comments

5. Own Up to Your Error

It happens to the best bloggers and writers in the world. Mistakes are made. If a reader’s negative comment is calling you out on an error, and upon double-checking you see that the reader is correct, then it’s time to own up to your mistake. Acknowledge the mistake you made and apologize for the error in either your comments section or as an addendum to the body text.

6. Be Positive

If all else fails, try to be Sunny Sally or Optimistic Owen about the situation. If the reader claims that a fact is incorrect when you know it’s correct, prove your accuracy…but do it nicely! Do your best to see past the negative comment, and do not let it ruin your day.

7. Agree to Disagree

If a reader leaves a particularly nasty comment disagreeing with your view or what you posted, the best you can do is agree to disagree and try to get the discussion onto a more productive topic. Acknowledge the reader’s opinion and thank them for commenting, then ask them something else about their experience. Chances are that they’ll grasp at the opportunity to talk about their opinions some more.

While it’s never fun receiving negative comments on your public forum, it’s something that you’ll most likely have to deal with at one time or another. By following these seven tips, you can ensure that you’re responding with the utmost grace, class, and maturity.

Comments (11 responses)

  1. msdorikbrand says:

    Hello! I really liked your forum, especially this section. I just signed up and immediately decided to introduce myself, if I’m wrong section, ask the moderators to move the topic to the right place, hopefully it will take me well… My name is Henry, me 34 years, humourist and serious man in one person. I apologize for my English

  2. Life track says:

    Sometimes, comments that are negative helps us actually to become more better for ourselves. It’s like boosting our morale in doing things.

  3. Jason Acidre says:

    Negative comments can actually help you grow as a business person, you just have to learn how to accept it. With regards to handling them, it’s best to stay professional and be as objective by putting all your knowledge into place in explaining your side, that could perhaps make your opponent rethink his statements and believe in it as well.

  4. It is a good idea to take at least 24 hours to respond.
    I always try to understand why?
    By the way, the negative comment is also comment. Personally, I like a negative comment and like to find a good answer. It is real conversation, and everyone has their own opinion.

  5. On many of my blogs I receive negative comments regularly. When I first started blogging I’d respond to them directly and try to work out the difference, but the vast majority of the time, the commenter didn’t respond and it ended up not being worth my time.

    I really think that negative comments that are unproductive should just be deleted, but if they at least spark discussion or have value, then they should be left up.

  6. For the most part I get a lot of disagreement and/or negative comments because of my biblical worldview. I usually handle negative responses with your suggestions of #’s -6 & 7.

  7. John says:

    I have always found that when dealing with negatives simply by communicating like an adult and being open to other peoples opinion. Many times I have turned negative people into paying customers so don’t just write them off.

  8. Nathan says:

    The first step to dealing with negative feedback is to determine what type of feedback you have received. Negative feedback comes in a few different flavors, each of which is best dealt with by a different type of response

  9. Robert says:

    I agree with you to not jump to conclusion and approach negative comments emotionally. I know that everyone is not an articulate and eloquent writer, but that doesn’t mean the point isn’t valid. You need to look for constructive criticism in what you read and evaluate its validity before getting angry.

    Nice post by the way. Thanks

  10. David says:

    Try to read the comment a few times and really understand what was being said. It is easy to read something negative and jump in with a response that might not be appropriate.

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