The One Thing That Really Bothers Me about Being a Writer

I’ll give you a hint: it’s not having my name out there. It’s not even having my photo out there. It’s not even about writing about bras and body hair and tampons and menstrual blood and my misdiagnosis and whatever other personal things I write about.

Mean comments. That’s the one thing that really bothers me about being a writer.

Or, should I say insensitive comments?

Badly written comments.

I mean, comments that clearly were not thought about before they were written.

Whatever you want to call them, I just really hate it when people write negative comments. Yes, they are voicing an opinion. No, I do not think it was done in the best way.

This post is compiled from a few comments I’ve gotten over my career of being a writer that either:

a) really hurt my feelings

b) made me really mad

c) made think how stupid people can be

We have all done immature and thoughtless things. If you’re posting a comment on an article that someone took the time to write, why not make it a good one?

Disagreeing with the author’s opinion is perfectly fine. But can we do it in a way that’s at least, you know, nice?

Here are some people who responded a little less kindly to my articles as well as my responses.

The Person Who Did Not Understand the Article

Oh, this lady. This was written in response to my article about my shaved head on Elephant Journal. This woman clearly did not understand that I have chosen to cut my hair because I like it, not because I was rebelling against society’s standards for me.

My response (and some fun responses from others):

I handled that well, right? She did hurt my feelings, though. All those CAPS. Like I don’t understand NON-CAPITALIZED WORDS.

The Person Who Wants to Feel Superior to You

I don’t know what they’re teaching Gracie at Hudson Valley Community College, but I suppose she hasn’t yet learned that everyone’s experience is unique to them.

Gracie wrote this comment in response to my landlord article, which is published on this site as well as on Thought Catalog.

Was my experience the worst one on the planet? Of course not. So I responded as such:

My initial reaction to this post was anger that someone was discounting my experience. Once I got over that and actually thought about it, I was able to respond much more rationally.

Apparently, the readers of Thought Catalog really like feeling superior to the author. Another beloved reader wrote this in response to an article I have published there about bras:

I’m not sure if the word dumbassssss is the correct word to describe me or to discredit the research I cited in that article, but I couldn’t think of a polite response and so I simply thanked Lesley for her comment and tried really hard not to wish that she never gets a job after her internship ends.

The Angry Women Who Just Really Like Their Bras

It’s no secret that I’ve been pretty vocal about the fact that bras aren’t good for our breasts. My article on Wellness has gotten a lot of attention and a lot of comments. Some of them are from angry women who really disagree with me.

I don’t know what she means by “actually have breasts”, but assuming she’s referring to the size of breasts, this comment is just plain rude.

Her opinion could have been better expressed rather than simply saying all women who don’t wear bras are ugly. Oops, sorry, I meant U G L Y.

And then there’s this woman, who likes to equate breasts with pancakes.

Sigh. I really wish she had cited research… but she didn’t, so I have to assume she had no basis for saying my article (which was backed by numerous studies) was full of lies. So I couldn’t think of anything else to say, except for:

The following person clearly feels that there’s research that proves otherwise, but she neglects to cite it.

Studies, please? And I would really argue that you have some degree of control over whether or not you develop cancer. Otherwise, why would the National Cancer Institue list diet, alcohol, obesity, and tobacco among its risk factors for cancer?

So yeah. Angry women. Love their bras.

The Person Who Just Wants to Be Mean

And then there’s this mess of comments on that bra article on Wellness of a woman asking for resources and this dude who shoots her down and offends all women with large breasts. Such an ignorant comment!

I tried to be helpful and just ignored that other bastard. I hope that made you feel better dude because you clearly have no idea what it’s like to have breasts.

And finally, we have this lady from Elephant Journal commenting on my menstrual cup article there.

Wow? Wow what?

It seems that she’s saying that cotton tampons are better than silicone. Shouldn’t she have just said that?

Cotton is one of the top producers of pesticides in the world so firstly I would argue for organic tampons here, and secondly, silicone is at least reusable which helps our landfills out. Thirdly, most tampons are made from synthetic fibers and treated with carcinogenic chemicals.

But I didn’t respond to this one because I couldn’t think of anything to say to “wow”. Just ran out of energy after responding to the other comments.

How to Comment Nicely

There are other ways to comment even if you disagree with what the author is saying in the article.

For example, the woman above could have said, “I really think that cotton tampons are better than silicone for these specific reasons.” Sounds much more put together, right?

Back up your claims with facts and research to help others see your opinion. This helps you appear more credible and gives justification to your comment. Be mindful of what you say to others. These are actual people writing these articles, not machines. We have feelings!

Above all, be kind. Recognize that someone has a different opinion than you. Be aware of your feelings. Reading these comments was really hard for a sensitive Cancer like me because I took them personally. Apparently, they took my articles personally as well.

Take yourself out of it. Respond kindly. Be nice to one another. This should not be so hard.

I also have to say I really hate that Facebook comments plugin.

I love being a writer. I love having people read my work. And yes, I love having people comment on my articles because it generates discussion, shares a wide variety of views, and gets me better search rankings in Google. What I really dislike is people being insensitive in their comments.

Share kindness, not hate!

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