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I’m putting my heart into this post and hope those of you who are loyal readers will be patient with my ramblings.
First for those of you who just want me to get to the point already, here are my best pointers to deal with rude people on social media:
It’s easy to encounter a rude person and react to the racing heartbeat and flushed face they’ve caused you. If you “react” to a person who has mistreated you, you’re only joining them in the wrong.
Keep Your Side of the Street Clean
I read this in an amazing breakup book back when I was leaving a crazy, dysfunctional relationship. If you treat someone with respect all the time and always stick to your values, when a relationship ends, you can go with no guilt. Keep your side of the street clean and let the other person be wrong.
Is this an ongoing problem or just a bad day? I always say a bad day doesn’t equal a bad life. If this is the first time someone has mistreated you, wait until tempers calm down, and then try to have a civilized conversation seeking only to understand their side of the situation. There is a time for you to voice your hurt – but this isn’t it. Let them explain where they’re coming from so you have the information you need to decide what to do next.
Understand It Isn’t About You
Almost always, when someone is rude to you, it isn’t about you at all. Rude people are insecure with something in their own lives and it’s easier to lash out at whoever is closest to them, whether they know them or not, than to try to fix whatever is wrong in their life.
Yes, it’s unfortunate that you stumbled into their cross-hairs, but the battle they’re fighting isn’t with you. Walk away.
When someone cuts us off on the road, I tell my husband to calm down – someone is probably in labor haha. Who knows? Maybe there’s an emergency and they are driving like crazy because driving is the last thing on their minds. Maybe they’re having financial issues and don’t know where the next mortgage payment is coming from. Maybe they’ve been trying to conceive a baby for months and just got their most recent BFN (big fat negative pregnancy test for those of you not on conception forums 😉
You never know what’s going on in someone else’s life to make them react to you the way that they are. Try your very best to cut them some slack.
Always Be Positive
How you respond to someone says everything about who you are and very, very little about who they are. If you’re rude and disrespectful to someone because they have a different opinion than you, what is that saying about you? That you’re closed-minded or that you didn’t take the time to discover the whole story? Do you want to add negativity to your life or would you rather spread positive feelings?
For me, when I was 18 or 19, the world owed me something. At least I thought so. I’d paid my dues in my childhood and deserved a great life right now dammit.
My best friend used to yell at me for being such a pessimist. Last week, his girlfriend sent me a text and told me I’m the most positive person she knows. Do you have any idea what that meant to me? What huge changes had to occur in my life to take me from someone who would lash out at people to someone who can honestly say I find the silver lining in any situation?
I think that journey began just before I became a wife and then a mama. It wasn’t easy, it was hard work and took a ton of discipline, but learning to always be positive was SO worth it. I’m convinced it’s why my husband and I have the bond that we have, why our boys are thriving, and why we’re surrounded by loving people who match our personalities perfectly. Be positive in every possible situation – even when faced with the most insulting people.
We’re different people now than we were just 2 or 3 years ago and life is so much brighter and happier. Yes, we still have those cloudy days where nothing goes right or we have some big stress to deal with, but through it all we’ve chosen to eliminate the negative and focus on the positive. Our lives and our boys lives are so much better for it.
Realize You Choose How You React
I feel like I love just about everyone, because they’re able to contribute good to the world if they choose, but sometimes you’re still figuring this life thing out and I’m going to have to love you from…someplace else.
It takes a hurt person or an insecure person to lash out. It takes a strong person to walk away. No one will force you to react in anger. You’re CHOOSING to do that. Don’t.
It’s that simple.
Choose to walk away. Choose to end the conversation. Choose to end the relationship if necessary. Don’t let negativity permeate your life and don’t let anything keep you in a relationship with a person who doesn’t fit your values and standards.
You can think whatever you want (but positive thinking makes a huge difference too, so be careful) but you choose how you act. Make the right choice. You won’t regret it.
Alright guys, here’s the down and dirty. If you were just looking for tips to handle rude people, your journey stops here :-).
A few days ago, I had an experience that sparked this post. My husband (Scotty, for those of you who don’t know) and I were talking about FINALLY getting our wills written out and custody arrangements in order for our boys if, God forbid, anything were to happen to us while they’re still little.
In my typical non-sugar-coating way, I expressed our wishes to have our kids grow up with my best friend Jesse and that under no circumstances should they go to family. For those of you who also have family issues, I’m sure you understand. For those of you who are close to your families, you might not be able to relate at all.
We received a few helpful comments before one of my husband’s family members left a rude comment about what I had said and insinuated that I had created this post – that my dear sweet husband had nothing to do with it. Meanwhile, we decided together to post this on Facebook to see if anyone had any *helpful* input about how to handle these things and how they got through it before we meet with our attorney in a couple of weeks. I simply responded that basically this is both of us talking, that I appreciate her input, and that I wish her well.
Instead of leaving the situation alone, or even private messaging us to express her feelings, she lashed out an attack on my character. Even saying she hopes my beautiful boys never learn who I really am and accusing me of being inauthentic on my blog.
I read it and said out loud “holy crap! Have I ever even met her?” Scotty thought about it for a second and told me that I probably met her at a wedding a few years ago.
I was kind of in shock but I didn’t say much and Scotty didn’t either. The next thing I know, Scotty (who was driving while I sat in the back seat with our boys and watched this craziness unfold) got off the next exit, parked the car at a gas station, and defended me from this person I’ve met one time in my life.
I sat next to him asking him to please be nice and not say anything he’d regret.
She had nothing else to say.
I told Scotty I thought I’d just leave her comment there. After all, it’s her voice, she has a right to her opinion and I didn’t want to take that away from her. No matter how rude or unbecoming her comments might be. I wasn’t going to delete what she had said. She obviously wanted to put that out there for a reason.
Scott didn’t understand why I’d even consider deleting it. “Leave it there and let her true colors show” was his opinion.
A few minutes later, she deleted her rude comments herself.
Why am I telling you all of this?
Because from my personal story I hope you can glean a little insight into how best to deal with rude people. I don’t have it all figured out by any means, I’m just lucky enough to not encounter many negative people anymore and I hope it stays that way.
They’re everywhere. Just take a look at an Instagram comment thread or even get on YouTube and look at the things people say.
While I highly recommend doing more positive, productive things with your time – it can be incredibly eye-opening.
I feel like we’re all just in this together. We’re kind of coexisting, sometimes enjoying each other’s company, sometimes not. When we’re not, hopefully we have the decency to treat each other with respect and voice our hurt in a respectful way when necessary.
My point in all of this is that I couldn’t attack her back, even if I wanted to. I honestly don’t know this person and I don’t remember meeting her. Even if I did, would I have dealt the same hand back to her that she dealt me?
Have you ever lost your temper with someone? Even with someone who really “deserved it?” You get this guilty feeling in your chest and in your stomach that is telling you you’ve acted out of line with your values.
Respond with love. You don’t have to like how someone talks to you or treats you, but your first instinct shouldn’t be to lash out in anger.
A note to my readers –
The most hurtful thing about this person’s hateful words were that she attacked me – as a person, a mother, and a blogger. I’m comforted in that she honestly doesn’t know me, we’ve never talked, and her only opinions are based on something someone else must have had to say about me. We don’t have a relationship with my in-laws. I’ve talked about it briefly on the blog, but this story bears repeating. It’s sad that it came to this, but in my husband’s eyes, it was necessary after we had kids and we’ve never looked back.
I feel like this is the perfect opportunity to let you in on who I am and who I am not. I’m extremely open – I’ll tell you anything you want to know, anytime you ask (I write about our sex life for crying out loud!) I’m extremely honest and forthcoming with all of my friends and my readers (to me, it’s the same thing. If you’re taking time out of your busy lives to read this blog, you’re a friend in my eyes and I love you for it).
Who you are and how you’re feeling matter to me. I love each and every one of you and appreciate you for letting me into your lives. Truly. Letting you in on my life with my beautiful husband and these handsome little men sleeping beside me right now is such a gift.
I’m spilling my emotions to a community of people on the internet that I’ve never met, but I feel like I know you. As weird as that sounds, I’m writing TO you when I write these blog posts with way too many of these… and these () and these !!!.
20 years ago, this wouldn’t have been possible. The world of the internet and blogging has opened up this realm of sharing – and with that comes good and bad.
Yes, there will be haters and trolls. People who read your blog or watch your vlog even though they know they’re not going to have anything nice to say. There will be negative comments (addressed below), but for every one bad one, there are a ton of good ones! I experience a negative comment on my blog maybe once a month. People who don’t agree with how I organize my planner or that I let our kids stay up until 10 pm.
I started Simple Living Mommy to have an outlet for all of this crazy research that I do – seriously, if I have a problem, I’ll research the living crap out of it and test solutions until I’ve fixed it or just give up. Learning to write recipes or take pretty pictures? I gave up :-). Learning to be an even better mommy and wife to that amazing superhero I call my husband? I’m absolutely going to share all of that with you!
I don’t lie. I never have been fake and I don’t plan to start now. Here’s my TWO CENTS – if you aren’t authentic with people, what are you going to create? A lot of people who really love a false version of you who you can’t actually relate to? Or set yourself up to have to pretend to be someone you’re not when you’re around a certain group of people? Or – if you’re a blogger – if you try to be fake to get readers, your blog will fizzle out. I promise. If you want to blog about writing recipes but you can’t cook or about DIY but you have not a single creative bone in your body – your readers are going to find you out.
Your authenticity is what makes you you and what keeps everyone coming back for more.
Simple Living Mommy has grown into a community. It’s bigger than just me. You guys comment and write back and forth to each other. You e-mail me and message me on Facebook. When I sent my last e-mail about my recent struggle with postpartum depression? Holy crap! I heard from SO many of you and literally cried reading your words of love and support. I heard from a psychiatrist who offered me her number to call her if I needed. Who does that?! An amazing person who just wants to help, that’s who. This is my tribe. These are my people. I would absolutely never be anything less than 100% authentic with you and that’s a promise.
Thank you for being here, thank you for loving me, thank you for caring about my family, and thank you for supporting me. I promise you that what has been true all along will continue no matter how big this blog gets – I will NEVER lie to you, I will never be fake with you, I will never tell you about a product that I don’t absolutely love and recommend to those closest to me, and I will never take you for granted.
This blog has grown into what it is because of each and every one of you and your engagement and support. From the bottom of my heart – thank you.
Where that family member on Facebook was right
Sometimes, I totally feel like a hypocrite! I talk to my blogging friends about this all the time! I’ll write a blog post about organizing or purging. Our house is spotless and nothing is out of place. Then, a toddler tornado comes through or we get crazy busy, or, you know – yard sales – and our house is a mess of paper and dirty dishes or a bunch of crap I found in someone’s front yard that I just had to have.
To me, this just means I’m human like the rest of you. I don’t just blog about these things and then go shut myself in a closet until it’s time to write to you again.
We live here. We love here. We have dance parties here. Kole demands to bring his lawn mower bubble blower inside and sometimes I let him because it’s almost time to do the carpets anyway. Or he’ll want to finger paint with the toothpaste he was able to reach on the counter and I let him because we’re home alone and it’s so damn adorable (totally happened this morning).
Do I think that makes me less of a blogger for you? I hope not, but ultimately, that’s up to you to decide. I love you and hope you stay – but if you don’t, I completely understand. I’m not perfect, but every single day I’m trying my best.
A note to her –
Since this person obviously reads my blog, I’m going to leave a note here for her in case she stops by.
**For what it’s worth – I understand you were hurt by our post on Facebook and that it’s easy to blame me because I’m someone you don’t know. I really understand that. If I put myself in your shoes, I would probably assume the same thing. You’re absolutely free to your opinion and my only regret is that you and I didn’t know each other when you made up your mind about me.
I saw how shocked Scotty was initially at your words. To me, that means you aren’t a bad person. I’m sending you love and only positive wishes.
I truly mean it when I say I wish you and your family nothing but the best. A few years ago, I would have completely reacted to what you said and then felt guilty about it later. A few years ago, I chose to start eliminating negativity and striving to find the positive in every single thing. It was, aside from marrying Scotty, the best decision I’ve ever made.
We want our boys to see the good in everything and to eliminate the negative absolutely wherever possible. I want them to grow up to be so proud of us as their parents and the choices we’ve made along the way. It’s our job to protect them and raise them to the best of our ability. As a mother yourself, I’m sure you completely relate.
I’m pretty proud of the parents we’ve become and I hope our beautiful sons are one day too.
We don’t carry any negative feelings toward you and I hope you can say the same.
Finally, I owe you a huge thank you.
For the last few years, I’ve had this internal struggle about whether I should push Scotty to change his mind about eliminating certain family members from our lives. After all, doesn’t everyone have some kind of beef with their family? (**I should say here that some of the things that I know are probably things that you don’t. We’re best friends. We’ve been to counseling to deal with some of these things. I’ve watched him struggle and watched him grow. I know his reasoning and it’s warranted**)
Somehow, your words helped me lay that all down. I can’t express to you in words how grateful I am to you for that. If it weren’t for you, I’d still be pressuring Scotty at every holiday “are you sure? You don’t want to respond?” There is truly a silver lining in every struggle and that is the biggest one I’ve found. Even though it was unintentional, you freed me from that burden and I want you to know that I’m forever grateful. We’re letting it all go. I believe we’re all right where we’re meant to be.
I hope you take care and that life gives you only the absolute best it has to offer. Much love and warm wishes from our home to yours.
Oh – and you’re so welcome here on my blog. I promise all of the words are mine and that I write (ramble?) straight from the heart. All my love ~Jamie **
The unanticipated negative comments on Facebook reminded me it might be time to address comments on the blog.
Now and then I do get a negative comment. The Simple Bullet Journal post hit a lot of nerves for some reason and almost every negative comment I’ve ever received was written on that post.
Here’s what happens – someone leaves a negative comment, a supportive and well-meaning reader comments back to them to defend me, the original poster writes back something even more negative, and before you know it, everything is spiraling out of control and people are showing their ugliest colors in the comments of a blog post about a freaking planner. That’s a TON of negative energy no one needs.
For that reason, I delete all negative comments. If you don’t have anything nice to stay, simply don’t say anything at all. To my readers who do support me and have challenged a negative commenter in the past – thank you. I’m sorry I ever put you in that position by leaving a comment “live” on the blog that should have been deleted immediately. This is a community, a family. I’m all for spirited debate, but when it gets ugly, it’s gotta go. I love you guys too much to give you any reason at all to stoop to a level that’s below who I know you are.
Okay, that’s it! I know this was way off the rails of what you’ve come to expect from me, but I wanted to let you in on this side of my life since my blog was brought up in all of this. If you’ve struggled with negative people in your life, how did you handle it? Do you try to approach things in a positive way or do you feel like it’s best to address it and be as direct as possible? I always love hearing how everyone approaches their lives. Also – what mottos do you live by? I shared A TON of mine in this crazy long post, it’s your turn!
Almost 4000 words – who made it to the end of this book?? Give yourselves a pat on the back haha. I love you all, thanks for sticking around while I got this off my chest!
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