How to get people to listen to you!

I have been debating with myself on whether I should post this or not – but I have decided we may all benefit from this discussion. So here goes. [Sidenote, I have a degree in communication]

[Sidenote, I have a degree in communication]

Hurting others gets you nowhere!

Yesterday I wrote this post: Are you a lazy writer, and many of you took the time to comment, and also I shared the post on Facebook and received some great comments. Most of the comments were about the content of the post, and thank you for that.

But one comment was not. One person decided to give me her opinion about the number of typos and spelling errors on my blog – in other words; I met the Grammar Police, and it was not a positive experience. In some ways, it was quite ironic given the topic of my post, and how I debated that writers should be supportive to one another and not antagonistic.  You may think, that it is not necessarily antagonistic to comment on spelling errors and typos, but I beg to differ. Because the comments she made, was not coming from a helpful place, they were just an attack, just a way to put someone down.

Especially for me not being a native English speaker, it doesn’t feel great when I receive a comment like that, and that was exactly what I talked about in the post, which she commented on. How we are not all perfect in spelling, but the more we write, the more courage we have to try and share, the better we get. So don’t ruin that for anyone!

How to give good advice

All of the above doesn’t mean, that I don’t want advice on my spelling or typos. But the point is, that there is a huge difference between giving advice, and just putting others down. Even if you may not mean to put someone down, it can still come off that way, if you don’t communicate in a positive way.

I, myself, know that feeling of wanting to give someone a good advice, and we should never be afraid of that, at the end of the day, this is how we can learn from each other. But sometimes, just sometimes, consider the context. First of all, if a person shares a blog post on Facebook, they might be more interested in discussing the topic of the blog post rather than the fact that they make spelling mistakes. Unless they ask explicitly for opinions, maybe hold back a little bit, maybe now is not the time or place to point out some spelling errors the person made? But if you still feel, you can give solid advice, then think about how you formulate your advice. Attacking another person is just hurtful to them. Also, people tend not to listen to your advice, if you just attack and hurt them. And then it is all just a waste of time.

That person, who commented on my post, could have written something in terms of: “I really enjoyed reading your post, and I think you have a good point. [This way, we start off friendly, and the receiver, me, will sense this person have my best interest at heart]. However reading your blog, I see you make some typos and some spelling errors, I just want to point this out to you, as you speak about learning, and I thought it could be a helpful advice, so maybe you are aware of this. But I really think you are doing great, and it is cool of you to practice your language skills on your blog. If you want to, I can show you some of the mistakes, so that you will be able to correct them in the future”.

This is just an example, but this is how you get people to listen to you. By being nice, and by talking to them with respect. This is especially important when we communicate on social media. Both as we are not able to see each others body language and facial expressions, but also as often we are strangers to each other. So it is important to really make sure, that the receiver of our advice, knows that we are just trying to be kind to them.

Make the internet safe

Do you remember when you went to school, and sometimes you would be afraid to raise your hand and talk, as you thought your answer to the teacher’s question might be wrong? What were you afraid of? Losing face? Other people laughing? This can be translated to social media, sometimes we are afraid of negative comments, and we shouldn’t be. We should be allowed to make mistakes. Let’s make the internet a safe place for all of us, this can be done by using kindness. Give advice, but be kind. Don’t scare people from sharing their work, this can hold them back from developing as a writer [or get educated about other topics]. Be the safe person, who defends someone under attack. This is how you communicate well, and how you can use your communications skills as something others can benefit from.

Thansk for reading my blog post – hope you didnt choke on all of my mistakes, typos and spelling errors (sorry my humor came back!). I would love it, if you left me a comment with your thoughts on this!

Also – feel free to share this post! I will send you amazing karma, glitter and rainbow dust if you do!


17 thoughts on “How to get people to listen to you!

  1. I wish I could say I find it disturbing that you received those comments about your post, but, sadly, even adults seem to think that being ‘safe’ behind the mask of a computer gives them the right to be nasty–just like mean girls at school who at least have the balls to do it to somebody’s face. But I still think it’s chickensh*t. So Sorry that happened to you…! I happen to be a sort of spelling nazi, but I have NEVER criticized someone like that–especially on their own blog (!!)– for spelling/grammar errors. I agree totally with your post–I mean, why is it so darn difficult for someone to find a tiny amount of kindness when they write something out like that?
    Over my whole life I’ve heard the old adage to just be kind to others, you never know how their day has gone. I really, really try to remember that. It’s still not an excuse to be cruel or nasty to others-just because you’re having a hard time at life- but I’ve had days like that and I know how hard it is to keep going in a calm and collected manner.
    And a sidenote–I have a neighbor friend who is from Czech, so she messes up pronunciations and phrases all the time–and I would NEVER be harsh to her for something like that. I’m appalled that someone made those kinds of comments to you. Please don’t take it personally! For some reason they think it’s appropriate to get their frustrations on the world out by lashing out at others from the safety of their computer screen! Your blog is really awesome!! Love it, and keep up the good work!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stella, thank you so much! Your sweet comment really made my day! And it is a good point to always consider, someone may have a bad day or is going through something, and so why be mean to them? Maybe kindness can be the thing, that turns their day around for the better! I really try to think a lot about this. Because sometimes the smallest things can make us happy, just as small things can make us really sad. And it is not about me not wanting advice, but it is just the way it is served to me. There is a difference between advice and then someone just putting you down. And I felt that person, just wanted to put me down. And it really hit me hard, as obviously I care if I make mistakes, but I dont want that to define or stop me from trying.


  2. This is SO true! I haven’t yet received any negative comments but it is something I’m worried about. I actually read a post the other day from Emily Henderson. She’s actually a home interior decorator but has a blog and she receives so much hate on it – it’s ridiculous! They were debating on the post in the comments section whether comments from the ‘grammar police’ should be considered hate too, and I think it should. No need to express any negativity on anyone’s post – if you feel a certain way, that you feel could hurt someone else’s feelings, keep it to yourself. Hope it didn’t discourage you from writing anymore more posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your response! I agree with you! Also there is no reason to go and read someones blog, if the purpose is just to write hateful comments, I feel bad for that Emily Henderson!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Caroline,
    Thanks for sharing this! I totally know the feeling — when you go to all the effort to publish a blog post and someone instantly picks apart the typos. It can definitely be disheartening. Something I’ve learned is that there will always be #haters, no matter what you do and though it’s hard, try to find a way to focus on all those amazing positive comments people left you and not the singular negative.
    Keep writing and doing you, girl!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Reanne! I agree a lot of typos can be distracting, and also I dont mind people pointing them out. But it can be done in a positive and constructive way, that person yesterday, was just being mean about it!


  4. Let me to just start by saying this – your writing skills are fantastic! This person obviously wasn’t interested in being helpful and I honestly find that really disheartening. We should all be behind each other in a positive way, helping each other grow and thrive. I agree that it would have been a much better approach for them to come to you with respect which would have allowed you to listen without annoyance. I hope the rest of your comments allow you to see how amazing your posts are!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi. Thanks for this post. Agree with you with the grammar police and all. Me, i don’t care at all, i still communicate with them in a positive way. They may be like that, just don’t be affected and lose the positivity the internet needs. Nice page. Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for sharing your honesty in this article. As an editor myself, I have to sometimes check myself before I “criticize” other writer’s work. I like to think that I am not criticizing, rather, I am giving helpful hints to improve their writing and point them in the direction that I think their readers would enjoy the article all the more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glossy, Dont get me wrong – I love getting constructive criticism, this is also how I learn! And I agree that everything comes of better when there is less or no typos or spelling errors. I think everyone is striving towards eliminating those, so advice is always helpful!


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