The 10 Stages of Mean Blog Comments

In Tips & Tricks, Writing Inspiration by Ashford Evans | |

Originally Published on Mrs. Muffintop

The 10 Stages of Mean Blog Comments - on Beyond Your Blog By Ashford Evans

Well, I guess I’ve “made it” as some would say. I wrote my first piece that elicited hateful comments. In fact there is now an entire comment thread on a popular website devoted to those who hate me. Horrible, evil, hateful comment after comment making absurd assertions about my character, my writing ability, my role as a mother.

'there is an entire comment thread on a popular website devoted to those who hate me AshfordEvans' Click To Tweet
It’s been a helluva week and quite the roller coaster of emotions and turmoil. The mood swings have been so violent I fear I may get whiplash. Despite the encouragement of my (super supportive) writer friends, this has been a journey that I must take largely on my own. At some point during my ups and downs it came to me that this is a process that I am working through, and that there is an end in sight. It is not unlike the 10 stages of grief that we hear so much about. So with that I have an adaptation that I believe will benefit my fellow writers.

The 10 Stages of Mean Blog Comments - on Beyond Your Blog By Ashford Evans

The 10 Stages of Grief Mean Comments


“What?!?! How on earth could people find this offensive? That’s not what I meant at all! I don’t even know what to do about this!” This stage is jarring to say the least. Your mind is a whirlwind of intentions, frustration, and disbelief. This is the stage where you obsessively refresh the offending site/article to see if any more comments have been made. You begin googling your article to track down any other terrible comments. You read them over and over. This usually results in “numbness.”


This could be tears, it could be anger, it could be angry tears. There are usually hastily written text messages to supportive friends, links to the article in closed writer groups, PMs to editor friends. “What did I do wrong?” you ask over and over. The emotional release quickly gives way to step 3.


“Why did I write that?” you ask yourself over and over. “I didn’t mean to come off that way. Maybe they are right. Maybe I’m a bad person. A bad mother.” This stage is extremely isolating as you withdraw into yourself afraid to make any sudden movements for fear of eliciting a new onslaught.


This could manifest in many different ways for many people. It could be loss of appetite or even over-eating. I personally suffered many sleepless nights and also faced a raging return of my long-standing gastrointestinal issues. This stage sucks.

RELATED: Making The Most of Bad (and Good) Blog Post Comments


As if, as writers, we don’t suffer from anxiety enough. We all want people to connect to our words. We all feel the twinges of trepidation when hitting the “submit” button. Now this anxiety is amplified.


This is where the true anger sets in. I became viscerally angry toward my aggressors. I began pleading my “rightness” and defending my stance to all those who would listen. I began to take on a self-righteous attitude regarding my opinions. This is where it gets tricky. I want to be clear on the fact that I NEVER responded to any of the comments. As much as I wanted to. I DID NOT stoop to their level and interact with them. In this stage response/defense pieces were swirling around in my head but I DID NOT write them. I was careful not to “burn down the house because I saw a spider in it”. It’s important to keep your hostility in check and only manifest it in appropriate [safe] places.

'Response/defense pieces were swirling around in my head but I DID NOT write them @AshfordEvans' Click To Tweet


I began thinking of those I may have hurt with my words (however misunderstood they were). I began feeling guilty about the hostility I had exhibited (and then grateful I had not acted on it).


I believe this one speaks for itself. After getting raked over the coals I think we are all a little hesitant to put ourselves out there again. “What if I’m misinterpreted again?” swirls in your head along with that pesky “Writer’s Block.”


The realization that you are growing as a writer and that these things will happen. For me it was a piece written outside of my normal voice; my true self. It was a piece where I was trying to mold myself to fit a larger site in hopes that they would welcome me into the fold. The problem is, it was disingenuous. It wasn’t me, who I am. So of course I felt misunderstood and misinterpreted. That’s exactly what I put out into the world.


Ultimately this was a good experience for me. It helped me grow as a writer and gave me resolve to stay true to myself and my style. It has thickened my skin so that next time maybe it won’t hurt quite so bad. (As I’m sure there will be a next time.) It happened, and it’s over. And I must move on.

Ultimately I did move through all of these stages. It only took about a week and I feel blessed to have blitzed my way to acceptance. I know many seasoned writers will tell you to “never read the comments” or “don’t feed the trolls” but I think the first time it happens you are blindsided. The shock is enough to jar the reasoning right out of you so that you get sucked into the downward spiral. I sincerely hope that next time I can maintain my wits a little bit better. Practice makes perfect and all that jazz.

About the Author

Ashford Evans

Ashford lives with her husband, three children, and three dogs in SC. When she’s not pregnant, breastfeeding, or polishing off a bottle of wine she is busy holding down her demanding sales career or working at their family owned business. She blogs about her crazy escapades and living life in between being the bread-winner and the bread maker at She has also been featured on Mrs. Muffintop, Mom Babble, BonBon Break, Say It With A Bang, Scary Mommy and The Huffington Post.