Dear Self: Your Comment Is Awaiting Moderation

Moderation is a word we hear all the time in regards to wine, dark chocolate, red meat, and our comments.

Try to leave a comment on most blogs and you will see that people are actively moderating who gets to say what.

This, I think, is a gorgeous thing that speaks to our inherent sanity as people.

After all, what is the act of moderating comments saying but “This is┬ámyblog, and it will be the type of place I want it to be, with the words I want to see, and that’s that!”

It seems like a very healthy thing to be doing!

But then, what about the things we say to ourselves?

How well do we moderate those?

Personally, I would have thought I had decent self-talk moderation. That is, until I accidentally left my iPhone in a driveway of an abandoned house a few days ago right as the rain was starting to fall. Then, you would have a hard time believing the types of things I was saying to myself about myself.

Had they been blog comments from a stranger, I would have deleted them hastily and locked my door.

But they were my own comments. To myself. Unedited, unloving, and dreadfully un-moderated.

Since I was already contemplating doing a blog post about comments awaiting moderation, I had a relative breakthrough.

We can use the self-serving and self-protective mindset we have on our blogs to benefit the rest of our lives by watching our own mental self-directed comments and at least giving them some of the objectivity that we give to other people!

Treat yourself as you wish others to be treated.

We can start by thinking of the criteria we use to filter comments. Everyone is different. Most likely, we save the comments that make us feel good, it seems. We want the people who are nice to us, nice to our blog, and encouraging.

We don’t want the people who are mean, or are just letting off steam on our precious blog. We don’t want anyone yelling at someone else, we don’t want people just taking up space to plug their own blog without reading ours.

So, why not apply some of this wonderful self-serving filtration process to our own minds? When we have thoughts that are negative, or just taking up space to mindlessly vouch for themselves, or spamming our consciousness with unnecessary garbage (“Buy a new mascara so that you can be happy! Lose five pounds so that you can be confident!”), just get rid of them. Deny them access into your sacred space of consciousness.

It is much easier in some cases to let stuff go when it is a stranger typing it. Of course, you may end up feeling offended if someone wrote something mean, and that feeling may last a while. But ultimately, you can take a step back, even for a second, to wonder about how it would feel to let it go if it really does not serve you.

That one step is all it takes sometimes for you to regain your footing and look back at things honestly. Maybe the person has a point, maybe they don’t. The only way you can tell is by putting both feed on the ground and thinking clearly without talking badly to yourself or feeling incredibly defensive.

It is often said that you should treat others the way you want to be treated. For those of us that are nice, or helpers, the opposite is perhaps the case. We should treat ourselves as we wish others to be treated. We have no problem protecting others, trying to help, or attempting to be kind. But when it comes to the way we treat ourselves inside, it can sometimes be an ugly situation. At least for me.

So I hope the next time you find yourself doing a wonderfully successful job of moderating comments, that you harness that feeling and apply it to any of your own negative thinking that you wish to stop. If you love your negative or self-critical thinking, then by all means ignore this advice!

Have you ever been strongly affected negatively by a comment? Do you feel that you can moderate your own inside thoughts in a successful way already? I would love to hear about these things!

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45 thoughts on “Dear Self: Your Comment Is Awaiting Moderation

  1. Honest disagreement or an honest challenge to a line of reasoning makes us all better. Demonization of another person’s ideas generally suggests the commenting individual lacks the mental acuity to defend his position. Rude comments are a scape-goat, a defense when there is no defense. I would hope participants in a civilized blog – with its alluring anonymity tempting our darker impulses – will recognize rude for what it is… Indefensible. A post worth reading and considering, Thank you!

    • thank you for drawing that delineation that I totally neglected to point out :) There is such a difference between honest disagreement and demonizing comments. From other people as well as ourselves, and yes, the honest disagreement can be super healthy and lead to new places. thank you!

  2. “…you would have a hard time believing the types of things I was saying to myself about myself.” This made me laugh, but then I thought about how often I am really, really hard on myself–internally, and sometimes even out loud. It’s a good idea to start moderating those comments. Why should I treat myself with less courtesy and love than I would use with someone else?

    • Vicki, I have a sneaking suspicion that (some of) the people who are nicest and most helpful to others are probably the ones who are also very hard on themselves. Gandhi excluded. That was exactly the nugget of experience that made me want to write this post. I’m glad you smiled :)

  3. Great post – really made me think. When I see a negative comment, I go through a process. I firstly convince myeslf it was a good commnet cuz honestly, who could something nefarious about me? Then I laugh in its face, then I realise it’s a negative comment, then I get angry, and then…well, it burns iteslf away…eventaully. As for myself, I often say negative things about me. I don’t feel bad about it. In fact, I think it helps me. I think about enough negative things about myself for me and half the people on my block, and I use it to empower myself to always do better. So, if I think something like ‘that bloke is doing a better job than me’ I then go out my way to do better than him. After all, when we do see a negative commnet, do we not want to prove it wrong, especially if we are the one’s critiqing our own capabilities, for who knows us better than ourselves?

    • That is a very good point! I need to think about that more too, the definite benefits of growing from that challenge. I think it comes back to what Scriptrod was saying above- there is a difference between healthy disagreement and someone being rather demonizing. However, even the demonizing comment can be turned into fuel by your own brain if you want it to! That is such a great point :)

    • Loved yours, too! I just figured out my settings the other day, it’s somewhere in “discussion” I think. Not positive though. Either way, I wouldn’t be surprised if I change it back someday- most of the blogs I read have moderation, and I assume it’s for a good reason. Who knows? :)

  4. Lately, I seem to be on the same frequency as that of the MOOSE. Earlier it was like, anybody could make me mad just by a few gestures, now I mostly feel sorry for those who try to humiliate me. I feel like being the doctor :) .
    This has also reduced my own un-moderated comments for myself

  5. Your self honesty and awareness is amazing! When people say things emotionally directed to one self, there is usually more revealed about them than one self. Socially I often choose to lose in order to gain. I don’t know if that makes sense without elaborating. Great post, it has inspired much thought in me!

    • I think I hear what you are saying in terms of losing and gaining. Like, you know you could argue or make a point, but you realize that maybe it’s not worth the disruption for you to do so, so you just let the other person seem like they have “won”, or something like that? If so, I know what you mean. I am glad you were inspired, thank you for sharing your experience!

      • Right, because when it becomes emotional, the ego becomes dominant many times. At that point I will let their ego feed on whatever it may need from me on a social level. That way I can learn many things about them, and while their ego is full, I am the one who gained knowledge of them. The best part of it is, if their ego gets carried away, which it usually does when I feed it, they will see something in themselves that they would not have seen had I opposed it. Then we have a win win situation instead of a stalemate or a win lose situation. The process of social behavior is always a means to a result and it is good to be aware of where things are going to end up given different variables. It is just so difficult to temper our egos sometimes, especially when discussing things that shape our understanding of who we are.

  6. What an amazing post! Thank you for sharing this excellent analogy and for opening the discussion on the very important topic of moderating our inner dialogue. It is something I believe strongly in, to remain aware of what inner comments are in need of moderating: the positive ones to be acknowledged and encouraged, and others to be promptly deleted as spam! :D

  7. Great post! Yes, I tend to be my own worst enemy when it comes to my inner dialogue. It was worse when I was younger, but I find my older self tends to treat my inner spirit gently. I may utter something negative, and then forgive myself for the slip up.
    As for listening to other’s comments. It really depends on who is uttering the negative statement. If it’s someone close to me, I tend to be more thin-skinned than someone whose opinion is not important to me.

    • Thank you for sharing!
      My skin thickness depends on the person too, and the particular state of my mind at the moment. If I’ve been worried about my grammar, and someone I don’t know shouts from a passing truck “Hey girl, your grammar is just horrible!” Then it may hit home, because it already was home :)

  8. I like how you think! Definitely a refreshing perspective for those of us who are overly critical of ourselves. I personally can’t think of the last time I had a comment left on anything that got to far under my skin. Generally the people I’ve dealt with have all been fairly respectful and nice, so I don’t have any horror stories to share!

  9. It’s a good idea to change how we think of ourselves, the smallest changes in thought can go a long way in helping us to feel happier. But sometimes it can be a double edged sword, the slightest changes in thought can also go a long way in making us feel miserable. But if we remember to reward ourselves for the good thoughts, even a pat on our own back works, then the bad ones are less likely to occur. Thanks for the post, I always look forward to reading one of your blogs in the morning!

  10. This is a wonderful idea – to treat and moderate your own thoughts as if they were someone else’s thoughts about you. But I think there is a big difference: you know where your own thoughts come from. You know the patterns and circumstances that bring them up. And they sometimes come up slowly – they may start as a little negative aside and slowly spiral into a full blown self-tirade. On the other hand, other people’s thoughts/comments come out of the blue – you have little idea what led to them. So maybe it’s easier to delete them. You can just assume they’re having a bad day, and ignore the negativity. But there’s no room for assumptions with your own thoughts. I hope that makes sense.

    • That does make a lot of sense, and I think you are completely right. It is much easier to delete something from a stranger in many ways. For some reason, just noticing how easy that is makes it somehow more doable for me to do it to my own thinking, but it’s not always easy. Most often, it is rather hard. But every little bit helps!

  11. So true! Our inner self-critic is always the most critical and difficult to ignore. I will have to try your suggestion at moderating my internal comments.

  12. Thank-you for exploring a topic that has irked me lately. There’s more ‘comment moderation’. I think a comment may go overboard but the comment speaks about the writer/reader. I think it’s good to let comments stand unless shameless promotion of a business or beyond standards of decency.

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