How to comment positively

How to comment positively

We live in such a negative world, it's a breath of fresh air to receive a positive comment. Therefore knowing how to comment positively should be a worthwhile item within your arsenal against adverse communication.

Being positive helps make people happier and healthier. Receiving a positive comment improves the mood and relieves the stress not only for those who receive it, but also for those who deliver it. Read my post about kindness to find out the full effects.

Yes, knowing how to comment positively is part of being kind. And we certainly could do with more of that! Take a look at my two – yes two! – infographics on the subject of how to comment positively:

How to comment positively

And here's some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.

Did you read absolutely everything?

Part of being kind and positive is about suitably focusing on the task in hand. You cannot be either if you aren't giving your full attention. This means taking the time to properly read the post or update before you start to comment.

In today's world, so many people skim-read stuff on the web. We are all time-poor, have limited attention spans and think we can easily just rush off an answer in a matter of seconds. But this is when the rot starts to set in.

It is so important to take time to read everything first. Commenting in any format should not be done on the fly if you are going to take it seriously.

Being positive includes listening and understanding

One thing about positivity is showing you really care about the person you are commenting to. It is so important that they realise this. If they get the impression you are merely tapping out an answer without any consideration, how do you think this will make them feel?

Reading stuff properly is part of listening and understanding. Businesses also do this in the form of social listening on the web. This is not only done for research reasons, but also for customer services. This is when knowing how to comment positively really comes into its own.

How you respond to an author, reader, another commenter or even a customer, depends on how much you are focusing on them. You are going to get a much better reaction if you are forthcoming and clearly concerned about them in your reply.

Did you understand what was said behind the scenes?

Taking time to stop and think carefully about what you are reading or listening to, allows to you to work out what is actually being said. Sometimes the true meaning is not at the surface, but lying beneath waiting to be found.

This may sound a bit dramatic, but how many people actually blurt out their troubles, warts and all, from the outset? Part of knowing how to comment positively is asking pertinent and poignant questions to draw out the problem to enable you to fully understand it.

Obviously these questions need to be suitable and apt, and you will benefit more if the person bothers to reply to them. But placing them within your comment shows you have thought about it and are making an effort to offer a positive answer.

Take your time to compose your response

As I hinted at earlier, commenting should not be a spontaneous exercise. Unfortunately it often is. Many people, if compelled to do so, will tap out a reply with little thought. The process of commenting is so easy to do (thank goodness), it is often performed automatically and perhaps even subconsciously.

Because so little brain power is used in producing these replies, you probably haven't focused on which words you are using. You will have a set lexicon you trip out on a regular basis which has always done you well in the past.

However, if you are considering how to comment positively, if is necessary to dismiss any negative words from your vocabulary. There are so many more unkind and inconsiderate words for us to choose from, you will have to make a conscious effort to avoid them when you comment.

Write as if you were having a conversation

This is probably how you comment anyway to your friends. But if you are looking at how to comment positively, it is important to ensure your comments aren't forced or unnatural. You are sailing in unchartered waters now, aren't you?

It is quite an art to write confidently with a positive slant. You don't want to come across as nosy or prying into their problems. You want to be able to show your concern, acknowledge their plight and, if appropriate, offer a solution or a positive thought to focus on.

Eliminate all common phrases which could be considered negative, even if they aren't meant to be. Our conversations are peppered with negativity without us actually realising it. After all, this is how we survived when we lived in caves, putting others down to make us seem more superior.

Think how your comment would be received

Commenting is the perfect place to share your opinions – and plenty of people do! But again, it would be wise to curb your enthusiasm before launching out with your point of view which will obviously change the world.

Take a look at the acronym THINK. How necessary is your immediate thought on a subject? What would your grandma (or maiden aunt) say if she read it? Do you think they would approve of your sentiments on this particular subject?

Part of learning how to comment positively is considering how others will react to what you write. It isn't a matter of them agreeing, it's about whether they will be upset, affronted, disturbed, put off, or whether they will totally misunderstand you because of your turn of phrase.

Train your brain how to comment positively

I said earlier there are far more negative words than positive ones. This is a throwback from our need to assert ourselves to survive over others. By being nasty, this places others at a disadvantage, allowing us to gain the strength and upper-hand to rise above them, and succeed in whatever endeavours are important to us.

This has now become the norm, especially with trolls and other unfortunates throughout the web. They take delight in being horrible when they comment. But the last thing you want is to copy or emulate them. They aren't clever, are not tolerated and certainly are not kind in any way.

Learning how to comment positively means focusing on positive emotions, taking delight in happiness and gratitude, and finding a way to make people feel better than they did before because you bothered to comment positively to them.

Make others feel comfortable and secure

Focusing on a world of good and positivity means making other people feel better about themselves. Your comments should enhance this, show them what is wonderful and agreeable, and do your best to broadcast this as widely as possible.

Your positive comments should make them feel wanted and needed, part of a community where they are safe and secure, where they can relax, expand and exert themselves in a protected environment where no harm can bother them.

Obtaining that rosy glow of a positive comment could make someone's day. How nice it is to make someone smile, even laugh, and perceive a better view of the world. If you have managed to achieve this, consider it a good job done.

Are you understanding more about how to comment positively?

Now you have grasped the processes on how you should comment more positively, it's time to find out what you could say in a positive comment. The infographic below will give you some guidelines:

How to comment positively

And here's some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.

To whom are you addressing your comment?

Everybody perks up when they either see or read their name. Of course you do, it is extremely important to you. So how do you think the post, article or update's author is going to react when you address them by their name at the beginning of your comment?

There is nothing better than starting to write a positive comment than by directly addressing the person who wrote what you are commenting on. This instantly draws their attention to you, for the right reasons, and will be more likely to read, consider, publish and hopefully reply to your contribution.

This does mean, however, making an effort to find out who the author is. Read their biography if they have one, visit the About page if they own the blog, or check out their profile if you find them on social media. Knowing more about them may be helpful when writing your positive comment.

Did you really mean what you said?

One way understanding how to comment positively is to write a complimentary response. Now there's no need to get all smarmy and over-ingratiating, as that is what spammers do. This can be a real turn-off, as the author immediately knows you are being insincere.

If you are going to say something nice, make sure it is relevant to the topic of the post. Highlight an element which you appreciate the most, say what made you pick it out, and relay what you are going to do with this information. Then your thanks is more likely to be accepted.

Positive commenting needs to be sincere if it is to achieve what it set out to do, as this makes it more meaningful, appreciated and applicable. It's always gratifying to know that at least one person has read the post carefully, understood its contents and is willing to try what it mentions.

How helpful can you be?

Offering your expertise in a way which is helpful to the author, their readers and the other commenters can be very positive. Try answering a question or solving a problem presented by the post or update. This is a good way of drawing attention to yourself for the right reasons.

Or you could simply say what has impressed you most about what was said in the post. This kind of feedback lets the author know the content they have written has been worthwhile. Since blogging can be a lonely experience, any engagement of this kind is usually gratefully received.

You can still be positive about something you disagree with, or what you think is below par. Rather than openly saying it is rubbish, look for elements which do have some worth, and focus on those. It's not worth demoralising the author, especially when they are new to writing.

How easy is it to implement your advice?

The most positive way of offering advice is to introduce it in bite-sized portions, so it can be easily understood. This makes it easier to put a positive slant on it, and may even allow you to explore and present it in a different way.

Any advice worth its salt is immediately improved if it can be taken away and instantly implemented. It's no good giving them a concept which they find difficult to grasp, let alone put into action. Once a solution is started to be used with immediate effect, then people can see its worth.

Giving help which is valuable and useful can easily be seen in a positive light. You will have brought them out of the doldrums of not knowing, and enlightened them with your knowledge and skills from your niche or industry. Commenting is an excellent way to do this safely.

What extra can you offer to make a difference?

Everybody appreciates help and advice which provides added value to the status quo. The main criteria is to provide this help with no strings attached, purely with an altruistic frame of mind and a desire to spread more positivity around the web.

Commenting with added value can also benefit whoever presents encouragement and guidance to others. If you can relate this to your own experiences, this positivity can place you into a better light and allow people to recognise you as the go-to-person within your industry.

The more positive assistance you can provide will help to build trust with whoever reads your comments. They in turn will become advocates for you amongst their friends and connections, and your positivity will stand you in good stead in this area.

Send over some good vibes

Encouragement is another positive ploy you could use in conjunction with appreciation. Many authors will have worked very hard to produce their posts or articles, and those on social media will be hoping for some positive engagement in response to what they have posted.

Just having someone saying nice things (for a change) can make all the difference. If you know the person well, let them know how proud you are at their achievements. And to prove you are up-to-date with their content, you could reference another relevant post as well.

Being positive is about avoiding any expectations of failure, and by letting people know how well they are doing. Everybody can benefit from the inspiration and confidence positivity creates, which goes onto creating more good work for us to enjoy.

Avoid saying the same as everyone else

There are some occasions when positivity may seem to be inappropriate, but having been in mourning for my parents when they passed, I appreciated the more positive responses I received on social media than the usual sympathetic murmurations most people submitted.

Positivity can arise from thinking of something else to say which others haven't. This shows you care, you have bothered to find out more about the situation, and you have thought carefully what would be the most suitable thing to say at this point.

One lovely lady suggested remembering the good things my parents did when they were alive. I found this so uplifting, I was very touched. She was encouraging me to think positively about their life in a good way, rather than wallowing in the fact they were no longer here.

Eliminate the possibility of causing harm

Harping back to the concept of negativity, being positive helps to protect people from harm. Negative comments can be very destroying, sometimes unnecessarily and in some cases unintentionally, due to the deliverer being unaware of the damage they are causing.

Being able to cancel this by knowing how to comment positively can have a huge affect. It is like an antidote to all things horrid. Trolls can be bamboozled by a positive counteraction, as this is not what they are expecting in return for their mischief and degradation.

In other words, it's a very good idea to have a positive attitude to everything you do online. This way you are less likely to upset people, get the wrong end of the stick, cause confusion yourself and destroy any good work you have already achieved. And you'll gain more friends and followers as a result – win, win!

Are you ready to learn how to comment positively?

This is a very long post and I really appreciate you getting to the end. Now's your chance to have your say in the comments below.

If you are already commenting in a positive way, tell me what affect this has on your interactions online. And if you have been enlightened into the benefits of positive commenting, please also let me know your thoughts. My readers and I would love to hear from you.

Alice Elliott
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