Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Voice Of Your Comments

Blog Comments.....we all love them, we love getting them. For many, even in the hustle and bustle, we read a post and comment, or maybe we don't comment at all. That comment could take the form of a pat on the back, or a high five at a great find or a word of encouragement.

What happens when a comment you left for someone takes on a voice in that persons ear that is totally not the voice you had in your heart? It happens, and it happened to me and I have to say, I was left feeling pretty bad about the whole thing, still do.

Worse yet, being totally unaware that anything I had said would have been offensive, I found out about it via a blog post. My name was not mentioned, but my words jumped off the page at ME as I read the post about the situation. First thing I thought was.."Oh, my gosh...what did I say???" and discovered when I went to reread my words that yes, I did use those certain words, but they were interpreted and taken totally out of content from the way I meant them.

What was worse, I quickly discovered because that is what we do, (go read who the nasty person is that would say such a thing) that my comment was the only one that contained those certain "Outed for all of BLOG LAND to read".......I was crushed. Truly. Not so much as to the "outing" but more so of the fact that my words seemed to carry a voice in someones ear,  that does not match my heart and they were deemed offensive to another person.

In visiting blogs and commenting, I don't know about you, but I read the post and sometimes I just fire off a comment without much thought to how my words will read. I know in my heart and head what I mean by them, but what happens when someone else does not hear it in the same tone or get what you are saying?

It is a lesson for me that I need to be more careful how I say things because the farthermost thing from my heart is to offend someone who I take the time to leave a comment for. I know there are folks out there that do enjoy leaving comments that are not so nice, but I don't fall under that category, that is not who I am.

Likewise, I have often read comments left for others and when I read them, thought to myself..that was rude....but maybe the person who the comment was left for never felt that way. It is all in the way we read something I guess that determines the interpretation. Everyone walks a different path and maybe we pull feelings from words we read from past experiences or hurts in our own lives. What someone says to one person may be fully understood but saying the very same thing to another, well it becomes judgmental and offensive.

My response to all of this was to immediately email the person and tell them that I did not mean what I said the way they read it, and apologize. Honestly, that was probably not the best thing to do either.....but I felt it was right to do.

All I know is I need to be more mindful of how my words will read to someone else because the very last thing I want to do moving forward is to have to apologize for offending anyone and trying to explain that the voice they heard was not the voice of my heart.

Life lesson today: Choose your words very carefully.


  1. Oh Suzanne, I completely understand what you are saying. Hand raised here for being guilty of putting words to paper, because I love funny, and the interpretation not as intended. Like you, I would never ever intentionally cause hurt feelings.

    This is a great post because it is a good, gentle reminder that we all have to be more aware of our words.

  2. I'm so sorry. Don't beat yourself up too much about it. You sent the email to apologize and there isn't much else you can do. The blogger can either accept it or not. Try not to dwell and have a great holiday weekend! HUGS!!!

  3. I happen to read the blog that you refer to as well and when I read that post, thought to myself that I had not read any comments like that. I have read all the comments to those post and did not remember any like that were described.

    I went back to "see who the nasty person was" as you say, and I have to tell you, I did not see how your comment could have been taken in the manner that it was. Maybe there are other factors in this that are not being seen to the general public.

    Your post however, serves us all to be aware of how we say things. The problem with written text is the lack of emotion and sound behind the words. In communication, that plays a big part of how we interpret words of others.

    Rudeness is never interpreted the same way by two people, so remember that. I "got" what you meant by your comment and I am sure I am not the only one who did.

    from Virginia

  4. It's an awful thing to have your words, and even worse, the intent of your heart, misinterpreted, and so much easier to do in print, without body language or inflection to shed some light. So sorry this has happened, and I think you did the right thing to apologize, whether they accepted it or not.

  5. My words seem to always be taken the wrong way. Kinda use to it by now. But it was very wrong for that person to just out you in a blog post instead of emailing you first to clarify the meaning of your words. It would have saved everyone from a bunch emotions that didn't need to happen. I hope the rest of the weekend goes better for you. Keep on commenting it makes your soul feel good.

  6. Do you know what Suzanne.. I always put my foot in it. What i love is typing my words better than saying them. Sometimes even voicing the words can be taken out of context. I have always enjoyed your wonderful blog and your words of encouragement, wisdom and sharing.
    Sometimes others are having a sensitive day but that is when we sit back and think then maybe go right to the source and ask did you mean????...
    Not to worry I skim on things I might not understand and just go to the fun...
    it was a blue full moon the last 2 seems everyone had a moment or two even at work...
    hugs and double hugs

  7. I read and reread comments or messages before I send them. My words have been taken the wrong way several times, and in one of those instances the person who took it the wrong way addressed the comment publicly on her blog but twisted my words to her interpretation AND used my name. I was very hurt and upset about the whole situation and actually took a break from blogging. I realized though that I wasn't the one who had caused the problem, and what ever issues the other person had were hers and I had done everything I could to fix it. Have a great weekend and continue to comment and participate.

  8. Should the person taking the comment "out of context" be a Christian, it behooves her or him to contact the one posting and e-talk about it. We're all struggling, some of us mightily, and, as Pastor Begg would say, "the pagans watch Christians closely.
    It appears there's a missed opportunity to right things and you've done your best. Give it up to God and let it go.

  9. I think moods, circumstances and backgrounds all play a part how people relate or not to others. Even if you said something that someone did not agree with, that is ok. Really it is OKAY! We don't all have to think, act, or believe alike or about the same things.

    Shame on them actually for casting stones and jumping to conclusions over an obvious misunderstanding on their part. Hashing it out on some kind of band wagon on a blog is double shame on them.

    Don't beat yourself up over this...the people who get to know you from your own blog know or will soon know where your intentions lie. I don't blame you for feeling bad about it however, that shows me that you were not acting as the other person thought all along.

    Enjoy your weekend.

  10. I'm so sorry this happened to you but this great post is a reminder to all of us that words do have power! Sometimes I think I'm being funny/clever and then I re-read it and think...hmmmm maybe not. I am guilty of a quick comment sometimes and this will remind me to be careful with my words. That said, others interpret our words through their own eyes and we can never be sure what someone else will see. Hugs, Linda

  11. I have also been misunderstood and it is heart wrenching...You did what you could to clean it up, now you can let it go. =) It will be okay. =)

  12. This is a well written post and a wise reminder. I also know how it feels to have have something I've written or spoken with the best of intent misunderstood.

  13. Sorry this happened to happens to me all the time. I get the same response from verbal communication and I too do not mean what others hear. I have gotten in more trouble when I was working because someone 'heard' something entirely different from what I actually said or meant.

  14. Gosh that is an awful thing to have happen to you. It's hard with written words as they are just read the way they are. When you speak verbally your tone or expression sets the words.
    You did the right thing apologising =D

  15. It's true that email and blog comments cannot convey tone. I'm sorry that this happened. I've not yet been sent any comments that were questionable in tone. If I were, I simply would not publish the comment and wait and see what other comments I received from this reader. I really don't know anything specific about the situation you mention, but know a blog post is not an appropriate place to air your "dirty laundry" or try to make a point at the expense of someone else. You've done what you can.
    Blogging is about getting to know others and sharing your specific loves. Keep on sharing!

  16. I once had a supervisor tell me, "your intention is not what is important, only the interpretation matters."

    At the time I thought it was unfair. But upon reflection he made sense. It was definitely an eye opener.

    In his defense he repeated the statement when our team discussed the way he talked to us too. Only then he said you are right my intention is unimportant.


Sometimes someone says something really small, and it's like it fits into this empty space in your heart!

Thank you for stopping by and leaving your thoughts here, they really mean a lot to me!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...