The Art of Ignoring: How to Escape What Doesn't Matter

How would you like to save time, prevent pointless arguments, and become a much better communicator? What if I tell you it is surprisingly easy to do this and that even better, you don't need to learn any comebacks, put-downs, or clever sayings? What if all you have to do to master this extraordinary new communications skill is – drumroll, please: learn how to ignore comments.

Yes, really.

Of course, it may sound counter-intuitive or perhaps even a little submissive. You may be thinking, "Geez, so you're saying I should let people walk all over me? That's just not my style, man!"

I used to think like that, too, which was really tough for me when I got on the Internet. Believe it or not, I used to be a little introverted and disliked conflict. So, the vicious, rough and tumble style of commenting that's the rule of thumb online was not something I easily adapted to at first. I'd get upset when I was insulted. I was one of those people who'd go back and forth with someone 7-8 times in a thread. I'd spend a lot of time responding to dumb comments from anonymous people.

Then, I started blogging and as my traffic grew, more people started responding to what I wrote and emailing me. That was when it occurred to me that it made more sense to write a post for my entire audience to see than to respond in a comment section where only a sliver of the eyeballs reading my blog would catch it. As the numbers picked up, I formulated some general rules to determine when I'd respond to a comment or blog post about myself.

1) Is the criticism on point and worth responding to because it raised a good point?

2) Is the criticism from someone with a bigger audience than mine? Would I be "punching up"?

3) Could I make fun of the person criticizing me and entertain my audience?

If the criticism didn't meet one of those standards, I just let it go...and guess what? It worked out really well.

After all, what difference does it make if Kilgore734 thinks you're a show-off and hopes you're hit by a bus on the way home; what difference does it make in your life? If your father or your boss or your girlfriend thought those things about you, it would be a big deal. But, if some random tool whom you don't know, respect, or care about feels that way -- who cares?