Tag Archives: etiquette

4 Tips for Dealing with Online Haters

shutterstock_76767721-11By: Dr. Kulkarni

With more of the world creating and consuming information on the internet, online behavior, etiquette, and the rules of engagement are becoming increasingly complex.  Basically, online etiquette is virtually nonexistent.  Sitting behind an anonymous computer screen, with an anonymous screen name, many people feel empowered to say things in comment boxes, chat rooms and on boards that would never say in real life.  In some ways, this creates open, honest, unfiltered dialogue.  On the flip side, it really brings out the dark side of people where they unleash all their frustration, anger, and even boredom through their keyboards.

So what to do if you’re an online writer, blogger, tweeter, or anyone who puts any sort of content out there that people can read and comment on?  These are my top tips for surviving and navigating through the world of online “haters”:

  1. Don’t take it personally.  This seems like an obvious one, but it’s good to remind yourself that the people that are writing nasty or negative comments probably don’t know you in real life.  They have not put as much thought and effort into their words as you probably have into yours, and aren’t as invested in what they’re saying and how it might be hurting you.  Most people just have a knee-jerk reaction, comment on the first thing that comes to mind and move on.  Also remember that some of these people are bored, and it’s much easier for them to tear someone else down than to do something constructive themselves.  So keep a cool head, your emotions in check, resist the urge to respond, and move on.
  2. Know what you’re getting yourself into.  When you voluntarily post your work, writing, or thoughts onto the world wide web, you are by definition exposing yourself to the world (or at least anyone that has access to the site you are posting on).  Take this into consideration before you put something out there on social media, a blog, etc.  If you are writing something that you know in your heart is controversial, that doesn’t necessarily make it wrong to put it out there, but be prepared for the backlash.  And don’t act surprised when it comes.  This is all a part of learning how to handle your online persona.  Having a thick skin is a part of it.  The other part of it is understanding how the majority are going to perceive something, and then tailoring your message to reach your audience most effectively.
  3. Realize that disagreement can be healthy and be utilized as constructive feedback.  On the flip side of the first point, if you see a comment that is well thought out, and written in a respectful manner, but just happens to disagree with you, don’t automatically discount that person as a “hater.”  Varying points of view are necessary for productive dialogue, and people reading your words have different degrees of life experience, perspective, and insight.  Not to mention different value systems and ways of looking at the world.  When something goes out to a broad audience, you should expect dissention.  You can sometimes utilize the feedback to your advantage to help you evolve your own point of view or understand another’s perspective, which will only make you better.
  4. Stay focused on your message.  If you’re reading this, you probably understand Law of Attraction basics.  So you know that split energy or negativity within yourself will cause disturbance in your energy and potentially attract haters.  Try to come from a clear, pure space of love and positive intention in all of your work and writing.  You will never be able to please all of the people all of the time, but focusing on your own strongly positive intention and message will help keep you from being brought down by people at a different energy frequency.  In other words, stay in your own positive mind space, and let your work and words flow from there.  The haters will eventually get bored and move on as well.


Dr. Kulkarni is a New York City based physician, spiritual author, and personal coach.  Find her @Dr_Kulkarni or visit www.leveragingthought.com to learn more.

Royal Marriage Manners

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are visiting Southern California this week, and of course the media is covering every moment.  Upon their arrival in Los Angeles from Canada, I noticed something that I don’t think everyone did, but it could be very telling about the royal relationship. 

After William and Kate disembarked the plane, they went through a receiving line to be welcomed by Governor Jerry Brown and his wife, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and other dignitaries.  Will went through the line first, followed by his bride.  They were greeted, curtseyed to and shook hands with each person graciously.  When Will was finished, he made a bee-line for the Range Rover, and got in the back seat without a glance back.  Kate completed her duties a minute or so later, and went to the back seat on the other side of the car. 

What is unusual about this?  Since the British are such sticklers for etiquette, they should be practicing it in their marriages as well as amongst commoners.  The gentlemanly thing for William to do would have been to wait for his wife to shake the last hand, and then walk over to the car with her.  Ideally, he would walk her to her side of the car and help her in before entering the car himself. 

This may be a small thing, but it shows respect and consideration.  I get that they’re both on a schedule and being shepherded around by security.  But in a marriage, there is a kind of radar that keeps you aware of where that other person is at all times.  I get that William is the Prince and probable heir to the throne.  But whatever happened to common courtesy, and “ladies first?”  If I were in Kate’s position I’d be saying to my hubby: “Hello?  Wait for me!”  Of course it’s not good form for couples, and especially royals, to correct each other in public.

While I’m on the subject, yes, it was a lovely gesture that William gave Kate his mother’s ring.  However, I do believe that Kate deserves her own ring as well.  Why have Diana’s ring be her engagement ring?  After all, even though Diana’s ring is beautiful and historic, it did originate from a marriage that is widely known as unhappy and that ended in divorce.  That’s a lot of baggage to be carrying around on your finger.  Already Kate is being compared to Diana, and this will inevitably follow her throughout her lifetime.  Kate is her own person, and this is a new relationship, so I say give her a new ring.

Kate has a lot to put up with.  Every bride has to deal with in-laws, but Kate has to do it under the scrutiny of the world.  She had her wedding in the same church where her husband’s mother had her funeral.  She’s a good sport to go along with her new family in all these decisions, and I know this will go far in keeping Will and Kate together. 

The royal couple is sure to get lots of attention wherever they go, and whatever they do.  But they need to remember that it is the attention that they give to one another that will be what makes this marriage succeed.  It is both the attention that they give to each other in private, at home, when it is just the two of them.  And it is also the attention that they give to each other in public.  I remember hearing from body language experts about the sweet glances they gave each other during the wedding ceremony, and how that was a good sign of a true loving relationship.  The world is watching!  The pressures of the position will be there, and there will be obligations and schedules and demands.  But the smallest reassuring glance, the hand on the back as a guide, and the simple act of waiting for the other person to finish before going ahead with the next task, that will make all the difference. 

This royal marriage is only a few months in, and as time goes on, these simple courtesies will mean more and more.  I would advise William to get in the habit of being a gentlemanly husband now.  A husband with good manners is a true Prince.

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / Defence Images



 The spring sports season for children is in full swing. Youth soccer complexes are packed with boys and girls of all ages and sizes chasing colorful balls with their eager legs. Neighborhood parks and school baseball diamonds are filled with children swinging for the fences or simply happy to hit the ball. Riding arenas are filled with horses and their enthusiastic riders hoping to impress the judges.

Your behavior on the sidelines is as important as your child’s behavior between the lines. While playing out the important role of spectating, consider the following ABC’s of sideline etiquette. Here you will find valuable ways to support your child as you watch their participation.

A – Anger Management. Hold on to your temper. Model restraint for your young athlete. Refrain from yelling from the sidelines or stands. This can be embarrassing to your child and can build resentment toward your presence. Yes, get excited, but channel that excitement into encouragement and applause. Stay home if you’re prone to lose control and occasionally berate officials or disrespect other spectators.

B – Bigger Picture. Remember that winning is only one of the goals of competition. Keep the value of winning in perspective. Yes, winning is important. Everyone likes to win. Yet, playing to one’s ability, giving strong effort, exhibiting good sportsmanship, improving skills, playing within the rules, and learning to lose with grace are lessons that are just as valuable as winning.

C – Coach or Cheer. Many programs are looking for anyone willing to coach. If you think you have the knowledge, ability and patience, volunteer to be a coach. You can also lend a hand at practice if you feel qualified and the coach approves. Cheer for other children. Focusing solely on your child sends the message that you don’t care about the team or the event. It tells others that you are only there for your child. Compliment players as they are substituted in and out of the game. Applaud their accomplishments.

D – Don’t Be a Critic. Resist the urge to critique your child. Improvement is more likely in an atmosphere of positive encouragement. Often with positive intentions, parents inform children of their errors and how they can improve. This feedback is often unnecessary, as children are usually aware of their errors. They don’t need parents making a verbal list of mistakes to be corrected. They need you to be there and to allow them to play and have fun.

E – Enjoy. Find enjoyment in your child’s desire to be active and involved. Appreciate his willingness to learn a new skill and take a risk by performing it in front of others. Smile on the inside when you see your son or daughter take the field as they learn about blending fun and competition. Be proud for them and happy that you get to be a part of it.

Enjoy the benefits your children receive: exercise, fresh air, skill development, sportsmanship, and the feeling of camaraderie among their teammates and fellow participants.  Also remember there are benefits for you in being supportive and watching your children grow into responsible, confident beings. 

Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman are leading parenting authorities, authors, and motivational speakers. Click here to sign-up for their free newsletter.


Laughing at Unwanted Advice

I just returned from my annual weekend at Rockaway Beach on the Oregon Coast with my best friend from college, Barbara. Unlike other retreats I take, which are all about working, this one’s about play, self care, and delightful self-indulgence. It’s about eating smoked salmon and tuna, sipping tea, sharing wine, sleeping in, poking around antique shops, beach walking, and talking endlessly about what matters most to us.

It’s also about watching movies, usually classic black and white ones, on TV. Last weekend, though, since it was Valentine’s Day, romantic comedies abounded – fortunate us: our husbands sent us away with their blessings because it was one of the few long weekends Barbara and I could both take off – and we saw Sleepless in Seattle, Must Love Dogs, The Wedding Singer, and Failure to Launch. They differed in plot, but all shared something besides clever writing and happy endings: characters receiving unwanted advice.

In Must Love Dogs, Sarah Nolan, a kindergarten teacher in her mid-30s, has been divorced for eight months when her family decides it’s time for her to find romance again. Well-intentioned but misguided, her sisters place an Internet dating ad for her, using her high school graduation photo, and offer unasked for counsel about dating.

Perhaps most hilarious are the exchanges between Sarah, played by Diane Lane, and her butcher, from whom she wants to buy just one chicken breast for dinner. The butcher tries to persuade her to buy more than what she wants – after all, it’s on sale, so why not purchase the whole chicken for about the same price?! – not realizing that the more he insists, the more he annoys her, rubbing in the fact that she is alone.

I found myself laughing and cringing through these movies, reminded that it’s not just those punched by cancer who field oft-unwanted advice, but also the divorced, bereaved, and heartbroken of every stripe. At least two of the statements from my book, Help Me Live: 20 Things People with Cancer Want You to Know, apply here as well: "Asking my permission can spare me pain" and "I want compassion, not pity; comfort, not advice."

Though I accept and forgive that we all (including me!) dole out unwelcome advice at times, I feel strongly that we should attempt to be conscious and respectful and at least try to hold our tongues. I’ve made it a point to refrain from asking my single friends about their love lives, because I know they’ll bring up the subject if there’s any news to report. And if they want my advice, they’ll ask for it.

I know that they realize that I keep silent not because I don’t care about them, but because I don’t want to bring up a subject that could hurt them. It’s like asking someone who’s unemployed, “Have you found a job yet?” If they have, they’ll certainly tell you, and if they haven’t, they probably don’t want to say for the nth time, “No, not yet.”

What cancer and romantic comedies have in common is that they can both teach us how to show we care in a respectful way that enriches rather than diminishes our sense of self. Another good reason to watch funny flicks!

Always hope,
Author of Help Me Live: 20 things people with cancer want you to know

This post originally appeared on Lori’s CarePages blog, "Hope for Cancer: what helps. what hurts. what heals."

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