Dear Blue: How Do I “Shake It Off” Like Taylor Swift When I Get a Negative Comment?

Dear Blue, 

Sometimes I see rude responses or harsh feedback on my business’s social media. When should I respond, when should I ignore, and how do I “Shake It Off” like Taylor Swift when I get a negative comment?

– I Know That It’s Delicate

Image courtesy of @taylorswift on Instagram.

Dear Delicate,

In today’s age of constant in-your-face feedback on social media, it’s only right we call on one of the most in-the-public-eye celebrities to answer your question: Taylor Swift.

Think of the amount of negative comments you receive and multiply it by 1,000, maybe 10,000. That’s what the most popular musician in the world receives every day. And although we can’t be sure of these actual stats, we know it’s a lot—and if Taylor can resist being reactive and responding to each (or any) of those comments, we know you can, too. 

So, how does Taylor “Shake It Off” after all these years? Here’s how to approach your comment section. 

Step one:

Breathe in, breathe through, breathe deep, breathe out. You know All Too Well you may not like what you’re about to see. 

Step two:

Open your comment section, Dear Reader. Pause, then scroll. 

Step three:

Read. Digest. Although it may feel easier to just ignore it, assessing the overall feedback is crucial when determining whether or not there’s a real issue worth responding to. Is the overall consensus positive with one singular hater? Or are there a few similar comments bringing an actual issue to light? If you see a common theme, it may be time to reassess: it’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me.

However, if you only see one negative comment or a few unrelated ones among a sea of positivity, that’s when it’s probably best to leave it, especially if the comment is mean just for the sake of being mean. (Why you gotta be so mean?)  Leave it, delete it, or shut off your comments altogether if necessary. Taylor has been the queen of ignoring unwarranted negative opinions, even when it looked like Kim and Kanye had turned the whole world against her. And if you were ever in doubt about taking the high road, just look at how her success has skyrocketed despite these hunters with cell phones.

This brings us to step four:

Remind yourself the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, then Shake It Off. Instantly healed.

On the other hand, if the comment has a valid concern, is stating incorrect “facts,” or if a fight is breaking out, it might be time to step in. For the concerned individual, respond with answers to their troubles and ask them to reach out directly so you can make it right. For the thread of misinformation or arguing strangers, drop the real facts to hopefully put it to bed. Even if they respond back, resist the urge to turn it into an argument—say everything you need to say in one comment without turning it into The Great War. Defuse the situation, but don’t leave your audience with any Bad Blood. Because like every outfit Taylor wears on the Eras Tour, your comments live on the internet forever.

So long story short: next time you find yourself wanting to respond to a petty hate comment, just think to yourself, WWTD?

Karma’s a relaxing thought,


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