I had planned to write on a topic suggested by Elizabeth in last week’s comments—the anxiety that comes from not having many close friends or knowing who will be there for us when we need help, as contrasted with our ancestors’ experiences in small, close-knit villages. But instead, I got into a conversation on another blog about standing up for oneself while also maintaining a kind and positive tone, and where to draw the line so as not to react unkindly out of anger.

Word-art with image of computer screen saying "Be kind online."

(word-art image courtesy of Bits of Positivity)

How do you find the right balance between standing up for yourself online and avoiding unnecessarily negative situations? If someone wronged you online, such as by copying your material without permission, would you publicly demand that they take it down and apologize, in the hope of putting a stop to their bad behavior? Would you decide that the negative energy wasn’t worth it and, after trying to resolve the matter privately, just let it pass? Or would you take legal action? What would you consider the kindest and most self-nurturing way to deal with a situation like that?

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.


  1. Hi Meg, For sure some action must be taken, copying is the same as stilling, taking over your idea, your photos, your words. Public and legal measures are necessary, because we don’t want a thief among us. We are blogging to enjoy ourselves, to make friends, to form a community, and in this community crime must be punished, so we can have fun, and not be measuring our words and moments we post in blog.
    I’m glad you thought about my suggestion from last week, maybe next post you can go ahead with it. Have a great night!

    • Thanks for this great comment Elizabeth, it sums up the issue very well! I haven’t had any of my writing stolen (at least, not that I know of), but in the past I’ve been involved with online communities where efforts to punish people for various transgressions turned into ugly factional wars. Those memories came to mind recently in the context of an incident where a blogger asked his readers to assist him in reporting a plagiarism to Facebook, which was of course a perfectly reasonable response, but then the situation degenerated into two camps yelling at each other.

      So, my question, more precisely framed (thanks again!) is: How do we punish crime, rudeness, etc., in online communities so that we can have fun with our blogs, while also being careful not to spark nasty online wars that suck the fun out of blogging even worse?

      I’ll reflect on it more this weekend and write a longer post…

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  3. A dilemma indeed —

    I try my best to stay so far out of tune with negative environment — and in that I also have little clue if someone takes credit for a post, a photo or a piece of poetry (unless someone directs me to it) — I try to keep a high energetic vibration with the goal of repelling unkindness and drama. It goes on enough in my own personal surroundings, I seek refuge in my blogging world. Although, I haven’t had any on my blog — I fortunately have the right not to post comments and/or delete them if inappropriate. Thank you for linking last week.

    • I try to avoid that stuff too, Becca, and haven’t gotten any unkind comments here so far; but I agree with you that anything of that sort should either not be posted or be deleted. And yes, life would be so much easier if we could just press the delete key to get rid of real-life drama too!

  4. Sadly, my only negative back-and-forth has been with a sibling who enjoyed political sparring. I tried to keep things positive, unfortunately they always degenerated into he was right and I was wrong. Being that he was older meant that he naturally knew better. Or so he boldly implied. Unfortunately his sense of superiority cost us a heretofore amicable relationship. I eventually spammed his comments. When I let him back in, he continued in the same vein as before. Hence, I again spammed him…and haven’t heard back since. Too bad…

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