Personality Conflicts in the Blogosphere

Image by Alles-Schlumpf

The blogosphere isn't that different than your daily “real” life: you wake up and get started working for the day. You interact with people–colleagues, friends, your family.  You experience a range of emotions– joy, exhaustion, anger, annoyance, excitement.


This is all to say, that since “real” life and the blogosphere have so many similarities, there's one you can't ignore: personality conflicts.


The simple fact is with 6.9 billion people in the world, you're not going to like them all. With millions of blogs on the internet, Twitter, and in our own fashion neighborhood, you may not like everyone you encounter.  Maybe you think another blogger leaves the most thoughtless, nonsensical comments.  Perhaps you've worked with another blogger and the experience left a lot to be desired.  Maybe you've become besties–and then all of a sudden, like happens with friends, you have a horrible falling out.


We're lucky because the internet provides us with a certain degree of separation that our daily life doesn't always afford us.  But if you're trying to run your blog professionally, trying to network and build relationships, chances are you can't totally avoid your “miss list” of bloggers.  No man is an island, especially when you're floating around millions of blogs!


  • Identify the source of the issue: Do you hate that blogger because you're really jealous? Do you think they come across as snobby– but worry you come across the same way?  Often times what we dislike about others is what we dislike about ourselves.
  • A tip I picked up from a work colleague– read everything in the best possible light.  Tone is so hard to gauge through words.  Unless you want to use excessive winky faces to let people know you're being sarcastic, playful, or humorous, lighten up on what and how you read it.
  • Realize that everyone's sense of ethics, habits, and goals are different from yours–and they're going to take different routes to reach them.  You DON'T have to work with bloggers who vary from you–there are enough talented bloggers who will share your vision and style that you can focus your energy on.  Don't focus (and waste) that precious energy on anyone else!
  • You can keep conversations cordial, but not read their blog, follow them on Twitter, engage actively in conversation, etc. In my own experiences, there are people in my life (before blogging and after), that I just communicate poorly with.  Every effort just became this struggle to get our points across and for the other to understand them.  Eventually I realized– it's just not worth it. It's not worth putting all of that energy in to communicating with someone you just can't communicate with.
  • What if you're caught in the middle of a personality conflict? What would you do if you had two best friends who disliked each other? Don't take sides. You can listen amiably, support both parties, or take a neutral “not interested” stance.
  • Talk to the person in question about your problems. Email them if you feel they're leaving a series of inaccurate or confused comments about your posts.  Talk to them if some business dealing or blogging partnership hasn't worked out in your best interests or comfort levels.  It's possible they aren't aware that there is a problem.

Essentially, use the tools and tactics you would in your day-to-day life and modify them (like you would any conversational habits) for your online communications.   Have you had to deal with a personality conflict online?  How have you handled it without resorting to name calling (or tearing apart their comments for grammar/content/logic/any other piddly excuse to show your superiority circa 1999-2002 online interactions)?

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24 Responses

  1. birdie

    Great post, Ashe! I think this is something we do see often and these tips offer a great perspective on how to handle it. 🙂

  2. Allie

    Such a great post. Over the years I have encountered many bloggers that I realize I just don’t like. It’s a hard community where it’s important to be polite, but also true to yourself. Often it seems as though you HAVE to like certain popular bloggers. I have over time realized you can be polite and cordial without pretending to like someone. No need to follow or support a blogger you don’t connect with, but also no need to bash that person. Blogs are great because it’s such a great way to share your views, ideas, opinions. There are always people who don’t agree, focus on those who do. 🙂

  3. Kb

    Great post and I think it’s a useful topic after seeing a few disputes in comments and on twitter. I think the tone is really hard to get across in blogging and some people take things the wrong way, though I think it’s best to be mindful of how you come across. Plus I’ve met people in real life that weren’t how I’d imagined them online, which has definitely been an eye-opener.

  4. L of Avid Accents

    Great post Ashe. I have trouble with this. I think my tone is sometimes overbearing and b*tchy on my blog but im not like that in real life. I don’t really try to figure out other bloggers. i realize they are people in a real life that has its ups and downs. and as far as readers: every blogger must understand, they come and they go…..never take it personal.

  5. Simone

    I think that the most important thing, especially with bloggers one admires, is to realize that they are real people with real lives. Not everyone is going to conduct themselves perfectly all the time and that extends to online too. I noticed that sometimes I tend to put the bloggers I admire on a pedestal, which is not good for anyone involved!

  6. Bella Q

    Great choice of topic and such good advice. In fact so good, I know I need to bookmark this and re-read it a few time to let it soak in.

    I am dealing with this more on a local level than the global one. And I’m starting to think it’s me. After spending considerable time and effort on trying to create community in my hometown, I feel frustrated. So much non-response from a number of bloggers I’ve reached out too. And I’m not sure why. There’s a few that seem to get along with eachother just fine, yet seem to consistently leave me out of the conversation. And you’ve reminded me that that’s just the way it is, that I can’t be liked by everyone, and need to direct my bloggy attentions elsewhere.

  7. Sophie

    Great post. Its hard to forget that other people can’t always read the same into what you write and vice versa. I guess I’m guilty of jumping to conclusions without really thinking first.

  8. lisa

    Great post and one that hits really close to home for me, as last year I had a falling out with someone who was a friend AND a blogger. (She and I don’t speak anymore.) One piece of advice I will give to anyone in a similar position is to know the difference between online conversations and offline ones. If you’re angry and you need to vent, do it in real life with a sympathetic friend or boyfriend. Don’t do it online because it’ll end up sounding bitter and/or like a ploy for sympathy.

  9. Eli

    A big thing for me was realizing how much younger some bloggers were, and how oddly immature they would come across. And it would get annoying some times – but I had to step back and realize that a lot of these girls were so much younger. It really put some things into perspective.

    • AsheMischief

      OOh, that’s such a good point Eli! I think another thing to recognize would be– are they internationally based? Just like with age & communication, if English isn’t your first language, that could create problems too.

      • Marie Denee

        I would have to agree! Great post as always Ashe!!!

        I oftentimes also come across those who are older although I think they are younger via the tone and writing! It is always something to think about! 🙂

        Thanks Eli

  10. de la Pen

    I have had some issues with personality conflicts in the blogosphere but my main problem is when it goes on outside the blogosphere. Like I’ve met bloggers at events and we talk and get along while out and about but then suddenly we stop talking for whatever reason. But then we continue to attend the same events and it’s awkward. What does one do in this situation. Sorry if I took the discussion to a different topic.

    • AsheMischief

      No, don’t apologize! I think that’s a GREAT question/place to lead the discussion, and I imagine it impacts a lot of bloggers in larger cities as well.

      I would ask… why did you stop talking? Bad blood? If not, when you see them at the event, I’d give them a big smile, apologize for not keeping better in touch, and get the convo rolling again! It’s probably not personal, but just real life getting in the way.

      • de la Pen

        Thank you!

        We stopped talking after we were supposed to do a blog collaboration. I emailed the blogger about it and at first they seemed cool with it but then they never completed it. So whenever I see them at events, I just don’t say anything b/c it’s an awkward subject to broach. I’m pretty much over it but figured that maybe something could be done.

  11. Smaggle

    Great topic! I’m from Australia and our community of fashion bloggers is quite small and because blogging isn’t as supported here as it is in the states we all kind of band together to support each other. But admittedly there some blogs/bloggers who rub me up the wrong way and I totally agree with the not following them on twitter tip. Out of sight, out of mind.

  12. Christy

    I think this is a great reminder that I really needed. Sometimes I get really annoyed when I see blogs that I think aren’t that creative (runway shots, celeb photos) and I wonder how they are so popular. Then I have to remind myself that obviously someone out there loves this stuff otherwise it wouldn’t be so widely read.

  13. Victoria Suzanne

    One blogger I don’t like because she sent me a message insisting my recent posts (this was a while ago) should be attributed to her, since she ‘had the idea first.’ I was so shocked that she would try to take credit for my work when I didn’t even read her blog in the first place! So, naturally, I simply avoid her blog and hope she doesn’t try to pull the same stunt again.

    As for other bloggers that I don’t like and haven’t been gauche with my personally, I just try to realize that people go their separate ways and that there’s something for everyone.

  14. new fashion

    I worry about this sometimes and some of the hostility/tension between members of the fashion blogging world. We should be supporting each other!

  15. Marchmusings

    I think often the problem is in getting the right tone across. What sounds a bit rude may not have been written with that message in mind. After all we’re mostly in this – blogging- to connect with people not to put them down.

  16. Gemma

    great post, I’ve not seen anyone tackle this before. I’m new to the blogging world so I haven’t experienced this yet but the advice has given me a lot to think about. I’ve seen war waged in comments it it isn’t the right way to go. I also think a comment isn’t always the best way to share what you think. If you have a problem I think it should be dealt with via email x

  17. Jaclyn

    I really like how you wrote this. I’ve never compared blog life to real life, but after reading this it make total sense. We spend so much time writing and designing for our blogs so it’s only natural that emotions from the day (work, relationships, etc) will find their was into the posts.

    I think it’s great advice to tell someone to email with a proble, rather than rant through a comment. It’s just like confronting someone in a public and putting them on the spot, some things are better fixed one on one.

    Great article!