- If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.
- You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.
- Don't dignify that with an answer. (For someone saying something mean.)
Most of us over the age of 21 (the age of 10? 8?) have learned this, to at least some degree. We have learned not to say to someone, "You have a big butt", but rather "That isn't the most flattering outfit." I'm told by friends who grew up in the South, that when women there want to be catty (or perhaps along with the cattiness), they say, "Bless her heart". I do think that's much more positive, asking for a blessing for the person whom you dislike, to help him/her see the light, change his/her ways, etc.
#2 really hit home this week, as I began to delete blog post comments that showed up in my email box without reading them. Why read something I knew was going to be vile, just from the subject? And you can't influence someone without reaching him or her.
#3 is about not giving energy to the negative. What you focus on, expands. I choose to focus on the positive. This is also why I've chosen to hide the comments. Why leave the vile stuff out in the open? (And it doesn't seem possible to publish some comments and not others, and even if it were possible, that would be way too much work, and focusing on the negative.)