A letter to my past and future haters

jasonleow  •  24 Mar 2023   •    

Straight from James Clear’s newsletter today:

“A phrase I heard recently and found useful: I agree with the idea, but I disagree with the tone. Many ideas get dismissed because they are delivered in a cocky or hostile or dismissive tone—or because of who delivers them. Separate substance from style.”

Brilliant way to convey the state of most public discourse online. I wrote about the price of going viral on LinkedIn, how I didn’t enjoy the overly-harsh and caustic comments, even if the points were educational.

The words by James Clear would have been a perfect reply. Writing this out now for my past haters, and for future haters:

“Hi there. Good points. I agree with them, but disagree with the tone you delivered them with. I prefer to engage in online discussion in a civil and polite manner. Your words felt harsh, judgemental, and caustic. Unnecesarily hostile. Even condescending. Of course, you can speak any way you want to strangers online. It’s your right, and I can’t expect you to bend to my preferences. Likewise, I have my right on how I like to receive comments. I’m happy to continue this conversation if you don’t mind changing the tone of your delivery. If you do mind, then we’ll have to cut this conversation off here. Thanks.”

What do you think of this letter?


I wouldn’t even dignify the trolls with a response. On a side note, I wonder how many people profess to read his newsletter but don’t actually read it. He somehow has created a cult following that makes it popular for someone to reference his newsletter. I know you actually enjoy it, but I am betting many others are just habit-signaling.

therealbrandonwilson  •  25 Mar 2023, 4:35 pm

@therealbrandonwilson Yeah sometimes the best response for haters is simply no response, agree. For the times where I need to respond, the template could come in useful in holding my boundaries.

haha you mean “virtue signalling” 😉😆

jasonleow  •  25 Mar 2023, 11:07 pm

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