Know when to walk away
I think the most important part of being nice is knowing when you just can't anymore. Everyone has their limit. Everyone has some triggers, a finite amount of patience and a whole host of other factors in their day to day lives. No one can stay calm and reasonable at all times every time. And that's fine! We're only human. No one ...
Don't make pointlessly negative comments.
If you are making a comment, have it be something that is driving the point towards something productive - whether that be an edit to the post, a change of opinion, or something else.
Don't just lay down negative unproductive comments that score cheap points against someone or don't lead to something good coming ...
Be kind. If you have something to say, especially if it's negative, say it with kindness. It only takes a little bit of extra thought to be tactful.
Remember this is all public, so negativity stings a bit more. So be a bit more respectful, and if it starts to drag out, take it private. Anyone can create a room.
Remember that it is difficult to read tone ...
TL;DR: Minimize interactions in comments.
Comments are second-class contributions. I feel I can safely ignore almost all comments as not worth my time. On many sites, there's a huge amounts of noise, argument bait, snark, etc., in the comments, to the point where it's simply not worth reading them. If they had something relevant and important ...
Wait before you respond
As @scohe001 mentioned, it is very important to know when to disengage, but you don't always need to disengage entirely. I often find myself writing comments that are a bit angrier than I would want associated with my account. I can usually tell that a comment I'm writing is going to be bad if I find myself typing faster than normal, ...
Remember the human.
Most of us won't give you false crap for no reason, so trust what others say.
Try to see the other side, and if you can't, respectfully disagree.
Don't get into heated arguments - they help nobody. It's best not to engage if it gets to this point.
Have some fun once and a while!
That's my tips for survival being nice.
The famous "Internet argument" comic from xkcd comes to my mind:
Consider how you would speak to that person if it wasn't over the internet. That helps.
Don't be easily offended or disproportionally emotionally upset or involved by whatever someone writes, even if it is offensive, and even if it is intentionally offensive, or ...
Here are two Interpersonal skills (IPS) Meta question that I think would be relevant here:
How do you tell an answerer that you think their answer needs work?. I think this post is relevant because, when you tell someone something negative, you have to be extra careful as to how you say things.
You are already saying something negative (which people ...
Become a student of the other person's perspective
While a lot of people mention listening, the key to listening is to try and pick out what the other person means. I had my wife yell at me once, in an angry-rant-yell way (think Twitter, but in person). It took 15 solid minutes of her yelling before I finally keyed in on what the actual problem was. Once I ...
My experience is mostly on programming sites, but I've found it helps to:
Listen to the words, not the tone. It's much easier to maintain a civil conversation, when you leave out the emotional component.
Be able to admit when you're wrong
Once after receiving (what seemed like) some snarky comments, I decided to re-read them. This time, ignoring the ...
I think the critical thing is empathy and self awareness.
I guess handling these from the other end of the screen may give the a different perspective of course.
Empathy lets us consider the effect of our words on others. Self awareness lets us moderate ourselves - and lets us consider the effect our emotions have on our words.
We're human. We lose out ...
"Simple": learn about non violent communication, as taught by Marshall Rosenberg. See wikipedia for starters.
In the end, it is always about:
clearly hearing the needs of the other person
clearly articulating what you heard
clearly articulating your needs
When that happens, both sides are normally able to see the other person as human being. Which ...
Don't live on the Internet.
If most of your interactions with other persons are through a device such as a computer or mobile phone, you will begin to lose the feeling that you are dealing with a person.
The more you interact with persons face-to-face, the less you will treat them unkind over the Internet.
There's a fair bit of advice here: Right Speech
The detailed meaning of some of that might be not-entirely-obvious at first reading -- for example:
"Not lying" probably includes, beware of telling jokes if they're untrue, ditto exaggerating.
Sarcasm and exaggeration are difficult, maybe especially online.
If you must use them then, I'd say, always add an ...
When SE decided that even snark and subtle put downs were not acceptable, I concluded that minimising comments was the best way to avoid posting something unacceptable.
But that does not mean you can't be negative about a post. You have the options to down vote, vote to close, or flag it. Doing those things has several advantages.
They are anonymous and ...