Bullying has always been around, but it has become even more commonplace with the rise of social media. And it’s not just kids and teens that are feeling the brunt of it. Here’s the lowdown on what to do when a cyberbully leaves you a negative or downright nasty comment.
Take a Step Back
Although your initial reaction may be to immediately respond to a negative or hateful comment, your first step should be to pause. Take some time to process it. Was the person trying to attack you, or did they hit a sore spot? Are you reading into the comment in the way it was intended? Sometimes, a seemingly hateful or rude comment isn’t meant to be taken that way. So before you react (and potentially escalate the situation), think about the intent and if it’s worth your time to respond.
It’s Not Always Personal
While there are cases where people use the internet to bully and attack others, the impersonal nature of the computer screen makes it all too easy to forget there is a human with feelings on the other end. Just because someone makes a hateful comment doesn’t automatically mean they dislike you, so try not to take those words personally.
Take It as Feedback
If you read a comment and think, “Oops, they’re right,” it’s a learning experience. While negative comments are never appealing, they can be motivators for improvement. Consider other points of view and admit to mistakes when applicable.
Some of the most problematic people you’ll meet online are trolls who provoke and upset others for their own amusement. No matter how you respond, they’ll comment back, saying whatever it takes to rile you further. As tempting as it may be, don’t engage these individuals. It’s not worth your energy.
Just Log Off
Sometimes the best way to deal with hate online is to stay away from it. Not reading the comments on your posts or logging off entirely when you’re not ready to deal with them isn’t taking the easy way out – it’s protecting and caring for yourself.
Do you have any tips for dealing with hateful or negative comments online? Share them with us in the comments below.