10 WAYS TO COMBAT TROLLS & KEYBOARD WARRIORS
I have been contacted by a few people lately, that have experienced negative comments and private messages regarding their business and their work! So, I thought that I would put together a little post to help you with how to combat the trolls and keyboard warriors, that not only sadly exist within our industry but also in life in general.
It is only natural that people get frustrated with situations especially in the world that we find ourselves living in today, but when peoples frustrations on other matters are transferred to others for no good reason, this then causes a ripple effect! The ripple effect starts with one person’s insecurities, frustrations and negative mind set, being placed upon someone that they may not even know, through the means of a post, a comment, a review or even a PM. Trolls and keyboard warriors are people who are unfortunately set on a path of judgement and righteousness, no matter what you do.
The thing is no matter how perfect we are in communicating, how perfect your work is; as you grow as a person and your influence grows you will attract more of a following and you are therefore more likely to run into a troll or keyboard warrior.
It is vital that you understand the motivation that triggers the troll, and how quickly a trivial situation can dramatically escalate if you react in the ‘wrong’ way. It is also vital for you NEVER to take and abuse on social media to heart – you MUST focus on the positive rather than the ONE negative.
So, without further ado here are my 10 top tips on how to deal with negativity.
1. READ IT, READ IT AGAIN, AND READ IT AGAIN!
Analyse it and let someone you trust read it too!
There have been plenty of times that my initial feelings and response would have been TOTALLY different, if I had not read and re read something a few times.
The written word is a VERY different language, and some people really do not master it well! They may come across rude and angry, BUT in their mind when they were writing it, they absolutely DO NOT mean it the way it reads.
2. HAVE EMPATHY
This is one of the hardest to master. When someone is being wrongfully rude to you, the first thing you want to do is defend and then attack. But, if you try to see things from their perspective, it will gain a better understanding for you to try and see what angle they have come from, it does NOT mean that you have to agree! But it will help for you to be able to process. Not only that, it will make you the bigger person, and that is NEVER a bad thing!
3. DO NOT ENGAGE
I know it is easy to feel the need to defend yourself and I am all for being empowered and standing up for yourself. However, when it comes to the internet; it is - most of the time - just better to keep calm.
With 'do not engage' I am not saying ignore it completely (although - why not?!) but if you feel the need to reply then do it with grace and avoid ANY words which could be interpreted as an attack. Make sure you acknowledge their 'opinion' with respect even if they had none for you!
4. STAY CALM
Rant and rave to the people around you about it but online to the person OR talking ABOUT the person in groups; stay calm. It might be one of the hardest things to do but the good thing about the online world is; you can type, re-read it, and edit a few times before you actually post your reply.
If you need to have a real vent; RING people who 'get' it and talk to them - talking about it is SO different than writing about it - it will help you form a better reply too if you do this first.
Make sure though you don't do this with people who LOVE drama as they will just fire you up more.
You need it to be someone who understands AND gives you some balance in your reply.
5. STAY AWAY FROM DRAMA
Some people just WANT drama, they need it in their life. So no matter how calm and collected you respond they will take their response overboard no matter what.
Consider replying as calm and balanced as possible and walking away - and use the HIDE COMMENT when you can - it really helps!!
Remember that the people reading will see who is balanced in their replies and who is not.
Make sure you can be proud of your reply.
6. WORRY ABOUT YOUR REPUTATION FOR THE RIGHT REASON
It can be very valuable for you as a person or business for others to see how you have handled a difficult situation. If you have dealt with the troll in a calm and concise manner, you will gain much more respect and a better reputation than your troll has intended for you!
So if you worry about your reputation, forget about this one person - think about all the people reading it and how THEY will feel from your response.
7. STOP DRAGGING IT IN THE MUD
Watch out for the 'power' of a group and people heading over to the post in question and replying to the troll.
Once you have dealt with the troll on the correct manner, put the situation to bed! You do not need to concentrate on it any longer. You cannot move forward if you keep looking back! So leave them be safe in the knowledge that you have dealt with the troll and moved on!
8. PUT IT ON A SCALE
How important - REALLY - is the comment? on a scale of 1-10.... How BAD is it REALLY?
I see people get SO upset over comments that to me - really - are not THAT bad....
Your response to it however ... number 10 on the scale of importance!
9. DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY
Your business and what you create, is your 'baby' and any negative commentary strikes you right where it hurts. It probably also 'speaks' straight into the idea that we WANT people to like us and everything that we do.
Unfortunately (but this is really GOOD news!) you cannot change what people think. You can do your best to represent yourself and your business as well as you can BUT how they see it, feel about it or respond to it can still be the opposite of what you aimed for...
So, if you've done everything you can to be professional and you have represented yourself with pride, then claim THAT and leave the opinions of others outside of your head and heart.
10. LEARN FROM IT
EVERYTHING happens for a reason! We will learn allot from our own response and how we deal with trolls and keyboard warriors, not only about ourselves, but also how to deal with it in the future. Unfortunately, with the growth of social media and online platforms, once you have dealt with one troll there is normally another that is waiting to take their place. So, learn from your last experience and you will become stronger each time you deal with the next.
So all in all, don’t concentrate on the negative; work hard at being the best version of yourself that you can be, from that you will grow and develop and leave the troll under their bridge and behind their keyboard where they belong!