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How I Deal With Mean and Hurtful Comments as an Online Writer

As an online writer, you’re bound to get mean and rude comments sometimes.

Here’s how I deal with trolling (and I hope it helps you, too):


Understand the Motives Behind It

1/ Insecurity and Jealousy

When people are mean or rude, they’re projecting their insecurities onto you. They’re insecure about themselves and they’re jealous of you because you have something they want or you’re doing something they’d like to do. So they’ll say hurtful things to make themselves feel better and to try to bring you down to their level. It’s like the saying, Hurt people hurt people. However, I do believe they’re the ones suffering the most inside because they can’t escape from themselves and their moral shortcomings.

2/ Attention

People say mean things because they want a reaction and attention from you. And sadly, negative comments (and news) get more attention than positive ones especially online.

3/ Anonymity

People say mean things online because they’re doing it anonymously. So they feel more powerful. And it’s easier. They don’t need to say it to someone’s face. There’s no connection to their real lives. And they don’t need to be held accountable for what they say.

4/ Boredom

Some people are bored. And their choice of entertainment is creating drama, seeing how it affects others, and getting pleasure from it.

5/ Pleasure

Some people say mean things because they like seeing other people upset. They want to see others suffer because it makes them feel better about themselves. You see, it takes strength and courage to face yourself. To take accountability for where you are. And to improve your life. It’s hard. So most won’t do it. Instead, they hate and blame the world.


5 Practical Tips

1/ Ignore Them

When I first read their comment, I’ll ask myself, Is there truth in what they’re saying? Is this constructive feedback? What can I learn from this? If I conclude their main intent is to be hurtful, then I ignore their comments and block them. On YouTube, I also filter out inappropriate or hurtful comments.

2/ Don’t Take It to Heart

I remind myself that what they’re doing isn’t about me. It’s about them. Something is wrong with them inside. Either they’re insecure or jealous. And it’s their need for attention that makes them say hurtful things. And it’s that they don’t have the strength or courage or bravery to face their own demons so they take it out on others. At the end of the day, I know what they do or say is just a reflection of their character. Not mine.

3/ Respond With Empathy and Kindness

If I choose to respond (which to date, I haven’t), I think the best way to do so is to be kind. Be empathetic. Be compassionate. Though they might have been rude to you, how you respond is again, a reflection of your character. And I like to believe if you respond with kindness, it diffuses their anger. In this way, maybe you can spark a butterfly effect of kindness in their lives and the people around them.

4/ Strengthen Your Emotional Resilience

Not everyone is going to like you or agree with what you say. When you understand that, negative comments don’t bother you as much. In fact, you should expect negativity. It’s what Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, and Seneca call negative visualization. The only guarantee in life is that things could go wrong. But at least when you expect it, you can prepare for it rather than be blindsided by it. How do I prepare for it? By journaling. Saying positive affirmations. Doing self-care activities. Doing hard stuff. And the more hard stuff you do? The more emotionally strong you become.

5/ Remember Your Why

My why is to prove to myself that I can write online full-time. It’s to build a meaningful and fulfilling life. It’s to help my parents feel proud of themselves. It’s to share, serve, and connect with others. Focusing on these aspects helps me overcome the hurt I get from negative comments. And it gives me the strength to keep going regardless of what other people say.


Final Thoughts

Don’t dim your light because of the negativity of some people. Remember your why. Stick to and act based on your values. Keep doing you. ✨


Photo by Dmitry Schemelev on Unsplash

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