Know someone who picks fights with everyone on social media and only spews negativity? This guide will show you how to deal with those internet trolls.
I recently had a run-in with an Internet Troll. Except, this particular troll was a friend…
or so, I thought.
What is an Internet Troll?
Much like the human monsters of the world (like Ted Bundy) Internet Trolls wear a mask of kindness. You could be talking face-to-face with one and wouldn't know a thing.
They can be charming and entertaining. In fact, they may even disguise themselves as a good friend or an enjoyable coworker.
It isn't until these individual get behind a computer screen that you see their true colors.
An Internet Troll could be described as a cyber bully but that's almost putting it lightly. These trolls are the people who float around various social media platforms or comment threads, leaving mean, nasty, and hateful comments.
How to Identify An Internet Troll:
The comments never add to the conversation because they are either outright hateful and ludicrous or they are so one-sided and biased that there is no reasoning with this person.
These commenters are impulsive and will feed off of any sort of response. You can find them leaving off-topic comments or provoking others.
If you happen to be friends with an Internet Troll, you will notice that they mostly post about controversial topics on social media. In fact, they do all the things on social media that you shouldn't.
We've all seen them before and sadly, many of us have been a target a time or two. Whether they troll only when provoked or they seek out a good trolling session, you'll want to handle these type of people with care.
How to Deal With Internet Trolls
Learning how to deal with internet trolls is no easy task and is definitely not for the faint of heart. Dealing with this type of behavior online will require strength, a positive self-image, and impulse-control.
With these useful tips, I will teach you how to deal with internet trolls in a productive manner. Choose whichever ones work best for you.
1. Identify whether or not this is a troll.
Before anything else, you need to make sure this individual is really a troll. Just because someone has a difference of opinion, doesn't mean they are an Internet Troll. Maybe they are extremely passionate with their opinion – still, not a troll.
Just because someone has a difference of opinion, doesn't mean they are an Internet Troll
Likewise, you should think about whether or not this individual is giving you constructive criticism. Maybe they are genuine. Use your gut and act accordingly.
2. Don't take it personal.
This is the hard part; particularly is it's a friend or acquaintance you're dealing with.
Much like bullies, these Trolls are their own worst enemies. They don't like something about themselves and want to bring everyone else down to their level. Basically…
It's not you – it's them.
3. Only use facts.
As far as I'm concerned, the moment opinions/beliefs enter into a debate – I've won because you cannot argue opinion.
So, if you choose to respond to the Internet Troll, only respond with factual information. Nobody can argue facts!
4. Don't engage.
Completely ignoring them is the easiest way to ignore a troll. “Don't feed the trolls”…
If they aren't fed, they will not last. Actually, this will cause them to move onto something else.
5. Block them.
Sometimes you just have to block an Internet Troll. Many times, they become infatuated with trying to make your life hell – block them and move on.
6. Laugh it off.
Recently, I received a very hurtful comment about my looks on Twitter. Rather than responding negatively or blocking the person, I told them how clever their “joke” was.
They never responded to me or commented again.
7. Outsmart them.
Dig deep into your rolodex of facts. Use a vocabulary they won't understand. Make jokes that will fly over their heads.
But, how will I know when I've outsmarted a troll? Their responses will become short, nonsensical, or insulting. At this point, you can end the conversation.
8. Choose your battles wisely.
Okay, someone is trolling you. Before responding, ask yourself this:
Is this a topic worth discussing? Do I have a valid point-of-view? What level of a troll is this? Will they behave irrationally if I respond?
9. Explore a Digital Detox
If you feel like you want to give up social media because you can't emotionally handle the Internet Trolls, I highly recommend exploring a Digital Detox.
Start a Digital Detox Challenge where you step away from Social Media, computers, and phones for a little bit at a time. This will help you to build better digital habits and get back to the root of social media: friends and connection.
10. Focus on the positive commenters.
With every troll there are 5 great people commenting and sharing positive messages. Try to focus on those people who give good vibes rather than the scums of the internet.
11. Ask questions.
Try to understand the troll by asking questions. Be genuine in your questioning. Make them feel as if you actually care about what they are saying.
Maybe you will change their ways. Maybe they will ignore you because they didn't get the negative response they were hoping for.
12. Kill 'em with kindness.
Trolls will not survive off of kindness. Thank them for their input, “react” on Facebook with a heart emoji on Facebook, send a funny gif.
13. Don't delete their comments.
This will only escalate the bad behavior and may enrage this individual. Leave the comments so their troll flag can fly! You'll probably see your friends and supporters jump in to stand up for you!
14. Use Empathy.
Try to use empathy by putting yourself in their shoes. How is this person feeling? Why are they acting out? Find out if you're an empath using this guide.
15. Build a safe support system.
Finally, build a community of people who make you feel great about being on the internet. Join Facebook groups that are filled with joy and positivity. You can use these groups to ask for advice on dealing with specific situations.
I hope you learned how to deal with Internet Trolls in an effective way, today. Be sure to pick and choose which approach feels right for your specific situation.
Which tip do you think is best? Do you have any other effective tips for handling trolls?
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