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How To Deal With Trolls

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Ugh. Have you ever been trolled on your blog? I don’t mean the odd negative comment, but rather people being abusive or systematically going after you, to cause you anguish. Trolling differs from negative comments inΒ terms of malice and intent. A negative commenter probably just wants to be heard and state their point of view. A troll is more worried about hurting you than being heard.

While negative comments can definitely be upsetting and hurt our feelings, trolling takes this upset and hurt to a whole new level where nothing is off-limits and the intent is to cause the blogger as much distress as possible.

A few years ago, I was trolled by someone (I think I know who it is!) pretty mercilessly. They left nasty comments on my blog saying they were glad my dog died, that I was an idiot, that I was untalented. When I started deleting those, they began emailing me instead (giving themselves away in the process, in their quest to get under my skin).

At the time, it really upset me. I felt I was not going to be able to continue blogging, I lost confidence for a while, censored myself, lost my way. But in time I came to realise it wasn’t about me, and I slowly gained strength and found the mettle to keep going. It was so hard! It took over a year to feel okay about blogging again, after such relentless pursuit.

I must admit, my stomach still hurts when I check my comments, but working on other websites where the readership is sometimes quite scathing has helped me to toughen up a bit.

When I read about the effect trolls and snark website GOMI has on bloggers like Raising Master Max and Edenland, I feel really sad about some quarters of our blogging community. Without a doubt, those are fellow bloggers snarking/trolling on those gals. It’s such a terrible shame and I think that kind of behaviour rolled in when people started making money from their blogs.

As you might know, Eden and Cherie (who blog at the blogs mentioned above) are not making money/a lot of money from their blogs, but other bloggers are and the conversations and reactions to blogging changed when that started in earnest in Australia. I certainly don’t blame the monetisers for this shift, rather its the bloggers sitting on the sidelines watching them with contempt (or feeling jealous of their perceived success) that are fuelling this negative fire.

But I digress, I was going to tell you how to deal with trolls. Here’s exactly what you should do:

1. consider if the person is a troll, or just someone with a differing point of view
2. if it’s the former – delete the comment and go and eat a really yummy thing and watch an episode of Gilmore Girls
3. if it’s the latter – acknowledge their comment and thank them. Then go and eat a really yummy thing and watch an episode of Gilmore Girls.
4. if they keep popping up – repeat the appropriate steps above – you can also try the mantra ‘it’s not me, it’s them’ or ‘hell is other people’. That can help.
5. know that it happens to the best of us, that it hurts, that it’s okay to feel really sad about it and that it can sometimes signal the need to get offline and into the smoochy arms of the real life people you love for a while.

Have you ever dealt with a troll? Or seen one in action?

4 Comments

  • Reply
    Robyna May
    March 4, 2015 at 3:12 AM

    Thanks for this post. I have a very thin skin and if I ever get to the point of having a troll around, I am not sure how I will handle it – but gilmore girls and something yummy sounds like a very good start. The multi-layered blogging universe scares me a little bit.

  • Reply
    LilaWolff
    March 4, 2015 at 12:25 AM

    I’m really glad that you pointed out the difference between a troll and someone who has a difference of opinion.
    The trolling is disgusting and upsetting and also has the knock on effect of stifling conversation because people begin to confuse and fear a difference of opinion.

  • Reply
    Julia
    March 3, 2015 at 11:04 PM

    Pip are you able to block trolls like you can on twitter? I’m glad you were able to deal with this person-horrible. I read Eden’s post and was shocked. I love her honesty. It takes so much courage to be so open. Also, what to you think about posting pix of children on your blog? My instinct is to be very protective considering the dark side of the internet. But at the same time I’d love to share my granddaughter pic as it ties in nicely with a post on craft. Thanks πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    misschardy
    March 3, 2015 at 9:15 PM

    Great post Pip. Thanks so much. I haven’t been trolled but I have definitely read Eden’s post and read about Raising Master Max. Just awful. I think your advice is perfect – it is definitely “their problem” the sorts of people who troll must be very damaged human beings, needing an outlet for their anger/problems. They need help and have serious issues. The world is a nasty place isn’t it – thank god there is a community of wonderful bloggers out there. Stay strong!

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