If you have an online presence you are pretty much going to find you with have some people who do not like you, for whatever reason, you’re going to find the haterz. As much as we would like to beat them down with a sharp stiletto it just ain’t going to work out that way!
Okay, violence aside, here are some things I have learned recently about other people’s nastiness — online or in “real life”.
It is never about you. I know that sounds like a weird cop-out, but it’s true. Happy people don’t chew other people out — they just don’t have time, they’re busy getting on with their lives. Seriously. It is more likely that you are a convenient scapegoat, or you just got caught in the crossfire (wrong place/wrong time).
Do you think the Dalai Lama makes crank calls and hacks people’s facebook accounts? I don’t. People who whinge, moan, bitch, gossip and make nasty judgements are dissatisfied with themselves. (I know, because I used to be one of them myself.)
The way you behave towards other people is only EVER a reflection of how you feel about yourself. If you’re a tosser to everyone you work with, well, there’s obviously something going on with you. So remember — if someone attacks you, it’s not your problem, it’s THEIR stuff. Don’t feel like you need to take their nastiness on board, don’t give them that power.
Angry and mean people just want a reaction. They’re dying for it. Think about it, if you’re cruel to someone else and they don’t respond to you, or they act as if you don’t exist, you’ll feel like you’ve wasted your time. All they REALLY want is for you to cry, scream, yell, or make a vitriolic post on your blog/twitter/facebook. Doing this validates their existence — it tells them that they have some control in a world in which they feel powerless. If you don’t respond to them, they’ll get bored and move on to someone who plays the drama card; those people are much more fun to toy with. I know how tempting it can be to get angry, crack a vicious one-liner, or “get someone back”. But just don’t. Don’t dignify their behaviour with a response.
In an ideal world, we would all have unshakeable faith in ourselves, utmost confidence, intact self esteem and a deep feeling of significance. The truth is, most of us don’t, and the meanest people (otherwise known as those who have been doing it longest, or those who have the most personal pain) are sometimes excellent at digging into those parts of us which aren’t secure. It’s like they have a radar — they know you dislike your stomach, so they mention it every time they have a go at you. Usually, the reason we’re hurt by a comment is because it resonates with us, or because we secretly fear that what they’ve said is true.
If somebody’s being a turd and all you really want to do is leave them a facebook comment about their size of their manhood (or whatever), stop. Take a deep breath. Read their comment to you, out loud, . tell them how much you loathe them, how you wish a plague upon their house, etc. etc. Tell yourself that you love and forgive and accept yourself the way you are. Then take a deep breath. Have a glass of water. Sit in the sun and listen to some Rufus Wainwright (this step is optional).
Trust me, it works!
Remember: we don’t give no shit, we don’t take no shit, we’re not in the shit business!
Keep your head up high!
(All images sources available by clicking on the picture themselves)