How to Cope With Negativity Online

How to Cope With Negativity Online

As a blogger I spend a fair bit of time online, not only reading and learning, but also scrolling through social media feeds. It’s inevitable that every day I hit posts saying how upset someone is, thinking about giving up and similar because they had a nasty comment on their post, video, photo, you name it.

And it’s easy to sympathize with this poor person, I mean, nobody wants to be battered online (or in real life), but on the other hand it also slightly annoys me.

Why?

Nothing in life is 100% perfect and positive.

If we think back, I’m sure we’ll all find negative comments. They can start with family when you’re little and you’re told you haven’t put enough effort into the drawing, we’ve all encountered them during our education, shopping trips when you’re told a dress really doesn’t suit you and so on.

Unfortunately, when you put your life online for all to see, you open the door for both positive and negative comments.

People in the public eye know that. How many times did you hear an actress say she never pays attention to what papers write about her as it would only drive her crazy and it’s mostly not even true. People who expect everyone to love them and what they do are seeing the world through pink tinted glasses and are soon disappointed and disheartened.

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None of us are universally loved.

And that’s not your fault.

Putting yourself up for judgement (which is what we do when we make our lives public) requires some tough skin. There will be those who will follow you to the end of the world and keep telling you how wonderful you are, but there will also be those who either don’t agree with your actions, are envious or are just the type of a person who finds it difficult to be happy about somebody else’s success. And I’m sorry to say, but you invited them in and now you have to deal with it.

Negative comments come in all shapes and sizes.

They can be constructive, such as telling you to improve your spelling or to wear a different dress that makes you look better. Or comments that suggest what your readers/viewers/bosses are interested in seeing in your work, what helps you keep your audience or get that promotion. And then there are negative comments that verge on bullying. They aren’t there to help you develop, they’re posted to try and bring you down.

I agree, the world would be a much nicer place if comments like those just evaporated into thin air before anyone sees them, but then we wouldn’t be living in the real world.

As a person in a public space (Hello internet!) we have to accept that we will be on the receiving end of some of those. And it’s up to us how we deal with them.

Yes, you can go crying on Twitter looking for a sympathy vote from those who love you (and it works) or you can accept that this is all a part of life and either remove those comments and re-read the positive ones (or if they’re not online, try to forget them and focus of the positive aspects of your job or other field in your life the comment is impacting).

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You Cannot Please Everybody

Take a deep breath, acknowledge that people have different tastes and ideas and that unfortunately we will never please everybody. Then take a pen or grab a keyboard or a phone and write down what you like about the post/video/piece of work/situation that caused this negativity. Is there something you could have done better or in a different way? Was there anything in your work that you’d been criticized about before? If nothing else, those comments can spark some positive retrospection if you allow them. It’s in your power to decide how they impact you.

Don’t Let Online Negativity Get To You

But if all a nasty comment does to you, is you wanting to give up and run to social media crying, looking for support, then you need to learn to deal with them or this world will end up eating you alive. Bullies feed on your insecurity and this type of behavior and if you’re constantly publicly acknowledging how those comments make you feel, you’re letting them win and adding fuel to the fire, because those people will now be back with possibly even more vitriolic comments.

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Don’t bottle it up though!

Talk to someone you trust privately, explain how it makes you feel and they’ll either lend you a shoulder to cry on or a piece of advice. And then you can come to social media or work and say something strong and positive showing everybody that you’re not going to be brought down by a silly comment.

Imagine this world if every artist, writer, inventor gave up because of negative comments.

We’d live in a grey world without any music, books, art. Those people take comments on board, work thorough the issues and come back stronger. And you can do it too! Want to know what blogging taught me? Then you need to read this post.

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