pexels

Trolls Will Be Trolls: How To Respond When Trolling Happens To You

Today’s troll on the internet is yesterday’s bully on the playground. A person has decided to single you out and control you by weakness. When you are trolled, your emotions and insecurities are triggered.

You ask yourself: Does this person not like me? Why don’t they want to get along? Who is this person? Don’t they have anything better to do than troll people online? Then, feelings of frustration, weakness, lack of control, and worse, the pain suddenly interrupt your focus.

You might not even recognize that you’re dealing with a troll until you’ve already reacted to their game. You feel like you have to fight to win. It’s it’s too late to back down because others have seen you get owned. You want to get rid of them but you also want to save face.

Check out this other awesome article I wrote: 7 Ways You’re Being Gaslighted — And You Don’t Even Realize It

This is a common experience when dealing with a troll. Trolls know how to fly under the radar. They throw out some random question, that seems to have something to do with the conversation, slightly.

They do this because the single purpose a troll has is to create drama. Readers on your blog are drawn into a conversation with this person with no purpose in sight. Or if you’re doing a live video, they try to discredit you or make you lose your focus.

(Hint: Don’t let them.)

Now, you’re frustrated. Someone has decided to mess with you online, and you’ve shown your weak spot by reacting. Now, they are dedicated to trolling you, and no matter how much you’ve blocked that person, you can’t get rid of them.

I want you to realize that you’re actually dealing with an old concept wrapped in a new slant social slant. Case in point, I watched a narrative that could have been an episode of a new hit sitcom (I’ll save my ideas for pitch later) “Reality TV: Troll Live.”

The amazing Kim Garst was having a Periscope session. As little hearts fluttered about from thousands of her diehard fans, Sir TrollsALot decides to post in the comments, “Hello, grandma.” (Just before this happened, the host had mentioned a few times that she was surprised that there weren’t any trolls on her live event. See, I told you, you’re not alone.)

Check out this other awesome article I wrote: 7 Traits That Make You A Prime Target For A Narcissist

But how rude! Remember, the school yard bully? Bullies love to call someone ugly, or point out a flaw especially if they know someone is insecure , or could be insecure if their confidence isn’t strong.

This comment was a test to see if they could take the focus off of Kim and on to themselves. This is how trolls get high, by the way. It’s their own little form of narcissism, and social sabotage in order to feel powerful.

A few viewers commented in the chat that all they had were trolls. I have never been “trolled” on my own blogs or shows, but I have seen evidence of trolls by their deification. Like little night pests that leave evidence of their unwanted existence, trolls drop word bombs on blog posts and community boards.

I felt triggered, too. I wanted to race to her aid. This troll said something to a woman that I respect and value. My complimentary thoughts suddenly went MIA. Dazed, I lost focus on what was Kim was saying, and my attention turned to Sir Trolls Alot!

But not Kim. She didn’t respond in anger, instead, she gave him some grace. She said nothing. Her poker face was strong.

You could see her lift a hand to her phone as she blocked the troll. Then, when he was removed, she cracked a quick joke, and went back to speaking on her topic.

After her marketing session was done, I turned to another topic, psychology, and psychiatry and discovered that trolls have major mental issues.

“An Internet troll is someone who comes into a discussion and posts comments designed to upset or disrupt the conversation. Often, in fact, it seems like there is no real purpose behind their commentsexcept to upset everyone else involved. Trolls will lie, exaggerWomen Hating Trolls Unmaskedate, and offend to get a response.”

Now, they have every right to troll. Freedom of speech sometimes hits a snag when we discuss someone’s right to say what they want even when it hurts someone else. But as JK Rowling stated so eloquently in defense of free speech, free speech protects us all.

What’s a good way to respond so that you don’t motivate a troll to target you again? Should you say nothing? Lecture the offender?

Here are 4 Troll Management Lessons I Learned While Watching Kim Garst Being Trolled online:

Lesson 1: Ignore the troll.

If you ignore the troll, he may persist for a time, but eventually, no reaction means no fun. No attention means, he will go away.

Lesson 2: Make light of the situation.

The troll is trying to own your audience, and by doing so, they transfer your power to themselves. So, when they hit a nerve, it’s the equivalent of a ponytail pull from a class bully. Smile as you remove yourself (or them) and go back and play.

Lesson 3: Unmask them or remove their power by laughter.

Trolls hide their identities. Like the school yard bully on the playground, when you run and tell the teacher, they are sent to the corner. Similarly, trolls don’t want you to expose them. If you know who they are, report their identity to the social media platform that you’re using.

Check out this other awesome article I wrote: 13 Quotes For When You Need To Remember You’re Worth Fighting For

If this is a habitual thing, report them to online cyber bully sites so that they can handle it. Of course, certain platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google have different community tolerances. But if trolling leads to threats, they can have the account shut down, and in some extreme cases, get arrested. [Article] Daily Mail: Women Hating Trolls Unmasked

Lesson 4: Cash in the criticism.

As in all things, negatives have a truth within them. Take the troll’s feedback, explore it, and use it to become a better social media personality. For example, if someone says something looks outdated or is outdated, maybe it is. Or if they say something that strikes down your confidence, hire a coach to work on that issue so next time you’ll be stronger.

Lesson 5: Get back to playing with as quickly as you can.

Trolls hate to be ignored, but they dislike it more when they can’t distract you or your audience from having a good time. Remember, trolls are party crashers and playground bullies who have a goal: get your audience’s attention and remove your focus. A troll will go away as soon as they realize that you’re not going to give them what they want.

Bottom line is that trolls will be trolls. But you don’t have to be their victim for long. We can learn to become stronger communicators not despite them but because of them for the ultimate transfer of power.