How Do You Topple a Troll?

Consider for a moment that some individuals and organizations thrive because of your outrage. They feed off your fact-checking and rage-sharing. They are trolls of the worst kind, and so those are the things they know how to handle or even wish to receive. Things they don’t have a clue how to handle:

  • Letting the air out of their self-importance through humor. Lampooning. Parody.
  • Sharing stories of victory from your side. Togetherness. Love.
  • Asking them to back up claims, or saying, Surely, this terribleness of which you speak will be followed by your taking action on it, Mr. Troll? Question them directly. Use a bully’s weight against him.
  • Simply continuing in the face of an exhausting battle. Determination. Dedication. (Motivation! I’m talking to you, my many inspirations! ….Sorry, just broke into a Kanye song for a second)
  • Reaching out to the other side to show, not tell, that you’re being portrayed as a cartoonish villain (and don’t they know what that’s like from time to time).

It’s like in children’s stories, where clubbing an ogre who wields a club may not work, but sunlight might. But throwing water on them might. But singing a song might. But creating more art might. But tiring them out might. But chipping away at their armor, bit by bit, with unrelenting optimism and togetherness … just might.

I’m not saying you do them all. I’m not saying you AGREE with them all. I’m also not saying don’t be outrage or EXPRESS that outrage. (Lord knows, it’s where we’re all at right now).

But don’t let them see that. That’s where they draw strength. That’s the bully sees weakness, uncertainty, or irrationality. They think they’re winning when that’s all they see. And they are not winning. They WILL NOT win.

I’m not saying don’t be outraged. But WHAT IF we could channel that outrage into something that causes the troll to stumble and fall?

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