Last week, someone messaged me to asked me how I deal with negative comments on social media. She told me that her own friends and family were making fun of her for trying to become a blogger, because she was posting photos of her self on Instagram. It doesn’t matter if you’re Kim Kardashian or a creative individual just wanting to express your view of the world, you’re going to be judged and it’s best to learn how to deal with that rather than expect it not to happen.
No one is immune to negative comments, I’ve certainly had my fair share. And I’ve heard plenty of stories from other bloggers to add to my own experiences: those accused of trying to look too glamorous; trolls who constantly tell you how terrible you look; I’ve been accused of photoshopping myself into someone else’s closet; and then there are those comments so nasty that I won’t give them oxygen. But the thing to remember is that there are well over 2 billion people on social media, all with varying levels of mental health and personal circumstances, so to expect sunshine and lollypops all the time is going to result in a few disappointments!
I was never the popular kid at school, and I learnt that to get ahead in life you always have to be kind, polite and selfless. It doesn’t cost anything to be nice. My mom always taught me that if you have nothing good to say, then don’t say it at all. But not everyone sees the world this way. People are going to say what they want to say without even thinking that there’s a real person behind that little screen.
I still remember my very first nasty comment – it sounds so trivial, but it was like a stab straight through the heart. Someone said that my shoes looked trashy. Oh man, it was such a tiny thing! But I spent hours just ruminating over it, overthinking it and basically having a mini anxiety attack. Fast forward 3.5 years and honestly nothing much bothers me now. I take it as part of the job and you have to think like that too. Just remember you can’t control other people’s actions ,BUT you can control how you respond; or at least you can try.
So here are some of the things that I do to deal with negativity.
- Remember how fortunate you are: If you’re lucky enough to have a mobile phone, an Instagram account and a camera, then you’re doing pretty well compared to a lot of people in this world. This will help you remember that criticism for being a blogger or an influencer is actually a pretty good problem to have, and one that a lot of people would swap their problems with.
- Take a deep breath: Often people will project their fears, insecurities and negativity through the judgement of others. Simply breathing into this negativity and making sure your body is getting its oxygen can be enough to temp to the right responses, perspectives and thoughts.
- Delete and Block: If you don’t know these people, then the quicker you can delete and block them from your life the better. I used to just leave these negative comments to make sure it didn’t look like I was being selective with feedback, but the reality is that the quicker you can delete them from your consciousness, the better you will be for it.
- To respond or not to respond: There are so many huge bloggers like @somethingnavy who really stand up to the trolls and I really admire that. I take a more passive approach and try to choke off negativity by choosing not to feed it. You will find a way that works best for you. But I used to respond to some of these comments and they would just keep going on and on. Why? Because they know that they can get to you, so they will keep going. Trolls are essentially just seeking attention to fill a gap in their lives, so they thrive on getting your reaction. I don’t think that’s going to help me or the troll, so I don’t respond.
- Stay strong: You need to thicken that skin right up if you want to be in this game. Take the comments and let them roll right off you. If some of them stick, then maybe someone has made a valid point and it will shape you for the better. But EVERY business will get trolls. No one is immune.
- Have compassion: Honestly, happy people don’t judge or get jealous of other people. They are happy within themselves and genuinely wish the best for others. But trolls are the opposite. They are not happy and they’re infuriated when others are enjoying themselves. So without being too condescending I take pity on these people and hope that they will find a healthier perspective one day.
- Self awareness and confidence: The more you are sure about yourself, the easier it is to deal with negativity. Why? Because you know your values and who you are as a person and no matter what gets thrown at you, you’re at peace with your constitution. How do you get there? Well, start by admitting that you’re not perfect, but also know that the most wonderful thing in the world is to be in control of making positive changes to yourself. Michael Jackson said it right – “I’m startin’ with the man in the mirror!” Everyone’s paradise exists between their own two ears, not on some beach in the Maldives or on some private jet. If you’re at peace with who you are and you feel like a good person, then you’ll always be able to tap into endless confidence.
Thank you so much again for reading guys. I really love connecting with you and if you have any questions or any bad troll experiences and you want to use this community to help express and overcome your problems in a positive way, I would love to hear from you!