In writing, a particular saying is passed around, “Don’t read the comments.” It refers to the remarks written by people who have read your work usually online. Comments can range from feedback that fills you up to input expressly designed to tear you down (it would seem.) And so the phrase was born to shun the comments in favor of preserving your sanity and the shreds of your self-esteem both about yourself and your creative strength.
But lately it seems the trolls are everywhere. Not just on media sites.
They are in your social media feed masquerading as your friends. They email you, assuming you asked for their opinion. And HOLY GOD, they are stacked 12 high in politics.
Maybe we should use that statement to blanket other areas of our lives where we don’t want insight (thinly veiled as critique or otherwise.) As a friend of mine reminded me today, “Sometimes it’s better to smile than to shout,” and we do have options other than engaging with the icky sticky trolls hellbent on stealing your soul and motivation. And as I am fond of spouting, “Doing nothing is a choice, too.”
It really is.
Not sure how to respond in a tête-à-tête? Do nothing while you noodle it over. Not getting your point across or are being shouted down in the middle of relationship sparring? Disengage and check your tongue. Tired of drama cropping up like an enthusiastic spring weed? Tamp it down and zip your lip.
Sit and allow yourself to be in the moment. And as I wrote about on my FB page a couple of weeks ago, realize when you are in the midst of conflict or unsavory energy that robs more than it builds, you are safe. Conflict will never kill you. Even if your heart races, or your stomach sinks, the likelihood of you dying from distress is pretty nil.
Try to take your emotions out of responding, out of determining how you feel about something. If you do decide to read the “trolls’ comments” compartmentalize them.
This negative suck emanating from their words is not for you anyway. It is not about you. It has nothing to do with you.
We think what people have to say targets us because of ego. We have to look out for signs that might affect us when outside forces help to make up inside resilience. In other words, when you don’t believe you are all that. When we seek validation, even in the form of negativity, it reminds us that we are still important for another person to consider, even poisonously. But we don’t really need that level of engagement. We need self love and to know, no matter what anyone else has to say about us, unless it is delivered in a helpful fashion, it is not for us. Your ego should be pliant enough to resist contradictory thinking levied on your true intentions.
Snarky posts are about the poster.
When you are the recipient of such a trash mouth, go ahead and refuse to interact with them. As another popular saying goes, “How other people think about you is none of your business.”
Taking yourself out of the line of fire is difficult. It is easy to react, to get angry, to feel affronted. But this is our ego. How dare anyone feel this way about me? Well, why shouldn’t they? Are you untouchable? A deity? You, too, have feet of clay. So recognize where the response comes from and be still with it for a minute. Realize that people are going to disagree with you and even insult you throughout your life. Control your emotions when and if you respond, and when you err on the side of reacting conservatively you will be surprised at how the trash talker takes itself out.
The peace that follows is lovely and leads to unshakeable self-awareness and pride. Exactly where you want to be.
The transformation in your life is also nothing short of magical. When you hold onto your boundaries in every capacity, people quickly learn you will not tolerate anything less. You will not be verbally brutalized. You will not be taken down a notch for someone who hasn’t received your permission to steal your energy. You are the guardian of YOU. As long as you set out in the world to be the best person you can, accept how awesome you are. Because you are. And the trolls?
They will never take that away from you.
Stand firm. Ignore the haters and the players and everyone else who is searching and scrambling for their own self-worth (hence, the bullseye on your head) and you will come striding out of the fire without a singe mark in sight.
One last thing, as a good person…stand in your truth. It will always be revealed anyway, and when you own you and everything you represent, say and do, you will never have a worry in the world. But don’t you dare take on the responsibility of another. That’s not your lane.
Be present with that thought for a moment.
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