The Best Way to Deal With Haters, Bullies, and Trolls

Let’s face it, once you start writing you’re going to attract haters, bullies, and trolls (some might say these words are interchangeable).

Many of these angry people will fling abuse at you in one way or another in an attempt to get under your skin. They might accuse you of something you never did, bully you on or offline and in general, be abusive jerks.

For the most part, I ignore, block, and report the hateful comments (if I can) but sometimes, when someone manages to get under my skin, I write a tart response.

That’s a huge mistake. What I’ve done is given into a knee-jerk reaction.

There are several reasons why this is a bad idea. I might say something I will regret later. It could trigger more abuse. It could lead to a flame war and at its worst, my reaction might involve others, and I might have several people joining in.

Not fun.

To overcome the problem, I began to change my pattern. Instead of a knee-jerk reaction, I let the shock of the hatred go through me. Next, I taught myself to get up and walk away. Later, when the shock subsided, I would read the comment again and, if necessary, respond.

Today, I stumbled on a post by James Altucher, where he speaks about the 24-hour rule. It’s a variation on what I do, but better. Essentially, it’s about not responding for 24 hours. Usually, he said, if nothing happens after 24 hours, the comments and the hate that goes with them fades into the background.

Great point, James. I like it, and I intend to use it going forward. Thanks for your inspiration.

Questions? Write to me.