Every so often you’ll encounter a mean spirited people who, instead of scrolling on or walking past, decide to comment something rude, insensitive, or plain ignorant to you. I see this all of the time online, especially on platforms like TikTok where someone awesome who’s sharing something humorous or inspirational will suddenly be facing a slew of rude comments, that we all know will inevitably hurt their feelings- no matter how strong they are.

“Just don’t let it bother you” “Who cares what someone like thinks?” “Don’t give your energy to it” All of these things sound great but are so much harder to put into practice. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can really hurt us (too). That’s why I wanted to share a few thoughts that can hopefully help you protect yourself from being jolted by these bad opinions of random strangers (online or in real life).

Letting Go Of What Others Think Of Us

Sounds easy right? But we all know that it’s not. It’s takes a significant amount of practice and working through your own insecurities to get to a place where you can easily not care what others think. And after all, with those of us who are creating content online- we’re putting ourselves out there which takes a certain amount of courage and vulnerability to begin with- so the stakes are that much higher.

That’s why before we begin with the strategies, I want you to remember that YOU have to come first. In order to protect and prepare yourself in this way, you’ll have to decide from a place of clarity and personal power what your intentions are, why you’re putting yourself out there, and WHO your content is for.

This will empower you to dismiss anything hurtful that comes from someone who’s not aligned with your mission.

Remember, this world of living with the internet is still relatively new. 30 years ago we weren’t as exposed to strangers as we are today. Now anyone can say anything to or about us, and how we deal with it is really important.

Strategies to Help You Deal With Toxic People Online

1. Don’t Read Anything When You’re Feeling Open or Vulnerable. This pretty much means that when you do sit down to read your comments, you need to be grounded and prepared to see anything, so no more willy-nilly clicking notification buttons. You’ve gotta be in the right head space.

2. Take The High Road. How? Decided *in advance* what you’ll do if someone says something to you that really gets your blood boiling. Will you shut off your phone for an hour? Walk away? Call a trusted friend? You get to decide to what degree you’ll defend yourself (especially to a stranger- who, again, may not be in your trusted community). If you create a game plan in advance it will protect you from doing or saying something you may regret later, and prevent you from being hijacked by the situation.

3. Don’t Take It Personally. This is especially important because the people who are willing to hurt us online are probably not in your community, nor who you’re making content for. So be strong, brush off their comments, and remember it’s just not for them.

4. Finally, Change Your Perspective. Easier said than done, I know. But just for a moment, picture that hurtful person as a giant baby or toddler. When we see little kids acting irrationally, we can separate ourselves from them and know that they’re not capable of doing better yet. See if you can think of these adults the same way, and hopefully it will help you stay grounded.

I genuinely hope these tips come in handy. I have been there before myself and have felt really hurt by the mean things others have said. If you’re a sensitive and heart opened human, it might happen. But the faster we can move through it and move on, the better chance we’ll have at continuing to be brave enough to put ourselves out there for ourselves and for those who appreciate us. Keep going. <3

On my episode of the A Bit From Within podcast this week I’ll dive more into this topic and share more about each of these tips, and ways they can work to support you with dealing with really rude opinions. It’s hard to stop caring what other people think- but it is possible. You can listen below or wherever you get your podcasts!

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