A negative comment on your carefully-crafted social media post can quickly ruin your day.
Don’t let it. Whether you have 100 friends and followers and post once a week or are constantly tweeting and sharing, the way to handle it is pretty much the same.
Your first instinct might be to delete the comment, but that should actually be your last resort. There are other options and better ways. Here are five things to know:
1. You must have a thick skin
Being a social media manager for as long as I have, I’ve developed that must-have thick skin. From really heartless comments to thoughtless tweets, they have to all bounce off me like bullets bounce off Superman. If it’s any consolation, people who comment with harsh words usually find your content because a friend of a friend liked it and it appeared in their feed. Though this doesn’t excuse them or make it OK.
2. Don’t get mad, get even
People can be infuriating, whether naturally or on purpose. Sometimes you want to scream and punch a hole in the wall. Don’t respond when you feel that way. Instead, try to find a way to start a calm conversation, but do it in a way where you disprove what the commenter says without making them look stupid. Two wrongs don’t make a right and responding to insults with the same isn’t going to help put the fire out.
3. Sometimes, ignoring it is not an option
It’s easy to ignore someone's message, or even just delete and be done with it. But if you let the comments slide, that could give the troll the message that it's okay to carry on hurting people this way. Don't stoop to their level - just calmly put them straight and tell them that what they said wasn't cool. Confronting the hater requires that thick skin more than ever.
4. Kill ‘em with kindness
Online trolls have one goal: to get a rise out of you. Don’t let them. Outsmart them by reacting in the opposite way by being kind and considerate. Stand your ground like Marty McFly did in Back to the Future III during the shootout when Marty drops his gun and says to Buford MadDog Tannen “I thought we could settle this like men.” Marty ended up punching Tannen and knocking him into a pile of manure, but it’s really the same thing.
I saved the best for last:
5. Remember the notepad trick
I’ve been suggesting this since 2010 and it has never failed me. Say you are so furious that you need someone to hold you back. You’re angry and all you can think about doing is respond. Do it, but do it this way: open up a new document and type everything you are thinking, curse words and all. Bang the keyboard if you need to. When you’ve got it all out of your system, quit notepad without saving and relaunch your browser. You’ll feel refreshed and better. Works every time.
I can’t make the trolls go away, but hopefully these tips help make them little easier to tolerate and handle next time.