Social media bullies don’t come to play. They just come for you.
And you know how I always tell you that you need to be the HERO in your own story? That your hero’s journey is how you begin to define your personal brand and share your core messages and values with the world?
Well, with social media bullies, it gets complicated.
When we publish content that articulates our values, strong opinions and/or ideas it sometimes shows up in front of folks who aren’t interested, have never followed your account before or let’s face it are just on standby waiting to get their mean girl voice hears.
Sometimes these social media bullies are simply having a bad day and are cruising the internet for someone to pick on.
It feels plain weird and disconcerting when your story attracts a “villain.” It very rarely happens to meon a Mother’s Day post when someone accused me of being a hypocrite because I shared my sentiments on being child free.
Sometimes you can win over social media trolls just by being kind (I call this the fly/honey method).
Other times, you can do it the Roxanne Gay “gangsta” way; she an award winning, celebrated author by the way.
She’s the type who’ll say: *** “Bring me the brass knuckles, hold my hair back.” And then deliver a written gut punch that is so acerbic, brash and brilliant that haters seldom response.***
I’m for one not that clever but I feel that there is a meeting in the middle of both styles.
So how should you deal with social media bullies? Let me share my 3 part, 2-minute mental model.
3 Mental Models To Use With Social Media Bullies
1. Did the troll leave a comment that was rooted in bitterness, rudeness and/or hate?
a) If yes, you can say: “Bye Felicia” and delete. “Ain’t nobody has time for that.”
b) If not, move on to my second mental framing
2. Should you respond?
a) Sometimes I don’t. Here I consider that not everyone has to like my story, opinions or ideas. As long the comment isn’t hateful to me me or my community, I can decide to leave it up, maybe for educational purposes. I don’t have to respond or clap back.
b) If I decide to respond, I head over to my third mental framing.
3. How should you respond?
a) With data, logic, facts, politeness and a clear reason WHY you are taking time to answer?
b) Strip away all your anger, self righteousness and defensiveness. Social media isn’t that deep to have messy conversations. Using this method will allow you to be responsive and not reactive. Don’t let your emotions to get the better part of you.
TBH, this kind of response, when warranted, oftentimes turns a meanie into an avid believer of your Hero’s story. At best, it leaves everyone in a much better emotional space.
Is every thoughtless comment from a bully?
No! I’ve been building brands on social media for years and I’ve found that many villains are also heroes going through stuff.
Also, we all know that good people sometimes engage in bad behaviour. Don’t take it personal.
In any case, when someone disagrees with your point of view and takes the time to write, consider that your perspective is worthy of someone’s opinion, time and attention…three of the most valuable assets online.
Flip you hair back, pat your afro down, you’ve ARRIVED.