Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Trolls, E-bullies, and Pot-stirrers
We've all been there. It started on the playground with the meanie-head that pushed you off the swings because they didn't like your pigtails. Now bullies are much more aggressive and utilize emotional abuse. Trolls, or people who search the Internet looking for a fight, are some of the worst offenders (of bulling and using emotional abuse). E-bullies (electronic bullies) are equally menacing. However, the culprit usually knows his or her victim. Pot-stirrers, well, they are a combination of trolls, e-bullies, and so much more. They like to create, manipulate, and expand problems that do not really exists.
Now that bullying has left the playground, it becomes a relevant topic for any venue, the writing community is no exception. I belong to a writing community called Figment. I have been a member for about 13 months. Within my time there, I have not encounter many trolls, e-bullies, or pot-stirrers. However, there were and still are instances of bullying on this site and others.
Bullies don't want their victims to feel good about themselves, or in our case, about our writing. But here's the thing: bullies attempt to terrorize their victims because they are lacking something, in our case, probably writing skills, or it may be something completely unrelated. Either way, it doesn't really matter what their problems is--what matters is the problems they create for you and how you respond (mentally/emotionally, not actual electronic communication) to them. For someone to mercilessly attack someone else or their work indicates that they have a problem--I know I already said this, but it's important.
So, how do you respond? For starters, ignore them. They're not worth a moment of your time. Ignore their negative responses and influence. Don't obsess over the hurtful words of one person. Instead, look at the wonderful reviews and responses that you have received on your writing.
Don't worry, we've all made the mistake of trying to help the trolls, e-bullies, and pot-stirrers understand the errors of their ways. Try to avoid any contact with them--they are not worth your time. Put their negativity and arrogance aside and do what you love. Write!
There will always be critics of your work. Positive and constructive criticism is an amazingly helpful tool and should not be ignored. But the 'advice' from the trolls, e-bullies, and pot-stirrers in your life are not worth a second glance.
Now it's your turn! Let's talk about the success stories of overcoming bullies and/or how your writing has improved through constructive criticism in the comments!