Building your Personal Brand online, getting exposure for your work and publishing content on the social media platforms can have a great positive impact on your business. It has opened a world of opportunities for people and companies, unlike any other time in history.
However, there are two sides of every coin. There are some negative things that will inevitably happen as your personal brand grows online: The appearance of online bullies is one of the biggest problems in today’s online world. And it can happen not only with big personal brands but with anyone who has a social media profile, including children and teenagers.
So how do you deal with online bullies and haters?
# 1 RECOGNIZE THAT ONLINE BULLIES’ ANGER AND HATE HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU
The reason these people hate, bully and try to bring other people down has to do with what’s going on in their own internal world.
Their behavior reflects how they feel about themselves, and they want to use you as a punching bag to put their anger out. That’s why on social media we have the ‘block’ button and the ‘delete’ button. You are not their psychologist or their punching bag. You can’t help. They probably had a difficult childhood or some traumatic experience that they haven’t gotten over yet and want to take it out on others. Have compassion for the suffering they are experiencing in their life and let them go. Realise that their reaction has nothing to do with you.
#2 DO NOT REPLY. DO NOT START DISCUSSIONS. DO NOT INTERACT
It’s like throwing fuel into the fire.
Your reaction is what bullies are looking for, to punch back even more.
So if you reply, it’s going to be an endless spiral down to an even worse place. Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve made that mistake of trying to have a normal conversation with an online bully. I thought this person was going to understand… It didn’t end well. The more you give them attention, the more they drag you down in their own misery, and the more you give them what they came to get – pleasure out of putting you down. So do not engage, do not answer. Ignore, block, delete and move on.
#3 ASK FOR HELP AND TAKE LEGAL ACTION
Sometimes these people will try to cause real damage to your business or even threaten your physical well being. Look for an expert lawyer, good protection and ask for support from people who have dealt with similar issues. Ask for help by letting people know. Big corporations know this very well. That’s why they have a legal department dealing daily with malicious comments and attacks on the internet. The more your brand grows, the more protection you need. That’s why celebrities always move around with bodyguards.
Remember that online bullies, trolls, and haters, are not people who want to give constructive feedback. They do not want to have a serious conversation, and their opinion has no real essence.
They are the people who are there to attack and bring you down. So non-response. Ignoring them is the best way to go.
On the other hand, you should always ask for feedback from clients you respect and from successful people who have been where you want to go. That’s how you improve.
Also, you should realize that when you build a big personal brand, there is no way for everyone to like you. You should be ok with that too. Keep moving forward irrespective of other’s opinions.
WHAT IF YOU ARE THE ONLINE BULLY…
And by the way, if you are exhibiting any of those behaviors online, if you take pride in being an internet troll and if your hobby is bullying other people, maybe it’s time to ask yourself why you are doing this and how is it helping you in your life. If you start focusing on improving yourself first instead of focusing on what all those other people are doing, you will not have time for putting other people down.
The key is developing strong Self-Awareness.
Have you ever faced online bullying? If so, how have you dealt with these online bullies and haters? Share your experience in the comments below!