How To Deal With Online Bullying As An Adult
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I didn’t think that I would have to write this type of article one day… But let’s just be honest, online bullying is real, and it’s not only happening to kids.
You would think that adults would be mature enough to not bully others but the reality is different.
I have seen this behavior a lot, especially in Facebook groups.
When I started Hello Peaceful Mind a year ago, I joined a few Facebook groups to learn about blogging and meet inspiring people.
At first, I was really excited about the community, and after a few weeks, I got the courage to start asking questions.
But I was surprised about how people simply tried to put me down instead of responding to my questions.
It honestly gave me a really bad experience about the community, but I didn’t get discouraged and continued to ask questions.
But then I just stopped because, well it wasn’t worth the drama. I was getting upset about it and was venting to my husband and friends, some of them were in the same group and wanted to respond back to the bullies, but I just told them to ignore it even if it was hard for me to do so.
Instead, I created my own group with people who are in my niche. And that was the best move ever. The people who are in my group are very supportive and we’ve learned so much from each other. Plus if I see bullies I can kick them out 😀
I’m writing this post today because I just saw someone being bullied online in one of the local community groups I am part of on Facebook.
It was sickening to see grown-ups keep coming after this woman who simply asked how to deal with a legitimate concern.
It was insane that one person would hit reply to every single comment the original poster published, even when she was responding to someone else’s comment. And I especially felt bad because it happened to me in the past and knew how it felt.
So now let’s talk about how to deal with those bullies.
1. Don’t take it personally
First of all, I want to stress out how important it is for you to understand that it has nothing to do with you.
There are several reasons why someone would bully people online. Here are a few:
- Group effect: someone started the bullying and they want to feel like they belong
- Low self-esteem: they have the need to bring people down to make them feel superior
- Having a bad day: they are stressed out about personal or professional situations and you happen to be their punching-ball
- Jealousy: they are comparing their life to yours, even if they don’t know you
- Fear: they are afraid that you will become better than them in some ways
So see, it’s not about you but about them.
I used to be upset every time I received a negative comment online.
Like seriously one time someone reported me to Facebook as a fake account and said that they would report me to the police because they didn’t believe that I was a real boudoir photographer looking for models to expand my portfolio. (PS: you can see my boudoir photography here 😉 )
Facebook blocked my account until I sent them a picture of my driving license …
I was panicking because I did nothing wrong, and I was composed and positive in my responses to the nasty comments to try to solve this woman’s concerns, but there was nothing I could do about it. Other people even tried to calm her down but her mind was set, I was a man disguised as a woman trying to take advantage of women…
But here’s what I realized that day, it had nothing to do with me. This woman obviously was dealing with personal issues. Plus, for her to think that I was a fake photographer, my pictures must have been really good 😀
So yes, it’s not you the problem but them. The reality is the more successful you are, the more nasty comments you will receive. I now take it as a sign of success
2. Don’t respond to them
Here’s what I’ve learned from dealing with people on social media.
They have their mindset and there is no way you will change it.
You can try to share data proving your points, respond to them nicely, … but they won’t read it and will respond back with their own proof validating their point of views.
So take a big breath, go for a walk if you need to and move to step 3.
3. Report & block them
Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t have the option to report a bully today.
However, you can report as spam, which in my opinion is what bullies are when they are harassing you online.
If someone is commenting on all of your comments with mean gifs, this is definitely spam.
To report someone all you have to do is:
- Click on the top right cross of the comment to block the post
- Select “Report post”
- Choose “It’s spam”
- Click “Block the user”
Then they will ask you for feedback, in this situation I write that it would be good to have the option to report bullies on Facebook.
After doing this, they will no longer see your posts and most importantly you will be free from their negativity.
How to deal with friends and family
If it’s a friend or family member, you can simply hide their posts on Facebook. You will still be Facebook friends to avoid more drama but you won’t see their posts anymore.
I am going to tell you that I have hidden the posts of a few friends and family members on Facebook because I don’t want to be stressed out or upset when I go online.
To hide posts from people on Facebook you need to:
- Click on the “…” next to a post from the person you want to hide
- Select “Hide all from XXX”
4. Move on & drink chamomile tea
Once you blocked or hid those people online, your life became a better world!
So now just disconnect, drink some chamomile tea and hug the people around you! Whether it’s your kids, your partner, your roommates or your pets 🙂
Also, when I witness online bullying, I often send a message to the person being bullied to tell them to stay strong and not take it personally!
I think in the future I will also share this article with them 😉
Save for later
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Over to you
How do you deal with online bullying? share your tips in the comments.
Pris M.February 19, 2018 at 6:13 pm
I love your perspective on this so much – that you are able to look at the inevitable nasty comments as a sign of success!! Have you ever come across that Brene Brown quote that says, “Nothing has transformed my life more than realizing that it’s a waste of time to evaluate my worthiness by weighing the reaction of the people in the stands.”? I think you’re right on that wavelength. xo