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Dealing with trolls, toxic people and tricky situations

July 2, 2019


I’m a people pleaser. Some would see this as a character flaw. I see it as a trait. It’s what makes me awesome in business. It’s what makes my clients smile and thrive. Most of all it’s what gives me pleasure in life.


The one downside of being a people pleaser, especially in an online digital world, is the thought that someone out there might not like you. Even worse, what if they express their distaste at something you’ve done? That can be a bit scary.


I recently experienced this. An actual person out there turned on their passive aggressive, threatening nature and it really perplexed me! I’ve heard stories about these people existing but never thought I would ever be the recipient of such strange behaviour.


As a result of my experience, I thought I would share a few tips from a people pleaser on how to deal with trolls, toxic people and tricky situations.


Breathe before you respond


Our instinctive reaction to danger is either fight or flight. This fear response that is triggered in our brains is there for a reason. It can help us survive in times when our lives are in danger. When I received the first trollish Facebook Message my heart started racing and I was so mad that someone out there could be so aggressive. I was ready to fight!


Thankfully I took a moment to take a deep breath. This slowed down my heart rate so that I could look at the situation rationally.


Shooting off a message in a state of high anger and fear would have been disastrous. Nothing good comes from fueling passive aggressive personality types with more aggression.


See the funny side


After the anger had washed over me, I started to laugh – literally laugh out loud. My hubby came to see what on earth was wrong with me and once I told him, he started laughing too! His humour helped me see the bigger picture and the funny side of the situation.


Your reaction to every event in your life can be flipped. Taking a positive perspective to the situation or person can help you deal with it in a more calm and rational way.


Be nothing but factual


If you must respond in writing, do it in a non-emotional, factual manner. Avoid opinions, accusations and innuendos. The last thing you want is screen shots of your interactions plastered over social media. Remember, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all. It’s not worth stooping to their level.


Stay true to your values


My personal brand and business brand are based on honesty, authenticity, giving freely and empowerment. Entering into an argument in my situation was not going to stay true to these values. I’m not saying that I didn’t want to bad mouth the person in question all over social media, but it wouldn’t have sat right with who I am as a person and a brand.


If you know what you stand for, then you will always make clear and concise decisions.


Walk away, block and ditch the negative energy


Dealing with trolls, toxic people and tricky situations aren’t fun. It can weigh on your mind, have you second guessing yourself and lead to sleepless nights lined with worry. But do you know what? It’s not worth it. It’s not worth giving power to the negativity.


If the situation or person is on social media, do what you can to eliminate it. Block them from your pages, ignore completely or hide their posts from Facebook Groups you love to be in (yes, you can really do this!).


Remove the reminders from your life so you can get on with doing what you love. Because these things don’t deserve your attention. Remember, you are amazing.


“Weak people revenge. Strong people forgive. Intelligent people ignore.”

― Albert Einstein


I’m happy to say that the negative energy in my story has been eliminated from my life and I’ve moved on! Whilst I hope that you never have to deal with the same thing, I’m confident that you will now have some tricks up your sleeve to cope with the troll, toxic person or tricky situation.

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