Becoming Cyber Bully-Proof – Jenn Carson
While social media connects people across the globe, it can feel like a school yard; a place to play, learn, make friends and avoid bullies. Like playground meanies, internet ruffians tend to target the big girl. These fat-shaming aggressors may include friends, followers, and trolls.
How do you respond?
Here are 5 ways to cyber bully-proof yourself.
Don’t Feed the Trolls
Directly after an incident with a cyber troll, take a step back and regroup. After a break, you will realize that a rebuttal will simply encourage more harassment.
You might be tempted to identify what you did to cause the attack but bullying is never the victim’s fault. When you get hit by a cyber dart, don’t blame yourself. Blame the shooter.
Don’t Believe Liars
Don’t buy what the insult troll is selling. You aren’t lazy, stupid or ugly because you have a double-digit dress size. Likewise be skeptical of a health concern troll. These sizeist bullies often misquote medical research on physical health, dismiss the emotional benefits of body positivity, and lack basic tolerance for differences.
Direct Haters to the Exit
You aren’t a door mat. You are a woman worthy of respect. Regain control by taking thoughtful action. Respond to passive-aggressive comments with strategic silence or a positive statement. With insults, consider unfriending, unfollowing or blocking the bully. With a threat or hate-speech, you should document the harassment with a screenshot or print-out before clicking report and block.
Seek Love & Support
When you got a bug bite as a toddler, you wanted a bandage and a hug. As an adult, you should still seek comfort after an injury. Admitting that you were hurt by a cyber bully and seeking support is not weak. It is placing a priority on your own wellness. Reach out for assistance from family, friends or a helping professional. This self-care will allow you to recover.
Renew Your Confidence
After getting support, spend some time in reflection. Create a list of qualities you like about yourself. This will restore your positive self-image and help you realize that your worth is not determined by a heckler from the online peanut gallery.