Preamble: I was part of a discussion last week where the opening tweet to a thread labeled (mis-labeled?) a group of people as TROLLS. Needless to say, the reaction predictably triggered an immediate, vitriolic response. That is not the intent of this blog. For the purpose of this blog, I'm focusing on people that exhibit troll-like behaviour. They might be trolls. They might be debunkers. They might be skeptics. They might have their own personal mission. They might have decided that you are a "bad player" and need to be taken down a notch. For whatever reason, they're watching you. And they're telling the world what they think about you and your ideas. They are exhibiting troll-like behaviour.
I'll use the word THEY to represent people that "act like trolls" or "exhibit troll-like behaviour". The goal is to separate the person from the behaviour. Read on.
THEY need you. You have something THEY want. Or something THEY need. If you didn't have it, THEY would be trolling monitoring the activities of someone else.
Maybe your message is one of improving health. Or being respectful. Or helping other patients NOT go through bad experiences that you went through. There's something there. And THEY desperately need that in order to shine the light on themselves.
Some troll monitor politicians. Some monitor celebrities. Some monitor professionals. Some monitor patients. THEY need these people in order to build their brand. It's how THEY establish self-worth. THEY feel good about their cause. THEY feel good about making a difference. THEY feel good about being part of a group.
THEY can really irritate you. THEY often misrepresent you. THEY sometimes lie about you. THEY harass you. THEY bring their "friends" in to dog pile you. And as someone who is devoting time and energy to help others, THEY can really get to you and sap your energy. Sometimes THEY can even make you feel like a failure.
Make no mistake. You are not a failure because you have THEM constantly monitoring you. In fact, THEY monitor you because you are not a failure. You are a success. Your message is important. It needs to be heard.
How about a reframe.
THEY are a gift.
Yep. THEY are.
Other people are watching your efforts too. Good people. People that have experienced your experiences. People that believe in your message. People that have the utmost respect for you. And yes, people that see that you are being trolled monitored.
THEY are a gift because they're telling you that your message is an important one.
THEY are a gift because they're showing others that you're worthy of feeding off.
THEY are a gift because they're shining a light on you.
THEY are a gift because they're telling everyone that you are a success.
You are a teacher. That is one of your greatest gifts. Bless these trolls folks that monitor you for the opportunity that THEY are providing you.
It's not all a bed of roses. THEY may have influenced others in a negative way toward you. That hurts. Maybe you could have positively influenced some of these people. But there's nothing you can do about that. At least not right now.
What you can do is keep spreading your message.
What you can do is keep shining your light.
What you can do is keep being a success.
The right people will find you.
A Word of Caution
Are THEY really trolls? First, determine if they really are a troll. There may be people that truly disagree with you and are trying to help you, or trying to help others. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't make them a troll. Do your best to listen to these people. Engage respectfully. You might learn something. They might learn something. People that are watching might learn something.
THEY are seeking attention. While not always possible, let your first step be to mute THEM. Muting THEM will give you piece of mind. It also gives THEM time to think. THEY're craving attention. And not getting it. Maybe THEY'll reassess their priorities. Maybe THEY'll go away.
The most difficult recommendation to follow is to ignore THEM. It's also the best one.
"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." ~ Wayne Dyer
Keep shining your light. We need you. And thanks for all the support.