© 1988 

1988 

  • Stephanie Speaks

When a troll gives you a gift.


Politely decline. Today’s edition comes from the sofa-cruising, coffee and tea fuelled, multi-tasking parent and coach that I am (AKA; when will the summer holidays end?!)

I really should share what I feel about dealing with negative comments. Unsolicited insults, or misdirected opinions that serve no purpose but to inflate the other persons own ego. I particularly refer to those people who say “I’m sorry but *inserts insult here*”. You are not sorry. If anything, I feel sincerely sorry for you.

I was going about my days quietly, juggling all of my own life lessons, launching my own website, attending to my other shared business, responding to literally 100’s of messages regularly, on top of coaching calls and consultations (did I mention I have 2 children gracing my presence 24/7?). I absolutely LOVE what I do, and am so privileged that I am able to fulfil this need in the world. Then, an online stranger took it upon himself to write a patronising and negative comment. I chose to ignore this, and removed said person from my social media account, only to find a few days later that he fancied another ‘aim and shot’ at me via my public page. One of those… "I’m sorry but..” guys.

A few years ago, something like this would very easily upset me. I would have reacted without processing and fired back with anger, and spent the rest of the day feeling self-conscious or upset about my ability. But instead, something incredible happened.

Absolutely nothing.

What I would previously perceive as insulting, impacted me in almost zero ways. (I say ‘almost’ because it inspired me to share some insight with others!) You see, when people give you these statements, I see it as a gift. Every random interaction, thanks to the internet, is an opportunity to get to know one of the 7.5 million people that we share this tiny planet with. From the tone and content of the message, I could quickly determine that this man is one that I prefer not to accept gifts from. His gift is his negative comment, which he gets to keep all to himself.

Receiving negativity from others (especially strangers) is an opportunity to make a choice. Give meaning to this negativity or shake off the insult and get right back to all the amazing things that you can offer to this world.

I am by no means suggesting that you should allow people to project their opinions on you regularly. Do not allow people to simply do this with no response. If the situation allows you to, then make a stand for yourself - let these people know that you declined their gift and you will move on with your life. Too often we absorb and complain about how other people are mistreating us. When in reality a negative opinion is just that. An opinion. It is neither right nor wrong. DO NOT give meaning to it.

Distance yourself from this person. Do not give this person a platform to have an affect on your life - or even your day! Absolutely no good will come from a constant endurance of negativity and annoyance.

My advice for future;

  1. Stop. Pause. Don’t fire.

  2. Consider. Understand the intent - don’t bother scruitinizing it’s truth.

  3. Respond. Either stand up for yourself or respond by removing this person from your life.

  4. Reflect. Contemplate why your control in the situation is the way forward.

Don't accept the gift.

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