Lady-Coke: Speaking of your twitter, I just wanted to say that you are really good at letting people’s hateful comments just roll off like it’s no big deal. People say some pretty fucked-up shit to you. How do you do it? How did you get to that point? I experience maybe 1/10th of the hate sent your way and I always get flustered and come back with some garbage response.
It rolls off like it’s no big deal because it isn’t a big deal. It’s silly. All of it. Especially on twitter, and I know better than to take any of it personally.
That’s the trick, really — never taking any of it personally. Whenever someone sends me some hateful comment, I know it’s not about me. It can’t be, because they don’t even know who I am.
Whatever shit they talk, they’re just telling me about themselves. It’s always about them. They’re inevitably defending their own identity, so I automatically have the upper hand. They’ve shown me their weakness by reacting, so if I feel like it, I know exactly where to pinch.
Besides, I love my haters. I always have. They’re readers too, after all, and I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read my stuff.
7 thoughts on “On hateful comments”
I’ve tried to articulate this to many friends over the years, how being reactionary and defensive just exposes your own personal insecurities and anxieties. You’re just handing over control.
Sadly I don’t have a popular blog and my friends are slow learners.
I’m trying to be a learner. Call me slow stupid or fucking retarded, I can read the words but I can’t wrap my head around this all the time. I would love to do it. I have experienced what it is like to just laugh because you know a person has no faint idea what they are talking about… but I am still easily baited by racism, sexism, harassment, etc. If you have time could you elaborate on how you can further get this idea in your head?
Is that kind of the thing that I just spelled out now? Security in your identity and knowledge helps to come to this mindset? Why do I feel the need to immediately defend myself against wanton sexism directed my way?
Well I can’t speak for Coke, but what you’re describing isn’t the same as anonymous internet hate mail. Reacting to rude people mocking you and harassment aimed at you isn’t the same sending someone antagonizing messages online.
Think of it this way. The big ideas matter. Globally, socially, misogyny matters, racism matters. But on a personal, one-on-one level, the guy calling you a “bitch” on the street doesn’t matter. He’s not doing that because you, as an individual, are a bitch to him (probably). He’s doing that because he is somehow, unconsciously or not, threatened by women. Not a woman, but the idea of women. And all he’s doing by harassing strangers (or colleagues, or girlfriends) is demonstrating that. It’s not personal because it’s not about you. It’s about that misogynistic anxiety that he’s compensating for.
Of course, all that only applies to Internet hate messages and random street harassers. If someone saying shitty comments is known to you, maybe it is personal, I don’t know.
Anyways, that’s how I view it. Coke Talk might see it another way. She usually does.
Also not Coke and can’t speak for her, but for me, it all comes down to actual, physical consequences. As in… there are rarely, if *ever*, consequences from some d-bag saying rough shit at you through a tweet. Nothing comes of it. You haven’t been hit, your money hasn’t been stolen, your car hasn’t been wrecked, your dog didn’t leave… it’s all impotent rage designed to make you fire back something while pissed.
Nothing *real* ever comes of it, and generally, in most cases, nothing *real* is ever _meant_ to come of it.
Its one thing to — as a matter of principle — try to treat online communications as you would IRL communications, but in practice? There’s a _world_ of difference between the two, and they are far from interchangeable. Online is, in fact, just silly bullshit.
I don’t know how to get you to _feel_ that, though, because that just happened for me automatically when I figured all this out.
I’m sorry you have to deal with that. I know internet haters can fucking ruin your day and it really sucks.
Honestly, the best solution is perspective. I started my Twitter as a college student and I realized how ridiculous it was. Like, really? You’re going to raise your hackles over a teenager who’s mostly trying to get to biology in time? I don’t know. The internet is fun, but you just can’t take it seriously.
Learning more about social media and how people interact with it helps too. “Understanding Media” is a great book that I know Coquette recommended at some point. If you have triggers, maybe figure out why and talk to a therapist. If you find yourself getting angry easily, try meditation or exercising. It can help calm you down so you can consciously decide if you want to rise to the bait instead of reflexively- most likely, you’ll realize it’s not worth it.
Also, I’ve realized I’m hotter and smarter than the pasty sanctimonious airheads who treat Twitter like a job and couldn’t do long division if their state school degrees depended on it. That helped me.
Hmm, thanks to everyone for their input; it gives me a bit to meditate about.
Oh, and thank you for the sympathy and understanding, I really appreciated it.
So coke, you’re a fan of the four agreements I take it?