DOVC – #020 – How to Overcome Online Trolls: Proven Strategies for Staying Strong

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How to Overcome Online Trolls: Proven Strategies for Staying Strong

It's an unfortunate reality that the more successful you become, the more you'll encounter bitter online attacks from trolls. 

Their toxic comments can erode even the most resilient entrepreneur's motivation.

I learned this firsthand recently, seeing disturbing remarks aimed at an incredibly inspiring 11-year-old fashion designer I know. 

This young girl pours her heart into creating and promoting her clothing brand, yet cruel online trolls still emerged to douse her efforts with negativity.

Despite the challenges, you can maintain positivity and continue pursuing your dreams by cultivating the right mindset and supportive community. 

In this article, I'll share how to overcome online trolls trying to undermine your success.

Here's what we'll cover:

  • What motivates trolls to attack others
  • How to mentally prepare yourself for negativity
  • Smart strategies to effectively handle online hate
  • The power of focusing your energy on supporters over trolls
  • Why staying laser-focused on your purpose matters most

Let's dive in and tackle overcoming needless cruelty…

Understanding the Pain That Fuels Trolls

What causes someone to viciously attack a total stranger online, especially a child earnestly pursuing her passion? 

The root causes of troll behavior likely include:

  • Jealousy and resentment over someone's perceived privilege, luck or success
  • Projecting their own feelings of inadequacy and lack of accomplishment
  • Lashing out from past trauma, abuse, bullying, or other life frustrations
  • General anger and dissatisfaction with their own situation that gets misdirected at others

The knee-jerk reaction when attacked is anger and disgust towards the online trolls. 

And while such hostility is completely understandable, in some cases, empathy may also be warranted if you make an effort to consider the pain driving such abhorrent behavior.

Of course, deep hurt never justifies cruelty. 

But looking beyond the surface-level anger to the underlying insecurity, envy, and unresolved trauma that motivates attacks can provide some perspective when you’re the target. 

We all struggle and suffer – the distinction lies in how we process the hurt.


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Mentally Preparing for the Inevitable Attacks

Left unchecked, hateful comments eat away at you internally, no matter how illegitimate their source. 

So before putting yourself and your work out there online, consciously prepare for the inevitable attacks.

Remember that trolls likely endured very different formative circumstances growing up and carry deep pain that now spews outward as verbal venom. 

While their words may appear intensely personal towards you, more often than not, the comments ultimately reflect the commenter's own inner turmoil rather than any objective truth about you.

View each attack as an opportunity to strengthen your mental resilience and thicken your skin.

The online trolls want to make you suffer, so you deny them the impact they crave by overcoming their vitriol unscathed. 

Expect negativity, and it loses much of its sting when it eventually arrives.

Healthy Strategies to Overcome Online Trolls

When you encounter those first few hostile commenters looking to undermine you, how can you maintain positivity and perspective rather than succumbing to discouragement? 

Here are some constructive tactics:

  • First and foremost, never engage or attempt to argue with trolls. Trying to reason with them or point out their fallacies only fuels more ugliness since they crave the back and forth. Don't give them what they want.
  • Install filters in platforms like YouTube and Instagram to automatically detect and hide toxic keywords frequently used by trolls, like “scam,” “spammer,” and common profane phrases. This removes their comments from your view, so you're not exposed to the negativity. Out of sight, out of mind.
  • Actively cultivate your community of supporters who add value. Spend more time engaging with followers who post constructive, thoughtful comments and appreciate your work. Focus on quality over quantity of fans.
  • Share genuinely useful insights, resources, and tips that help your audience beyond just promotional messages about your offering. Avoid any perceptions of arrogance or “bragging” that can trigger attacks.
  • Finally, remember that while hurtful, troll remarks ultimately reveal more about the commenter's inner suffering than your own worth. Don't let those looking to pull you down steal your joy.

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The Sustaining Power of Supporters

Rather than obsessively monitoring all public comments seeking potential attacks, intentionally nurture your community of supporters. 

Here are some ways to nourish your fan base:

  • Make time daily to respond to followers who post constructive, appreciative comments thoughtfully. Getting a personal reply builds loyalty.
  • Consistently share insights and lessons that provide true value to your audience beyond just promotions. Answer real questions and address pain points.
  • Express genuine gratitude regularly to reinforce relationships with supporters. Thank them for their encouragement and loyalty.
  • Spotlight and praise community members going above and beyond to support your work. Public recognition energizes fans.
  • Poll engaged followers to gain feedback on what content and interactions resonate most. Let supporters guide your approach.

By consistently cultivating a vibrant, supportive community and focusing your limited time on those who add value, you insulate yourself from the few disgruntled troll voices shouting from the social media sidelines.

Rather than getting distracted by those trying to undermine you, stay laser-focused on your core goal – creating work that helps others and makes a difference. 

Don't let the trolls steal your purpose.

Key Takeaways: Overcome Online Trolls to Protect Your Purpose

Let's recap the key tips on maintaining positivity and progress in the face of online attacks:

  • Try to understand the pain that often drives troll behavior online, though cruelty is always inexcusable.
  • Mentally prepare yourself for inevitable negativity from envious or troubled people. It's coming.
  • Never engage or attempt to reason with trolls. Filter out and hide toxic comments instead.
  • Consistently cultivate your community of supporters who value your work. Focus energy there.
  • Share genuinely useful insights and resources, not just promotions. Build loyalty.
  • Stay laser-focused on your core purpose and adding value vs. CAVING to trolls.

With the right mindset and proactive strategies, you can preserve your positivity and purpose in the face of online negativity. 

The trolls only hold power if you hand it to them. 

Stay strong and keep shining bright!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on dealing with trolls – please share your experiences and advice!

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