How to Deal with Hate Online

The past few months I have been so incredibly fortunate to see Sunday Chapter grow and call it my full time job. I’ve had some amazing opportunities and met so many lovely people, but what I didn’t expect was some of the hate and negativity I’ve had to deal with. Blogging definitely has its downsides and I think battling hate online is at the top of them. I feel lucky that this little corner of the internet has gained some attention but it has also come with a lot more pressure.

Every single endorsement, comment, message, email and word that I type, I have become so careful with. It’s not something I ever prepared myself for and in all honesty, I was probably being naive thinking it would all be sunshine and rainbows.

But you know, it still sucks when I receive comments or emails from people when they have a problem with the way I look or hate on a sponsored post.

Side note: why are people still so against sponsored posts?! Blogs are free to read, and these days, they’re essentially online magazines. If a blogger genuinely loves a brand, then what an incredible opportunity it would be to work with them?! I would say I decline about 90% of sponsored content that comes my way, and I always make sure the brand aligns with my aesthetic and content. Plus, the money that is made from sponsored posts doesn’t go to my benefit, it goes towards yours. The readers. It goes towards my website, brand and being able to provide free content for you guys.

IMG_5567-2

It’s not that I receive hate on a daily basis like some bloggers and youtubers, but recently it’s become more often and it really got to me the other day. Putting yourself online makes you vulnerable because it opens you up to every kind of opinion. The fact that people get kicks out of hurting people they don’t know makes me really sad. What happened to a person to become so full of negativity and hate they must bring others down to their level too? Why do they feel it is necessary to physically type hateful words and announce them into a comments section? I almost feel bad they can’t feel happy for others. Does that mean no one feels happy for them?

the power of anonymity.

The main platforms for negativity that I have encountered are on Instagram and blog comments because it so easily allows people to hide behind a veil of anonymity or a false persona. It’s a lot easier to hide behind a screen and type things you wouldn’t ever dare say to the person’s face. But just because someone is reading it, doesn’t mean it affects them less than if you were to say it directly to their face. I have received hate from just about every kind of person and it’s even more disgraceful when it’s from grown adults. If your intention is to harm others online, then that is downright bullying.

Empathise with them – Trust me when I say there have been times I’ve bitten back to nasty comments with a defensive remark, but I now know that’s not the right thing to do. It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment and as humans, the first thing we think is to defend ourselves. But unfortunately this kind of thing will get you nowhere. There’s a good chance you wont be changing that persons opinion of you and if anything, you’re giving the hater exactly what they want. Acknowledgement and conflict. They say the ultimate act of compassion is to learn to love your enemies, so the first method I take is kindness. Be kind to unkind people, they often need it the most. Responding to hate with more hate it just pointless and sparks more negativity.

Let the person know you’ve listened and understood what they’ve said. If someone doesn’t agree with my opinion but uses a personal attack to get their point across, I still let them know I have taken what they’ve said on board.  Take a deep breath and use a calm, understanding and positive tone. Sometimes they might even be surprised at your response and actually end up respecting you for it.

Ignore, block & delete – I leave almost all the comments I receive but if it is a complete personal attack and has no constructive criticism whatsoever, then I’ll delete it. There is a fine line between constructive criticism and being an asshole, and there’s definitely no reason to let negativity breed. Sometimes kindness will only get you so far and you need to take preventative measures. Some people cannot be reasoned with and that’s okay. They’re just out there to hurt you and nothing is going to change their mind. That’s when you should delete, block and pretend it never existed. Those kinds of comments are not relevant – they have nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.

I hope this helped even one of you that deals with online hate. It’s a horrible and unnecessary thing to deal with but it’s sadly almost expected when you have an online presence. Please feel free to comment below if this is something you deal with as I would love to know how you respond!

  • Sharni Hastings

    I love how honest and real you are! Major girl crush!

    Sharni X

    http://www.sharnleeee.wordpress.com

    • Aw!! Thanks so much Sharni! You are the sweetest :) xx

  • This is such a fantastic and relatable post, thank you for sharing and being so open and honest about your experience. It’s awful that you have to deal with online hate, I really hope you don’t take it to heart as it’s clearly written by deeply insecure people xx

    tessa at bramble & thorn.

    • Thanks so much Tessa!! I really appreciate your comment <3 It's an awful thing bloggers have to deal with, isn't it! xx

  • CozyZen

    Thank you for sharing your experience. My blog is not as big as yours so I guess am not getting hate comments yet. I once heard Oprah say she doesn’t read comments herself but has someone screen the comments and only read the positive ones to her. So I plan to do that in the future.
    http://www.cozyzen.com

    • Thank you so much for reading! Oh I would do the same if I were Oprah haha. There’s definitely no reason to acknowledge any mean and rude comments!! xx

  • Such a great post but also a shame you have to write about this topic. I don’t understand bullying of any form but I think you have hit the nail on the head when you say ignore, delete, block. I had one guy that kept commenting nasty things on my Instagram, he was old too and should have known better, after ignoring it he eventually went away x

    http://www.wonkylauren.com

    • Thank you so much Lauren! Oh that’s horrible! I’ve had the same thing happen on Instagram, definitely the best thing to do in that case is ignore, block & delete :) xx

  • i feel like bloggers and youtubers get way much hate these days which is so sad. thank you for sharing your experience. i just don’t get why people feel the need to be so negative towards others.

    loovelle.blogspot.com

    • I know!! I will never understand how people feel good about bringing others down. It’s so terrible. Thanks so much for your support Elena! xx

  • It is so not right that you (or anyone else) get any hate at all. Also, it’s important to remember that maybe they have something going on in there life that they’re just taking out on you one way or another. It takes a few seconds to write a nice comment, but sticking to “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!”
    I love your blog.
    x Kenzie // Kenzieblogslife.blogspot.com

    • Aw thank you so much Kenzie! It’s a terrible thing to go through. And I totally agree with you on that quote!! Thank you for your support <3

  • Hannah Ison

    Love this! Thanks for standing up! I recently wrote something similar on my polyvore account. Cyber hating is becoming so widespread these days.

    • Thanks so much for reading! It’s everywhere now and it’s so horrible to see it happen!! What kind of good comes out of putting others down?! xx

  • Ashley Christabelle

    The best way to combat hate online is to simply ignore them. If you acknowledge them, it gives them power to strike back again and again. Lovely post. xx

    http://www.ashrealasitgets.blogspot.com

    • Yes totally agree! That’s exactly what they want – to keep striking you down. Thanks so much for reading Ashley! xx

  • Alicia Valleskey

    This is a great post! So true from every point, it’s so refreshing to me :)

    • Thank you so much Alicia!! Means a lot :) xx

  • Great post. I completely agree that most people who write negative things online just want to be acknowledged, at any cost, unfortunately. :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

    • Thanks so much Carmen! It’s so true, no good comes out of ever acknowledging them :) xx

  • I work in media planning and buying and find it funny when people complain about ads. How do you think you get your content for free??? Do you WANT to pay for YT? Do you WANT to pay for Facebook? Are you even willing to do it? The answer is no. So, shut up and be grateful that there are companies out there paying for your entertainment! And if you want to complain about “privacy” or “way too relevant ads” then get an ad blocker or just don’t use the internet at all. You give you up your right to privacy whether you like it or not. It’s the sad truth. #rantover :)

    • Omg YES!! I couldn’t love this comment enough. Ads give influencers the chance to produce free content, and I don’t see many people complaining about the ads in magazines! Really couldn’t agree more with every single one of your points!!! xx

  • Kris Davis

    Great post! I agree, it is so much easier to tear down someone else who is putting themselves out there than it is to actually step out of the boat yourself. I’m proud of you for responding in an honest and truthful way. YOU ROCK!

    • AW thank you so much Kris, so kind of you to say!! xx

  • Shelby Rae

    I remember back in my Nexopia and Myspace days people would throw so much hate at my hair (then pink) and my nose which has a bump on it. While I mostly got love the small blimps of hate would make me feel so bad about yourself but I like your take: If it’s not constructive then good-bye :] P.S. Your blog has quickly become one my favorite these past few months and I love everything you have to write!

    The Fernweh Wolf / Travel & Lifestyle Blog

    xx

    • It’s only the most insecure people that spread those small blimps of hate!! You are too kind, thank you so much Shelby!! P.s. Love the fact you had pink hair – Always thought it looked SO cool, wish I was brave enough to dye it myself haha xx

  • Terry Tate

    Thank you for your article on “How To deal With Hate Online”…..I too have gotten caught up with hate online only to catch myself and take the higher road…..these days its very Political online…..

  • I can’t imagine anyone would be mean to you. You seem so sweet! I guess it’s just jealousy. Remind yourself how wonderful you are and don’t let it it get to you.

    Xo,
    Gia ♡
    http://www.TheBlossomProject.io