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.

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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!