Emotional Wellbeing

Mandy Kloppers

How to deal with online trolling

Many people don’t know how to deal with online trolling. It’s a negative behaviour that is growing and many victims suffer this emotional abuse incessantly. Over time online trolling can lead to severe depression and anxiety, and sadly, in some cases it leads to suicide.

Why does online trolling exist?

There are many theories as to why online trolling exists. If we look at the bigger picture, we live in a world full of stress and hardship. We basically need to feel comfortable about being uncomfortable if we want to manage in this world. Sadly there are those who decide to attack others as a way to ‘project’ their own hatred and inner unhappiness onto others.

What is projection?

Psychological projection is a defense mechanism that many people subconsciously employ in order to cope with difficult feelings or emotions. Psychological projection involves projecting undesirable feelings or emotions onto someone else, rather than admitting to or dealing with the unwanted feelings.

If you think about it, a person who felt at peace and content in their lives would lack motivation to increase the misery and suffering of others. A person who feels bitter and disgruntles with their life tends to feel better if they know others are unhappy too.

How to deal with online trolling

The most effective way to deal with online trolling is to completely ignore the troll as if they do not exist. Block them on social media. If avoiding them or ignoring them is impossible, don’t react to their abuse. This is exactly what they want and you will be negatively reinforcing their unwanted behaviour.

Even lashing out and sending them abuse in retaliation will still show them that they have gotten to you. They have ruffled your feathers and this will be seen as a reward to them. It will fire up the dopamine in their brains and increase the likelihood that they will continue the online trolling.

Silence is golden

Do not respond. Do not react. Don’t give them the pleasure of an emotional reaction. Online trolls are bullies and they are even more cowardly than face-to-face bullies as they hide behind anonymity.

The best way to make them feel powerless and insignificant is to act as if they just don’t matter in your life.

Mandy X



Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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