negativity online

Dealing With Negativity Online

Congratulations! You’ve made it. You’ve been trolled.

Unfortunately, trolling and negative comments and emails are a fact of life in the online business world. The best way to deal with the negativity is to learn that it’s not personal. It’s not a reflection of you or who you are inside or outside. In fact, it’s not about you at all.

Problem is, for me and my clients, we are our businesses. It’s our blood, sweat, tears and more that created the .com we own. That means we often take criticism (very) personally.

My old company was nursing wear for new mothers. The name, however cute and funny it was to some, highly offended others. There were stores that wouldn’t stock my clothes and I’d get trolling comments on Facebook like, how could you have a name with “udder” in it, you’re calling nursing mothers cows (which I wasn’t really doing)…

And the trolling went a step further. I remember a woman commenting on a Facebook ad, which I wanted to be a positive experience, that my company was terrible for not including plus sizes. When I gently informed her in a comment below that we did, in fact, have up to size 2XL, she told me it wasn’t big enough and that my company was awful.

So what I took away from that exchange is this: you can’t please everybody. Nor should you try to, for that matter.

When you’re standing for something, you’re sending a message, and you’re attracting the RIGHT people, you’re also going to repel people along the way. And that’s okay.


If you find yourself taking things personally, here are some points to remember:

– You are a business, so these people aren’t criticizing you. They criticizing an entity that they likely don’t realize you consider to be your baby

– What they say is projection. They’re projecting their feelings of insecurity onto you. Don’t accept it!

– They may not realize you’re the one in charge of emails and social media. They likely think they’re criticizing a bot.

– They probably have nothing better to do and people with nothing better to do certainly are NOT your ideal client.

When (not really if) you’re faced with a trolling remark, here are the three choices you have: 

  1. Delete
  2. Ignore
  3. Respond

If you choose to delete or ignore, keep moving forward. If you choose to respond, always do so in kindness. Don’t start a Twitter war with someone whom you’d never want to work with. It will make you look bad and there’s no deleting things online. They live in perpetuity. 

Being authentic and vulnerable is the right way to be online. And if someone has a real problem with anything you say. That’s just it. It’s their problem. Not yours. 

So you do you and keep moving onward and upward!