Hey lovely readers, it's Manic Monday! I very much hope you all are able to cope with the chaos a Monday induces. This afternoon, I would like to talk about an issue with the internet and the world in general...Bullying.
So what is it like to be attacked on the net? Ask a Blogger. Each and every Blogger has encountered a few sadistic characters. It's one of our greatest fears as a community to be put in such a terrifying situation. I, myself, have had the misfortune of being target of this. Being a Blogger by itself is scary in itself but to receive threatening emails on top of that? Frightening stuff.
So today I am going to take you into the minds of foes and attempt to enlighten you about the difference between constructive criticism and unnecessary criticism and pessimistic negativity. I will even be―unwillingly as I'm not a fan of text language―dipping my toes into the younger generation's terminology and definitions such as 'haters' and 'trolls'.
Inevitably in life, there will forever be an individual present that has been created for the sole purpose to be belittling, patronizing and condescending towards you as if you were their favourite sport. Their aim is to dampen your day with snide remarks intended to provoke some sort of reaction. The most common―and most likely the worst―piece of advice you will be given are two simple, unhelpful words: 'Ignore it'. We all know that sometimes ignoring things is just not doable. I cannot begin to express how unethical that little piece of advice is. Our brains automatically come to that conclusion long before a person voices it. The outcome is almost always the same; it simply doesn't work. But I strongly advise that you to not go to an extreme such as becoming psychotic in defense for all you are doing is giving them what they are itching to witness. Never retort back. No matter how tempting it may be. Don't lower yourself to their extremely low standards. From personal experience, stewing silently and allowing all the irritation and upset leave your body before deciding on a course of action is the best method of reaction. I, myself, tend to rant in my mind. It is a therapeutic method that works for me.
The Difference between Constructive Criticism and Unnecessary Criticism
At times, it can be difficult to categorize the different types of criticism. Luckily, I’m here to enlighten you. Much to my dismay, I’m no stranger to the infliction of hurtful comments and taunts. I often found that it was the tiniest digs that stung the most. Over the years, I have carefully observed and relived my past experiences to fully identify the difference between the types of criticism. My theory is this: Criticism can be used and intended in two ways: For a positive impact or to have a negative impact.
A positive impact is when someone offers well-reasoned opinions and suggestions of changes. It is a double entendre by the fact that both positive and negative comments have been made, but is still a encouraging nonetheless. This form is made to help others with possible improvements. I think it’s hard for all of us to see the good intentions with this type of criticism but honesty is the key to understanding someone's opinion.
For example, my Critique Partner for my novel also acts as an editor as she will review a chapter and then send it back with suggestions. I endure nervous butterflies fluttering about in my stomach but when I receive that chapter back, I am very welcoming with the notations and suggestions.
A negative impact however, is a lot different. It’s a deliberately rude comment; a way of expressing malicious thoughts that are trained to hurt. Undesirable Criticism is unhelpful and lowers your self-esteem. It depends on who the person is on how to react. Take it on the chin and move on if possible. After some analysing over past and personal incidents, my perception on how this occurs is divided depending on the preferences of commenter. Some can be subtle with their digs whilst others can be painfully obvious and blunt.
As shocking as it may be, pessimistic negativity isn’t similar to any kind of criticism at all. Although it is essentially horrible and some would say it’s similar to unnecessary criticism, it is by far, much worse and evidently, more personal. Juvenile jibes, disabling digs, b*tchy beratement and catty condescension; all of these (and more) combined into one, delightful package.
The Terminology of the Younger Generation
As I’ve expressed many times, I’m not a fan of the younger generation’s slang language. I can tolerate it but there are some words that didn’t need to be invented. When it comes to bullying though, the youngsters have labelled tyrants things such as “haters” and “trolls”. Haters, I can understand (as slang, it generally means someone who is typically jealous) but trolls is a peculiar creation. Maybe I’m just an old-fashion woman when it comes to English and Grammar but I actually had to look up the slang definition for trolls. What I discovered in doing so intrigued me:
“A person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), most likely with deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.” ―Wikipedia
My Advice – Classify. Confront. Cope.
Having identified and broken down some of the most challenging obstacles in life, I would like to also volunteer my advice on how classify, confront and cope with these situations.
First, you need recognize the type of person you are dealing with. To list a few, you have:
Once the foe has been identified, the next step is to confront the situation and come up with a solution to terminate it. With all the examples above, there is one course of action that can be taken with them all and that is to not rise to it. Take it from me; impassiveness is successfully effective in stopping the encounter…and does slightly (note, that ‘slightly’ is an understatement) irritate the bully. Another good way to react is to laugh it off or as I say, smirk at those who despise you. You can also confront them verbally (which I have admittedly done in the past) and it may put them in their place but in most cases, you will have an altercation on your hands.
© Tammy-Louise Wilkins
But there is one thing to know. There is someone in your life, be it a friend or a family member or a partner, that is there for you. To pick you up when you're down. To hold you and wipes your tears away. No matter what the situation, they will be there. This is why I entitled this post, 'You'll Always Have Me' because it's true and because one of these people said to me, "Tammy, whenever you're upset, I can't help but think; you'll always have me." I'm blessed to have more than one of these angels in my life.