Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Something I've done or have started to do now - learn to walk away from conversations if you start to see the warning signs that they aren't civil conversations at all, but a tank full of those nasty sharks out to rip into the first gullible surfer to stick a leg in the water.
If you are that teenager, or have felt like that teenager at some point of your internet and forum surfing life, keep everything in perspective.
Learning to walk away from conversations gets a lot easier if you take the lesson from Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice), when she's telling Caroline Bingley how to ruin Mr. Darcy's good mood -
"Laugh at him."
Ok, maybe don't laugh at ALL of them, but sit back and sort out their weird little deals.
Look at their conversations in general and consider all of their weak points and human fralities. Everybody has a weakness and character defect. Sometimes it is just a minor case of thin skin, or an impulsive temper (like me). Other times it is a bit more serious, and explains why they seem to be so bitter and hateful all the time.
In general, the main reason why people go trolling around trying to pick fights is because it makes them feel intelligent and important. Maybe in real life they're that awkward guy at the gas station on the night shift - you know, the one who looks like Napolean Dynamite except he has pimples and doesn't look people in the eye when they talk to him. I always feel so sorry for that guy at our gas station. Shyness and lack of self-confidence are the WORST things to overcome.
Or it could be that person who claims to live in an exotic location really lives in a cramped and rusty mobile home in a bottom level mobile home park where they are pretty much stuck because of the poor choices they made earlier in life. Or maybe this person DOES live in an exotic local, but is all alone because his/her friends have forgotton that he/she exists.
Once you humanize your attackers, it becomes a lot easier to shrug off their "Need for Attention" inspired attacks.
Or if they said something that really hurt, you can always sit back and wait. They are the types who get bored very easily if they don't have somebody to fight with. At some point, they are going to attack the wrong person and be handed their own gravy in a care package with a little bitter mustard on top (which sounds utterly disgusting, I know).
End line here - don't take trolls too seriously. They usually hide under bridges for a good reason.