If I’m going to get hate mail, I want it to be genuine, and actually be authentic hate mail. And I want there to be some truth to what I read. In other words, I love my hate mail. I love it because it means that I’m doing something right to provoke people to feel, think, and have an opinion. Good! Say your opinion, tell me what you think, and leave a comment. Thank you! Remember, there’s a very thin line between love and hate, and a passionate comment either comes from the lack of knowledge that someone has, passionate and strong beliefs on something, or even from personal issues with insecurity and low self-esteem.
You see, for me to respond to hate mail, it takes me having to go through different emotions. First, I’m like WTF, then I get a little sad—But don’t worry, only for a moment (what can I say, I’m sensitive), then I’m either like, “Wait, there’s no truth to what they’re saying,” or “O.K., so, maybe they have a point.” In other words, hate mail is ultimately good for me. It gives me a chance to self improve, to work on myself, to improve my resilience and inner strength, and if anything, it pushes me to work even harder. Therefore, I thank my haters.
So here’s what happened.
Yesterday, I hadn’t checked my Twitter feed, but for some reason in which, frankly, I’m still unaware, one of my followers that I didn’t actually know, had tagged my username next to an article called, “Why Beauty and the Beast Is Not About Stockholm Syndrome.” Apparently, many people did NOT like the article, and I almost feel bad for the writer on some level because of it. Who knows, maybe after I read it it myself, I’ll have a different opinion. So basically, someone wrote the nastiest comment on one of my articles, thinking that because someone tagged my username, it meant that I had written it. So naturally, and apparently without the reader and commentator having given it too much thought or even noticing the author’s name directly above that person’s article, they commented on my article, and ironically, it’s called, “How to Deal with Haters and Toxic People.”
Generally speaking, I try my best not to write back when someone writes something so hateful and rude. I just figure that they’re just haters, and toxic people that are simply trying to get attention. And sometimes, I figure that they’re envious, jealous, and bitter, and that perhaps it’s even someone that I didn’t want to date or that I turned down for whatever reason—as hubris as that may sound. But all in all, I usually tend to think that when someone writes something hateful, they’re just another toxic person on social media, which many people would likely refer to as an Internet troll. Having said that, at times, and specifically in this particular case, I felt compelled to reply.
One of my friends was mentioning something to me the other day, so I thought I’d bring it up in this article since it’s somewhat related. He was telling me not to be so sensitive to when people write nasty and hateful comments to me on social media. So I did what any other relationship and inspirational guru would do—I told him off. I know that he was coming out of a good place and that he probably didn’t want to see me upset or bothered by some idiot commenting some nasty thing on social media. And you might even call me a hypocrite for saying that I went off on him, being that I’m supposed to be some inspirational speaker type and all, but I’m O.K. with that. And besides, when did I become an inspirational guru, because if I am one, I’d like to know about it, because then, maybe it would help me NEVER to respond to toxic people.
Now, if you know me personally, then you would know that I’m far from perfect, and definitely a work in progress. Anyway, I told my friend that he should be happy that I’m even sharing stuff with him, and that he should be happy that I felt close enough to him to let him know what was going on, and what was bothering me. Which I definitely feel is true, but I suppose I didn’t need to be so harsh. Sorry, buddy! Then I told him, “Look, you need to understand that me being sensitive is part of my personality, and that not only isn’t that part of me going to change, but that I don’t want it to change, because I like being sensitive and in touch with my emotions to the extent that I am.
When someone shares something with you, and especially considering the fact that people tend to over-read things that are written via text message, it’s important to remember that being sensitive is not a bad thing. It’s good to be sensitive, and there’s really no such thing as being “too sensitive.” When people say that you’re too sensitive, it just means that you’re very in touch with your emotions. And in my opinion, I think that it’s a beautiful thing. Well the truth is, that yes, I am sensitive, and even to those stupid Internet trolls that write nasty things on my blog posts and articles that I share throughout social media.
There are many famous people out there that avoid social media altogether, like hottie, actor, author, and playwright, Jesse Eisenberg, and even the beautiful actress that most of us know and love, Jennifer Lawrence, because of all of the hate that spreads throughout it. But part of being a blogger and a good writer in the 21st century, is understanding the importance of having good SEO, traffic, and visibility on the web, which all depends on how much and how often your articles get shared. Therefore, being on social media for someone like me, is somewhat essential. At least, for the time being.
As well, the more popular, well known, or even famous that someone gets, the more that they’re likely going to receive nasty and negative comments written about them or and their work. Having said that, once someone has a big enough following on social media, at least for the most part, other readers are going to respond back to those hateful comments for you, or at least that’s what naturally tends to happen. So for the time being, I usually try my best not to respond to negativity and toxic comments that are directed towards me, but until I gain a bigger following and more popularity, I tend to give in to that tempting impulse, and write back, and at times when I probably shouldn’t.
So the reason that I wrote back to this guy on social media was mostly because he felt that I had written something about “Beauty and the Beast.” And I’d love to tell you that I read it, and I probably will at some point later on today, but because of that article, he was so angry after having read it, and felt compelled to write the nastiest comment to me on my blog.
I just wanted to understand why he would write something so mean, because honestly, I didn’t feel like I deserved what he said. But what bothered me the most wasn’t the fact that he was hating me so much or even that he was swearing at me, because really folks, language is just language, and they’re just words. But for some reason, I couldn’t let it go, and I wanted to get to the root of why he was so hateful and in such a specific way, saying the following…
“Anne Cohen you’re the most BLEEPING toxic person I’ve ever had the chance to encounter on the internet. You made a whole BLEEPING article on how Beauty and the Beast is an evil movie that brain washes little girls into believing random BLEEP that makes zero sense. Ususally I would never make a hate post on some random persons blog.. but you really really deserve this Anne. You really do. There’s BLUCKING kids getting bomb and raped and all kinds of BLEEPED up BLIP and you make an article about Beauty and the Beast being a harm to little girls… you’re a BLUMP. I’m a nice guy. I really am. But BLEEP you Anne Cohen. You don’t even realize how mad you make me. Yes you’re a very attractive lady…. and obviously you know… just juding by all your vain BLAP articles… But you’re BLUPPED in the head man. Like seriously you’re a sad person. You’re Way too caught up in your life and the random bull
BLIP you think of man. Please stop writing. Please.”
I know, I know, it’s kind of funny reading every other word as bleep, and I even left all of the misspellings as they were. But I had no choice, because although Google doesn’t censor profanity in search results, it would’ve been a bit too unrefined and crude to share. I wrote this article, because I realized that I’d written articles before saying, never to respond to toxic people and to avoid them at all costs, but I think that there are times when it’s O.K. I don’t really know how to put this exactly, so I’ll give you another example. A while back, I shared an article on my Google Plus account, and it was something about being a single parent and dating. Now, I’m sure that most people would realize that every person’s life is different from the next, and that no two situations are exactly identical, so it’s always better not to assume that you know someone and how their life is, and then based on your assumptions, to comment some nasty thing.
As a single parent, many people have different sets of custody and what not, and this guy left the nastiest comment on my post saying that I shouldn’t be dating anyone, being that I’m a single mom and all. In a nutshell, he said that I should be home with my kids, and he said so, in a very nasty way, assuming that there’s no alternative to his idea of what was right or how things should be done. Again, I did what any other inspirational speaker would do—I went off on him. Don’t get me wrong folks, because I don’t usually go off on people in the worst way—unless they really deserve it. Kind of smiling as I write this… But seriously, when I tend to go off on people, it’s more so, as if I just want to get my point across and be heard enough to make someone rethink what they might’ve said or done. To make a long story short, the guy ended up being very apologetic and even showing signs of remorse which I thought was really decent of him, and especially being that he was so cruel and nasty with his choice of words in the comment that he’d left.
So what I’m basically trying to say, is that the right thing to do, which is not always the easiest thing to do, but again, the right thing to do, is to apologize when you’re wrong. Not that I need his apology and not that it will change my life in some drastic way. But when you go off on someone in such a nasty and harsh way, when they don’t deserve it, and when they can make you see their side of things, you should own up to it, and let the person know that you were wrong or that you had made a mistake. And even if I did write some stupid article—not saying that it’s actually stupid, because I haven’t read it yet— I still wouldn’t have deserved such a nasty comment. No one deserves such nastiness. But being the fact that I never even wrote the damn thing, you would think that I’d get an apology. What can I say, I’m human, and I want my BLEEPING apology. No, not really.
If you’re going to hate, know what you’re hating about. In the same manner, if you’re going to comment something nasty onto someone’s article or anywhere throughout social media for that matter, know what you’re commenting on, and for goodness sake, look at the author’s name. And the same goes for if you’re out there protesting in the streets. At least know why the hell you’re protesting, because otherwise you’ll look like an idiot. And last but not least, if you are that idiot that’s out there protesting, without knowing why you’re protesting in the first place, make sure that you don’t do any interviews, because what they say about negative attention being better than no attention, it’s not true, and far from the truth. You see, it just makes you look stupid. So if you’re going to support anything and believe in something and more so, if you’re going to protest something, make sure that you know what you’re actually supporting and what you actually believe in.
I almost think that some people just like protesting, because it gets a lot of people together, and because they have nothing better to do. As well, many times people protest against people that they feel are bullies, which at times, I don’t truly understand, because a lot of times, those very same protesters that are trying to get rid of a bully by protesting, are actually bullies themselves. And they’ll not only bully others that tend to get in their way and try to stop them, but they’ll come across as the biggest hypocrites by doing so. My point is, that you should know why you’re doing anything in life. Know why you’re commenting on something. Know why you care. Know why you don’t like something. And I definitely don’t promote commenting negative things anywhere or acting like a dumbass troll on social media and spreading hate. But I also think that if you’re going to hate on someone or something, for goodness sake, at least know why you’re hating!
P.S. Spread LOVE, not hate.
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