Kindness in the Face of Rudeness – Online Creators “vs” Trolls?

Ciao lovelies! Today I am going to be speaking on a topic that I believe is important for everyone to learn about: how to be kind even in the face of rudeness. This is something that I have seen many people struggle with, that I have struggled with, and that I feel affects online creators disproportionately, as I have spoken about in the past.

Unfortunately, rude behavior can be seen pretty much everywhere. In big things, like someone outright insulting you, to little things, like someone letting a door fall shut in front of you. Some of these things are not intentionally rude, and others are purposeful.

Sometimes, we get fed up with rudeness. Sometimes our default response to a rude comment, or rude action, is to immediately get angry. Sometimes we don’t stop ourselves from acting out in response to rudeness.

Today, though, I’ve been thinking on this topic a lot, and how it affects online creators. In the past, I’ve spoken about double standards that content creators face where they are held on a pedestal and if they dare react to hate comments, they get torn down. But that’s only part of the story.

I don’t disagree with my past self on that part of things. Yes, online creators are seemingly held to a higher standard and blamed for reacting to hate comments, disproportionately blamed for reacting to things, seemingly being victim-blamed for responding. That does indeed happen, and it’s unfortunate. But I don’t agree with my past actions/self entirely.

You see, I used to react, and respond, to many of the hateful comments that came my way. I would fuel the fires and get angry, responding in the heat of anger, and not stopping myself, not even giving myself time to think before responding in a way that- at the time, I believed to be witty and “funny,” but in actuality, was just continuing the rude cycle.

Having been an online creator for a long time, I have had a TON of experience with what NOT to do with hateful or rude comments. I responded, made response videos, reacted, got angry, got sad, took it personally, etc.

Unfortunately, I always made things worse, because even if the commenters didn’t return, I damaged my self-image and ended up taking things way too personal. I ended up internalizing far too many rude and hateful comments simply because I didn’t know how else to take them.

*Now, I feel the need to pause here and reiterate that I am speaking on RUDE and HATEFUL comments, not constructive criticism. Critique and Insults are different. For more info on the differences between hateful comments and constructive criticism, please read “3 Ways to Start Accepting Yourself” or check out our Hate vs Constructive Criticism Infographic in our post on Online Etiquette!*

As of lately, I don’t know if anyone noticed, but there have not been any PUBLIC hateful comments on OFT. This is because I no longer respond. I simply delete them from my moderation box!

“But Lunaria, how is deleting a comment using Kindness to combat rudeness?” I hear you saying, and I am about to answer that!

You see, not giving that person the negative attention they desire IS kindness, just a little different than what you’d expect. It’s Long-Term Kindness, not just short-term kind words.

I could easily publish hateful comments to OFT, and respond with kind words about how I hope they find whatever peace they need to make with themselves. But is that TRULY helping ANYONE?

My belief, is NO. Because you see, if I respond at all, I give that person attention for a negative action. So while I may be using kind words, it only affects short term. The person who left that comment will get the attention they wanted, which will reinforce the action of leaving hateful comments. They will probably then continue to leave comments, or go on to harass others.

Kind words to hateful comments is like a band-aid over something that needed stitches. Because my words would feed that person’s actions and continue the cycle, over and over and over.

I believe that by ignoring them and never letting that comment out of my moderation box, and deleting it, I basically disarm them and don’t supply the attention they so crave, therefore removing the desired results of their actions. And possibly, it might stop them from doing it in the future- or at the very least, make them think twice about continuing to leave others hateful comments.

Is ignoring every bully online going to solve the actual problem, though? Maybe not. But I feel it may provide that person with a moment of self-reflection.

In my opinion, the real underlying issue behind cyberbullying is insecurity, boredom, jealousy, sometimes all three, or even sometimes just internal turmoil. Many cyberbullies are individuals with their own struggles and are projecting insecure feelings onto their targets out of a sense of internal unhappiness. They could also be bored kids, but even then I feel there is a level of sadness inside.

By ignoring that comment, it’s my hope that the person behind that keyboard will think twice next time. With enough moments of self-reflection like that, it’s my sincerest hope that maybe they’ll wonder “Why am I leaving these comments?” and maybe then, begin to work on inner peace.

Of course, there’s another facet to this whole kindness thing in the face of rudeness as well.

When/If you receive a mean comment, are you also kind to yourself?

This is something that took me a long time to learn how to do. I still struggle with it sometimes, to be honest. But I work on this every time I get a hateful comment, and I feel that I’m getting much better at it.

What do I mean by “kind to yourself?”

The way that I show myself kindness when receiving hateful comments is to analyze:

1. Is there anything at all productive I can take away from this?
2. Is this worth damaging my self-image over?
3. Do I put weight into the opinion of this comment?
4. Do I agree with the opinion of this comment?
5. Why does this bother me?

The reason I analyze is to determine if I am being overly-sensitive and deeming a constructive criticism comment as hateful by mistake. But when I do my analysis and if I find that it is indeed a hateful comment, I am slowly learning how to let it roll off my back.

And I’ll admit, that’s really hard to do! Sometimes those comments really sting. Sometimes it totally feels like these anonymous individuals hit right on my insecurities.

So what do I do? I remind myself about what I said earlier. That this commenter is human, too. There’s a person behind that anonymous message who might be super sensitive about that very thing they’re making fun of me for! Once I remember the humanity of the situation, I find that I’m much more easily able to let go of the contents of the message.

So is it really Online Creators VS Trolls? Or is it all of us VS our own internal turmoil?

Please let me know in the comments what you think about all this! If you’re an online creator, do you get hateful comments, and how do you handle them? If you’ve left a hateful comment before (feel free to comment anonymously if it would make you more comfortable), why did you leave the comment? I really want to know other’s points of view on this topic and how others view the ideas I’ve laid out in this post!

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Thanks again for reading, remember to stay awesome, love yourself, and I'll see you in our next post!


  1. This is a fantastic post and I agree with all of your points.
    You don't need to answer this, but did you see a decline in the number of hate comments when you switched your comments to approval-only and stopped approving the hateful ones? I'm just curious if the trolls were discouraged once they realized that they no longer got a response.

    By the way, if you notice that the comments are consistently coming from the same IP address, you can block that IP from leaving comments, or block them from viewing your website completely. This link is specifically for Wordpress but I'm sure you can do it on other blogging platforms too, you just need to have access to the server files. You can use StatCounter to track IP addresses.

    1. Thank you!

      At first, I didn't see any change. But after roughly a month or so, I noticed that the numbers of hateful comments definitely decreased by a LOT. I still get them now at times, but not nearly as badly as before I turned on Approval-Only comments!

      Also, thank you for the tip! I'll be sure to look into that, as I'm sure that will help. I have noticed that it seems to often be the same person many times.


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