Self-Compassion was built to manage Internet trolls. It’s tenets exist to give you insight into the actions of others, to process that experience, and to end with self-kindness, so that the negativity initially introduced to you is free to return to its creator.
If you do not already know, Internet trolls are people, who, under the safe protection of their computers, make bullying comments to people on the Internet. The accessibility of the Internet allows them to send a barrage of hurtful things to people with the safety of anonymity (at times).
The most important thing to know about Internet trolls is that they need to create the fantasy of themselves as powerful and beyond reproach. They often identify with a celebrity or someone else of power. They bind themselves to this fantasy, and use this borrowed power to hurt other people. Hurting other people makes them feel powerful.
In terms of using self-compassion to overcome the pain inflicted by Internet trolls, it is important to drive home one very important point. They need their aforementioned fantasies because they think so little of their lives. They will respond aggressively, when these fantasies are threatened because they are trying to defend the only thing that seems to make them not feel so powerless, unhappy, and afraid.
So, here are the five steps for your self-compassion practice. First, acknowledge the pain the Internet trolls have inflicted. Second, notice where these feelings live in your body, and soften around that area. Acknowledge that you come by these feelings honestly. Third, use your sense of compassion and understanding to recall that they are harming you because they are afraid, unhappy, and powerless. Without the distraction of conflict, they are forced to face these painful feelings. Fourth, wish yourself the wisdom to return the woes experienced by the Internet trolls to them, so they can work them out for themselves, and so that you can be kind to yourself. Fifth, fill the space left by the end of this conflict-laden communication with its polar opposite: connection. Contact a friend or family member. Watch a heartwarming video, or engage in a life-giving activity that you are passionate about.
Don’t Lose Hope
Internet trolls may be fake, but the pain they inflict is real. It is never too early to take care of yourself, and engage in your self-compassion practice. Shrek was a troll, and he eventually got a donkey, and a Princess Fiona. Don’t lose hope for the trolls. According to Disney, they are just a donkey and a princess away from having good lives, and being kind to strangers, friends, and family.
365 Days Of Self-Compassion. Day 166. In The Books.