Let’s Talk About Bullies

As a writer who shares everything for free, online exposure is my main resource to find readers. And while being online does that, it also comes with a few downsides.

One aspect of that is reader dramatics: bullies and haters.

Why am I talking about this? Because you can’t please everyone. I aim to give people a little slice of life, but as much as I try to provide a wide range of topics, it happens.

What is a reader bully? These are the ones hiding behind their screens. These people are one or any combination of the following: they’re jealous at (or threatened by) what you do because they can’t, some memory or event was spawned by your words and they lash out, or they’re repulsed at your thinking, beliefs, or life choices and feel they must set you straight.

Extreme examples exist, but the ones I’ve faced tend to jab a little, hoping to stir some response. Then they pounce. Engaging them leads to insults with no basis in truth or reality. Unfortunately, they also know how to hurt you the most. At the first sign of trouble, whether they’re attacking me or a friend, I block them. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.

Haters aren’t much different from a bully, but they might approach things in a different way. Some are vindictive, but others express their dislike. If they’re civil, I’ll draw the line by thanking them for giving my words a chance and for sharing their honesty. It still stings, though.

For me, this group hasn’t yet ventured too far beyond social media into WordPress. I’m hopeful this will continue to be a positive and welcoming space.

So, tell me, what’s your experience in dealing with this?

Next time, I’m going to discuss peer dramatics — writers that take an offensive.

© Sarah Doughty