Knowing how to deal with negative attention on social media can be a tough call. As a makeup artist, it’s my job to paint people’s faces and create custom makeup looks. As a blogger too, it’s my job to put myself out there and share my opinion. I post on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and LinkedIn to name just a handful almost daily. Both of my job roles require me to stick my neck out into the limelight, which in turn leaves me vulnerable to negative attention. Of course, it also opens me up to praise, lovely comments and the potential to make new friends based on having the same interests and opinions. But what happens when you get that one (or more) killer comment ripping your new makeup look to shreds or tearing your opinion apart?
Trolling is something that’s been really glamourised in the last few years and sadly, it’s on the rise. The internet is full to the brim of keyboard warriors looking to target not just bloggers, but everyday social media users too and leave a torrent of cruel and sometimes abusive messages. I’ve had my fair share of laughable comments on my business makeup images that have been widely shared: “You look like you’re advertising a brothel.” “Those are rubbish compared to what you see on Instagram.” To the downright horrible “You need to die. I’m going to kill you.”
So, how do you deal with negative comments and learn to move on from them rather than dwelling on them instead?
1. Learn to laugh at the negative comments
This is much easier said than done – when my work first went global, I was devastated to see the odd horrible comment scattered amongst the rest. But that’s what they were…the odd comment. Not a full comment section full of trolls! If you know your work has been crafted with love, creativity, care and attention, then who cares if Uncle Chunk from Eltham thinks I’m rubbish compared to the makeup artists on Walking Dead? (See the below image which is a comment made on my Halloween work that was featured in the Daily Mail) And more to the point, I’m self-taught, of course I’m not as skilled as those amazing artists who have had years of formal training. Once you learn to laugh at the ridiculous comments, they really can’t hurt you. Anyways, I used to love going to Blockbuster.
2. Block, block, block
The easiest way to get rid of somebody hassling you with mean comments is to simply hit that delete and block button. It’s a quick fix and if you can’t keep referring back to it, it makes you move on pretty sharpish.
3. Don’t bother rising to it
Another way I find most effective in dealing with negative attention when it comes to my blog or makeover work is to simply not even bother to respond. I read it then dismiss of it right away. If I spend my time crafting a response or getting into an argument with somebody, it only causes me more hassle and stress. The only way something can hurt or upset you in this world is if you allow it to. Remember that you’re a good person, you’re amazing, you’re talented and you’re loved. Sure, if something really irks me I’ll follow up with a polite email or private message, but try not to air your dirty laundry in public – nobody loves a catfight more than Facebook lurkers.
4. Talk to your friends or family
If you’re having a really bad day or you feel under the weather, negative attention is much harder to deal with. It’s easy for me to sit and say ‘ignore it and move on!’ We’ve all had those days where everything goes wrong and even dropping your phone on the floor or somebody looking at you in the wrong way makes you cry. I’ve found the best thing to do is to talk to my friends or family about how I feel, share the comment with them and talk it out. Sometimes it takes an outsider for you to realise just how daft that stupid comment is and remind you how amazing you truly are.
5. Report it
If you’re suffering from a serious case of trolling or even cyber bullying, it’s important to take it seriously. Keep screenshots of the comments and usernames as a record and make sure to report problems to the service provider such as Twitter or Instagram. If you’re getting death threats and feel that you’re in danger, you must inform the police. Although death threats online have been proven to rarely be credible, it can be incredibly frightening to receive one.
Most of the time, negative comments stem from jealously and from people who really don’t have anything better to do. Don’t let their negative outlook on life drag you down. Keep doing you!
© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2016.