Mean Girls Online: The Grown-Up Bullies You’re Trying to Avoid
I bet you thought when high school ended, you’d finally be free of the mean girls. Every high school had them, and we all tried our best to stay out of their path.
So often they are condescending, rude, or outright mean. If you found yourself the target of these mean girls, you probably dreamed of the day when you would finally escape their taunts and cruelty.
I don’t know how to break this to you. The mean girls haven’t gone away, they’ve only gotten bolder. So emboldened, they have moved to a place where there are endless victims for them to dump their meanness on.
That place, my friends, is the Internet.
The mean girls online are here, and you need to know how to avoid them still. Fortunately, you have the Internet, and you’re not stuck with them. This isn’t high school anymore!
Bullies should be roundly ignored; this tactic takes all the wind out of their sails. Whenever you engage a bully, it gives them additional gratification to know they got to you. You don’t have to deal with that. Here’s some great ways to know when you’re dealing with a bully, and how to distance yourself.
Bullies steal joy everywhere they go
Bullies are never happy for you. Whether it is a new promotion, or a great day you had, the bully is right there to mess it up. Ever the contrarian, they will suck the fun out of every experience you have, even if it is a trip to Disney World.
Eventually you will learn how to spot these people and you will know: don’t tell them anything!
They mock what is important to you
Do not share a cause you’re championing with a bully, or tell them how you feel about anything. Bullies are always dismissive of your feelings. Everything in a bully’s life centers on them: what they think, what they feel, and what they like are the only concerns these people have. What you think is absolutely irrelevant to them.
If this person is a relative, a friend, or a business associate, this can become very draining, very quickly. It is time for you to evaluate whether or not you’d like this to be a regular part of your life.
When mocking doesn’t work, they will humiliate you
If there is a humiliating story that shouldn’t be told, the bully will wait until the worst possible time to share it. If you are struggling with something, there they are to tell you that you’ll never be able to overcome. Bullies deal in shame and humiliation in order to make themselves feel better about their own terrible lives.
If you find yourself in a relationship with a bully, especially if they are bullying you online, here are some ways to make your life simpler:
1. Block them – You don’t have to talk to anyone, regardless of their relationship to you.
2. If you can’t block them, restrict them – We live in a beautiful time in technology. You can actually restrict the posts that your bully can see, and keep them away from your happiness.
3. Cut ties with them completely – You don’t ever have to live a life where you are being tormented constantly by someone who does not matter. When it comes to bullies, it is time to shake them off. In the most plain way you can, tell them they are no longer welcome to be a part of your life. You’ll feel better once you do.
Bullies are just like other pests: they’re a part of life. Just because they are a part of life doesn’t mean you are obliged to put up with them for the rest of yours. Identify those Negative Nancys and put them back in their place once and for all!