Recently I’ve recently read that there are some social justice warriors that seem to just pick on bronies, and some bronies that seem to return the favor. I think both ways of hate are wrong, but complaining isn’t going to help that. This is a long post, but it describes how to deal with hate and what it means to be a better person.
Being a brony, encounters with bullies, social justice warriors, or internet hate is emotionally draining and stressful. These people criticize every move you make, and thrive in misery. This sort of thing would make anyone feel depressed, sad for what humanity has become. However, understanding how to deal with people and why this behavior happens can help you develop better strategies for dealing with hate, and being a better person.
Understanding Human Behavior
First let’s talk about some basic human reactions to negativity. Realize that negative people may not be concerned with the effect their behavior has on others, but rather they may want to get rid of their own uncomfortable feelings in the fastest way possible.
We learn from experience; from a very early age we learn certain ways produce certain results. For example,
Let's say we're a toddler:
- If we are hungry and we cry, someone will give us food.
- If we throw a tantrum, someone will pay attention to us and ask what is wrong. If we throw a big enough tantrum, people will leave us alone.
These behaviors stay with us throughout our lives.
As adults we're expected to repress these feelings of stress and in a calm, collected manner. However, expressing ourselves in a more socially acceptable way takes advanced communication skills, and often times I feel like many peopl haven’t developed that. Consequently, when people experience stress, they may lash out in unexpected and unfriendly ways.
Typical Reactions to Stress
When faced with a situation that causes them stress, many people react in unproductive or unfriendly ways. Usually this is because it is human nature to go into ego-protection mode when criticized. Here are some of the most common responses:
- The “know-it-alls” who boss others and believe they’re never wrong. (“Forget it—let me do it—All you do is mess everything up!”).
- They take on a victim role (“I never do anything right”) or simply withdraw from the situation (“Whatever.”).
- They behave in a rebellious way (“No way! You can’t tell me what to do!”).
- They respond with insensitivity, sarcasm or inappropriate humor (“Enjoy your pony art, freak.”).
Sometimes people react to a stress in a combination of these ways. It all depends on what behaviors make people feel the most comfortable at the time.
Strategies for Dealing With Negative People
So what can you do when you get a bully that’s really gets under your skin? Take a close look at how you react. Are you reacting (out loud or to yourself) in one of the ways described above?
Developing an awareness of how you deal with cynics will help you better deal with what you can control—yourself.
When you become self-aware on how you react to stressful situations, two things happen. First, your awareness provides you with an opportunity to choose a different way to behave. Second, it enables you to maintain objectivity in the presence of stress. It helps you remember that other people’s negativity is not personal to you or to your situation. It is simply the way they express themselves when they feel insecure or uncomfortable.
Creating and maintaining awareness of your own behavior and choosing to act in a different manner (i.e., not using your automatic ego-protective responses) prevents an encounter with a bully from escalating. It might not stop the person you are talking to from being negative, but it will provide you with control over your response to the situation. Your choice not to communicate in an unproductive way removes the likelihood that you will be replaying the conversation in your head for days or thinking of all the zingers you wish you’d said!
Misery Loves Company
Some people seem to thrive on making themselves or others miserable. Nothing you do or say can change that fact. After employing various productive communication strategies with a person like this and finding that nothing seems to work, ending your relationship might be the best thing you can do.
This approach may not seem like an option, particularly if the person is "friend". However, there is usually a solution to dealing with negative people. Continue to talk positively with them and not see everything in a pessimistic viewpoint. If you find the person unbearable to be around even for a short time, keep calm and find talk with close family or other close friends more often. Above all, don't let them get trigger your ego-protective response.
In All Honesty
Dealing with critical people is difficult. Talking, working and even sitting by them can be very stressful, even when you try not to get involved with them. Take a break from that Tumblr or /MLP/ or any place where where people wants others to feel miserable. Develop ways to destress after an encounter with a negative person. I usually watch funny videos on Youtube or go outside and play a game of soccer., Try to find ways to release stress and diffuse your negative energy rather than perpetuate it.
However you choose to destress, make sure you do it in a positive way. Going on a forum and complaining in public only amplifies that stress.
I summed up my thoughts on how to deal with negativity on the internet. React calmly, be awesome, and find friends that support you when you feel down, not people who put you down when you're on your knees. Personally I've never had to deal with excessive brony hate, but it does exist out there. Don't give in to the satisfaction of misery. Don't lose your way!!!