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Are you finding it hard to stay silent?

5
Reflective_Joy
It can be really hard, REALLY hard sometimes to stay silent when we are on the receiving end of nasty messages or posts online. We are human after all and the need to defend ourselves can sometimes over ride our better judgment. Silence is always best. Easier said then done I know! So I thought I would share a couple of tips that may help suppress the urge to respond when are being harassed.

1) Write it down!

Instead of replying to the Troll, bully or friend that is harassing or antagonizing you, write everything down that you would like to say to them IF you could. I would advise not using a Word document because you may get the urge to copy and paste it back to them. So to limit that, use a notebook or journal.

-You can write in the first person using "I" statements in point form and say why you are angry, hurt or frustrated. Go into as much detail as you need to.

-Address how you feel using the persons name or online username and tell them how they made you feel and why they should stop harassing, insulting, laughing at you etc.

**Remember we aren't actually sending this to them! If you really need to share it and need further support, you could always explain why you wrote this exercise and email the [email protected] team for further advice or a listening ear.

Now when you are done, it's important to shift your emotions because even when venting -especially when we are venting- we are still liable to feel sad,angry or hurt. So the next step is to follow up with a "Grateful List".

2) Grateful List

You should list a minimum of 5 things you are grateful for online. The people,the gaming communities you are a part of or your social media groups and friends. By listing all the things you DO appreciate about the online world you are creating a shift in your emotions. In fact I can GUARANTEE you'll notice a shift in how you feel! Moreover, it helps to remind you why you are part of an online community in the first place. Here are a few suggestions to get you started on your Grateful List. Remember to not just list the positives, but to say WHY you are grateful. Here are some examples:

- I really appreciate my Twitter discussions because they really uplift me, educate me and empower me.

- I am so grateful for my friends in my Minecraft circle because they really support and uplift me.They also give great suggestions and share tips.

- I am so grateful for my Snapchat friends because they never fail to make me laugh and smile when I really need it.

- I am so grateful for Cybersmile, because I know they are there 24/7 if I need to talk. I feel valued within the community and I know I am not alone.

These are just suggestions, so be creative and you may find the list is even longer then your list/letter to your online troll or bully! Please share your suggestions below of what you would add to either list. It could help others in the community who may be struggling.
2
terky2236
For me i find it easy to stay silent at times, reason being is that i dont want to burden people with my own problem and then i get scared that i will hurt them, it has happen to me in the past, i know staying silent is not good, just hard cause its difficult to express your feelings without hurting someone
2
Reflective_Joy

In reply to terky2236

Thank you Terky for your response.

Yes it can definitely be hard if we think we may hurt another person by responding to them. We really want them to know something they said or did hurt us, but we don't want to hurt them back as a result. It can be tricky to know what to say and how to say it OR if we need to say it. If it is a relationship online we want to continue but we aren't happy with the way they may be treating us, We may want to be honest with that person.

In which case, Cybersmile is definitely here to support you. You can always reach out to [email protected] for confidential advice. Moreover, they are also there if you just need to express how you are feeling. Always better to find a healthy safe place to vent then to keep it bottled up inside.
1
CybersmileTeam

In reply to terky2236

Thanks for the input Terky, we have some amazing people you can talk to if you ever feel the need. Email [email protected] to get that ball rolling at any point!
3
terky2236
thank you, it just gets hard, but have to fight it with baby steps
3
Mac
One step at a time is the best way, like you say Terk. No matter how experienced or seasoned you are to gaming, abuse and smack talk can still get to you. Reflection, perspective and mindfulness are all there for you to give yourself a break, you're only human!
When I was young, my dad would say 'give yourself half a chance son', when I tried to take too much on, or I would get upset and frustrated. I know what he means now. Changing perspective is powerful stuff and it absolutely does make you feel better. Feeling angry and stressed is ok IF you can let it do its job and then put it back in its cage!
4
heidilynnrussell
I love (love!) this post and all of Reflective Joy's ideas! These are wonderful.

I also wanted to throw in 2 cents that "staying silent" may be dependent on the depth of your relationship with the person. For example, it's a great tactic if you don't know the individual or they are a "nameless" person who occasionally interacts with you on Twitter or a gaming forum, etc.

But if you have an ongoing relationship with the person, even if virtual (suppose it's someone you talk to a lot on social media but you have never met in person) ... staying silent may not be the best option. In those cases, if someone comes at you with an unexpected, unprovoked attack -- and you know them -- I'd say take a conversation to DM or email and have it out. It's worth preserving the friendship, if it can be preserved, because maybe the person is going through something difficult and is lashing out at you not realizing they are really upset about something else. On the other hand, if the person is mean-spirited and you're just discovering it, that will also be revealed in a private email exchange.

I rarely invoke this person's name, but back in December, Cybersmile's ambassador Richard Armitage tweeted out a Charles Dickens quote, and I have relied on it when someone I know is provoking me online:

“There can't be a quarrel without two parties, and I won't be one. I will be a friend to you in spite of you. So now you know what you've got to expect.”
? Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

It is a great rule of thumb when you are trying to decide how to deal with someone in this category. I have gotten into the habit now of saying to "friends" on Twitter, "I refuse to argue with you about this." And then I quell it with silence if they keep up the argument.

Really glad you posted this one, Reflective Joy, because it's been on my mind lately!

XO
Heidi
3
GamerGirl
This is a great post! I think it's important to remember that things could be worse...you could be like them!
2
Reflective_Joy

In reply to heidilynnrussell

Thank you Heidi for your feedback and for sharing such a great quote! Thank you too for adding that silence may not always be the necessary. As you rightly pointed out, some relationships may be worth saving or we may recognize that a friend, follower or gamer online, may just be struggling or having a bad day. This can sometimes be evident when we notice a change in the language they use or negativity towards others. We may not be the only ones on the receiving end. Though their behavior may be out of line, it may not be characteristic of them to post hurtful or angry messages etc. So if safe to do so, we may want to reach out to them or see how it plays out.

Listening to our gut feeling and reaching out for support from Cybersmile can definitely help us make a more informed decision when it comes to continuing a heated discussion or relationship online. It's not always easy and we shouldn't have to deal with it alone!

Thank you again for adding that and for your presence on the forum!
0
terky2236

In reply to Mac

its not about the trash talking in gaming im used to it, more like the real world stuff, see you know that old quote "if you need help im always here for you" see when it was my turned i lashed out, that i hurt people mentally, guess growing up staying silent was my only source cause i felt that if i told my problems no one would care or it will be a burden

its like a said before i know staying silent is hard, believe me there are stuff i like to say but i know that it might hurt the people that i once cared for
0
heidilynnrussell

In reply to *Reflective_Joy*

Thanks, Reflective Joy, and again, I'm so glad you brought this up.
I notice this more among friends who I know personally on Facebook, particularly if a certain U.S. presidential candidate is the topic of discussion. It's easier for me for the sake of the long-term friendship to just walk away from any attack and pursue it in a private message.
About 99 percent of the time, I'll find out the person is going through something with their spouse or children or an elderly parent, etc.
However, I think that for most of the people who are on this forum, they are either teenagers or adults in their 20s, etc. -- and it's a completely different dynamic. In that situation, where people are "faceless," your strategy of silence is 100 percent golden.
Again, thanks for bringing this one up. I have been bugged personally by acrimony among my friends of 20+ years because of this presidential election season. When someone who is normally affable grows fangs, it's always a red flag to me that they are not really upset about someone comparing a candidate to King Henry VIII. :-D
1
Reflective_Joy

In reply to heidilynnrussell

Thanks Heidi and yes agree!