This post has had many different attempts. I just haven’t known quite how to approach it. However, it is a topic that needs covering. Blogger Bullies. Yep, I said it. There are bullies in blogging. Just like the ones that you heard about, or were harassed by, during your school years. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are small bullies trying to get their name out there. Others are big bullies using their blog and social media connections to make you feel like you are, to quote my grandmother, “knee high to a piss ant”.
Either way, they do everything they can to belittle you and knock down your self-esteem. It’s either going to anger or hurt you. Generally, it does both. Words spoken are often eventually forgotten and if more Zen in mindset, let go of easily. Funnel those same words into a blog, various social media mediums and those are words are there, permanently. Bullies always go after the ones they perceive weakness in, damning them in a medium that no eraser can remove.
How did all of this start? I had a friend send me a message via Twitter some time ago asking me to call. She was on the road, away from her family and encountered the inevitable. A bully. Not just any bully; a fellow blogger who it seems delights in being angry and spewing venom on, and about, others. I saw what this other blogger did via her social media platform and it was uncalled for. It wasn’t just an attack on my friend, but on another blogger as well. At an invitation only event. Appalling is not even the word that describes what I felt. Even worse? Another friend experienced a different type of bullying just a week later, because she wrote honestly about a different event held during Blogher.
We use our blogs as a platform for our voice. Sure, it’s a little narcissistic, however we all have something to say and should be allowed to express our freedom of speech without people trying to quash us with their dislike. People no longer want debate, they want conflict. In the online world, the ease of typing up a comment and hitting send doesn’t allow us the opportunity to actually think. There is a consequence for every action, whether immediate or delayed.
People might want to say “well, you are attacking people by writing about this matter”. Actually, I’m not. What this is about is bringing attention to my fellow bloggers about the increase in bullies. Believe me, I have stories that go back a long way. I’ve been doing this since 2002 and it’s all the same. People want their 15 minutes of fame and will trample over whomever to get there. Even worse? New bloggers, whose careers have been speeding along, might make them feel irrelevant of threatened.
They are still just as relevant. However, when that time comes, instead of attacking, maybe they should take a look at their blogs. Have they lost readers? Do they find themselves increasingly bitter? Are their social media platforms a tool they are using to build relationships and community? Or is it an outlet to “x” number of people to find a sympathy ploy or seek validity?
I don’t know.
What I can tell you is there’s plenty of domain space to go around. There is also audience enough to go around. However, there are some things that are important to remember:
1. Bloggers stick together, take up for each other and come to each others defenses.
2. Your audience is going to feel like you are starring in “Mean Girls”. We all know what has happened to Lindsay Lohan.
3. Conference planners, PR Professionals and Companies are going to stop calling you. That is not the attitude they want representing their brand.
4. Karma. The total effect of a person’s actions and conduct during the successive phases of the person’s existence, regarded as determining the person’s destiny. It will also bite you in the ass faster than a hungry Doberman.
5. Eventually, all the negativity is going to affect you personally. Once you get trapped, it’s difficult to get out. Not only does it become detrimental to your brand, but to you personally.
6. Bullies are generally perceived as people with lack of impulse control.
What should you do if you encounter a bully? I would love to say that you take them out at the kneecaps, but using their tactics is just going to make you look like a bigger bully.
1.The Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
2. Kill them kindness. It’s hard, you want to fight back. Don’t. Be nice.
3. Ignorance is bliss.I’ve said it before, I will say it again. If you ignore something long enough, it will eventually go away. It’s a dating tactic that has worked for years. Remember the guy hitting on you that you wished would go away?
4. Love yourself. Just because someone else dares to say anything, do not take it personally. Hold your head up high and stick to your chosen path.
5. Don’t lose sight. It’s easy to displace your vision, voice, and focus when consumed by emotion and distracted.
6.Laugh at yourself. This lifestyle is a public one and with it comes issues that are quite serious. Make a nutty vlog, podcast or write an ode. Mine most recent one was to my fan. It was silly, but lightened my mood immediately.
7.Have a confidante. Someone that is not going to turn into a bully for you, but will talk you off of the proverbial ledge and help you regain your sense of humor. I will never name mine, but they are there when I need them and help me stay sane.
Bullies can learn to change their behavior by watching others treat people fairly and with respect. If they learn to use their power in positive ways, bullies can change. In the end, whether bullies decide to change their ways is up to them. Some bullies turn into great people, while some never learn.