Responding To Anonymous Hurtful Comments
Today, we are sharing the story of how someone responded to an anonymous hurtful comment online. Words can stay with us but Vanessa, AMFT in Orange County, shares how she felt her feelings but then found compassion and realized it was never about her resulting in empathy. This is a beautiful response to a really hurtful thing and this is the model we use in Bloom. Feel your feelings and heal from what happened. Sometimes this is all we can do, when the aggressor is an anonymous voice online. Thankful for Vanessa’s vulnerability and courage to share her story. This is what she said.
“Recently I received a text message from an unknown number. It went something like, “where in the blind f*** do you have worth of general opinion.” And “you are mediocre OC and lucky to be that.” As well as calling my husband negative names and claiming my education is low and how dumb I am.
I would be lying to you if I told you I did not think about these words over and over for months. I still don’t know who it was, however it pained me and really bothered me that someone thought so poorly of me. At first I wanted justice, figure out who it was and get them back. Then I felt sadness, that maybe they were right, maybe I was an ugly dumb person and I should thank God I’m alive. But then I felt compassion.
The truth is, whoever sent this, it had nothing to do with me. Research shows that people who bully others are far more likely to experience stress or trauma in the past 5 years. Bullying becomes their coping mechanism.
The reality is, most of us are affected by being bullied. Maybe we even were the bully at one point. No matter if you’re in middle school, high school or a 26 year old adult like me. Bullying can happen. And I don’t have a cure or a quick how to get over it guide. But What I can say is that you’re not alone. And there is power in people connecting. If you’re affected by bullying I would encourage you to not isolate yourself. Talk to someone that you trust, and if someone is talking to you about this empathize and validate!
Try to not see yourself as the problem, it is natural to take these words and wear them. But I want to challenge you to change you’re thinking and know this is not about you, it is about them. And through this change of thinking hopefully empathy will appear. Empathy toward the bully and grace for yourself.
In response to bullying lets rebel with kindness, kindness toward others and ourselves can put us back together again. Relational wounds are healed within relationships.
You are not alone, and I am so sorry that sometimes it feels like you are. Stand tall and seek help. You can reach out to organizations such as Bloom or talk to a parent/teacher/mentor/therapist/counselor/friend.”