Often times, my time in the gym is the only time during the day I have to myself where I get a moment to myself to self reflect without toddlers begging for every straw of my attention. I cherish this time to myself. It is often where I am able to write most of my authentic posts.

Social media can be a wonderful way to connect, but it can also be a place where normally good people turn into vicious, mean people behind that keyboard of theirs. I appreciate the large audience I have because it gives me a lot of opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise, but it also opens me up to attacks from people who have different opinions than I do. I see it nearly every single day.

Maybe this has happened to you before and you can relate. Maybe someone thought they could hurt you by targeting you on social media. Or someone simply just didn’t like something you wrote and decided to lash out. Or someone harshly criticized you in the form of sarcasm.

What I have learned over years of handling social media is that when people try to hurt you, not to take it personally. What people say about you is a reflection of them, not you. When you feel hurt because someone lashes out at you, try to remove yourself from the situation and recognize that person who is hurting you is hurting just as much, if not more, inside. Living a life where you are determined to destroy or hurt another person is exhausting. I think it is a natural instinct we have to fight back with equally vicious and hurtful words, but that never does any good and usually just fuels their fire.

We don’t need to respond to hurtful and vicious posts that include threats or name calling. We don’t even need to use any of our energy to defend ourselves. We certainly don’t need to defend ourselves for the way a person blames their emotions on us. Actually, the most loving thing to do in these situations is not to respond at all.

Instead, take a minute to recognize what their words bring up in you. Take a minute to wrestle with that and work through it. Don’t attach your self worth to their words. Thank them for the awareness, send them some love, and move on.

Your friend,