I received my first piece of hate mail when I was in seventh grade. A former best friend wrote an email that outlined (in👏explicit👏detail👏) as to why I was hated in school. She poked fun of my ugly, pre-pubescent and gangly body, the gap in my front teeth, how I never washed my hair, and how only had two friends. She also wrote that she knew that I would tell my mom but that she didn’t care, because her mom knew what she had written. Well, damn.
It would be twenty years until I grew into my body, slapped on braces, and squatted nalgas, but she was right about one thing — I told my mom. As a result, the bullying immediately stopped. By the way, I wash my hair every once in forNEVER, so she was right about that one too!
Seventh grade was just the tip of the iceberg for the years of blogs, comments, tweets, statuses, messages, and hate mail all directed to moi and sadly, by women. I have navigated through this shit storm, both successfully and unsuccessfully, to share my secrets on dealing with hate mail, comments, blogs, tweets, haters, you name it!
Step 1: Pity the Fool
For whatever the reason, your being has invoked someone to lash out online. Think about it! That is time better spent doing other things, like re-watching all seven seasons of The Games of Thrones (#WinterisHere #ValarMorghulis #AmIRight? #ThronesYall)! It hurts me to admit that I have wasted my time responding to essays of insults with endless back-pocket clapbacks, because it ultimately did not matter. Having the last word is never The Last Word. Let them cower behind their computer, spew their poison, and create colorful combinations of insults to post online. In return, you pity their wasted time and keep it moving, Khaleesi.
Step 2: Ignore Them a la Big Sean
Think of that one Facebook friend that blasts their drama online. Don’t you find their little rants childish and idiotic, yet highly entertaining? That’s exactly how you should think about anyone that writes to or about you. Wash your hands of that madness, ignore it, laugh at it, but don’t retaliate — no matter how hurtful. Trust me, they will be maddened by your silence and IDFWY attitude.
Remember, what they write about you says more about them than it does about you.
Step 3: Tell Someone! Anyone!
I could have hid this email from my mom and suffered similar messages. For my K-12 students, be sure keep a record of comments, messages, emails, and posts but, most importantly, tell someone. In Florida, you are protected by bullying and cyberbullying laws. As adults, we don’t get that luxury, but we can report slander, block haters, and delete comments.
No bullshit. The pay off for maturity comes with time. You’ll want to seek justice and defend yourself, but someone’s opinion of you isn’t who you are. In time, you’ll be glad that you distanced yourself from their narrative and drama. Speaking of distance, I reconnected with the girl in the above example and we became great friends — I was a bridesmaid at her wedding! She’s awesome, and it brings me to my last point: let it go!
In short, do everything Taylor Swift doesn’t do.