Essential Career Lessons I Learned From Online Trolls

Essential career lessons I learned from online haters.

One of the things I love the most about blogging is that the blogosphere tends to be this lovely place of encouragement and wonderfulness. If you read something and think it’s awesome, you “like” it or your comment about how great it is. If you think it’s awful, you just go and read something else. It’s really a very uplifiting practice, writing. We share our thoughts and opinions on things that other people might care about. I personally write so that I decrease the amount of time that I spend talking to myself. People usually find this strange.

So yes, I think that blogginig is fantastic. But recently, I’ve had some encounters with REALLY MEAN ONLINE TROLLS! I’ve had some really not so nice comments being left on things that I write like this. And reading them, it just blew me away how rude people can be. I mean, come on, there’s a difference between having a different opinion and being a straight up jerk. Different opinions rock! That’s why we have brains…to think differently, to share our views, and to work together to make things better. But understand that there’s a difference between voicing a different opinion and attacking someone. Not. Cool.

So to all you mean people, I’d like to say thank you, because here are some things that you’ve taught me that will be essential in my career:

1. How to defend an ARGUMENT

In business, you have to know how to defend your arguements, how to defend your ideas. Why? Because a lot of people are going to try to shut you up and shoot you down. So learning how to reiterate your thoughts while taking into account questions that other people pose will help you be much more successful.

2. How to take criticism

Most people don’t know how to deal with criticism. I for one, used to suck at it. I got a B on my paper? What?! *Starts crying* I don’t do that anymore. Instead, I look at the feedback that I get and I take it all into consideration. Sometimes, I see areas for improvement. This is a gift. Because I DON’T know everything and being open minded and willing to listen to other perspectives makes you smarter. At work, you’re going to have projects and assignments and you might think that you did an amazing job on them. Your boss might not. So it’s important that you know how to deal with criticism so that you don’t start crying in front of your boss.

3. How to remain respectful even when you want to punch someone in the face

Punching someone in the face is bad. You can get arrested. You WILL lose your job. So just don’t. Be respectful.

4. That you can’t please everyone

Some people love my writing. Other people don’t. And guess what? That’s okay. Because regardless of whether it’s writing or doing your job or pretty much anything else that you do in your life, YOU CAN”T PLEASE EVERYONE. Especially when you’re voicing an opinion. If I tried to please everyone, I’d be talking in a circle and ultimately, I would please no one because everyone would think I’m an idiot that’s just writing for the sake of writing. So just know how you feel about something and don’t be afraid to let people know. Understand that they don’t always have to agree with you and be open to listening to their thoughts. Maybe you’ll think that they’re crazy. Maybe they ARE crazy. But maybe you’ll see things in a way you’ve never even thought of.

5. That some people are just a-holes

Yes. Some people regardless of what you do or what you say are just bitter and mean and rude and not nice. Don’t let these people ruin your life. It’s not worth it. Just ignore them and focus on being awesome.

So mean blogger people…see what I did here? I took your negativity and I made a blog post about it. Thank you!

Because quite frankly, I’m far too busy to let mean people affect my day. You want to be mean? You want to be rude? By all means, knock yourself out. I wish you a happy life.

Just know that there’s a good way and a bad way to say everything and yes, there’s a way to be assertive and voice an opinion in a professional and respectful manner. If you’re mean, people won’t like you. And in business, if people don’t like you, you die.

So just be nice. Life’s too short and being an a-hole increases stress and chances of heart disease and a bunch of other things that will cause you to die faster.

New to blogging? This might be a good place to start.

Oh, and I’m now offering 1-on-1 coaching sessions via phone to help answer any blogging questions you may have. $25 for a one hour session. Would love to share any advice I can give you, and make a new friend along the way! Contact me here for additional info 🙂

Books on blogging to help you take your blog to the next level:

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Books to help you deal with your twenties: 

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34 Comments

  1. bhaskaryya

    April 19, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    nice post, the best I found was your fifth point. You are right, some people just don’t get it and we shouldn’t let them have the satisfaction ruining our day.

  2. Story Addict

    April 19, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Thanks for this post! Agreed. Voicing your opinion is great. Lashing out at someone for no reason is severely uncool. Learning how to actually give criticism is also a hard thing to do, but if you want to help someone improve instead of stabbing them in the gut, it’s a worthy practice. For example, always give a positive for every negative. Or, better yet, give two positives for every negative. If you can’t, don’t say anything at all. And those who do like to stab others, well, they need help.

  3. xoEvelynOrtizHasSpoken

    April 19, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I totally agree, great blog post 🙂

    && you def. cant please everyone & there is a huge difference btwn bashing and stating a different Opinion.

  4. Jordan Tishler

    April 19, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Hey Kayla,

    Love your posts. Sorry to hear that you’ve been getting dumped on for them.

    One comment: perhaps using harsh words like “suck” and “a-holes” adds to the negativity of the “blogosphere”. While we all know what you mean, words do have meaning and emotional value. You are, after all, a wordsmith.

    Don’t think I’m being prudish. I can and do swear with the best of them (look at what I do for a living). But not from my soapbox. Think “Hey Jude”.

    Keep up the great work!

    Jordan

  5. The Wandering Mind

    April 19, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    “I think that blogginig is fantastic” too. The blogosphere does seems to be a nicer place.

  6. Manage Better Now

    April 19, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I think Jordan brings up a great point. I have to admit, sometimes I feel like you generalize (older) people with some very unkind adjectives. When it happens, I usually do stop reading and come back another day. Hopefully I am not being lumped in with the A-holes now, but I do think that you can make your points without going out of your way to offend folks that may be older than you. I love your perspective, and I have added you to my blogroll.

    That being said, I felt that Tim Sackett’s comments were arrogant as well. Certainly not the way I would have phrased my counter argument, but to each their own. As for the other fellow, sometimes it best just not to dignify it with a response.

  7. omwaombara

    April 19, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Gen Y Girl. I loved your Blog. You cannot please everyone. Sometimes you try so hard to do good only for your motives to be questioned, doubted, ridiculed. I agree with you that some bloggers are mean but in as much as some will post nasty comments on your blog, there are people who like your work and they give you that inspiration. Constructive and polite criticism works better than rudeness any day. Thanks for sharing this. Life is short and I wanna enjoy every single moment of it. You want to whine? I am gonna drop you from my happiness trail. Truly inspired.

  8. The Girl D

    April 19, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    I didn’t comment on either of those posts, but I notice that they both had the same topic. Learning how to defend your arguments is great – if you have good arguments. Maybe if you are receiving a lot of negative feedback, take a giant step back from it all, and examine your arguments to see if they really are good ones, or if you maybe need to revisit some of your ideas. If, after that process, you’re still happy with what you said, defend away! 🙂

    Any good blogger gets bad feedback. If you’re doing anything worthwhile in this world, people are going to come up against you.

    (But if I may say so, ageism is a thing, just like racism and sexism, and speaking ‘against’ old people in the work place is no different than the old people disregarding the young.)

  9. Working Wifey

    April 19, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Loved this blog post! Good for you for standing up for what you believe in and taking positive lessons from all of the negativity. No, you cannot please all people and everyone does have different opinons, but there is no need to be rude on another person’s blog.

  10. alundeberg

    April 19, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I totally agree with point five. It’s taken me a while that there are mean people, and mean people do not reflect on me, they reflect on themselves. The benefit of mean people is that they make us appreciated the nice people all the more and guide us in how we want to treat others. Great post!

  11. hughcurtler

    April 19, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    You are a wonderfully positive person without being sugar sweet! And you write well. Keep it up!

  12. Caitlin

    April 19, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    This is great, and definitely some life lessons that everyone needs to learn. I for one learned them working in restaurants as a waitress. This kind of thing is ubiquitous in the food service industry. I’d probably call number three the most important one, because that ability is really what sets some people apart as the ones with real character.

    I’m glad you turned negativity into something constructive!

  13. Janet Abercrombie

    April 20, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Dooce.com got some of that negativity. She posted all the bad stuff on a single page and let her other readers go at them directly. That made her even more popular :).

    Yeah, people are mean. We teachers try to teach character – but some people are still mean. I don’t understand it. Never will.

    Janet

  14. Rick Pulito

    April 19, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Keep on bloggin’, and ignore the mean people…they are outnumbered about 1000:1, and they know it… You have a great thing going on here. Keep it up!

  15. Sueyq

    April 20, 2012 at 3:29 am

    I like your blog and I like this post. There are more people who are nice. They share that common bond; of understanding that the world needs more love and that it is wonderful when you can agree to disagree in a nice way. But for myself I agree with this post. just go away and not post the bad or the ugly.
    I do know this sometimes other put things on blogs or when they say something in person. They are trying to get a reaction from you. To make you be like them. They get the satisfaction knowing they controll you in this way.

    I for one, do as you do, I read and learn sometimes and then other times I chalk it up to that person’s problems. If I want my world to be bright and sunny and full of all things positive. I don’t get into what is going on in their mind.Their intentions.
    For my mind is one of peace, and love. no one can chage that but me. No one has to try to be nice they are nice or they are not.
    I feel sorry for them that are not and I say a positive little prayer for them. and I move on.
    So do what you do. it is good! We are not divine so we at times want to do bad to others who have hurt us in some way. But to control self in a positive way, helps us more in the long run. We keep our sunny self , thoughts and deeds and other positive poeple feel this and express this. it is a conformation to you. Smile. Have a great day!!

  16. dcwisdom

    April 20, 2012 at 4:28 am

    Kayla,
    I was sharing with my prof comm class last night about you and your blog. There are about 30 in the class and maybe 10 are your age. I was bragging about how you are such a thinker, mover, and shaker, and I asked the class some questions about how the typical GenYs in their workplaces compare to you. Turns out most GenYs are not as motivated and dedicated as you seem to be. Your passion is unusual.

    So, my point is that although there are GenYs that will move out and vie for good positions in the workplace, there are more who won’t. There are more who want something for nothing, and I think that’s the perspective of many employers. Having someone like yourself who’s competent, smart, and energetic is uncommon. Perhaps it’s different in a larger city, too, where the competition pool is greater.

    You’re learning about perspective. I appreciate that you are not being so defensive but are trying to learn from all the mean people, too. I learned years ago to take the emotion out of the lessons. It’s easier to learn that way. 🙂

    I clicked on “here” and read some replies. I replied to one of the replies you made about universities providing more learning opportunites. I suggested that you consider donating time to non-profit or community organizations outside the workplace to develop more leadership skills and gain more experience. It looks good on the resume, and it’s a great opportunity to serve your community.

    Keep up the good work! You’re doing a bangup job! 🙂

  17. yablogtherapy

    April 20, 2012 at 12:56 am

    Hi Kayla,

    I really enjoy reading your posts because you do reflect on most of the problems the Gen Yers face in the workforce. Like you mentioned in previous posts, it’s not that we don’t want to learn from the older generations we just don’t want to be treated like a work-experience kid. I left my previous job because I was being treated like a child by my baby-boomer colleagues. It was not only until I mentioned my resignation did they start to consider my opinions more seriously. Whether I have enough experience or not, if I make a mistake I don’t need to be reprimanded like a child. It’s just not helpful. I’d be more than happy to have a mentor of any generation who treats me with respect.

  18. mrshev

    April 20, 2012 at 7:38 am

    The cold, hard reality of corporate and commercial life is that you are always going to be working with people who – for one reason or another – create some inter-personal friction with you.

    I have worked with scores of people who stalked the hallways like later day Darth Vaders and one’s natural instinct is to avoid or work around them. This ultimately reflects badly upon you (rather than them) and makes it appear as if you are the difficult one to work with. What you need to do is work with them – use your diplomacy and tact to engender a working relationship. If you can productively work alongside so called corporate pariahs then you have mastered one of the central tenets of corporate life: business is like life and it is full of the same mix of people. Some are intense, some are easy to work with, some are not. Try to work within that framework.

    Anyway, keep your spirit – but try and see the older generation as a resource!

    Mrshev

    (BTW only one e in argument – you can delete this bit!)

  19. rdopping

    April 20, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Ha, ha! Clever. I have no time for a-holes! Me either. I have better things to do.

    1. thinkingldr

      April 20, 2012 at 7:52 pm

      Great thoughts. People often forget that blogging is not reporting. It’s simply the thoughts of the author. If you don’t like it, move on.

      Keep up the good work.

  20. David Bush

    April 20, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Awesome post, keep up the good work…

  21. Lizzie

    April 21, 2012 at 12:07 am

    I’m with you, Kayla. The first time people were jags to me on my blog, I lost it a little bit. Here I was taking time everyday to write and converse, to join new communities – and the anonymity of the Internet was giving them cover to say some ru-hude things. You’re smart for taking the lessons!

  22. danielleelisemiller

    April 21, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Great post! I agree with you. And I have to say that your very last paragraph made me laugh. Thanks for the laugh! 🙂

  23. stephenedwards425

    April 21, 2012 at 12:57 am

    As always…a well thought out (read: balanced) post…thank you…hope folks are reading.

    Be encouraged!

  24. Miss Molly

    April 21, 2012 at 6:28 am

    You go girl… you are wise beyond your years “grasshopper”…

  25. Michelle

    April 21, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    It is your blog and you do it your way! If people really do not like your words they have 2 choices….they can respectfully disagree and raise their issues or sign off. Keep up the great work!

  26. archijeks

    April 22, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    “I personally write so that I decrease the amount of time that I spend talking to myself.” – same here 🙂 Great post!

  27. kebperspectives

    April 23, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    You know, Kayla, I actually saw some comments on some blogs (unsure if it was the ones you reposted, or not) and I was a little offended that people were so rude to you. I actually had thoughts of telling them off myself, but then I was like ‘no, it’s her battle to fight’.

    I like how you made the negativity a positive influence on your life, though! I wish I had that kind of talent. Sadly, I am still at a point in my life where I engage those a-holes and tell them what for because currently, my boss supports ANYTHING I say or do! 🙂 I think they call that a “Trump” card!

  28. dianewrites

    April 24, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    I appreciate this post. I have my personal experience with mean bloggers and anonymous visitors too. I agree with your points. At the end of the day, no one wins in flaring up arguments. In my opinion, the real gauge of a blogger and I guess a person is how he/she retained that respect, composure and decency, despite being pushed to enter a spat.

  29. onlinehitchhiker

    May 12, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Amazing, amazing post. My friends and family keep telling me that I can’t please everyone no matter how hard I try, but I still want to be everybody’s friend. I just don’t want to have any enemies or disliked persons. I suppose I’ll just have to deal with it.

    Thank you for including the other points, as well. Overall, very nice.

    M.

  30. Rebecca Meyer

    March 9, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Glad I found this post! It’s great to read a positive perspective about mean people and how to deal with them.

  31. Lea

    September 14, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Just saw this blogpost on Pinterest so my reaction’s coming a bit late haha. Knowing how to turn negative into positive is a hell of an art and you inspired me to keep practicing it. Keep rocking girl!

  32. Peter

    November 17, 2015 at 1:21 am

    Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful article. Thank you
    for providing these details.

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    March 18, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    […] Essential Lessons I Learned From Online Trolls […]

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