How To Deal With Internet Trolls: A Series

Happy Halloween! It's a night for ghosts, goblins and even trolls. But for bloggers, we encounter internet trolls year 'round, not just on Halloween. Today I'm starting a weekly series talking about how to deal with them, the time I was almost one, and my interview with a former troll, as well as any other topics you'd like to discuss. First up, how to deal with internet trolls. When I spoke on a panel recently, I was asked this, and now I'm sharing my thoughts with you.

"Ew. Your ugly."

Ah yes, the mean comment...and it's usually misspelled, like the one above, isn't it? You're ugly, you mean! If you've been blogging long enough, the internet trolls will pop up at some point. And y'all, it freaking SUCKS. I don't know how else to put it. It immediately makes me get hot in the face and it makes me feel awful. 


I've been blogging for 6 years here but have had an online presence as a blogger for double that, and I've been on the internet for over 20 (I still have a Hotmail account I use from 1996, lol). And it's gotten worse over the years with the negativity. I blame insecurities from the troll commenters. Sometimes I wonder if celeb gossip blogs cultivated this somehow (remember how mean Perez Hilton used to be)?  But I really think none of this really started until bloggers started getting freebies and making money, at least in my observation. Rude people have always been around, but that's when I saw them start to crop up in the comments. I've even asked top bloggers for advice on how they deal with it, and I've come to the same conclusions they have. Here's how I deal with it:

Take a breather

This is 1000% easier said than done, trust me. Whenever I see a comment, I immediately want to clap back and fire off a comment defending myself. Mean comments hurt. But I highly suggest taking a breather. Step away from the technology. Yes, you will think about what was said. Yes, it might fester and yes it might fade away. It really depends on your personality and what was said.  But try to do something else to take your mind off of the comment. Just for a bit--then maybe craft a response. Sometimes it's better to delete and block. Sometimes it's easier to let your supporters hash it out in the comments section for you. It all depends.

They're new

I've found a lot of my negative comments are from first time visitors. What a way to make an entrance, right? Ugh. So that means they saw something via a web search, Pinterest, or my Youtube and made a judgment. They have no idea who I am or know anything about me. I remind myself that if they knew me, they'd probably like me. It's their loss, but really, who wants to be a friend with a person like that anyway? Good riddance! Sometimes I've had trolls who've stuck around (they obviously have no life) but eventually they'll leave.

Don't feed the trolls

I have found that a lot of negative comments are made for attention--this is more from Youtube or Pinterest where you can't be anonymous. The troll likes the argument. It makes the person feel noticed. They want you to respond. They want to get under your skin. While the first response it to say something, sometimes just deleting and moving on is best. Don't give them the attention. Don't feed the trolls.

It's not you, it's them

I admit it. There have been situations where I have responded to negative comments, like for clarification of something. Sometimes I have sort of befriended those Negative Nancy's, and y'all, they aren't happy. They are projecting that unhappiness onto you, to hurt you and make you feel unhappy. And to make themselves feel better. Sometimes they are jealous that you had an experience they didn't have (earning money, free products, viewers, etc). Some people don't like confidence. It breaks my heart that there are people who don't want me to succeed. But it's not me, it's them. 

On a scary note

I generally don't respond to negative comments because of a scary experience someone else had. I know a writer who defended her column in the comments once. She is a tough gal who always sticks up for herself and she wasn't having it! After much arguing, the troll found out who her boss was and then proceeded to email her boss all of these crazy stories about the writer that weren't even close to being true. The troll wanted her fired. He found out where she lived. He posted ridiculous stories on internet boards about her to kind of drum up hate. The troll began to harass the writer and she eventually had to get the police involved. People are crazy, y'all. 

It gets easier

I have comment approval for posts that are older than 30 days. There was a point where I'd get anxiety every single time I'd check my blog stats because I was worried I'd see a comment waiting to be approved--because every time that happened, I knew it was a negative comment. Youtube really gave me such anxiety that I didn't check my comments for months. I don't have as much of an audience there, so my videos are found through searches. And I believe YT has the MEANEST comment section of any social platform. My heart goes out those who have tons of followers and the crap they have to deal with.

But there is something positive! Unfortunately, the more mean comments you get, the more you realize that it really isn't you, it's them. The mean comments don't hurt as much as the first few. Some of them I read to my friends and laugh them off. Just this weekend I had a few comments that still sting but I don't get that anxiety and sadness anymore. It gets easier. And I'm always here if you need to talk about it.

How do you deal with internet trolls?
This is part one of a series, so let me know if there are other things on this topic you'd like to discuss.

Extra Elle:
I can't believe October is almost over! My weekend was just as fast. I got my hair done, did a little shopping, but felt so crummy from sinuses that I stayed in. Tonight: Halloween party!


  1. I'm so glad you are doing this series! It's so hard not to respond back but I think taking a breather and then most likely deleting and blocking is the best response. Happy Halloween!

    Doused In Pink

  2. great post! its usually just best to step away, take a breather and realize you're so above it. happy halloween friend! i cant believe the month is over too!

    xoxo cheshire kat

  3. I definitely think it's best to step away and ignore it. Most of the time these people go after others on the internet because they have nothing better to do. Happy Halloween! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  4. This is such great advice! Even though I still don't understand how people can be so hateful. I am a firm believer in the fact there is something positive you can find in any situation (or blog post). I choose to focus on that!

  5. This is such a great post. Ignoring them is the best even though sometimes you just want to cuss them out. Some people just have nothing better in their life than rip others apart. It's really sad. Looking forward to this series.

  6. What a good series! I've only had mild brushes with trolls, but it does sting. When I ran a Christmas giveaway on my blog I had a troll accuse me of dishonor in the holiday to get likes and followers...so bitter! I try to just brush it off, as you say...If someone is that miserable that they have to ruin someone else's happiness, I don't want to get down on their level.

  7. I'm so looking forward to this series, Elle! You are so right about taking a breather -- I had to tell myself that a few weeks ago when it happened to me. At first, I was super upset but once I calmed down I realized that that's what they want. Totally agree about just deleting and moving on. Have a Happy Halloween!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde's Moment

  8. It's not you, it's them. SO true Elle. "Hurting people, hurt people." I remind myself of this often.

  9. I have had a few negative comments on my blog and I usually chose to not even respond Trolls are insecure people who are bored and have nothing better to do than try to stir crap as they sit behind their computer. It is never anything they would ever say in person because they are too scared. And there are some seriously messed up people out there to mess with someones job. Yikes! On a lighter note, I still have a hotmail account for junk mail at stores lol.

  10. It's tough because people may unleash some vicious comments if they are hiding behind a computer. You're totally right and these trolls can't be fed and entertained. I haven't had much experience with trolls, but have read a ton of troll comments, especially with this crazy election. We can be true to ourselves and move forward. Hopefully the trolls will gain a sense of decency and respect someday!

  11. A good post..
    it is always unsettling and sometimes not as easy to ignore and get over.. thankfully I have never encounter any trolls but have read the comments left by trolls and sometimes they just get under your skin!

  12. I dont get people that take the time to actually put comments with the intent to hurt someone. What kind of person DOES that?

  13. I'm so glad you are doing this series, Elle! I don't think I've seen anyone do this. I've only experienced a handful of negative (okay, really nasty/mean comments) and it definitely hurt. It took SO much for me to not respond, delete and block. But it's definitely better than way. Looking forward to this series! I hope you have a great Halloween party!
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

  14. Thankfully I haven't had to deal with internet trolls, but I can't even believe how that feels! I 100% agree with you that not engaging with them is the best policy. They're just looking for attention like you said!

  15. Ugh, Internet trolls are the worst! This series is so great! Can't wait for the other two posts! Sometimes I feel like I haven't 'made it' because I don't get mean comments. But I don't want them either. I got A TON of spam comments last week on old and new posts, so I decided that that meant I made it. Hahaha.

  16. OMG What a nutcase! I can't believe that someone would take that much effort to slam someone else that they don't even know. We put ourselves out there as bloggers, yes, and not everything is the right fit for everyone. But you don't have to be mean about it. I mean would you walk up to a person on the street and say hey your shirt is ugly, no you wouldn't. Sad that there are so many scared and unhappy people out there just hiding behind their computer screens who feel that they need to make others feel the same way. Sorry, I got on a tangent! Great post addressing a rough subject.

    Whitney & Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

  17. Happy Halloween Elle! I think you're right that these trolls want to argue and are looking for attention and people to respond to them. It's ridiculous on YouTube, every video I go to comment on there's hundreds of arguments in the comments. And yes it's them, not the blogger/YouTuber. And I agree that the best thing is to ignore them and not feed into their trap of negativity!

  18. I am lucky that I haven't encountered negativity through my blog, so far all I have was amazing love and support. But yes, YouTube is a whole new different world and it's one that I dare not venture into.

    Reflection of Sanity | b·liv Skincare Set Giveaway

  19. I'm super lucky it's only happened to me twice. One on my blog and once on my Instagram page. The Instagram one was so lame. Some guy commented on a photo of me holding a lizards and said "man that this is better looking than you, you UGLY." I was too at a loss for words to do anything but laugh at it. lol

    On my blog someone once wrote something mean about my relationship on a post that I stressed that all couples need to moderately argue for a functional relationship. She ATTACKED me. lol I didn't respond, I blocked. (; Always better to block!

  20. I never had any negativity my blog but Instagram! That's a diff story lol. I love it. People hate for a reason. Because you're poppin. If they call u ugly, they obviously jealous of u. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.. :-) Have a lovely day! Visit me whenever you have time www.its-dominica.blogspot.co.uk kisses Dominica! xXx

  21. This is a really cool series idea and something I think a lot of people will find value in. In a lot of ways this is why I have been slightly resistant to starting a Youtube page. People are just so mean on there with the comments. But at the end of the day you're right it is better to just ignore them and not give them the time of day. Also, I love your new hair!

  22. oh wow, what a good idea for the comment approval for posts over 30 days. i need to do that, because all of my mean comments are normally on older posts. since mine aren't tutorials or anything, just people finding random posts and calling me out for being an ugly pathetic hipster (um.. what?), i have just turned comments off completely on those posts, but that doesn't stop new comments on different posts. so i need to do that.
    anyway. i am sorry you have dealt with mean horrible people. you are right though, it is them, and not you. it's hard to remind yourself of that in the moment though.

  23. Thanks for this informative post. Your tips are right on.


  24. Great post Ellie ❣. People are indeed crazy, sad but true. It makes me so angry but I do believe as you say that it's no idea to feed them and try to be positive and focus on the positive people that do like us. Can't wait to read the next post of yours. X

  25. Hope you feel better for sinuses. They are so worse for me winters.
    Happy Halloween dear

  26. This is such a great post and perfect halloween topic with trolls ;) I can't wait to see what you have next for the series! ps. I hope you're feeling better soon!

  27. Luckily, I haven't had to deal with many hateful comments from trolls. If I do get a comment, I just stare at it and think, "this person has no life" and delete it. It's not worth dwelling over


  28. So happy your are going to be doing this series. I try my best to not let the mean comments get to me. All tho some do rub me the wrong way. Which it normal take me a few days or weeks to get over it.


  29. I often consider myself having not really "made it" as a beauty blogger because I have experienced little to no trolls. I get somewhat rude comments occasionally, but nothing outright mean.

    My heart goes out to YOU, Elle! You're such a sweetheart! ❤️❤️❤️ love you!

  30. Ohhhh the internet trolls! Got to love them! Honestly I just have to look at as they obvi have internal issues to have nothing better to do with their lives than sit behind a computer and make fun of people to make themselves feel better about themselves. It is actually really sad, but it is still hard to not let it get to you. Sometimes I like to write them back and be like aww youre so sweet! Thank you! To make them just feel like an asshole. I swear they think we dont read stuff or something haha.

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

  31. You know I'm glad that you decided to start this series Elle. I haven't really encounter this kind of negativity, but people who do thing like really need to learn manners. I think it's so rude to leave nasty comments on someone's social media account!

  32. I love this . . . fabulous series and am looking forward to more. I love your attitude about the trolls . . . they are mean and it really and truly isn't about you. It's hard to imagine folks that take pleasure in breaking someone else down. I can't see how they sleep at night saying such negative things about others. You rock my blog friend!

  33. Oh, Elle, that's so true... but before I talk about it, such a coincidence, I also have an email account that I use, from 1996 :) Anyway, the trolls. Yes, they are mean, they just want attention to their poor souls, nothing else, to put out of their bad chests what makes them angry. You are right, Youtube has the most terrible commenters. I had 70 videos there, and deleted my channel. I also understand the anxiety before reading and then not reading the comments... I will share "my story". Because there's another point that is right. I used to have a "friend" who is so competitive. So every post I shared, there came a mean comment, because she used to check my numbers, saw that I was doing better (I didn't even know about numbers at the time!) and then sent mean and offensive comments. Every time I posted, I was so afraid of reading the comments and bingo! Every week a bad one. So I realized it was about her insecurities and not me. I am sure it's the same with any other blogger and you are right - the mean people have problems with themselves and you happen to be a blogger, the target of these people. But I know you will go on strong and I love your blog (and your facebook posts :)

  34. Great series! And good tips to remember if I ever have to deal with this negativity. But yes, you're right. They're projecting their insecurities, negativities on you and ignore what they say!! You're awesome, girl!!

  35. I can't imagine ever leaving a mean comment on a post, picture, etc. Sure, I may think "that lipstick color isn't good," but I would never say it. I would think it, move on with my life, and probably never remember it again. Like you said, it's them, not you. I'm sorry you have to deal with it at all. I wish people would stick to the age old saying, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

  36. I hope you're feeling better. I saw this post pop up in my feed a few days ago, but I didn't have a chance to read it. I just wanted to say that I thought it was super clever that you did this on halloween, and I also think that the advice you offer is so helpful! I agree that most of the hate is usually sparked by jealousy and it makes sense that the Internet started to get meaner once freebies and other things came into play. It's too bad because I know you work hard for them and put so much time and money into your blog! They are definitely not free; they are well-deserved partnerships!

  37. This post is all such solid advice for how to deal with these negative comments. I just don't understand how people can be so mean. I'm sorry you have had to deal with that!

  38. Really looking forward to this series, hun. I'm much too small of a blogger to have trolls but I have received the odd "mean" comment. The first one stung but I just ignore it. But I'm sure if it happened more often I'd really have to employ some coping techniques like the ones you've mentioned here. :-)

  39. I had a dedicated troll in January. I didn't realize it was one person until I banned the IP address of the after the third rude comment under a third name. Whoever it was kept leaving belittling comments under different names. I deleted the first two, but the third was sort of engaging with the content, just in a highly critical way, so I responded to it. The reply to my response was unnecessarily nasty, so that's when I blocked the IP address and realized it was the same as the previous trolls.

    Honestly, it's a little pathetic if your life sucks so much that you spend your free time making up new online names to leave rude comments on blogs.

    I received my first "troll" comment within my first few months of blogging. And it still kind of stings because it wasn't just a few mean words. Someone took the time to write 3 or 4 paragraphs about all the reasons my marriage was going to fail. I actually changed my comment policy after that to specify what "respect" means. Insulting my husband or our marriage is an automatic ban.

  40. I feel like people feel like they can say whatever they want becasue they are hiding behind the phone or keyboard. It is sad how ignorant and disrespectful people can be. I've seen some comments and it is just hard to read and just seems like people are just looking for attention as you send and seem heartless. Can't wait to read the series.


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