The fact that people are horrible never ceases to amaze me.

It’s shocking how vocal people – young and old – are about their racist beliefs. They create their own videos about it, even making racist skits. Then, when they get called out, they give fake apologies or play the victim.

It’s really sad that so many people are able to live their lives never taking responsibility. I can see why they’re so afraid of being held accountable. 

You can’t escape the hatred. Under almost every post people unleash their bitterness and try to incite anger amongst other commenters.

I’ve given up on trying to explain the difference between cultural appropriation and appreciation, and how no one but Black people are allowed to say the n-word.

My priority right now is to take care of my own mental health, and help you take better care of yours. My goal is to better respond to the hate-vomit I see every day. 

1. Acknowledge that you feel attacked

There is nothing to be gained by ignoring your honest feelings. It’s okay to feel personally attacked when someone says they hate all Black women, or that it’s their right to appropriate cultures.

They’re so clear and bold about it. I mean they commented for the whole world to see, and actively try to incite rage. How dare they be so foolish! 

On an app like TikTok where the content is short and you can easily move on to the next video, it’s even harder to resist clapping back at the haters.

They were rude, they were mean, and they were wrong, and you want to let them know. Over time, always having to let people know why they’re wrong can be exhausting.

It’s no fun to be on social media when you’re constantly arguing with people in the comment section. It’s okay to feel these negative feelings. It’s the first step to moving forward.  

2. Realize it’s Not Your Job to Educate Everyone

Under a post about the school to prison pipeline – and the criminalization of Black girls – someone comments “they wouldn’t get in trouble if they stopped being bad”.

Ignorance is only bliss for the ignorant. Everyone else is stuck trying to solve very obvious problems. You want to educate them, maybe even change their minds, but this isn’t your responsibility. 

It’s the norm to comment based on personal opinions, even when faced with overwhelming facts. Racist people are racist. People who live in denial of systematic racism will not change their minds unless they open their hearts.

You are not their teacher, or their parent. It’s not your job to teach them about racism, prejudice, or discrimination.

The fact that they have access to the comment sections means they have internet access of cellular data, so they can just as easily look up information themselves. 

Listen. It’s their own fault if they say something false. It’s their own fault if they don’t have sources to back up their claims.

The weight you feel to fix all of the world’s problems by convincing internet trolls that Black Lives Matter is too much to bear. It’s not yours to bear in the first place. Drop it.

Talk to the people worth talking to. You’ll never regret not engaging with spiteful people. 

3. Accept that Haters are Going to Hate

People are always meaner when they can hide behind a screen. The moment they get called out, they play the victim. There’s no point getting all riled up over people like that.

No matter how much kindness and compassion you have to offer the world, there will always be people who’d rather be negative. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

Though certain comments may hurt your feelings, just think about the type of person to spew such hatred. They’re haters. 

4. Post Positive Responses to Boost Your Mood

If you see someone really giving their all to bring someone down, blow them away with your positivity. Negative words hurt, and even with hundreds of positive comments, one really bad one can ruin someone’s self-esteem.

Be the kind of person who shares love with people who need it. If someone comes at you, kill them with kindness. Some people don’t mean to come off harshly and will apologize. Though, don’t expect guilt from everyone. 

5. Take a Break

All the toxicity online can lead to burnout. One of the best ways to not take every comment personally is to leave.

There’s nothing wrong with logging out of a few apps and saying “I need a break”. You use these apps for entertainment, not to deal with people 24/7 – though this is debatable. 

If you’re not ready to delete an app, you can boycott comment sections. Do your best to avoid looking at the comments.

It’s tempting because you want to see whether people agree with you about something, but there will be comments that irritate you. It only takes one to ruin your mood. 

Far too many people struggle to balance the right to say what we want with anyone asking for their opinion. It’s perfectly fine to not contribute to a conversation when you don’t know what people are talking about.

You can also ask questions anyway. You can complain and share your hatred for the world. You can be supportive and friendly. It’s your life. You do you.

I’m going to do my best to avoid the stress of unnecessary interactions. I have more important things to do, and their mean words don’t have to affect me.

Make sure to check out my previous post on this month’s 30-Day Writing Challenge!

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