Negativity can be a perpetual problem for many people both online and offline, as we often find ourselves having to fend off rude, ignorant and often just plain cruel commentary on nearly anything we say or do.This poses a signifcant problem for business people all over the world, as there is a massive potential for damage to their business when people decide to write unjust things online.
There are many ways to deal with negativity both online and offline, and in this article, you will find plenty of ways you can combat all the negative nellies the internet has to offer.
Firstly, you should be prepared to deal with the backlash that is always inevitable when you put yourself and/or your business out there. If you believe that it is possible to make any public announcement without receiving insults and criticism, you are quite honestly kidding yourself.
No matter how far you go in life, no matter how high you climb, there will always be people that try to pull you down and put you on their level so that they can feel better about themselves. Keep in mind that is what they want.
Those people want you to lash back out at them or to show they have got under your skin in any way. It fuels their negativity because it shows them your vulnerabilities. The best way to deal with people like this is to simply ignore them.
Remembering your own composure in moments when people are showing you their ugly side is one of the best way you can not only ensure that the situation isn’t negatively harming you or your business, but you can actually turn it to your advantage.
By showing others that you can accept criticism and insults with grace and dignity, you will bring a much better view of your company and character to all of your current and potential customers.
Something else that really should be addressed is the fact that someone may not be acting negative, per se; they may simply be attempting to engage in a bit of friendly banter. Banter (for all those who are unaware as to what that is) is, by definition, “The playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks”. Thanks to the Oxford Dictionary for clearing that one up!
When people are trying to have some friendly banter with you, it can be difficult to clearly define the blurred lines between friendly teasing and hurtful insults. You may come across such a “hurtful” comment. What would you say this that? Usually, at first glance this is quite insulting. Though if you want to know the answer, check who posted the comment on your picture. Is it:
- A good friend
- Someone you just met recently
- Someone you do not know
- An old friend or acquaintance
- Family member
Considering your relationship with a person before you take offence from their comment is the very best way to understand whether or not the person meant insult. If they are in fact someone that has a personal connection to you, such as a friend or family member, the best course of action is to message them privately or speak to them in person and ask that they do not comment things like that on your business pages.
For a lot of people, this one is always hard to hear and it is almost guaranteed that many people seeking to find some way to stop the negativity directed towards them online WILL skip past this section of the article simply because 1- it is the most obvious answer and 2- they’re tired of hearing it.
To all the people who do not wish to hear this, feel free to skip to the next section. For anyone who genuinely wants to put a halt to the negativity their business faces online, read on.
Blocking people online can be a big call. Especially when you have a business image to take into account. You often find yourself considering whether or not if the person is worth blocking online.
When people are negative on your business profiles, you may feel as though blocking them will make your company seem as though it cannot take criticism. Trust in your customers and trust that most people will know the difference between criticism and just plain insults. A good way to deal with it as an extra precaution, however, is to screenshot the negative comments you’ve been sent as proof, should anyone ask.
If someone is at all causing you to even consider it, then the answer is easy…block them. However, there is a bigger reason why many business owners do not block the people who are being negative online. This is often that they are afraid of the confrontation it will cause. If this is the case for you, never fear, there is a simple solution to help you.
You can easily block someone on Facebook without anyone knowing by doing the following:
- Add them to your ‘acquaintances’ list by hovering over their options on their profile and selecting ‘Acquaintance’
- Next up, mute them in messenger. This means they can message you without knowing you aren’t getting notifications from them.
- In an extreme case, you can banish them to your ‘restricted’ list by going through the same process as changing them to an acquaintance but adding them to the restricted list. This means they cannot see your posts, or other Facebook activity.
However, the case may be, it is highly suggested that you simply block the negative person though and move on with your business. Nothing will really come of it other than a “Why did you block me on Facebook?” and a quick explanation. If anything further occurs, remember that you have screen-shotted evidence.
In other cases, you may find a person is going beyond the bounds of simple negativity and is actively singling you out. If this is the case, it is highly suggested you report them before blocking.
The reason being that anyone who is known to bully and single out business will not stop the moment you have blocked them. Though it may be over for you, you have allowed them to move on to another ‘victim’. By reporting them, their bullying behaviour will be brought to the attention of the administration.
If their behaviour is bad enough, they may even be reported to the authorities for abusive behaviour. Remember that you can stop people like that from singling out others and that all it takes is a little courage to do the right thing.
By doing this, you may also be able to reframe the situation to your advantage by letting your customers see your business dealing with these negative people. You can imagine the great reputation a business gets (https://www.seoshark.com.au/social-media-mistakes-that-every-business-should-avoid/) by actively looking out for others!
Even if you are simply going to message the person, perhaps speaking to them about it, online or offline, will help your situation by letting them know they are causing you and your business trouble.
It can be difficult to approach someone about their negative influence on your business, but more often than not, you’re going to find yourself in a situation like this where you need to be professional and show you are willing to cooperate with these kinds of people.
The best approach, you’ll find is to simply ask them to chat and politely bring it to their attention, asking them perhaps to tone it down a little or stop altogether. If they are a decent person, they will resonate with what you’re saying and comply. Just remember not to be unreasonable yourself.
6. Last Resort
Yep; you guessed it. The last resort. What is it? We bet you know…
Get off social media. No not permanently. You shouldn’t have to do so permanently, but there are a few reasons why this WILL be beneficial. Taking a short break will allow you to rethink how you deal with situations like these. Perhaps have someone else run your business page temporarily while you consider your options.
People’s online unwanted opinions often are not worth the time they took to provide it. Remembering this, you can easily conquer the negativity they have brought into your life and to your company.
The added benefit of this approach is the opportunity to let yourself recuperate from the negativity. Even though it isn’t really spoken about, negativity and insulting statements can get to business owners and it’s no surprise with some of the incredibly nasty things that are said online.
Clearing your mind of other’s opinions should be thought of as almost the same as a toxicity cleansing like when you drink too much beer while out with friends. You need to get the idea out of your mind that the people who are trying to bring you and your business down on social media matter at all.
Especially when it’s as easy as literally clicking a button to banish them from your online life forever and just as simple to realise that while they spend their life perpetuating hate and negativity from behind the safety of their keyboard, you are taking risks in life by building something worthwhile and putting yourself and your company out there for the world.
Fighting back against negativity online should not be a difficult task. The problem for us all is that we are the ones making it so difficult. There are many solutions for anyone truly willing to reach out in the world and people simply need to take these on board without argument.
Business people are told to simply either block the person who is causing the problem or stop going on social media, yet refuse because they are either afraid of the person on the other end or that they may suffer some form of subsequent loss due to their choice.
This is far too common a mindset, because although there are plenty of ways to stop people on your social media profiles from spreading negative influence, the singular most effective way to stop these kinds of people from harassing you is to block them or stop using social media temporarily.
Bare in mind that the world is full of negative people that are going to try over and over again to bring you down. This isn’t something you have to deal with as a one off, it will happen time and time again. Literally just about every day.
A great way to reframe things is to look at those people online as practice. Use them to gain some experience in dealing with people like that. This skill is extremely useful for anyone in a business mindset, because it allows them to think of clear solutions to problems; even ones that aren’t related to negativity.
Enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that, while they were intending to hurt you, you’ve successfully used their weapon to your own advantage. Don’t make things any harder on yourself than they need to be. You are already better than these people by simply trying to stop the situation. Get rid of the negativity.
What are your thoughts on our plan for getting rid of negative people, any tips that you think you will use in the future? Let us know what you think! Do you have any ideas of your own? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.
Charlotte is a digital marketing and communications practitioner working in our Sydney office. She takes on a range of roles relating to SEO and has a keen interest in studying the SEO industry and its future direction, particularly in relation to content marketing. Charlotte takes her writing very seriously and always seeks ensure the content she produces is of a high standard of quality.