I typically take the “stand your ground” approach, in part because I feel like I’ve spent too much of my earlier life where my voice was silenced and I’m not going to allow for that any longer. I even wrote a mock interview about this topic between my rational self and the part of myself that has been working to heal and grow.
I don’t speak up for them; I speak up for me. Because I’m no longer afraid that speaking my mind will make me unlikeable, socially unacceptable or a bitch. If they do, then so be it! And even if nobody is changing, they are still listening. If the haters continue the conversation/debate, they are being exposed to ideas or perspectives that are different than the ones they currently hold. And in the case of things that are important to me, that’s important, even if their views never change, because I’m speaking my truth. I read an article a while back that articulated this all very well.
“Speaking your truth is an essential aspect of living a life of passion, fulfillment, and authenticity.
I’ve also had a couple of contentious discussions that in the end turned out to be opportunities to build a bridge, but those people weren’t really trolls — more just people with a very different point of view. One guy even went back and amended his story to recommend that his readers check out our exchange because I’d made some good points that broadened his perspective. It is the season of miracles, after all!
However, that being said, I do appreciate knowing how to remove a truly vile comment should I ever receive one, and I look forward to further tips and tools.