What To Do When The Internet Haters Strike
One of the biggest fears that people express to me, when they feel it’s time to put themselves out there more and share their story, is:
I’m afraid of what other people will say.
Which is more than fair enough. Because it’s fucking terrifying.
What happens when you share a vulnerable post, and some random on the internet makes a snarky comment? Or worse, if that person is your own mother, father, ex, former colleague or high school classmate?
Look, I have a lot to say about this (and you may have read or watched content of me addressing this in the past), but the short version is this:
Unfortunately, you can’t stop the haters from trolling, harassing, bullying, shaming.
But what you can do is become the person who is unaffected by them, and more so, grows from the experience.
Instead of walking you through the psychology of it, I’m going to share a story – because I just had to practice what I preach this week 😅.
Buckle up, it’s story time.
Last week, I attended a powerful tantra workshop on the Art of Loving Men. As part of the workshop, a group of 30 men came at the end and we did connecting exercises such as hugging them, dancing with them, being held by them, etc.
I posted about it on my stories, with context about the workshop and what I learned from it.
That same day, a local meme Instagram account in the town where I live took the liberty of screenshotting the image of my story, creating a meme mocking the situation, and reposting it without my consent. They did this twice, scrolling through my feed from a post I wrote a while back on my Shibari practice.
I didn’t like this because it felt intrusive and taken out of context, especially because it’s a small community and this image was from a private workshop that involved someone else.
So I sent them a nice private message, requesting to please take my images down.
I couldn’t have imagined what happened next.
Not only did they ignore my message, but they proceeded to post several more memes—as well as post about me in their story— publicly shaming and ridiculing me. They also reposted messages of people’s mean comments responding to this, and tagging me to get my attention.
Several people tried to speak up to this crappy and immature behavior, and their comments got deleted.
When I spoke up about this on my Instagram, this person went on to create a fake account to silence me and even threatened me with reporting me to immigration so I could get deported 🤦🏻♀️ (little do they know that I have a company here, am an investor, and pay my taxes religiously… good luck with that).
Before I dive into my response to the situation, here’s what you need to know about people who behave in this manner:
It’s clear to me that whoever is running this account has some serious personal issues and healing to do. People like this get their energy from bullying people so they can feel better about themselves. Unfortunately, there are many people like this on the internet, who project their own fears and insecurities onto others so they can avoid feeling their own pain, and there isn’t much that we can do about it other than let karma do its thing.
Which leads me to the next point…
Did I get triggered? Absolutely.
I’m not going to sit here and spiritually bypass this—it was upsetting, it was gross, and it was a sad reminder that people like this exist and will continue to exist.
It doesn’t have to stop at the trigger. I truly believe and practice that everything that happens (especially when it triggers you) is an opportunity to grow and evolve past old conditioning.
You can’t control someone’s shitty actions, but what you are in charge of is this:
How you feel, and how you allow others to influence your energy and emotions.
As soon as this happened, I got to practicing the tools that I teach to my clients (what can I say, I’m my own best client 😂). I asked myself the following questions…
What is this incident trying to teach me? Where is my shadow in this? In other words, what parts of myself am I disowning and not looking at? What are the emotions that I am avoiding feeling? What are the fears underpinning my trigger?
I remembered, as with any other incident that pops up in life that can feel really triggering and uncomfortable, that it’s not actually about this person. They’re insignificant in the grand scheme of things, and their poor behavior is simply a reflection of their current state of consciousness (which, sadly, is stuck at needing to pick at others to feel better about themselves).
When I turned inwards, I saw that what was being reflected back to me was my fear.
My fear of being exposed, of being seen, and being more vulnerable than I’ve ever been before.
This fear has been stirring up and building up in my subconscious ever since I decided to show up even more openly online, and guess what happened?
My subconscious attracted a situation where I could address this fear once and for all. (That’s what the subconscious does, by the way—until you address your fears, belief systems, and dysfunctional conditioning, it will continue attracting situations in your life where you have to “relive” that stuck emotion until you address it at the root… that’s why avoidance or distraction tactics don’t work to resolve your problems long-term).
So I dug deeper, and underneath the fear, I found anger at being misunderstood.
And underneath that? I found the grief of feeling like I didn’t belong, and being bullied for being different ever since I was a child. I reconnected to the sadness of being a young immigrant in the U.S., and my peers ridiculing me for not speaking English, wearing funny clothes, and bringing “smelly” packed lunches to school.
I sat with myself, and allowed myself to feel that old anger, grief, sadness, and yearning to belong to a community. Using my emotional processing techniques, I held myself with love and compassion, soothing that inner child inside me that so desperately wanted to be seen and loved for all her quirkiness.
The majority of the time, when we are facing conflict with another person, it’s not really about them (especially if it’s someone who’s not close to you)—it’s about you, and your relationship with yourself. What someone else thinks of you is irrelevant, it’s simply an opportunity to look back at the unloved parts of yourself that need attention.
This is part of the process that I teach my clients, and I’m honestly grateful when I get new opportunities to practice and evolve this skillset on myself.
Because yes, you will always get triggered.
The question is… are you going to stay stuck there, or transcend the trigger and break the pattern that’s creating these types of situations in your life?
Are you willing to fully see and meet yourself in your shadows, as well as your light?
You cannot control what’s happening externally, or what people do “to” you, but what you can do is take the responsibility to turn inwards, sit in those uncomfortable emotions, understand the trigger, and integrate the shadows so you can learn the lessons and break old patterns.
I’m sharing this with you, because I know that the fear of sharing your story and putting yourself out there more authentically is very real.
I felt it this week. But guess what?
You can’t let that stop you.
I also completely recognize and honor that the process of becoming the person who’s unaffected by the haters take time. I’ve worked with clients for weeks, sometimes months to help them overcome this deep-rooted primal fear so they could finally publish that book, pitch to that big speaker opportunity, or post confidently about their program.
It takes time, it takes a lot of self-compassion, and learning the tools and techniques to manage the situation in real-time when it happens, so that you don’t get emotionally hijacked by it.
That being said… this is all a learnable skillset that is completely accessible to you, and that you can apply to move through the trigger at record speed instead of being stuck on it for days or weeks at a time (I teach this in my programs, if you want to learn then just reach out).
What I want to leave you with is this…
You get to show up authentically.
Don’t let other people’s small opinions keep you small, or stop you from sharing your powerful message with the world. It’s medicine that people need to hear and that is way more important than a sad, angry person cowering behind a handle on the internet.
It’s only been a few days, and I can’t tell you the dozens of messages I’ve gotten (even 3 people approaching me in person!) thanking me for speaking up against this persons behavior, their traumatic past experiences with bullying, and the fears they have around this person targeting them next.
My courage to speak up gave them permission to speak up, too. This is the gift that we give one another when we choose to use our voice responsibly and from an integrated, embodied place (not from knee-jerk reacting to the trigger!!).
And if you’re already dealing with haters? Remember that they’re going through their own world of pain. Thank them for the mirror and opportunity to grow yourself, send them love and compassion for not knowing any better, and release them from your energy field. They don’t need to take up any space in your world—you’ve got more important things to focus on.
I know this was a long one but I sincerely hope it helped.
I think it’s easy to forget that we deal with this kind of behavior on all levels of our life and career—even people that you might look up to or think don’t have to deal with it anymore. And no matter what stage you’re at, it’ll keep feeling stressful and overwhelming until we learn the skills and tools to more through these challenging times with ease and grace, so we can grow from it instead of being held back.
If you’re looking to learn these tools, or are facing a challenging situation that you feel “stuck” on no matter how hard you’ve tried to get out…
Helping you move through old subconscious patterns and reconnecting you to your higher purpose is my bread and butter. It’s what I’ve helped hundreds of people through, to set them free from their disempowering conditioning so they can go on to create a magnetic brand, have that 6-figure launch, get on that TEDx stage, grow their audience by the tens of thousands, and more.
We set you free on the inside, so you can be liberated to do your most important work on the outside.
You can apply here to get on an Alignment call with me (this is for people seriously considering private coaching only), or you can go ahead and book a Story Clarity Intensive session with me here, where we can dive into this work right away and release what’s presently stuck, get you clear on how to reach your next goals, and map out action steps for you to execute.