Emelie Westin (@beautiful_in_light) shares her tips for handling negativity on social media.
In today’s society, most of us are affected by social media in one way or another. This is because social media often presents a curated, idealized version of people’s lives. Understandably, we will only see what people want us to see, making us compare ourselves to others in an unnatural way and feel like we’re not measuring up. We start feeling that what we do or what we have isn’t good enough. Additionally, social media algorithms are designed to keep us engaged, which can result in a never-ending cycle of seeking validation and comparing ourselves to others. Social media is an invaluable tool for growing our businesses, but it can be just as draining for our mental wellbeing. Having a healthy approach to social media is crucial in order to protect ourselves, but that’s easier said than done.
As if coping with social media pressure isn’t difficult enough, some people feel the need to leave negative comments and spread animosity on the internet. We might ask ourselves why. I guess there’s no good way to answer that, but meeting people like that is part of the social media experience. People can be mean and behave in a hurtful way in real life as well, but it’s much easier to hide behind an anonymous account on social media, which is one explanation why there are so many trolls on the internet. Dealing with pressure from social media and negative comments can be very challenging. This article will share seven strategies you can try to help cope with negativity on social media.
1. Take regular breaks.
The easiest thing, and the first thing, you should do is to limit the amount of time you spend on social media. Taking regular breaks and doing activities you enjoy, such as spending time with family and friends, taking a walk or watching TV, will make a huge difference. Make sure you take regular breaks throughout the day to clear your head and recharge, even if it’s only for a couple minutes. Set boundaries between your work life and personal life. When you’re off work, try to disconnect from work-related thoughts and activities. That might even mean that you shouldn’t be on social media when you are off work. Make conscious choices and prioritize every hour of the day.
2. Separate negative comments from constructive criticism.
I want to talk more about learning the difference between negative comments and constructive criticism. A negative comment is just only that, negative. Keep in mind that the internet can be a breeding ground for people who enjoy spreading negativity. Don’t take these comments to heart. Negative comments are meant to cause harm and are in no way a reflection of you. (And that opinion is most probably something you didn’t ask for.)
On the other hand, constructive criticism contains feedback on how a person can do/be better. Constructive criticism isn’t always written in a pleasant way, but if you learn how to read between the lines and ignore the wording, it will not affect you personally. Instead, focus on the content. Does the comment contain any truth? Is there something you could have done better? If there is, try to see it as feedback, and use it as an opportunity to grow and improve. Never let someone put you down! You are good enough just the way you are.
3. Build a support system.
Surround yourself with supportive people. When you feel overwhelmed by pressure from social media or negative comments, it’s crucial to have a support system. Never doubt to ask friends, family or a therapist for help when you need it. Remember that asking for help isn’t a failure. It’s human and a great way to grow as a person. We all need support!
4. Block bullies.
Block people who spread negativity. I can’t think of any reason to let those people be in your life, even if it’s only on your social media. Blocking them will save you time you might spend dwelling on negative comments. Be protective of yourself. It’s allowed, important and necessary to block people who put you down. You deserve the best, all the time.
5. Address negative comments.
If you feel like it, and are comfortable with it, you can always set boundaries by addressing negative comments directly. It is important to remember, before you respond, always take a moment to calm down and gather your thoughts. Never respond in a state of anger or hurry. Only respond if you feel safe contacting them. Avoid becoming defensive though, as this can cause the situation to escalate. Being defensive or attacking the person who made the comment can portray you as unprofessional and aggressive. Set a great example and respond in a professional and respectful manner.
6. Practice self-care.
Take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. Eat and sleep well and go outside for a short walk. This is so important but easy to forget if we aren’t feeling well. Investing in ourselves will always be worth it.
7. Celebrate the positive.
Last but definitely not least, remember to celebrate the positive! We can spend hours dwelling on one negative comment, and, at the same time, ignore 10 positive comments we received. This is heartbreaking but a reality for so many people. Therefore, we need to start celebrating the positive things we see on social media more often. At first you might feel like there’s nothing worth celebrating, but when you start celebrating even the smallest things, you’ll realize how many they are. Focus on the good because over time you’ll discover how many accomplishments there are to celebrate.
You Are Great!
Be kind to yourself, take care of yourself, believe in yourself and invest in yourself. No one can replace you. Dare to celebrate yourself. It’ll be worth it. One last thing... if you ever doubt yourself, DM me, and I’ll remind you how great you are.
About the Author:
Emelie Westin is a nail artist, international educator and influencer. She is the co-founder of Nail Art Queens and owner of Design in Light. She lives in Sweden and loves spending time with her family, watching Christmas movies and dancing. You can follow her on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook @beautiful_in_light.