Social networks on the Internet give a perfect possibility to see all kinds of human behavior simultaneously at one glance without the need for immediate interaction. You always have the time to read a comment, reflect on it, and give an answer – or not – appropriate to the discussion. You don’t have to answer right away, and exactly this gives you the opportunity to learn and to grow as a person.
I think that when meeting people in person, we usually get overwhelmed just by someone’s appearance or facial expressions, which sometimes suffice to provoke an inappropriate reaction. I don’t want to say: Exchange your life for an online reality, I just say here is a great opportunity to learn how to distinguish a person’s motivation while engaging in carefree conversation.
Since the motivation is key in every dialogue, you should definitely figure out the agenda behind the argument. It is, in fact, much more important than the discussion itself.
Be it in a physical reality or on the Internet, there are always people who like to suck up all the energy in a conversation; their idea is not to bring in any plausible arguments, but to destroy everything which smells like harmony. Because in a real argument, you get to laugh every once in a while, and on occasions, we also admit to our own conflict of ideas – don’t we?
Trolling for fun and recreation
Well not everyone, there are many people who don’t really care about the subject of the conversation; they care about the object – which is you. They always attack you personally, telling you that you are stupid, uneducated, unqualified, inexperienced, naïve or easily deceivable, unscientific, immature, superstitious.
As you can see the words are always personal, they never contain any real argumentation, and if they do, they are combined with words which have a negative connotation towards you or the subject you are ‘talking’ about.
Losing all of your energy
The problem with all sane people is that they completely overlook the initial motivation; they start justifying their stance, and even try to explain their argumentation in a million different ways in the hope to gain some sort of understanding of someone whose only ‘understanding’ is to empty your well of energy to the point of complete exhaustion. I’ve seen those people having entirely opposed opinions while arguing with different people. So what does this tell you?
Of course I believe that we grow and change throughout our lives, and that we learn to understand new perspectives – but not inside 20 minutes while having an angry conversation.
You might say; it’s subconsciously intentional. They are mostly not really aware of what they are doing, to say it mildly: they just are extremely oppurtunistic. They go after it, and try to make the best mess out of it they possibly can. And the higher the tensions the better. They always look satisfied when things get out of control.
I’ve seen them putting this sarcastic little smile on their face when they feel they got to the point where the argument is brought down to a senseless war of personal accusations. The funny thing is – or not – that they seem quite satisfied after such a ‘debate’ – but you are not.
Close the treasury and observe
I wouldn’t be able to write about this if I hadn’t experienced it myself many times, falling into this trap persistently. But at one point, I decided to consciously change my role in these discussions. Instead of doing the same mistake all over again, I now try to stay as an observer, because this is what I can choose to be. I finally understand that they are not after me, but after my energy, and that “I” as a person am completely irrelevant to them.
In fact, you can test this for yourself. The next time when you sense that there might be such a conversation ‘coming up’. Try not to take any leading role, nor to explain any of your opinions. Just state them and let them speak for themselves. If somebody attacks you, let them, as if it had nothing to do with ‘yourself’ – because it doesn’t. What you will see is that they drop off quickly due to the lack of resistance.
Usually, they try to provoke with one or two more personal remarks directed against you, and if that doesn’t work, they choose another victim, or they abandon the whole situation all together.
However, the most important thing is: they leave in their own anger and frustration, with no energy harvested – and this is how it should be. You do much more for these people by doing nothing – than to prolong their suffering and inability to face their dysfunction by letting them feed on your energy.
The typical troll
Most easily they are recognized on the Internet; usually writing hateful, disconnected comments below personal posts of people who have certain interests in, be it alternative medicine, healthy living, spirituality, or any other kind of progressive areas which largely deviate from standard viewpoints.
They especially like to attack these topics, because they give them a perfect ground for ridicule and sarcasm (although some trolls are paid by various industries to promote their agendas intentionally – but this is another story).
A post on social media is a personal thing, because you share something you like or don’t like with your ‘friends’ or ‘circles’. So if your post reflects just that, I can choose to like it or not by sharing or disregarding it. But why should I write hateful and disrespectful comments below something that you like? It makes no sense. Perhaps there are inappropriate posts sometimes, but they don’t get commented by those people.
Internet trolling to me is nothing else but being a jerk on the local market square. It is the same personality, the same profile – watch out for them.
They test you
Different sources show that around 5% of a population fall under the category sociopath/psychopath – never underestimate the impact of those people, especially not when they occupy leading positions in our society. I look at them as some sort of human indicators for people who want to test the sincerity of their own personal growth.
As long as they freak you out, you know that you still got to work on your perception. I think they exist to show us all of our weaknesses which we usually don’t see when we around like-minded people. When you stop taking their remarks personally, then you can focus on the inside and see what it is that upsets you. Perhaps there is something within you which needs to be recognized, something, which needs your attention.
Why they don’t like you
They don’t hate you; they hate what you stand for: tolerance, softness, kindness, progressiveness, open-mind ness, and many other qualities they don’t have. On a subconscious level, they try to get this from you, because they know that it’s right, but they don’t know how to assimilate it. You can grow and become even kinder and stronger, or you can fall down on their level where they will eventually beat you. Their goal is to show you that you are not better than they are.
One thing is clear – if you want to be able to handle these challenges you need to grow stronger. The Internet is a great possibility for that; I’d call it a flight simulator. You can experiment without needing to fear any serious repercussions – although you shouldn’t overdo it! The aim should be a spontaneous recognition of what it is – a test – an instant awareness that this is happening – again – for just one reason: to make you grow STRONGER.
The real haters
However, this article would be incomplete if I didn’t mention those who really hate what you are posting on the Intenet. Especially if your posts are related to uncovering any kind of industry or government fallacies and failures. They see it as a personal offense when you speak out against statism, military interventions, foreign policies, economic structures, food production, food labeling, dogmatism, or big business’ ‘science’ research.
For them it is impossible to deal with the fact that their government or any other structure they trust in, could exploit them for their profits. It’s just unimaginable to them, and so they discard it all together. An indicator is, that they never allow any of this to be true, simply because it would open up the possibility for a complete breakdown of their belief system.
I think they sense that, and this is the reason why they believe absolutely everything which comes from top to bottom – this is what they were taught to understand: information cannot travel from bottom to top, because it would destroy their whole world view instantaneously. To me, it feels as if they had a filter system in their minds, which blocks everything which might attack the system as a whole.
I don’t think that these people are psychopaths like the ones I mentioned earlier. This is why I would like to distinguish between those two situations. The people in this case don’t necessarily detest you personally; they just dislike the content you are posting.
What they don’t understand – doesn’t exist
I think their aggressiveness comes from their inability and stubbornness to understand that ‘up there’ are not only individuals who selflessly work for the common good of people – although many of course are – but deceit and deception like in the worst superstitions.
Their main anchor is science and all its derivatives; it is the holy grail of all knowledge and anyone who questions it is a heretic and should burn in hell. Why? Because you are asking stupid, unnecessary questions for which you have no authority to speak about.
I don’t know why they continuously neglect the fact, that there are uncountable instances of ‘unscientific’ approaches who have let to great discoveries. Who knows what Tesla would have to go through if he lived today?! I’ve read that he said that the induction motor ‘appeared’ – vision like – in front of him while he was reading Goethe’s ‘Faust’. Well…I don’t know what he was smoking that day, but ‘appeared’….hm.
Thought criminals vs. status quo
But this is how it goes: if I give one example that proves that things aren’t always ‘sterile scientific’, then they must be the opposite – or mumbo-jumbo as Richard Dawkins says it. Of course things should be tested in our reality – since after all – the induction motor is a real thing – but the way to get there should have no ‘thought criminal-like’ restrictions.
Why shouldn’t people test alternative ways of governance, of healing, of food production, of thinking and experiencing, of socializing, of education, of co-existence – why is this so dangerous, crazy, superstitious, new age-y? And why should it be dangerous?
It’s an age-long fight; current systems don’t like to open up to new findings; they discredit them to keep the status quo. Why is it that people always feel so cutting edge themselves when they look at new technology?
All of this that we see today will be old junk in a decade or two from now. I mean everything: your clothes, your car with its latest equipment, your phone, and all the other stuff. It will be outdated, and you will look at it like on some ancient technology or trend – and you’ll probably laugh at it (if you are not a collector of antiquities).
Or look at all the belief systems people have had throughout the centuries: political systems, economic systems, educational systems – it’s just a system which will eventually change and rest in some history book as a ‘nice try’, an evolutionary step. Why is it so hard to see that all of this that you believe in will be gone one day – I mean all of it?
We cling to our beliefs as if they were permanent, although history shows – even the very recent one (look at your mobile phone from the 90s) – that things continuously change without us being aware of it at all. I mean – why all this fear after all – because something might change? It will – regardless.
The fear of loss that creates the hate
As I understand it, there is an underlying fear of not being loved by anyone. And now it seems that even your government doesn’t love you, that your church doesn’t love you, that ….they lie to you? Is that possible? Yes, it is. There are actual people behind these institutions – and people make mistakes because some of them have very bad qualities like greed and narcissim, and tons of other human frustrations just like you do.
So the idea of any perfect structure is illusionary because they are run by people with millions of different individual interests. And combining different interests means compromising the interests of other people – so it can’t be perfect by definition. Consensus is possible in a society where no one wants anything, in particular, for oneself but wants something which includes everyone – like nature does.
However, nature is not a concept but a living thing which changes its appearance but never its functioning.
So to understand that we are part of this is key to anything we do, because we cannot change our inherent natural system, we can only change our appearance. When we understand this then appearances lose their seriousness, and we are finally able to enjoy this play of an ever-changing game of forms that come and go without mistaking them for being something permanent. They are not.
Who would have thought we’ll end up down here speaking about all this stuff – I didn’t. And this spontaneous surprise factor is what creation is all about. It is a play which reinvents itself continuously – just for the sake of playing.
There was one post recently which I liked very much; there was an image of a smiling child and below it said: Be happy like a child – for no reason.
About the Author
Alen covers a wide range of topics, which include health and healthy living, permaculture, the perception of reality, and arts; as well as writing articles and commentaries on current events. He has sold his business to focus entirely on his website organictalks.com, which is a project he and his wife have put together with the help of many other inspiring contributors.
**This article was originally featured at Organic Talks.**
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