How to Control Your Emotions Online

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but when someone says something mean to you on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, it can hurt nearly just as much. You’ve undoubtedly heard the awful, sad stories about teenagers who have committed suicide after being cyber-bullied by peers and even other adults. For these youth, mean, rude and harsh comments left on their social media profiles left them unable to control their emotions — and were likely a result of another person unable to control their emotions, too. So how can you control your emotions online?

Use the Block Feature

How to Control Your Emotions OnlineIf you’re being harassed by other people on a social network, whether they are friends, followers, or “trolls” who just won’t leave you alone, the most popular advice for dealing with people who make you mad, angry or sad is to use the block feature provided on most social networks. On Facebook, the feature is available on a user’s profile page. This means you will need to navigate to the profile page of the user you want to block to prevent them from commenting on your posts or engaging with your content in the future, but it is well worth the effort if they are truly causing chaos in your online life. Additionally, Google+ users can block other users the same way, by navigating to an offensive user’s profile and clicking on the option to block them underneath their profile information in the left column.

Many LockerGnome community members agree that blocking a user is the best way to control your emotions when someone else can’t control theirs and is harassing you. Kevin Mahon says, “All hail the Block feature!” Facebook user Rick Remixx advises to “delete and block those trolls,” referencing social media users who constantly harass you on networks that don’t require reciprocal friendship. (But should not be confused with the cute, collectible dolls circa the early 1990s.) Of course, if you do want to get a little angry yourself, you can use this option and do what Mary Irene does: say “F@#! You and delete them.”

Report Offensive Content

If you’re finding that comments, replies, or even content on social networks are making you mad, angry, or hurt your feelings because the content is offensive, be sure that you not only block the user from contacting you in the future, but that you also report to the social network is posting inappropriate content. You may not realize it, but that content could be offensive to others as well. On Facebook, the option to both block and report content is available from a drop down list when you hover over the offensive post and click on the arrow. On Twitter, you may want to consider making your account protected if you are concerned about who can see and reply to your tweets. And on Google+, you can easily report content as abusive or flag comments as inappropriate.

Like blocking users, LockerGnome community members encourage those who are angered by offensive content to use this option to prevent themselves from getting angry and thereby encouraging the offensive behavior. Zahari Dimitrov is a proponent of this, suggesting to simply use the report and block buttons to control emotions online. Judith Kavanaugh explains this feature is “why I love virtual relationships. Block button. No need for assertiveness training.”

Ignore it and Walk Away

If blocking your friend, follower, or fan feels too drastic, consider instead taking a deep breath and walk away from your computer to let your emotions subside. You’ll likely realize after this point that the rude or mean comment was likely petty or deserving of an offline conversation about a much larger problem than can be dealt with via a Facebook or Twitter conversation.

LockerGnome reader Amanda Kat Shaw suggests that to control your own emotions, “stand up… walk away and do something different for a while. If I knew the individual in person I’d go to them and ask what it was about.” Others, like Henri Loitiere agree: “Yes. I step away from Facebook and keep my anger in.” Sometimes, ignoring certain topics altogether is best, such as suggested by Linda Potts Sinclair, who says to “ignore talk about religion, race, sexual orientation, and politics,” explaining “you finally get to an age where you don’t want confrontations.”

Redirect Your Emotions

Of course, keeping your emotions to yourself is not always the best way to control your emotions; bottling your anger up can often result in misdirecting your feelings towards someone else, or causing you to hurt another person or object as a result of your pent up negative energy. LockerGnome reader Anthony Cole is on the right track with his suggestion to “play some Angry Birds! Smash some blocks!” Going for a run or hitting the gym can be a great way to relieve stress and clear your mind, alleviating your anger without losing control of your emotions in the process.

These are just a few ways to control your emotions online. Have you ever been hurt or angry from what someone said to you online? How did you control your emotions? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Image via BeyondHollywood.

Article Written by

  • http://www.bharatkumargupta.com/ Bharat Kumar Gupta

    yeah i m guilty of that, but i m learning with this great community and have been improving with that

  • http://twitter.com/DavidClare1 David Clare

    I don’t bother with Facebook that much any more because of the abuse people give each other…. but they don’t ever say it to the other persons face, which is funny!  The only thing I really post on Social networks are links to news articles and useful links… Such as most of the content on lockergnome

  • Anonymous

    I made a recent mistake of allowing myself to get sucked into the comment section of a politician’s website with views that differed from my own. All of his follower’s views mirrored the politician’s views and I had a heck of a time pulling myself away from shooting down the arguments.  It consumed my life for almost a week.  On a personal end, I began to withdraw, lose sleep, it tainted everything I did because my head remained in that comment section.  Very simply, I unsubscribed to the feed and no more e-mails to my in-box meant no more stress.  While I’ve always been naturally prone to expressing defensive and contradictory behavior, I’ve also found that with age, it’s easier to walk away.  It also helps to avoid the comment section for most online forums (except for this one, of course). :)

    • Terry Reed

      Elle, we must be maturing! LOLOL I am doing the same nowadays, too.  Just walking away. I mean, seriously — does it REALLY matter what they say online?  Betcha dollars to donuts that in real life, not a one have the cajones to say it to our faces!  I WOULD, though, so I have to disengage this big mouth of mine and my hot temper and go look at friends lovely albums!  Or read jokes.  Or best of all, turn on Pandora radio, and dance dance dance right in my room!  AND .. one more tip … goto youtube and watch the goofy Walmart People vids. If THAT doesn’t make you laugh, hmm . well, they DO so .. the end! :-D

  • Anonymous

    I made a recent mistake of allowing myself to get sucked into the comment section of a politician’s website with views that differed from my own. All of his follower’s views mirrored the politician’s views and I had a heck of a time pulling myself away from shooting down the arguments.  It consumed my life for almost a week.  On a personal end, I began to withdraw, lose sleep, it tainted everything I did because my head remained in that comment section.  Very simply, I unsubscribed to the feed and no more e-mails to my in-box meant no more stress.  While I’ve always been naturally prone to expressing defensive and contradictory behavior, I’ve also found that with age, it’s easier to walk away.  It also helps to avoid the comment section for most online forums (except for this one, of course). :)

  • http://twitter.com/srivatsan316 Srivatsan

    Thanks for the article. Why don’t you do one on bullying ? I’ve been through bullying and i am thankfully now free but the scars remain. :) 

  • http://twitter.com/srivatsan316 Srivatsan

    Thanks for the article. Why don’t you do one on bullying ? I’ve been through bullying and i am thankfully now free but the scars remain. :) 

  • http://twitter.com/srivatsan316 Srivatsan

    Thanks for the article. Why don’t you do one on bullying ? I’ve been through bullying and i am thankfully now free but the scars remain. :) 

  • Terry Reed

    I’m a hothead and can be really mean online without thinking so I’ve tried very hard to NOT be personal (and that does work) and to delete my own remarks moments after I’ve made them,and hopefuly before anyone saw them!  Now, I take five – go somewhere else to read, and then … go back. 9/10ths of the time, I dont even have a thing to say when I go back. Just have to consider this:  it IS just online but living breahing people are reading your words,and they can hurt sooo police yourself, learn to say SORRY I WAS WRONG and move on.  I’ve also found that it helps to simply ‘unfriend’ those who bait me.  Those that do that are NOT real friends, on or offline! Since I’m not out to see how many ppl I can get to friend me, I find it amazingly easy just to dump’em by the wayside.  Long ago, during AOL days, I used to say, “too bad humans dont have an ignore button in the middle of their foreheads” and now, I say nothing: just unfriend and .. exhale nicely!  Nice writeup,Chris, VERY nice!  Thank you!

  • http://howtogetemployed.com/ Craig Willis

    The way I have always seen it is if you’re being harassed or “trolled” then you must be doing something right, unless of course you’re purposely trying to mess with peoples emotions. Like you said in your video you know you’ve made it when people start trolling you. I feel that that is true. If you’re getting a reaction from people, be it good or bad, at least you know you’re getting your videos, blogs or whatever to people and people are consuming your information.