How to Deal With Mean Comments on the Internet

Three Methods:Dealing with an Occasional Mean CommentAddressing CyberbullyingHandling Your Feelings

If you text, use email, instant messaging, or social media, you know how easy it is to receive mean comments. Unfortunately, cyberbullying is common in today's society and can leave you feeling angry, sad, hurt, or isolated. You can deal with mean comments on the internet if you address one-time comments, report cyberbullying, and take care of your feelings.

Method 1
Dealing with an Occasional Mean Comment

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    Take a cyber-break. Sometimes taking a break from being online is the best way to deal with mean comments on the internet.[1] Staying online makes it more likely that you will look at the comment repeatedly and get more upset. It also makes it more likely that you will respond to the comment, which isn’t a good idea.
    • Close the app or walk away from your device so that you can think about how you want to deal with it and so that you can calm down.
    • Do something else like taking a walk or reading a book to distract yourself for a little while.
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    Keep the comments in perspective.You can deal with mean comments by thinking about who is posting the comments and why they might be doing it.[2] Although some people are actually trying to be mean, some comments may be meant to be funny or, perhaps, they are just worded wrong but the intentions aren’t bad.
    • Look at the sender. The person may not even know you. You’re probably "friends" with people on SnapChat and Instagram that you don't ever talk to in real life and may not have even met.
    • Could it be interpreted differently? For example, a comment from your best friend about a picture you posted that says ‘you look awful lol’ could just be his way of teasing you.
    • If it’s a comment on social media, think about whether it’s possible the sender didn’t mean to make the comment public.
    • For example, did your friend that is new to Snapchat post a Snap publicly that they meant to send as a private message?
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    Remove the comments.If you are sure this a one-time or random event, then deal with the mean comment by deleting it or removing It from your page. Once it’s gone, you don’t have to see it anymore or risk anyone else seeing it and making a bigger deal out of it.
    • Most sites and apps make it easy to remove a comment that has been posted. Usually you can click ‘help’ and find instructions for removing a comment.
    • If it's a Facebook comment, click the ‘X’ in the top right corner of the post and press "Remove Post".
    • SnapChat posts are automatically deleted after 24 hours.
    • You can delete an Instagram comment by tapping it and then holding it. A ‘trash’ icon will appear in the top right corner that you can click to delete the comment.
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    Talk to the sender in private.If the comment is from someone you know, you can deal with it by telling the person how you feel. The sender may not realize that their comment was mean or that it hurt your feelings. Talking to them in private may convince them to stop.[3]
    • Tell them the comment bothered you. Try saying, “The message you sent me really hurt my feelings. I know you may not have meant for it to. But, please don’t send me anything like that again.”
    • Explain that the comments could lead to false rumors being spread or unneeded drama between friends. For example, you might say, “What you posted could be misinterpreted in a bad way.”
    • If the comments are on social media and they are about something you would rather not discuss on the internet, then explain that to the person.
    • You could say, “I really don’t want everyone to know about that. Next time, please just call me or send me a private message.”
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    Talk to an adult you trust. If you are a child, pre-teen, or teenager and the mean comment is from an adult, you should tell another adult. You should also talk to an adult if the comment bothers you so bad that you can’t sleep, or your eating habits change, or you feel bad about yourself for a while.
    • Immediately tell an adult like your parent, teacher, coach, or religious leader if another adult posts something mean, untrue, or scary about you or to you.
    • For example, you could tell your coach, “Coach, a grown-up posted a comment about me on Facebook that really hurt my feelings and made me feel bad about myself.”
    • You could talk to your dad by saying, “A while ago someone posted a comment about me that was mean. I tried to ignore it, but it still really bothers me.”
    • Adults can help you with things like figuring out who the person is (if you don’t know), how to make sure they don’t do it again, and how to help you with how you feel about it.

Method 2
Addressing Cyberbullying

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    Document the comment. Sometimes comments cross the line between mean and bullying. If the comments get sexually graphic, violent, threatening, humiliating or if the same person (or people) posts lots of mean comments about you, then it is cyberbullying.[4] You should save some form of evidence of it so that you can report it.
    • If the comment references race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or disabilities it can be considered discrimination.[5]
    • People often go back and delete mean comments they post on social media, so document the comment as soon as you see it.
    • Take a screenshot of the comment. Try to make sure you get the time, date, and sender’s name in the shot.
    • Keep a journal documenting where the comment was posted, what exactly it said or showed, who sent it, etc.
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    Don't post a response.Even though you may want to retaliate, stand up for yourself, or defend yourself in a reply post, it’s not a good idea. Responding to a cyberbully might make you feel better for a minute or two, but in the end, it will only make things worse.[6]
    • The person wants a response from you and will probably use anything you post in response as a way to harass you even more.
    • A response from you could bring extra attention to the situation and upset you even more.
    • Write what you would post in response to the comment in your journal or in an email to yourself, instead.
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    Report the comments.Telling someone of authority like the site administrators or even a teacher is the best way to deal with cyber-bullying.[7] They will be able to help you make the bully stop leaving mean comments (even if the person sends them anonymously).
    • If you are a child or teen, tell an adult like your parent or teacher about the comments. They can help you handle the situation and report it to the right people.
    • Make sure you send or show them your documentation of the comment. It will make it easier and quicker to stop the bully.
    • Some social networking sites have places like Facebook’s ‘Safety Center’ where you can report cyberbullying.
    • If the comment threatens something physical or sexual you should also report it to the police.
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    Change your privacy settings.Consider setting your email, messaging, and social media accounts up so that only people you know (or no one) can leave comments without you reviewing them first. Doing this will make it harder for the cyberbully to contact you and leave mean comments.[8]
    • If possible, block the person that has been cyberbullying you. This may mean deleting them as an online ‘friend’. Check with the site or app for specific directions on doing this.
    • Send their email messages directly to your ‘spam’ or ‘trash’ folder or use your email provider’s block feature.

Method 3
Handling Your Feelings

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    Use meditation as a coping technique. Even if it is just one comment, a mean post on the internet can be stressful and hurt your feelings or make you feel bad about yourself. Using coping techniques like meditation can help you deal with the effects the mean comments are having on you.[9]
    • Sit or lie somewhere comfortable and allow your body to relax as much as possible.
    • Focus your mind on your breathing or on relaxing your body more. You may want to focus on a phrase or word like “Calm” or “I am relaxed”.
    • You can use meditation when a mean comment has you extra stressed, as well as practice it regularly to improve your health and well-being overall.
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    Try deep-breathing. Controlling and slowing your breathing can help you when you are feeling anxious or upset about a mean comment.[10]
    • Inhale slowly through your nose. Try to feel the breath all the way to your belly.
    • Hold it for a few seconds, then slowly exhale through your mouth.
    • Repeat this as many times as you need to. Try to take longer to inhale, hold it for longer, and take longer to exhale with each breathe.
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    Express how you feel. Mean comments can affect you when you read them, as well as for a while after that. You may feel betrayed, angry, depressed, confused, or sad. Don’t ignore how you are feeling. The best way to deal with the way the comments make you feel is to acknowledge it.
    • Talk to someone close to you about how the comments make you feel and why they make you feel this way.
    • ”You might say, “Someone left a mean comment on my page and it really made me feel bad. Can I talk to you about it?”
    • Write about how you feel in your journal. Write down each feeling and why you think the comment made you feel this way. Write about how you can feel better.
    • Talk to someone like a parent, religious leader, or therapist if the comments are causing you to become depressed, lose sleep or affect your eating habits.
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    Focus on the positive about yourself.Don’t let the bully win by beating yourself up or believing the comments.[11] Instead, deal with the mean comments by thinking about all the good things about you and the positive things in your life.
    • Make a list of all the positive things about you. Include things about your personality, skills and talents you have.
    • Look over your list frequently, but make a special effort to look over it after you receive a mean comment. This will help you deal with the comment without feeling bad about yourself.
    • Look at the nice and positive comments that people have sent you on the internet. Add any words they use to your list.
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    Use positive self-talk with yourself. It can be easy to start believing what the mean comments say and to start using negative self-talk like, “I AM stupid” or “I must be ugly”. Protect your self-esteem and your feelings by using positive self-talk to protect your feelings.[12]
    • Any time you notice that you have thought something negative about yourself, immediately tell yourself the thought wasn’t true and remind yourself how great you are.
    • For example, you might say to yourself, “These comments aren’t true. I am a good person, people like me, and I like myself.”
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    Go offline. It’ll be much easier to deal with mean comments on the internet if you aren’t always on the online.[13] So, turn your electronic device off and do something that you enjoy or to improve yourself. You’ll handle your feelings about being cyberbullied better if you do.
    • Spend time with friends and family in-person instead of online. They can help you deal with the mean comments, have fun, and feel better about yourself.
    • Do something active like going for a bike ride, taking a hike, or doing martial arts. It will give you time away from the internet and support your health.
    • Take a class or volunteer in your community. You’ll have the chance to meet new positive people as well as improve yourself or your community.


  • Don't give out personal information on the internet.
  • If the comments turn into a situation where your safety is being threatened, you need to tell authorities.

Article Info

Categories: Dealing with Bullying