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How do you block out negative comments from strangers, whether they're on the street or online?

22 Answers
Last Updated: 05/19/2020 at 12:51am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Jannise McKamey-Bruell, LAPC

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I am a nonjudgmental counselor that employs transparency, trust, honesty and integrity in her practice and in the therapeutic relationship.

Top Rated Answers
WolfKeep
April 1st, 2015 4:57pm
People say that words "...may never harm me", but for those of us who've been harassed or ridiculed by them we know that it's not true. Words are one of the foremost destructive things that people can use in their arsenal of negativity. We read and hear these horrible words on a daily basis, and can feel alienated and awful when they are directed at us. This leaves us with a very tough situation. How do we block or counter something that's not a physical threat, but harms us mentally? It's difficult, but there are ways. Taking a more logical perspective can help when dealing with people using verbal abuse. Understanding a little as to why people say such things can give us a more rounded defense. Sometimes, verbal abuse is unintentional and takes a more passive disguise. People will regurgitate things that had been driven into them as a child or are trendy in the media, such as "fat shaming" and "passive racism". Some people genuinely don't understand that by saying such things they are perpetuating hate. That's not an excuse by any means, but it still happens. Then there is direct verbal abuse. People who use this as a means of harassment and violence are often very troubled in their own lives, or in some cases not emotionally or mentally intelligent. Some people say harmful things around a group of peers to try and fit in, while others do it because it may be the only situation in which they feel they have control over. Knowing some of this and applying it to a situation may help logically explain some things in your mind, and better help you deflect those negative words. Also, remember that: Strangers don't know you. They only know what they want to know about you by what they see. They can only interpret you by physical appearances, and that's not an accurate assessment. Sometimes I go to the store in my Pajama pants when I'm in a rush, but that doesn't mean I'm homeless or a slob. However, I've been called such. The point is, you know the truth about yourself, and they know nothing. And this doesn't just apply to appearances either, emotions and performances can be included in this as well. Say you did poorly on a test and people make fun of you about it. They don't know why you did poorly. You may have severe test anxiety, a problem that they have no mental grasp of. It's hard to feel accepted into a society that propagates this perpetual wheel of negativity and high standards. Standards that, I might add, nearly no one can conform to. So it's important to accept yourself as who you are. There is no shame in being overweight, or gay, or tall, short, bi, black, Asian, white, skinny, freckled, nerdy, purple, 9 headed, or from Jupitor. We're all different, we must simply accept that. So the next time you hear some slander hate being thrown your way, think about how those people are probably dealing with something else in their lives and can't cope with it. Or they aren't disciplined enough to know that being rude is a crime against humanity and you're above that. You've got more important business elsewhere in your life than taking time to deal with haters. :) And you're not alone. Just know that if you said hello to someone on the street and smiled at them, there are people who would give you a nice smile back, and that's worth more words than any hate-monger can say to you.
BatWings89
December 28th, 2015 6:23pm
You can't - it's just a reaction. You can learn not to let them affect you though. Does it start a negative spiral? Think STOP. Remember that people commenting often has NOTHING to do with you, but all with themselves, they do not know you. They probably are saying such thing because of frustration, anger or self hate, to push their ego etc. You're great - nobody can bring you down ;-)
whisperpillow
January 19th, 2015 11:45am
I remind myself that these are just strangers. They do not know me or what Ive been through so couldn't possibly be worth my time and efforts thinking on what they have said.
HopieRemi
August 9th, 2016 9:21am
Negative comments can be very hurtful, even if it is from people you don't know. Have you ever considered why their words affect you so much?
moonwalker27
September 20th, 2016 5:49am
stranger never care, jealous stranger is. block them out, they make you stronger and braver. besides, what's the fun if they're not here?
Geveda
February 8th, 2015 4:19pm
Well if they're online, it's always good to block out those people literally. ;) But you also have to remember that these are people that you're probably meeting for a short period of time in vague settings. They don't know who you really are or anything truly about you. There comments have come from things that they've more then likely just made up to try to hurt your feelings, so you can't let that affect you since they have no idea. They don't know the good or great things you've done before, so their opinion is completely irrelevant. I hope you can stay strong! :)
StandForFreedom
September 28th, 2015 4:22am
While I'm usually pretty good at just shrugging these off, sometimes what strangers say can really hurt. When this happens I like to think, what would my friends and family think say about this thing? At the end of the day, other than what I think of myself, my friends and family are the only people who's opinions actually matter to me! So they're the ones I want to focus on!
Anonymous
November 17th, 2015 12:14am
Strangers don't know you, if they insult you, ignore them "The only ugly girls are the ones that don't realise that beauty comes from the inside"-Daniel James a Howell. You're amazing okay, don't forget that.
MidnightFalls
January 24th, 2015 9:25pm
Think about things that make you happy. :) Sometimes people say things that they're raised to say. Maybe put yourself in their shoes for a minute and understand why they're saying what they are. You can't completely block out negative comments, no one can, but thinking positive helps a lot. :)
halcyonSea12
April 30th, 2015 1:31pm
Online, you literally block them and on the street, remember that what they are saying to you in no way reflect what they genuinely think of you. Most of what they say is projecting how they feel about themselves onto you.
Anonymous
April 26th, 2016 1:27pm
I try and ignore there comments and counter argue in my head. Thinking about what you would say to a friend who had received those comments is a good way of reminding yourself to be kind to yourself!
Anonymous
May 21st, 2018 11:08am
Try to remind yourself of the fact that they are strangers. They don't know you, so anything they say about your personality or life doesn't matter at all and if they make nasty comments about your appearance they probably think it's "funny" to laugh at strangers, which it obviously isn't. Ask yourself how much you (should) value a strangers opinion in this scenario. People will always have different opinions on you, but not all of them are of value. What I also like to do is remind myself of why I look/walk/whatever the way I do. I know I went out with messy half wet hair because otherwise I wouldn't have been able to catch my bus. If someone points at me and says something insulting then I just try to remind myself that I know why I have damp hair (in this scenario) and if they really care that much then they could walk up to me and ask me why my hair is slightly wet, but as most people don't do that it becomes pretty clear that they often don't really care about you, but just want to let out their own frustrations or make fun of someone for the sake of it.
KingfisherWoods
May 27th, 2015 8:22am
I wouldn't at first for one reason. I need to find out how far truth are those comments regarding me for the purpose of self-improvements. The ability to to turn the negative comments into motivations are not easy but with practice they seem to come at your way more than positive encouragements. When life throws lemon at you... However, they are more than often negative comments are uncalled for and simply needed to be blocked from your thoughts. These are, inter alia, what I usually do when that happen: 1. I put them in my "insignificant list". Yes, I have that list. In this list, I put all those people who don't really cross my path (apart of accidentally or by mere chance), don't really influence my judgment, don't really affect my performance, in other words, don't really matter to me. 2. I create sad story for them. I assume they had a bad day. This may range from real empathy like "S(he) might have lost a job etc" to mockery like "The sex must have been bad". 3. This is easier done online. I push the block button and pray s(he) felt highly rejected. On the street, this will be represented by my "Duh... You must be that special kind I heard about" and let her/him wonder what it could have been. I will never resort to cursing and usage of profanity words though. I reserve this to a very rare and exceptional case. I am not rude by nature but that doesn't mean I cannot be. However, doing this will usually prolong the event. When a stranger can simply walk towards you and give negative remark without due considerations to your feelings, they most probably just looking for a fight. I will not give them what they want. However, as I said before, fighting back will be my last resort after checking my safety and emotional state.
Craftsman
February 9th, 2016 3:46am
Ignorance is the best way to block out negative comments. Believe in yourself and whatever you do and don't give attention to the negative comments. People who comment are the ones who are insecure or jealous. So, stay positive.
Anonymous
June 7th, 2016 9:23am
I Always tell myself that I am beautiful and that I am worth it. If somebody tries to bring me down I only end up pittying them because they are the ones who are trying to vent their pain onto someobody else who they actually know nothing about. You don't need to prove annything to annybody but yourself. Remember that.
Anonymous
May 17th, 2015 7:25pm
When someone is making fun of me online, I can block them easily or not reading what they wrote. On the streets, it's harder. I usually just try to smile the negative comments away and ignore them, because I know they are strangers and will never be allowed to have any impact on my life.
blissfulOcean32
December 7th, 2015 8:02pm
On the street I ignore them, I just walk past them or I put my music louder. On the music I block those people, or I tell them honestly that I don't care
Anonymous
March 14th, 2016 2:41am
On the street you walk away and assume you heard nothing online you can go into settings and block or report them depending on the site your currently using.
Luckyhottubsandwhiches
April 18th, 2016 12:11pm
Try listening to music when you get these negative comments, maybe telling yourself wrong or if it helps take it as criticism to change.
Anonymous
June 13th, 2016 7:00pm
I don't. The best thing to do when you receive negative comments is to meditate upon them, see if they can help you someway. If not, just ignore it. Don't appear angry. Don't wallow in them.
Emma14
August 29th, 2016 1:12am
You smile and say thank you for their opinion. Then walk away and remember how good of a person you are
Anonymous
May 19th, 2020 12:51am
i always try and think that they are dealing with tough problems and thats why the reflect it to the outside with negative comments. i start feeling sympathy for them instead of feeling hurt my their comments. sometimes it actually turns out to be true and these people are really going through rough times. also, building good self esteem helps me. i try to filter constructive comments out of plain negatives ones. it helps me grow as a person and also develop my personality. and it also differs from a situation to another, for example, if someone on the street gave me a bad comment i would totally ignore them, after all i dont know the personally.