Because of my former assistant, Darlene’s mistake on July 1, 2019, I was personally victimized by internet bullies, and malicious haters and trolls across all of my social media account but especially Twitter and Goodreads. Ironically, Darlene had not even mentioned this main cyberbullying, troll, hater by name (CM), so I’m not even sure why CM immediately took ownership of Darlene’s anonymous post.
But, because I usually choose to walk the high-road, once I saw the Twitter exchange, I privately emailed CM and apologized for Darlene’s post (which I haven’t even seen), and informed CM that I terminated Darlene (which I did).
Literally, CM and her equally-malicious followers spent hours of their day with nothing better to do than to berate me for something I literally had no knowledge of. It may have been different if we shared an office. But we both work from home and she lives across the United States from me.
It is my fault however, that I didn’t micromanage Darlene. Proof of my error is that I had absolutely no knowledge of what Darlene was doing on social media (which may be why she mentioned me in her seemingly-offensive post but did not tag me (so I wasn’t flagged). Had she tagged me, I would have demanded she take it down. I only found out about it after a couple of my collaborating authors in the GBF series alerted me.
However, I’m sure I’m not the only employer who had a very trusted employee in which we felt micromanaging was not necessary. Afterall, she had been with me for 9 years and I never had a problem other than a couple reports about her being a bit sarcastic. But a couple reports in 9 years is hardly enough to warrant police patrol. However, at the time of those reports, I did handle the complaints immediately and, to my knowledge, she had gotten better because I did not receive any more complaints.
Anyway, what all this cyberbullying did was cause my volunteer-writers-only Girl Behind the Fence (GBF) series to be cancelled (and authors are very sad), my social media accounts to be shut down, and I physically and emotionally withdrew. I shut off the phone, emails, put on my pajamas, and spent 13 hours nursing symptoms such as a horrendous migraine. Yet during that time, I was able to repeatedly reassess everything that had gone on. When I turned my phone back on, I received a notice that Darlene had called and left an apology message.
((I once wrote a blog post about how “professional badmouthing says more about the talker” than it does about the talker’s target but I can’t locate the post anymore. If I can find a copy of it, I’ll republish it. However, it’s true)).
Anyway, in the process of reassessing things, I decided to do some research on the mentality behind online bullies, malicious trolls, and professional haters such as CM and her sidekicks.
This is what I found…
A research team from the School of Health and Life Sciences at Federation University in Australia carried out a study to analyze the personality traits of these kinds of people. They discovered they actually scored much higher than others in two important personality traits: psychopathy and cognitive empathy.
What does that mean?
Psychologist Dr. Robert Hare has been researching psychopathy for more than 30 years and he stated: psychopaths are easily bored, need constant stimulation, and are unable to set long-term goals. They’re manipulative and need to feel like they have power and control over others. Psychopaths also have narcissistic traits. Sure seems to sum-up CM and her sidekicks the 1st week of July. Who else would spend nearly a full 24-hours wasting time trying to sabotage little ole’ me for trying to help our readers heal from destructive attitudes, beliefs, emotions, thoughts, etc?
According to Dr. Hare and the study, these people have serious impulse control problems and react with anger. Individuals with this disorder have problems with social and moral norms (abnormal). However, they’re often superficially charming (fake) and seem well-adjusted (keyword: seem).
Psychopaths think highly of themselves. Inflicting pain on others gives them pleasure. It’s often said that “psychopaths lack empathy”, but that’s not exactly true and here’s why…
The study also reveals the “dark side of empathy”…
Emotional empathy and cognitive empathy are both cognitive processes. However, there are significant differences between them involving the activation of different parts of the brain.
You can read the complete study / article HERE but let me first share this about the “dark side of empathy” per the article.
There’s a kind of “cold” empathy that is not as well known but online evil-doers have high levels of it. In other words, these online bullies, trolls, and haters can identify someone else’s suffering, but they don’t feel it. In fact, they are able to predict and recognize their victim’s emotional suffering. They then deliberately use their knowledge to cause the most damage possible.
They often don’t even read people’s posts or they just skim them and reinterpret them to fit their motives. (This is exactly what CM and her sidekicks did).
Again, it sure seems to sum-up CM and her sidekicks, and what they attempted and somewhat succeeded in doing to me last week. However, if you pay attention to her page, that’s all she seems to do & enjoy. Here is an example. She likes to “name and shame” without knowing the full story so I decided to “name” her in this post.
How in the world does she have time to write books if she’s always cyberbullying someone or starting shit online? And the genre she writes is romance. That’s very surprising because her personality sure seems far from warm and fuzzy. Perhaps she’d be a more successful author if she wrote murder mysteries, lol.
Oh, and she tried to claim (via Darlen’e post) that I expect professionals to work for free. That’s not true. However, I did ask women who were friends and family members of mine if they would like to write a story to contribute to the GBF series, which was a passion project for me.
In my opinion, there is a big difference between the intention of all people who do things to help others and those who do things to make money. The GBF series was about helping people fulfill goals. For example, the series allowed many women to realize their dream of becoming a published author and, on the flipside, it allowed readers to realize their dream of shifting their mindset so they can break free from things that may be holding them back (ie: anger, anxiety, codependency, loneliness, etc.)
Update as of 7/18/19:
At first, I was emotional and had become so tired of fighting against jerks, bullies, and downright a-holes all of my life, that it’s just easier now that I’m older to just quit. But I have never been a “quitter”. I mean, Jesus was tortured and he kept going, so my “pain” seemed a whole lot more bearable.
So, after my much-needed break to think everything through, I realized that CM et al (those who caused all of the above) are just mere, tiny specks in a world of billions of specks. I never heard of them before this “situation”, so why should I let them put a stop to my passion project that could help millions of women across the world? They judgement upon me should not reflect my judgement upon myself so…
I have decided to be like a Phoenix once again and rise-up from the ashes. Therefore, the GBF series is once again “on” and it will continue until all of the series books are published as originally scheduled. I will see this project through to the end because it’s what I want to do. Ladies, if you’d like to participate in the GBF series, check this out.
Now my only question is… since Darlene wants her position back, do I rehire her ? Did I terminate her due to my emotional upheaval? I do know that, had this “online harrassment” with CM and her groupies not occurred, Darlene would’ve never been terminated.
What are your thoughts?
In closing, while there aren’t any studies on how to stop trolls, ignoring their attacks seems to be the best way to avoid giving them more power.
So from this point forward, that’s what I’m going to do.
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