We often come across stories of intimidation through trolling, bullying, severe and vociferous criticism etc. Be it skin colour, body type, thoughts, ideas, religion or something as random as dresses we wear, anything can trigger an avalanche of hate toward us. In our endeavour to be heard and to express our opinion, we often encounter such behaviour. They have become commonplace in the society which often believes itself to be the judge, jury and executioner in all matters social.

Take the example of the recent case cyberbullying of the 16-year-old climate activist, Greta Thunberg. For all her tireless activism, Time magazine named her the person of the year. This triggered an unwarranted Twitter attack from President Trump. Where earlier he ridiculed her health condition and mannerisms, today he suggested her taking anger management classes.

In life, every decision we make will be met with an equal number of supporters as well as opposers. There is nothing wrong in stating an opinion as long as it does not prey on someone’s confidence and self-esteem. Constant criticism and bullying often lead to depression, anxiety, even suicidal thoughts. Every small remark or comment made against a person dents their confidence and scars their psyche. Many people have spoken about this negative behaviour with little to no impact on the trends.

However, I would like to make a note of caution on this point. Sometimes, people become so sensitive about a review that they refuse to consider constructive feedback too. In fear of being bullied, we close our mind to all kinds of feedback, both useful and otherwise. This is another dangerous behaviour in itself.

The way I see it, despite constant reminders, coaching, punitive laws, trolling and bullying continue to thrive in the world. It makes more sense that we try to find a way to overcome this monster by making our self tougher and stronger.

I do not condone any form of bullying and bullish behaviour, however, I feel that we all need to develop a thick skin. If we want to survive in today’s world, we all should be able to brush off these bullies and critics. We need to stand tall and strong with our beliefs. We have to learn to maintain a strong sense of self-worth and self-esteem. We should believe in our self strongly enough so that these bullies cannot budge our confidence. As long as we are not breaking any rules or law, we need not be afraid of others’ opinions. We should only look at them as empty words of distrustful people.

It is true that bullying and trolling is a wrong attitude and it should stop. You might say that it is not the victim who should change, but the perpetrators. I agree with that comment too. However, I feel there is no harm in improving oneself. If having confidence in ourself and strong self-worth is what we need to develop then I want to make that change. Being a victim can only get us so much help. If we want to turn the tide, we need to help ourselves. So friends, do not cower down in the face of bullies and haters. It might take time, but build your self-confidence and self-esteem to fight them.