When it comes to defeating internet trolls, maybe we should all try a little tenderness.
We’ll never understand what drives someone to write hateful messages to strangers on the internet, but the sad fact is that it happens every single day. Minorities are often targets of this nasty rhetoric, and we can only imagine how draining it must be to receive this trash from people day in, day out.
Abdul Dremali has been the target of racist trolls ever since he can remember. He’s a marketing consultant and photographer from Boston, Massachusetts.
“I get pretty rude messages very often,” admits Abdul. “I’m fortunate to have a large social media following and with that large audience comes a lot of haters. It’s just part of the game.”
Abdul may have been upset by the messages early on, but nowadays he’s found a new way to keep his chin up. Instead of fighting fire with fire and sending back an equally nasty message to the haters, he decided on a kinder, gentler approach. Whenever someone tweets at him to “get out of my country,” for instance, Abdul replies with a compliment.
“I came up with the idea to just be overly kind as an experiment,” he explained. “Years of constantly getting defensive when someone insults you gets tiring so I made a game out of it. It’s served me well because it eliminates any animosity. It ends up being funny regardless because I dismiss their hostility entirely.”
As an example, Abdul shared a recent exchange he’d had with a stranger that began with the stranger hurling hateful words at him and ended with an “I love you, man” moment.
While Abdul admits that he’s not exactly making best friends for life with this technique, he feels that replying with a compliment simply takes the wind out of their sails. When they start seeing him as the human being that he is instead of an object of their hatred, perhaps they can open their hearts to the possibility that we’re all equals on this earth.
“I’ve never talked to that guy again. I think he changed his username because millions of people saw him being racist. Probably a smart move on his part.”
He also admits that there’s a reason he takes the high road, and it’s not just because he’s a sweet guy who always aims to be kind. He’s got a handle on his own anger.
After Abdul shared his idea about killing trolls with kindness his post went viral. People from all over the world came forward to share their own stories, and many showed up simply to praise Abdul for his positive approach to a negative situation.
Abdul’s tactic may not work for everyone, but it’s definitely worth a try. After all, the world is already filled with people who are hurt, angry, and looking for someone to hate; adding more fuel to that fire is pointless and harms us all. Responding with love does nothing but add more love to the world, and we can definitely all use more of that.
Great job, Abdul! Please share this story to spread the love even further.
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