Why are online bullies so cowardly? Understanding why trolls troll helps us come up with a strategy to defeat them.
I saw this one person insult this woman and when she replied with a clever comeback the troll didn’t even reply even though she had some really good points and humiliated the idiot
Trolls are looking for specific responses. When they don’t get them, they go try and find someone else. It’s not so much as they are cowards, it’s that their attempted victim wasn’t victimized by them.
To understand why they go away when certain people respond a certain way, you have to understand what the reward is they are looking for. And that depends on why the person is trolling.
Someone studied online trolls Internet Trolls Are Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Sadists and found that a large number of them are dark triad types – narcissist, psychopaths and sadists. Meaning, an overwhelming number of trolls are mentally ill. Literally. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-online-secrets/201409/internet-trolls-are-narcissists-psychopaths-and-sadists
Narcissists are looking to puff themselves up. When that doesn’t happen, they either flip or go find another place to feel superior. Or, they don’t even notice the response because just trolling makes them feel superior and they don’t need to see the response.
Psychopaths – may treat this as play – they can manipulate people and that’s pleasurable to them. That’s enough.
Sadists are looking to get people upset. When they succeed, they feel good. When they don’t, they don’t. So, if someone doesn’t get upset at their trolling, they just move on to find someone else who will. It’s a numbers game for them.
Best not to take this sort of online behavior personally. The only reason to respond is to clarify for those viewing the thread who aren’t trolls, what is actually going on and what is true. You don’t respond to trolls, you respond for the benefit of the non-troll bystanders viewing the comments.
To learn more about the science of how to get bullies to stop, get my book, join the website, take the online courses. Once you know and understand the science, please share with others. Let’s create a revolution and change the dynamics so that bullying becomes a thing of the past.