Question from a reader -
Wanted to let you know the timing of your Anonymous Troll post was perfect. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one affected in my being by people online who want to take me on/down. I have an ongoing struggle with online interaction because I used to get into similar kinds of situations and got extremely riled up and fueled for days on end.
Anyway, your post was encouraging and helpful for me; even just to see that other people--people I really respect--are stirred up by online conflicts. If you have any more insights on how to handle this in a balanced life, I'd love to hear them, or hopefully read about them on your blog. I'm still wrestling with the issue.
Good email here. Glad you wrote.
You know Sun Tzu? Art of War? One of his principles is very relevant here -
"Win before fighting."
If you go into battle uncertain, you wind up getting your ass kicked sometimes. That's bad. Rather, it's much better to build up your defenses, your training, your intelligence, etc, before the fight starts, and be guaranteed victory. The fighting is just a formality.
Clearly then, getting into arguments online is violating that principle. It's much better to build a structure where you're highly respected and well-known among your friends and cohorts, and then either get into discussions as equals, or be in a position to just smash someone who antagonizes you unfairly.
So yeah, I gave up with online arguments for the most part. The most recent post was after an unprovoked assault on me - I wanted to cover the topic since I think it's relevant, and also make the guy who wrote those things look like the joker he is. Not because I care about him very much, but just so ideally there's a few second pause of hesitation before someone else tries similar nonsense. Going overboard occasionally - rarely - ideally causes you to not need to fight at all going forwards.
So yeah, I'd recommend -
1. Don't get into any discussion or argument unless you're already in a good position.
2. Win before fighting. You should ideally already be in a position to smash whoever does wrong by you if they do. And then make an example out of them.
3. But, for now, you probably want to disengage from that until you've built up a bigger everything. Jumping into a fight that isn't already decided by virtue of your training, timing, and understanding of the situation is no good and can be distracting.
I've tried to get away from arguing with people online. It solves nothing. Better to build. But occasionally, it's called for. Really, really smash on those occasions.
Hope some useful thoughts in there, cheers,