We were at a restaurant in Berlin with our friends Dan and Audrey from around the world travel blog Uncornered Market.
Dan relates a story about some jerk that came along and stomped all over a very meaningful Facebook post he and Audrey had shared.
Immediately I replied, “Oh yeah, that’s a troll.” Both their faces lit up revealing that it was a perfect analogy.
Every blogger, writer, artist, and anyone else doing creative or bold work knows exactly what I’m talking about and has, without a doubt, had his share of troll encounters.
Trolls are ugly on the inside (and maybe on the outside too). They are hoarders of inner resistance.
And when that resistance becomes too much to hold in, they wield it like a big troll-club and bring it down with a vengeance on well-intentioned creative people trying to make their highest contribution.
If we’re not that strong or haven’t yet overcome our fear of criticism, trolls can really hurt us.
Here’s how it happens:
Someone starts a blog, makes some art, publishes a book, or embarks on some other creative endeavor.
They have their first beating-by-troll experience and either a) continue, but in an inhibited way, or b) pack it in for good, vowing never to blog, do their art, publish their work, or otherwise put anything out in public ever again.
Hopefully, their “why” is strong enough that they heal up quickly and get back on the horse ASAP.
This time, however, they are a little more battle-ready, sporting a brand new layer of troll-armor that will help them fair better next time they get attacked.
Important thing to lose, our fear of criticism.
When you lose it, you get something very powerful in return. It’s called a troll-sheild and it’s impervious to any attack a troll might bring upon you.
You might even eventually get strong enough, your fear of criticism and inner resistance so mastered, that you actually have the capacity to feel compassion towards them ugly trolls. But that’s w-a-y out of reach for most of us.