Learn how to stop internet trolls and your harsh inner critic in 1 minute

  • Internet trolls make comments to provoke others
  • Harsh inner critics are negative internal narratives
  • Ask them their purpose

Growing up in an abusive household, my harsh inner critic can keep up with the best of them. Building a social media presence, I am getting well acquainted with trolls.

I asked my therapist how to lighten my harsh inner critic. What she told me is what I was already doing with internet trolls: asking for a purpose.

When an internet troll does what they do, makes comments to get attention, I ask for their purpose:


It’s very effective. They will usually not respond or say they are “just joking”—who knows if they are or not? It doesn’t matter.

I just did the same thing with my harsh inner critic and the powerful feelings surrounding it immediately went away:

HARSH INNER CRITIC: “What if you fail and can’t pay bills?!”
ME: “What is your purpose?”
HIC: “To protect you and make sure you’re safe.”
M: “I am safe, just trying something new and it’s excitingly scary.”

So when you encounter a troll or your harsh inner critic, ask for their/its purpose.

A harsh inner critic, while mean, is there to protect you. Assure it you are safe and it will dissipate.

Photo by Felicia Montenegro

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2 responses to “Learn how to stop internet trolls and your harsh inner critic in 1 minute”

  1. Thanks for simplifying something we all encounter and waste energy never realizing we only need to ask, “What’s your purpose.”? It works especially well with our constant companion who is our inner critic.

    1. Exactly! I love finding simple yet effective tools. Did you try, did it work?

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