How to Deal with Mean People, Trolls & Personal Attacks.

Aired -

My colleague Molly suggested that because I'm a Buddhist boy and I'm running for a local city council race, that I talk a bit about how I deal with mean people, trolls, or personal attacks...from a Buddhist point of view.

What is the Buddhist advice on that? That's something I'm asking myself all the time.

How does Buddhism advise mindfully handling ad hominem (meaning personal, often anonymous or unfair) attacks?

All of us—whether you're running for a local race or not!—get attacked. Sometimes we're criticized fairly. First of all, Buddhism would say any fair criticism may be uncomfortable...but it's really important to listen to it, take it in, and learn from it.

Because if our intention is to be a benefit, criticism is just as helpful as compliments.

If it's fair, listen to it. Doesn't mean you have to agree with it. It's important to listen to it, consider it, try to learn more—and be willing to change your mind, and grow, and educate yourself. You won't always agree with everything, but if it's fair, if it's well intentioned, listen to it.

Then there's the other category: unfair, ad hominem, trolls, anonymous stuff. Lies. That stuff, everyone always says, ah, don't listen to it, brush it off. But that's really hard to do—personally speaking.