How to Respond to Negativity from Internet Thugs

Yesterday, I received an email from a subscriber on my mailing list. I’ll call him Alex. I’ve never met this man before and to my knowledge, we’ve never interacted online.

“Are you on some drugs or just woke up from a nightmare? Go and learn how to present your product of yourself to strangers,” Alex replied.

There are a number of ways I could have handled this. Pre-entrepreneurial days, I would’ve cursed him out and read him for filth. The email was so crazy, I wasn’t sure if I should respond at all. I decided to reply to his knee-jerk reaction to my email by saying this:

Hi Alex – I see my email got your attention, which was the sole purpose of writing it. No, I’m definitely not on drugs and never have been and I scheduled my email to go out today at 7 AM EST two days ago :-). So, there’s no way I could have had a nightmare. Since you seem to be knowledgeable on product presentation, would you like to suggest a better way I could have wrote my email below?

Surprisingly, he didn’t respond. At least, not yet.

I shared this story to highlight three valuable lessons on responding to random negativity from strangers.

1. Be Professional

This is extremely important. Always remember that when you own/run a business, you must keep your reputation in mind. You don’t want to react in a way that you’ll regret later.

2. It Comes with the Territory

People tend to be really brave when hiding behind a keyboard. Anything you say or do on the internet is always subject to scrutiny. Because I run an online business, I understand that this happens and it all comes with the territory.

3. Ignore it

While at times can be difficult to do especially if somebody approached you sideways, ignoring negativity is usually always best.

No matter what you’re doing, people are going to throw rocks. Instead of him unsubscribing from my mailing list, he decided to throw rocks at me for whatever reason. I could have thrown bigger rocks back, but since I’m represent a brand, I responded in a professional, diplomatic way.

Don’t let the rocks that are thrown at you stop you from pursuing your goals.

Have anyone ever sent you a rude email? How did you handle it?

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Showing 10 comments
  • Kadrea Garnes

    This dude sounds like a jerk I get negative emails all the time especially being a Realtor because I send out emails all the time! Sounds like he was just grumpy and you handled it great!

    • Melody

      Hi Kadrea! Thanks for reading! Yeah, some people are just crazy lol

  • Deanna Nash

    Technology has taken the personal dynamic of communication away; it’s almost nonexistent.

    Trust me, this Internet thug would not have said this to you face to face.

  • Jameel Rashad

    lol Great Read! Great advice your brand is very important.

  • Tony Lockhart

    Besides clients with unrealistic deadlines and no idea how my industry works. I’ve never encountered this situation as most of my clients our business owners or members of a board but the insight of this article defiantly will help me if I were to in to meet one in the future. Great read!

  • Sandra Conner

    Thanks for the sound advice. We can all use it!

    • Melody

      Thanks for reading, Sandra! 🙂

  • Nicholas Calhoun

    Yes I have received similar emails. Sometimes it’s even from management. At my previous job, I applied for a higher position in another department. Interview went great, my manager told me she gave the interviewer a good report on me, and I just knew the job was mine. Well turns out, I was denied the position. The recruiter told me that I didn’t get the job because my manager gave the interviewer a negative report. I was lied to and had to get to the bottom of it. When I spoke with my manager, she sort of brushed it off like it wasn’t a major concern. She knew I was upset and I made sure I showed it. The next day, she sends me a nasty email basically downing me and trying to take up for herself. I didn’t even reply back because God works in mysterious ways. I got another job offer making almost double what I was making there, with even better benefits. I wrote my manager a nice resignation letter and one week later, left it on her desk with two mints on it, and I was out!

    • Melody

      Thanks for sharing your story Nicholas!

    • Katrina Garnes

      Oh wow Nicholas! Great story and great way to show your professionalism! Much success in your endeavors!

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