How to Have Fun With Your Trolls

'The trolls don't realise that they are actually helping me…I think my trolls and I are very good friends. '- Taapsee PannuClick To Tweet

What do you do when a hungry troll crawls out of the muck & mire and tries to feed on your spirit by spitting insults at you?

Feel bad?

Fight back?

Or ignore it entirely?

All of the above are feasible options, but methinks I have an even BETTER option to present to you…

Have fun with your troll!

I mean, the troll just wasted your reading time and energy by burning your eyeballs with its nonsense, why not have some fun at its expense?

Bonus: When you respond to vitriolic attacks with humor, you feel better, and your readers like you more too!

And the best part is, if the mudslinger is NOT a true troll at heart, he/she may be melted by your good humor and turn back into a human…kind of like the end of that Frog Prince Disney movie…or something…

Anyway, if you want to know exactly how I have fun with my trolls, I present to you:

The Troll Emails

May 17

Ladies and gents, I have an important announcement to make. This weekend marks a momentous occasion:

I think I got my first troll!!! 😀

Yesterday, a David McE sent this pithy statement in response to an email:

Get lost

Now I don’t speak Troll, but that probably qualifies as Troll-ese, wouldn’t you say?

I’ve had people strongly disagree with me on things before, but never one so curiously brief in his violent opposition.

(The others were receptive to intellectually honest conversation when I reached out, but this one doesn’t give much room for response. Which is why I think this may be my first honest-to-goodness troll sighting)

A few other puzzling facts:

  1. This troll, if indeed he is one, did NOT send the email in response to one of my GWOP (Great Weeding Out Project) emails, but instead to one of my most inoffensive messages from the week before.
  2. The troll also did not take himself off the email list. (???)

Hence the mystery:

What set Troll McE off? And if he is so opposed to Brilliant Writerliness, why stay on our list?

What do y’all think? Shall we…

A. Allow Mr. Troll to stay on our list for a while to see if we can solve the mystery (or at least for pure entertainment value?)

B. Put the poor guy out of his misery and take him off the list?

C. Or attempt to convert Troll McE from wallower in darkness to bastion of light, iff’n he should choose to poke his head out from the swamp again?

Click here to take the troll survey, or email me and let me know your thoughts on proper troll care!

🙂 Sarah

Sample troll survey

May 21

Hey Brilliant Writers,

Thought you might like an update on the Troll McE situation:

Since receiving the pithy message from our under-bridge friend this weekend, I asked our Brilliant Writers what y’all thought we should do about our new un-asked-for pet.

  • 61.5% voted to keep Mr. Troll on the list a while, just for entertainment
  • 30.8% thought we ought to put the poor guy out of his misery and take him off the email list
  • And 15.4% suggested that we attempt to convert our troll from mud-grubber to light-bringer, should he ever resurface again

A few voters left intelligent comments, as well. And instead of replying one by one, I thought I’d share your messages so the rest of our Merry Band can see your how thoughtful/brilliant you are!

As for Mr. Troll himself, I haven’t heard another peep yet, but if I do, I’d be happy to let you know 🙂

BTW: My answers are in bold

Comments from “The Proper Care & Feeding of Our Troll” Survey

We are in worldwide situation that we have never in the history of Earth been in before. Yes, we’ve suffered through pandemics, but because of the internet we can see that all of us share a common bond and many of us are scared, frustrated, and just plain tired. Therefore, I think you should reach out in love or at least kindness. Maybe ask him what’s going on and just talk decently to him It tends to throw aggressive people off when you respond with kindness. If he still acts hateful, wish him well and block him.

– ’Tis true that the current situation is stress-inducing. Reaching out in kindness is my default reaction, but it works better with people who leave longer messages. That means at least they care and have given the topic some thought. Those people I wouldn’t call “trolls,” though. Maybe a bit misguided, but at least part of them means well ~

I’m excited to see the direction you are taking. Looking forward to learning more from you!

– Thank you for the vote of confidence!

I’m curious to see what set him off!

– That’s what I wanna know 🙂

It may be a bot. The message seems too brief and vague to have any serious malicious intent. I think some sites do suggest how to tell a fake account from a real one.

– Huh. That could be it. Although I wonder who would feel the need to create bots that mimic pithy trolls?

At first I thought you could put the poor guy out of his misery and take him off the list. Then I thought, why don’t we wait and see if he comes back with more feedback and study his next move. You can teach us how to deal with trolls. If he returns with bad feedback, we then take him out. I have zero tolerance when it comes to abuse.

– Good policy!

You’re lucky he didn’t threaten murder or rape, or worse! Please make sure this troll cannot escalate his troll-ism by finding you in person and inflicting something more than words on you.

– Thank you for your concern ~ But don’t worry, I have secret protector guards in place, I’m not unduly worried.

You don’t want to have a perfect community, so a few trollers here and there are healthy

– Very true. In fact, it’s often a sign that we’re on the right track!

If you can get him to engage find out what’s wrong, but don’t waste too much time and energy.

– No worries, I won’t 😉

perhaps Troll clicked the wrong email to answer and meant to send that to a brother-in-law.

– Haha!

If you do keep him, he needs mental help. So recommend a hotline to him if you know his locality. He definitely has got a mental disorder of some sort.

– Hmm. I’m probably not qualified to give that kind of recommendation, but if Mr. Troll is reading this, at least he will see your kind suggestion. Or perhaps he should try journaling out his frustrations. That’s what I do. Either way, thanks for the input!

Troll in the dungeon… thought you ought to know

– So that’s where the smell’s coming from…

Do you think he replied to the wrong email? Hahahaha. He doesn’t make sense.

– That is definitely a possibility that crossed my mind. I wonder if we’ll ever know…

This is making me smile Sarah — thanks! Indeed I literally LOL’d

– Why, thank you sir! *curtsy*

I’m excited to see the direction you are taking. Looking forward to learning more from you!

– Looking forward to sharing ~

Love how your unique voice shines in your emails. Thank you for letting me stay on your list.

– You are very welcome, glad to have you!


Thank you all for your feedback!

Looks like we’re doing something right 🙂

Until next time,


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