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ENHANCING E-SAFETY AND COMMUNITY CONNECTION FOR LGBTIQA+ YOUNG PEOPLE
Strategies for strengthening your mental and emotional defenses.
No one should have to endure online abuse, but unfortunately, many members of the LGBTIQA+ community do experience it. It is important to be aware of this reality and take steps to protect yourself and seek support if you are the target of abuse.
Developing strategies to effectively respond to online abuse can help you manage its effects and build resilience. The approach that is right for you will depend on your specific situation and what will best support your emotional well-being. Knowing how to respond in a way that is effective and healthy for you can be an important part of building your psychological armour and protecting yourself from further harm.
Draw on your strengths
It is important to remember that the opinions of others should not define your self-worth. Instead, focus on your own positive qualities and attributes. Remind yourself of your strengths and the things that make you unique and valuable. It can be helpful to write down a list of your positive qualities and refer to it when you need a boost of confidence.
Pause and Reflect
It can be helpful to take a moment to pause and reflect when facing difficult situations like online abuse. This can give you time to process your emotions, assess the situation, and consider your options. By taking a step back, you can gain a clearer perspective and make more deliberate decisions about how to respond.
Keep a neutral outlook
When facing online abuse, it can be easy to get caught up in the immediate challenges of the situation. However, it is important to try to keep things in perspective and focus on your main priorities in life. Remind yourself of your long-term goals and the things that are most important to you. This can help you maintain a sense of perspective and stay focused on what matters most.
Acknowledge how you feel
It is natural and healthy to feel upset when you are facing online abuse. However, it is important to be mindful of how much time and energy you spend defending yourself against unwarranted attacks. While it is important to take steps to protect yourself, it is also important to conserve your emotional strength and prioritise your well-being. Consider whether engaging with the person or situation is worth your time and energy, and try to focus on things that are more positive and uplifting.
Surround yourself with your support network
One of the most important things you can do to cope with online abuse is to surround yourself with supportive people. You don’t have to handle the situation on your own. Talk to family, friends, peers, or mentors who can offer guidance and support. It can be helpful to find people you trust and who are willing to listen and offer a helping hand. Reaching out for support can be an important step in healing and finding ways to cope with online abuse.
Taking care of yourself is an important part of coping with online abuse. Engaging in self-care activities like exercise, healthy eating, getting enough sleep, and finding ways to relax and de-stress can help you better handle the challenges you are facing. It can be helpful to find activities that nourish your body and mind and that allow you to recharge and feel more grounded. Practice self-care regularly to help you maintain your physical and emotional well-being.
Create a safe real world place
There are many ways you can practice self-care when coping with online abuse. Going for a walk, catching up with a friend, or reading a book can all be helpful activities. You can also consider turning off notifications on your phone or other devices during times when you want to disconnect and relax. Taking breaks from screens and finding activities that bring you joy and relaxation can help you recharge and better cope with the challenges you are facing.
Use a positive mindset
It can be tempting to react emotionally to negative comments or abuse online, but it is important to remember that these reactions can sometimes feed the trolls and contribute to the problem. Instead of responding with anger or frustration, try to approach the situation with a positive attitude. Communicate with respect, tolerance, and empathy, and set an example for positive online behaviour. This can be a powerful way to counteract negativity and create a more positive online environment.
Prepare for online discussions
It can be helpful to take some time to clarify your thoughts and become informed about key issues when participating in online discussions. By taking the time to understand your own perspectives and being knowledgeable about the topics at hand, you will be better prepared to engage in constructive dialogue and communicate your ideas effectively. This can help you feel more confident and able to make a positive contribution to online conversations.
Have confidence and assert yourself
It is important to be true to yourself and your beliefs when advocating for your opinions online. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in and to express your thoughts and ideas. At the same time, it is important to be respectful and considerate of others and to approach online discussions with an open mind. By staying true to your character and your sense of right and wrong, you can be a positive influence and contribute to more constructive and positive online conversations.
Be respectful online
By advocating for your beliefs and opinions online and working to create a more inclusive and positive online environment, you can gain a sense of purpose and meaning. You can make a difference by standing up for what you believe in and working to create a world that is more welcoming and respectful for everyone. This can be a powerful way to find purpose and make a positive impact in the online world.
Be a supporter
If you witness someone else experiencing online abuse, there are steps you can take to help and show support. One way to do this is to safely speak up and speak out against the abuse. You can also show support by offering a listening ear and a safe space for the person to talk about their experience. It can be helpful to offer practical support, like helping the person report the abuse or find resources and information. There are many ways to show support and help others when they experience online abuse.