You’ve probably experienced it – a friend of yours leaves a negative comment on your Facebook wall. It could be that they are upset with you, or they just happen to have a bad day. Whatever the reason is, you want them to stop doing it.
Bad-mouthing is communication in which one person conveys negative or unflattering information about another person who may not be present.
Facebook regards all its users as equals in dignity and rights. The social app expects everyone to act with respect when dealing with other people. The Facebook community is against harassing and degrading other people and provides users with several ways of dealing with such situations, including reporting, blocking, and unfriending the person.
Suppose you report a case of harassment; it could take up to 48 hours for Facebook to determine if the issue you raised is against the community standards before finally removing the post. Meanwhile, 48 hours is enough time for a person with ill intentions to ruin your reputation on the social platform completely. And if Facebook does finally remove the post, that does not guarantee that they will not post something malicious again.
If someone is bad-mouthing you on Facebook, that is cyberbullying, and it can be overwhelming and completely rob you of your peace of mind. You can’t help but keep wishing there was something more you could do to get control over the situation.
There is. But whatever you do, you must act fast. Otherwise, things can quickly spiral out of control.
Here are practical actions to stop a person from bad-mouthing you and quickly get things under control on Facebook.
Don’t Engage the Person
The first step to making it stop is not to give it any attention. If you do, it’s only going to escalate and keep happening. So resist the urge to get into arguments trying to defend yourself.
Don’t try to change their mind about you. If you try to, the person will only see how desperate you are for their approval, making things worse for you.
Lastly, don’t get tempted to apologize or ask for forgiveness. It won’t work—the person will probably just be more upset that you didn’t ask sooner (especially if they like to torment people).
Don’t Allow Yourself To Be a Victim
Being bullied on Facebook (or anywhere else) is likely to affect you physically, emotionally, and mentally. It’s up to you to protect yourself by remaining confident until you find a solution. While that is easier said than done, here are some things you can do:
- Don’t retaliate. It will only give more attention to the bully’s comments and alert your friends about the situation if you do. Reacting in anger can also lead you down paths you might regret later when the dust settles, and cooler heads prevail.
- Try not to take it personally. Bad-mouthing someone isn’t personal; it’s just a strategy some people use when they have nothing good to say about themselves or their own lives. Still, it can sting like hell. So vent to trusted friends, step outside for fresh air if you need to, listen to your favorite music, or find other things you enjoy doing.
- Don’t allow the bullying to affect your self-esteem or self-confidence. The best thing is not to give those poisonous words any power over how YOU feel about yourself; they’ll lose their ability to hurt as soon as they stop mattering in any way whatsoever!
Consider if There’s Anything You’d Want To Explain
Suppose this person has made false claims or said something damaging to your reputation, then it may be worth explaining exactly what happened. However, if you decide to explain, ensure that you remain objective.
For example: “I never said that! I only said …” is not a good explanation because it gets you into a battle of words with the person bad-mouthing you. There are several factors to consider before deciding if you should explain and how much detail to go into. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is this untrue? If so, does it really matter? Before responding, think about whether or not you need to correct the situation. It may not matter in the long run and could cause more upset for everyone involved. Moreover, people tend to get defensive when they feel attacked or called out online. So keep that in mind when considering how much explanation you want to give (if any).
- What is your relationship like with this person? If they’re close friends/family members, there may not be as much incentive for them to try and hurt you (at least publicly). On the other hand, if past disagreements or fights have strained your relationship, then chances are high they’ll continue being hostile towards you.
Gather All the Evidence You Can Get
Harassment on Facebook, unlike a verbal one, naturally leaves a trace. It’s, therefore, easy to pick it, store it and even share what is happening.
To collect such evidence, you can take screenshots. They will come in handy if you need a third party’s intervention to resolve the issue.
They could also help if you need psychological help to deal with the trauma the harassment caused you.
Reset Your Privacy Settings
One of the easiest ways to prevent someone from bad-mouthing you on Facebook is simply using your privacy settings. Change them to private so that only certain people can see what you post, or even just one person if you’d prefer.
And while it’s not as private as making things visible only to yourself and some friends, having your information public allows anyone who comes across your profile to view it – even people outside of your network! This way, anyone would be able to send a message to you and probably give their opinion on what the person said. You don’t need that kind of energy right now.
Here’s how to change your privacy settings on Facebook and limit it to only friends:
- Navigate to Facebook in your web browser.
- Click on the arrow button in the top right corner.
- Select “Settings & privacy.”
- Choose “Settings.”
- Select “Privacy” from the left navigation.
- Under “Your Activity,” set the “Who can see your future posts?” to the desired option.
Block Users Who Are Harassing You
Once you’ve blocked someone, they won’t be able to see things you post on your profile, tag you in posts, comments, or photos, invite you to events or groups, start a conversation with you or add you as a friend.
That’s the kind of Facebook boundaries you need to create for anyone trying to ruin your reputation on the app.
Remember that blocking the person may not prevent all communications or interactions like in other apps or groups but will only affect your interactions with that person on Facebook.
To block someone on Facebook:
- Navigate to Facebook.
- Click on the arrow button in the top right corner.
- Choose “Settings & privacy.”
- Select “Settings.”
- Choose “Blocking” from the left menu.
- Under “Block users,” click “Edit.”
- Click the “Add to blocked list” button.
- Search for the user and click “Block.”
- Click “Confirm” to block the user.
You can also block users from certain activities, like messaging, app invites, event invites, etc. Follow steps 1-5 to get to the right place.
Bad-mouthing is never fun, and it’s essential to know how to deal with it.
You can’t control what other people say, but you can control how you react to it. And that’s the most important lesson here. Eliminating your response is the key to letting go of the stress and worry of being bad-mouthed on Facebook or anywhere else.
Luckily, Facebook offers you practical actions you can take to stop the person before the issue escalates.
So, don’t just sit there – report, unfriend, block them. Whatever you need to do to gain control and your peace of mind, do it.