Having the Last Word is for Trolls

Got sucked into a contretemps in an online community today. I try not to become indignant when folks are narrow-minded. Sometimes I let my emotions get the best of me, and end up feeding a troll.

So what do you do when someone in what was supposed to be a professional venue speaks in a completely unprofessional manner? Particularly, how do you avoid letting them have the last word?

You don't. Let 'em have it. (The last word, I mean.)

The times this is the hardest are when our integrity or capabilities have been maligned. We worry that if we don't stand up for ourselves, or rebut in some way, observers will think what was said is true.

Really? You know better. You know Bernard Baruch was right when he said "Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."

The people you care about (whether you know them yet or not) will see this buffoon for what they are. A single rude word doesn't make them evil, but the internet creates transparency and if they're a jerk, they won't be able to hide it for long.

Don't sweat it. And don't try to have the last word. They'll never let you have the last word (though they'll say "this argument is pointless; we're not getting anywhere" but it's that's just a cry for troll food.)

Remember: never argue with a fool. They'll drag you down to their foolish level where they can beat you with their expertise.

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