Trolling and Fear of Rejection – A link?

The slow news cycle resumes…not much to blog about.

From Salon: Why do Internet trolls troll? They might be sadists

Maybe’s it’s not sadism, but opposite – a lack of confidence. Trolling could be a mechanism for lowering expectations, a way to dull the sting of rejection, which according to studies is a really awful. If the expectation is that your commentary will be poorly received, any praise is upside and negative feedback is anticipated. It’s like hoping for the best and preparing for the worst, but by trolling you put yourself in the mindset of anticipating the worse.

The above TED talk on rejection is accurate to some extent, but misses a key point: The worse rejection is not rejection that is expected, but reejction that is unanticipated, such as rejection from friends and family, for example. If you go a store, approach the manager, and demand free stuff, you probably won’t be surprised the manager rebukes your demands; after all, it’s a store, not a charity. You probably never expected free stuff, but if he somehow says yes, awesome.

It’s impossible to ‘not give a fuck’ or develop ‘thick skin’. Humans are wired to be self-conscious – that’s what makes us different than, say, ants. To turn this off would require some degree of psychopathy or inebriation. Just tired of these useless self-help guides that purport to show you how to override human nature. Can’t be done. Even when a multi-platinum artist gets bad reviews on his latest album, his money doesn’t shield him – it hurts.

So that is one element of trolling that no one talks about, but is probably relevant.