Having to deal with negative comments as a Nurse almost every time can be mentally draining. Always trying to explain ourselves, correcting wrong perceptions and notions, especially in the the midst of the terrible public image is quite a lot.
I have seen many Nurses lose it; many start lashing out on these people when it seems they are not listening or they are just bent on proving their points.
I have heard Nurses say they cried, some disturbed and some questioning why they came into Nursing. They become emotionally disturbed.
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Imagine being trolled on social media just because you’re a nurse. One side is tagging nurses as sexual objects with movies and funny skits while another part is tagging us as the president association of rude professionals.

The news media also do not help matters; Nurses are always in the news for the wrong thing.

You begin to have that intense feeling of no one appreciating the good you do for humanity every day. You question the whole essence of your sacrifices.
Unfortunately, when we react harshly to these comments, it basically gives them an edge and it seems like they are right. But guess what, the negative comments are not likely to stop anytime soon, it doesn’t even look like its going away.

As a lot of nurses are working on changing the perspective, let’s talk about how to deal with these negative comments better.

Firstly, I want you to know that many of these comments whether directly or indirectly are only telling us to be better individuals in this profession. However, when it becomes insulting, threatening, derogatory, it gets to us and we need to watch how we react.
Secondly, negative comments are highly contagious, it messes with the mind. Infact, if we do not take conscious effort to guard against it , it can result to hostility.

So what should you do?

Always maintain an emotional distance from these comments. Endeavor not to take insensitive and tactless comments personal. Don’t allow yourself to become infected with the toxicity, that you feel like reacting angrily.
When engaging them, control your emotions, acknowledge their comments without agreeing to what they are saying. Avoid insulting words, use noncommittal languages. Ensure your comments are strictly objective and void of sentiments. This may help neutralize their toxicity.
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Always listen and hold your tongue. Save yourself the heartache of always reacting, which will only feed their negativity.
By the time they realize Nurses are not giving them what they want, they will eventually pick on other people.
Be nice to them even when you feel they don’t deserve it. Say something good about them. Sympathize with them when they share terrible past or present encounters with Nurses.
Remain positive but don’t beat yourself up when you’re unable to change their mindset. Note that some people are deeply immersed in these negativity towards others and whatever you say, they will still hold strongly to their beliefs.
Lastly, It’s allowed to take a break. Many times when these comments seem overwhelming, you can take a break from such platforms or block such individuals.
Your happiness and mental wellbeing is of utmost priority.

Catherine Kuyoro

Are there other ways to handle negative comments on social media?

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