On Cyberbullying and Choosing Kindness

Cyberbulling is NOT ok (click through to see what you can do to promote kindness!)I was bullied as a child. It's weird because when I remember the things that other children said to me in upper elementary school, it still hurts a little. Logically, I can see now that they were just kids. But it still feels weird, and when I was recently reintroduced to a girl who made fun of me in sixth grade, she still intimidated me. I thought it kind of odd that the shame I felt as a child was still a little bit there after all these years. 

The saddest thing that I have learned over the past ten years as a blogger and entrepreneur is that bullying is not just for children. My experiences being harassed, insulted, diminished and slandered as an adult are incomparable to my childhood.

The first time it happened I felt shocked and a little sick. I tried to fix it by reasoning with anonymous commenters and defending myself. But it didn't make me feel better and it didn't stop it from happening again. So for the longest time I have worked to tune it out. I have lived with bullying as a sort of dark cloud in my life. I can ignore it for the most part, but every once in a while someone says something that really messes me up for a little while. It never gets easier. 

Through the years I have been approached by countless friends, acquaintances and strangers seeking advice for how to deal with cyberbullying, especially after their first experience. I always give the same advice and it never seems to be what they want to hear. The reality is, no one can shield themselves from negativity. I tell them to rally their support system, to be confident and that negativity is the price of success. It's not earned or deserved. But it still hurts. 

I don't talk about this topic online much because, well, I don't want to give it more power than it already has. I believe in focusing on the positive because the Internet already has so much negativity. But today I decided to open up the conversation because it is important and, like so many other women I know, I want to find ways to counteract negativity with kindness. 

I recently watched this TED Talk with Monica Lewinsky, and I was floored by every minute of it. It's 22 minutes long, so grab a coffee and some headphones. It's so worth it. (Here's a transcript version if you prefer to read the speech.)

Shame cannot survive empathy. 

I love that. It is incredibly comforting for me to realize that while I can't control what others choose to do online, I can make a real difference by spreading kindness.

I want to live in a world where women work hard to help and encourage each other. Don't you? We can do this together. We can make a real difference. 

Here's what we can doHere's the call to action! 

Be kind.
Let's say the nice things we think. (You know, the ones we usually don't take the time to type out.)

Your clicks matter.
Let's say NO to clicking on negative articles and message boards (even/especially legit news sites!).

Stand up.
Next time we see someone being shamed, let's leave a kind comment. 

These are small, simple actions that we can take to choose kindness and create a healthier Internet. 

Leave me a comment if you commit with me to practice these positive actions starting today! Elsie 

  • I have found that some scrappers/crafty people can be very catty, but for the most part, the creative people that I interact with want to encourage fellow crafters. I make a point to stay away from those who bring me or others down with negativity and bully-type behavior. I always try to remember what I learned in psychology class in college: people put others down to make themselves feel better, to feel more in control of their own issues. It isn’t really about me/you, it is about their problems.

  • Thank you so much for sharing this. I too was bullied horribly every day of school from about grade three, all the way through high school. Finally, it stopped in university, when being different was suddenly not so bad. Fortunately, my internet fame is not yet such that I’ve gotten a lot of hate that way, but I’m sure it will come. A lot of times, internet hate gets dismissed as ‘trolling’ , and us as women often get tagged as oversensitive. But it still hurts. It hurts so much it’s sometimes impossible to fathom how some people can be so horrible.

    So thank you for sharing this in a position of visibility. Say nice things, folks. πŸ™‚ It changes the world.

  • It’s amazing what happens when you grow up. There was a girl who bullied me ruthlessly in 7th and 8th grade, whom I more or less lost track of in high school (Big school!). We were acquaintance friends on Facebook for the last ten years, but this past spring, when I started selling Jamberry, she was the first person to come to me, wanting to be on my team. We started chatting again (and I sure as hell wasn’t going to bring up junior high!), but she told me that she was bullied relentlessly during those years. It occurred to me that she was probably bullying me to take the heat off her. Was it right? No. But hearing that made me realize that it might hurt, but it’s a cycle. Learning that about her definitely made me finally forgive her, and we’re becoming pretty good friends now.
    Internet trolls are another thing, entirely, though. IT’s get their rocks off being anonymous. I don’t think they’ll ever go away. We can just ignore their stupidity.

  • I feel you sister! I was bullied as a child. I have also been the follower who (unknowingly?) contributed to others being bullied. I have to say that the latter STILL bothers me many years later. Self doubt can be a terrible beast and I have grown to recognize when I feel less than confidant and not project it onto other people. Now I live by the positivity code!

  • Thanks for posting this, Elsie! I was bullied a lot as a kid, too. I also had the same reaction as an adult when faced with a girl who bullied me in high school. It is amazing how I feel like I never really got over it. I realize that the bullying I faced was character building…I wasn’t like everyone else, but that’s also why I’ve become so successful as an adult and I can say that I’m so thankful for that now. But it was so hard then! And I still face my critics, too! You’re right – it doesn’t always get easier. I’m now pregnant with my first child and I already worry if he’ll be bullied like I had been. I want you to know that I’ve seen the haters against you out there on the internet, and I think they are ridiculous! Their comments are shallow, resentful, and inspired by jealousy. I always think that when you are the victim of someone’s negativity or insecurity, things could be worse…you could be them! You and your blog have inspired me for so many years, and I am so thankful for unique and creative types like you that put yourselves out there on the internet. For every person who has criticized you, there’s about 50 out there who have loved your work. Please stay confident and be yourself. We love you for it!

  • I’m completely in. I just started blogging myself, and this not only gave me a lot of insight of how to handle it if and when it happens to me, but also how to help others in the same situation.

    “It takes guts to be gentle and kind.”

  • “Let’s say the nice things we think” – love that. So in that spirit, I’m leaving this comment! Thanks for writing this.

  • I love this. I was actually going to write a post similar to this one the other day…I read an article on a popular comedy site about “why you should shut down your sh**y blog”. Even though it was a “funny” article, it kind of hit close to home. It basically said that unless you’re an entrepreneur or an exceptionally fashionable human, you shouldn’t have a blog.

    I ended up not posting my scathing review (lol) because it felt whiny. But ultimately, I quickly went from down on myself to saying F THAT! I blog because I love it, and have met some incredible people through it. If I want to sit on my couch in my pyjamas and write about my favourite lipsticks, that’s my prerogative. Those that don’t like it don’t have to read it πŸ™‚ And I’m thankful for those that provide a positive response! Bullies suck, let’s rise above them!

    http://www.theclydescope.com

  • Great TED talk!! I just love watching some inspiration and motivation filtered by those who are courageous. If you have a chance, you should totally check out Benet Brown’s TED talk on shame. Her message is also powerful and can help us get through some difficulties in life.

    Today, I will commit to not feed into the negativity by encouraging someone when needed.

    THANK YOU for today’s message!

    xo, Bev

  • I’m in!! It’s blogs like yours that inspire me to keep going with my own. I love your blog and can’t believe that would get any negative feedback at all. It takes me all my time to make any comment, I don’t know how people have time to comment in a non constructive way. Keep up the good work and focus on all of the 100s of positive comments that you get. ?

  • You’re so right, let’s put positivity out there! I am so grateful to be part of the diy and creative community, I have been sharing my projects on the internet for a couple of years and I have felt nothing but love and support. I feel like if we like something we’ll say so, if we don’t we just let it go. I have recently experienced that there are communities that are neither as welcoming nor supportive. Which made me appreciate the awesome makers and crafters and art people I’ve had the luck to interact with so much more!

  • Elsie, thanks for posting about such a difficult topic. It is scary to realize how much power one negative person can have over me! I choose kindness, always kindness.

  • Several years ago (maybe even 10 years ago) Monica Lewinski did an HBO special where she candidly spoke to an audience about her life. Since seeing that, I’ve always felt she was one of the strongest and bravest women of our time. She made a mistake, when she was very young and has been ridiculed for it ever since.
    I believe the anonymity of the internet makes people feel powerful, and they forget that the jokes and comments they’re making are about real people with real feelings.
    Thanks for this poignant and inspiring post! I absolutely commit to your call to action and I hope others do as well!

  • Thank you for speaking up about this! I’m a high school teacher and I hear about cyber bullying all of the time and its torture for some kids!
    Share the happiness!!! Kind words are just as easy to spread as hateful comments.

  • Have you listened the Lindy West’s story on “This American Life” where she confronts a troll who bullied her horribly online? It’s a really interesting and moving piece, and I definitely recommend a listen if you haven’t heard it already.

    http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/545/if-you-dont-have-anything-nice-to-say-say-it-in-all-caps

    I made a promise a long time ago not to ever leave a mean comment on the internet. It seems like our words hurt so much more when we type them out, and leave them, anonymously, to fester. The internet can be such a wonderful place, and I don’t want to be one of the people who tries to ruin it for everyone. I’m so often shocked by the comments people will leave on blogs. What could anyone possibly gain from being so mean?

  • I have tears in my eyes as I read this for I (and many others I know) can understand and relate to this all too well. Your blog has been an inspiration to me for many years – your very first e-course actually helped me through a time of depression- and I have often wondered if you and your team have had to deal with cyberbullying, as it seems to come with the territory. Unfortunately, being successful (and this can apply to various aspects of life) seems to provoke some ugly emotions in others. To be honest, I have felt it before, the jealousy of others and where they are versus where I am in life. However, I tend to internalize these feelings, chastising myself for not being good enough, while some people tend to take these emotions out on others. Neither response is helpful nor productive and can do lasting damage. So, I am with you! Instead of negativity, whether outwardly or inwardly, I will choose kindness and love. Thank you for this post!

  • I’ve been a fan of your blog for years although I’ve only commented once or twice. I cannot imagine anyone having anything negative to say about you, Emma, or anyone else on the ABM team. You all are a bright spot in my day! I’m not especially crafty, but I find inspiration in the easy DIYs, recipes, and travel tips you all share, but mostly in the positive community you’ve built. Keep smiling and doing what you do!

  • Way to go Elsie! It’s so true…and any negativity is not okay. I actually had some similar posts about positivity this week on my own blog. It’s strange that negativity can have so much power from such a minority of people.

    We can–AND SHOULD–make the world a better place by being positive and uplifting one another rather than tearing one another done, because WE ARE ALL WORTH IT.

    xo

  • I choose kindness everyday. And everyday I am anxious about what I see out there. I fear for those people on the receiving end of the comments as there is no way that it can be easily swept aside. I fear for my nephew and niece who are 13 and 11 and their whole lives are lived out on the Internet. I genuinely believe that something has to give as the trolling and hideous nastiness cannot continue in this way, people have to be held accountable for their online behaviour. I don’t know how it can change but it has to, and soon before more damage is done. This is such a good topic and I congratulate your bravery for bringing it to the forefront and starting the discussion.

  • Yes yes yes! What is the point of being mean and snarky? There seem to be a lot of people that literally have no life and spend all their time discussing bloggers that are out there actually doing something! I love to read happy, positive blogs that inspire me to do something creative. Bitter Betties can step aside! πŸ™‚

  • Thanks for posting this, Elsie! Such a great reminder to us all. You inspire me!

  • starting today!
    i’ve been bullied as a teenager, and it was the worst years…
    over the time, i grew up to be the kind of “i couldnt care less about what ppl say” person…
    i have my own bussines, work from home, have a lovely husband and a beautiful house by the beach…
    couldnt ask more from life…

    and yet…

    the other day i was at the bank… hardly to think of a more serious enviroment, more adult ppl… i was wearing a hat… and a cashier (a man on his 40’s) made a joke about it.
    not TO ME, of course, behind my back, but i got to hear it…
    i’ve always thougt i was way over that kind of sh*t…
    and still… i was frozen. paralized. I imagine i would go, and stand up to him… but yet… i just felt like the smallest thing on earth… and left in sadness…

    i couldnt believe this atitude was still inside of me…
    i came home, it took me a while to recount all my “bleesings” acomplishments , or whatever you want to call them…

    and let this poor guy behind… making his lame jokes, as he has to be there all day, and i’m back at the comformt of my home…

    its amazing how bulling is here to stay… and its so so so important to spread love…
    i havent been able to talk about this , since the other day, until today… you already made me feel better elsie, thanks for sharing…

    (ps, sorry for some misspelling, i havent been using my english lately!)

    bye!

  • What i love most about this posts is your hint on taking the time for sharing nice things! πŸ™‚ Its so easy!! Thanks for reminding me! πŸ™‚

  • I was teased and mocked as a kid mostly up until the middle of high school. Thankfully for me I don’t remember much of it but my mom does. I think I got lucky somehow and was able to just totally block it from my memory. A part of me wants to feel sad for the bullies because they’re obviously miserable people but really they just make me so angry. That you can be so hurtful to other people when you don’t even know them, it boggles the mind. I always try to compliment people or make them feel included, especially if I’ve just seen them hurt by someone else. It’s not always easy but it’s definitely the right thing to do. The struggle will always be there, you just have to hope one day it won’t be so hard. And in the meantime, indulging in a little self pity after a particularly harsh comment isn’t the worst that could happen.

  • I love this post! It’s not exactly bullying, but I work in Customer Service at a University– And while countless families express sincere gratitude in the work I do, every so often, I’ll get an upset student that tears me down. It sticks with me for days, and I have to constantly remind myself that one bit of negativity does not outweigh the good I do.

    I read your blog [nearly] daily, and it’s because of your positive approach, and your commitment to empowering your readers. (Well, and I love the crafts.) πŸ™‚

    Haters gonna hate. Keep up the amazing work!

  • I adopted 3 boys from DCFS a couple of years ago & my eldest starts middle school this Monday. As we walked in the school for open house this week, the first thing he said to me was'”I wonder if I will get bullied here?” Broke my heart that it was his first thought. I commit with you to go out of my way to take the time to make positive supportive comments to strangers as well as friends. In person & on the internet. Thank you so much for this post.

  • Great and important post! One of the reasons I love ABM is because it is such a positive space that encourages so many people to be more creative in their everyday lives. You are doing great work.

    I speak out in my in-person life all the time but I rarely comment online. This post reminded me of the power of kindness in all areas of my life. Thank you!

  • Your kindness and positivity is inspiring. Thank you for opening up the vulnerable side- it is important for people to know the effect their words can have.

    Starting today! ❀️

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you for starting the morning off on such a positive note. We may not be able to completely eradicate bullying, but our actions can make a difference. Spread kindness!

  • Yes, yes and yes, I believe this is the way to live my life and am determined to do so to set an example for my daughter! It’s incredible how many of us have experienced such negativity in our lives, I do believe this the only way to combat it, a giant circle of positivity and kindness around the world! And if nothing else, those kind comments I’ll now take the time to post will hopefully make at least one person smile! Thank you ?

  • I find I have to remind myself to say a nice comment when I really like a post, instead of just looking and then moving on.

    So here I go – I’m making a difference too! Because I want to spread grace as God’s child.

  • Amen, sister! It’s great that you addressed this! My blog is only a few months old at this point, but we’ve already started getting some negativity, even from people we know in “real life,” not just hiding behind internet anonymity saying hurtful things.

    Great idea to simply keep it positive whenever you can! Especially if you’re thinking it, just leave a nice comment πŸ™‚

    -Molly
    http://www.modcircus.com/

  • The world is a little bit better (and brighter and better styled) because you’re in it. Thank you!

  • Yes! Thank you for taking a stand for all of us. I am new-ish to the cyber world but I’ve also been a victim of bullying growing up and everytime I post and open up, I also feel the dark cloud you described looming. Although it hasn’t happened (yet), I know how prevalent it is. So thank you for paving the way for us newbies, for encouraging women to stand up for one another, and also, for being beautiful inside and out and making the interwebs brighter (literally and figuratively). Thank you!

  • Sending light and kindness! Everyone knows they are so much stronger than the bitter opinion of a random stranger (who probably needs a hug too, but that’s a whole other bucket of fish) xxxxx

  • Thank you so much for sharing that TED talk. I want to be part of this cultural change of compassion. I also was bullied in school and I get panicky whenever I see someone from my school as an adult. I cannot begin to imagine what being attacked via the internet, media, and society felt like for Monica Lewinsky but I am not sure I would have been able to survive it. Internet hugs for everyone ❀️️

  • I can only imagine the amount of cyberbullying you guys get with such a popular and out-there business! I’m sorry it happens but you all are so adorable and seem so sweet.

    As a former journalist, I can 100% say that clicks totally DO matter. I believe in putting your money where your mouth is, and clicks are money, so if you have a problem with articles that bully people β€”Β whether they’re regular citizens but especially if they’re celebrities that are constantly being criticized β€” don’t read them! That’s the easiest thing you can do.

    Thanks for writing this article and I hope this sticks in some peoples minds!

    Katie
    http://www.freckleandfair.com

  • You are Beautiful!! Thank You for constantly being a positive place to go on the internet. You, Emma and the (ever growing and fabulous) Team have been a great thing in my life for the last 4 years, I can always count on you to bring a smile to my face, and let me know there are more goofy, crafty, fun people in the world like me.

  • Thank you for sharing Elsie! I too was bullied. As a child and as an adult in my business, and I have chosen kindness! It may not eradicate bullying, but it’s better for us and the world we live in. We must teach the next generation to be good digital citizens! Lead by example and choose kindness! ❀️

  • Great post! This reminded me of another TED talk by Jon Ronson on how online shaming ruins people’s lives. It really changed how I see things and how easy it is to lose compassion online.

    Thanks for writing about this, I love your call to action. πŸ™‚

  • Yes! Count me in!
    It’s so difficult, but negativity is not worth the attention…

  • Love your call to action. I was cyber bullied two years ago by a girl and her friends, who ironically called me a bully. Her attack post is still on her blog, where she demanded money for me to take it downand where she updated it to thank me for “sending her traffic” because if people googled my name, her post showedin search. Other people left awful comments. It hurts that people are so mean. Luckily, anyone who is attracted to the mean stuff she and her friends post online are not people I want to associate with anyways. I wouldn’t call that a silver lining but I guess it’s good that those negative nellies don’t like me. I don’t wanna deal with them either.

  • Such an important message. Thank you for taking the time to write this! Just when I think I couldn’t love ABM anymore than I already do, you write a post like this! I still have vivid memories of being bullied when I was younger, and it makes me so hesitant to blog and share my thoughts on the internet. It’s crazy what an impact it had. Thank you thank you thank you for sharing your words.

    Erica
    sweet-endeavors.com

  • Great post! I have learned that sometimes silence in itself is a form of bullying. I know I have spent time reaching out to my friends on social media and always make sure to be an active participant in their lives (by way of social media) and I hear nothing back. They love receiving the attention, but don’t care enough to give back.

  • Hey Elsie — I’ve loved your blog and following you on Instgram for years because of the beautiful content and well-written tutorials, but also because of the positive force you and Emma (and all of your writing staff) seem to carry. It’s so easy, as a reader, even as a long-time fan, to think, “Oh, they’re so big. They’re so popular! And it’s so cool to watch, but they don’t need to hear it from me personally.” But I’ve found in my own experiences in growing blogs and businesses and being liked and bullied, that it doesn’t matter how big you get–some people are nice, some people are mean–and we all need and appreciate the kind, personal comments and feedback that empower us to keep doing good. “In the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye can’t see,” but when we share, as you’ve shared here, it helps us all be a little more aware, a little more thoughtful, and a little more kind. Thanks for the heartfelt reminder.

  • I 100% agree with everything you’ve written! I remember stumbling across a website several months ago that was created for the sole purpose of bashing other bloggers (usually well-known bloggers like yourself). I was flabbergasted.

    I think it might also be important for fellow readers to not engage with cyberbullies. So often I see other commenters gang up on a cyberbully, and though I know why they do it, I don’t think it’s productive. We’re not going to change someone’s mind or heart by doing that, and we’re probably just cementing whatever ego problem they have. But maybe you have some thoughts on this, and think it’s helpful for other readers to come to the defense of the blogger/Instagrammer/etc? I’d be curious to know your thoughts, since you’re the one who has been bullied!

  • This was great πŸ™‚
    Thanks for opening up conversations & brightening the internet with your positivity.

  • Thank you for continuing to share your kindness, creativity, and positive spirit on your site. You are brave and a true role model. It is incredibly inspiring and refreshing to have a place to go online that feels so uplifting. Also, man I just loved that Ted talk! What a great way to start the day! I’m committed, and passing it on…<3

  • Earlier this year I made myself stop reading the comment sections on sites I followed because all it did was left me feeling negative and angry. Since then I have found I enjoy reading the blogs and sites I follow so much more! Especially when I am able to leave a little encouragement and see others do the same! I commit to start doing more of this with you! What a great idea :0)

  • thank you so much for your words! only a few people talk about this in public, but bullying is everywhere around us! it is such a shame! THANK YOU!

  • Hi Elsie,
    I’m so glad you posted this. I love your blog and your IG feed– you are a true role model and icon! I usually don’t read/post on the comment section, because it inevitably has something negative from cyber-bullies. However, about a week ago, the comments displayed on a photo you posted on IG as I was scrolling were really mean/untrue/unnecessary. I thought about “rallying” and posting back to them something equally immature (along the lines of “she’s rubber, you’re glue…” Hah!), but stopped myself and kept on scrolling. Anyway, over the next few days I kept thinking about it and felt the same as I did when I was a kid and didn’t stick up for someone for fear of confrontation, even though it would have been the right thing to do. So, I decided I would go back and reply– to you, not the mean commenters, and noticed you had deleted the entire post altogether. So, long story short, I admire you and your spirit– don’t let the negative peeps get you down! And in the words of my gal T Swift, haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate!!!! xoxo

  • This blog has been one of my daily reads for the last 5 years. I come back every day because I am incredibly inspired by you and the entire team. It blows my mind that you’ve had to deal with cyber bullying while promoting creativity. Thank you for sharing this post and focusing attention on a very ugly side of the internet. Sending a long distance hug from California and also a high five just for being awesome! πŸ˜€

  • Yes, yes and yes! Let the flood of kindness begin!

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and starting this call to positive action!

  • Wow, it’s a great speech… I’m sorry for those who suffer any kind of bulling, it’s cruel, and I’m sorry for your experience…
    Let’s try to make Internet a better place πŸ˜‰

  • This really struck a cord with me because I have been brutally bullied from elementary all the way through college. And even though it has been years (in some cases, decades) since it happened, it is still so fresh in my mind. Because of it, I have a hard time even having a thought of interacting in situations where I could cross paths with those people. It is THE reason why I didn’t go to my high school reunion. It has also caused me to decline invitations to see my fellow pledge class members from college. I have too many painful memories of being publicly shamed, bullied, and harassed. I have worked so hard to get past the shame and humiliation I endured each time. So to go back to those places almost feels like going back to the person who had been hurt. Instead of being able to walk with my head held high without an invisible sign reading “you are shamed for ___”, I go back to putting it on and feeling insignificant.

    I know one day, I need to conquer my fear and show that I am bigger than my bullying in the past. But, I don’t know how or when I will get there. At the very least, it helps to know others feel the same way, and I cannot tell you how much that means to me.

  • I was bullied as a kid. One of my friends in 3rd grade was too. They used to all scream “flat face, flat face!” At her as she got off the bus. It got so bad her parents sold their house to switch schools.
    Seventh grade, same thing for me, except people screamed “shit girl, shit girl!” At me bc it rhymed with the name of my street.
    Then in h.s. people labeled me w “ugly duckling syndrome” because I grew into my looks. The same guys that screamed hurtful things at me trying to ask for my number. Umm, hello, my looks didn’t make me stupid, I still remember what a jerk you are!
    Thanks for sharing this, Elsie. I admire you very much, and it floored me when I read about your experiences with negativity in Blog Life. I was like “what? But elsie is awesome!”

    To everyone else, consider your words and phrasing. Not only do you have the power to hurt someone long term, you also have the power to inspire them to greatness! Be that inspiration by breathing positivity into others lives, and watch how it breathes into yours too!

    I commit to kindness.

  • Keither Sutherland was interviewed by “the Observer” in the UK back in 2005 about text messaging, but I think it’s true about lots of social Media too:

    “People text message because they don’t want to deal with a response. The whole point of communication is that there are consequences for what you say. Technology can help us sidestep those consequences for a while”.

    I agree with KeitherKeither. In my opinion, people write or type mean things they would never say to someone’s face because they don’t have to deal with that persons reaction to it. cyber bullies would be a fascinating group to study psychologically, I wouldn’t be surprised if a common theme of low self esteem would feature amongst them. Just keep doing the great positive stuff that you are doing. You inspire lots of people every day, and that’s pretty darn great!

  • As I’ve gotten older and become a mom I have become SO careful with what and who I surround myself with how I treat others because I know my son is watching me all.the.time. My husband has been an avid gamer for years and plays a lot online and it shocks him how people talk to one another these days…it seems like these past few years it has gotten aggressively worse and I think this is true on all fronts of the online world. It seems like some people think just because they are behind a key board they aren’t really directly hurting or offending someone. Thank you for sharing and opening up, it’s def. something that has been on my mind and I do strongly believe that small simple actions make a HUGE difference so I’m with you. Kindness always.

  • Elsie, thanks for posting this. I have been reading the blog for years and this is one of the best posts the ABM team has done. Putting your deeply personal experiences into a blog is so meaningful. Thanks for taking that leap. I relate to what you wrote about bullying. So many people read this blog and what you’ve posted today can make a difference. We do have the power to make the world better. Thank you, THANK YOU!!!!!

  • This post hits home. Just last night my husband gasped aloud when he read that his favorite amateur sports writer for the Seahawk Forum announced he would no longer write his break down of each game because of the negative feedback he receives that is uneducated and hateful.

    I will commit to commenting more. And spreading love.
    I teach my children daily the golden rule and if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything. They will not go far in life with hate in their hearts.

  • Yes! This is so, so important and the more we can come together as an online community and actively encourage kindness the better the internet will be for everyone involved. Thank you for tackling such a tough topic.

  • I love this post. I was cyber bullied once so badly that I deleted my blog and stopped with social media for a long time. I recently re-started, but I am very cautious about what I post and how much of my personal life I share for fear of it happening again.

  • Well written Elsie. And I agree. We never take the time to write the positive stuff. Let’s start now! Thank you for all the hard work you and the abm team put in every day, to inspire and encourage the rest of us to do more of the things we “never have time to do”. Im a big fan, and will show it more often from now on.

    Love your work!
    Malin

  • I feel like I have so much to say but can’t really put it together eloquently, so I’ll just say this: you are awesome! I’m sorry for what you’ve experienced, especially since I think you guys at ABM are really just trying to make the world a more beautiful place in a million different ways. Thank you for what you do! And I’m definitely going to make more of an effort to make those positive comments that I have but don’t always post or even just say in real life. We need more kindness!

  • I always read and never comment until today. I think we need more positivity in our lives!! Thanks for the reminder!! Love your work!

  • Elsie! You have been such an incredible inspiration to me for so many years. I am so thankful for your energy and positivity! I choose kindness every day. You rock.

  • I was never bullied myself and I’m greatful for it (I know I’m lucky) and you know sometimes I watch something on youtube or read a blog post with which I don’t agree and sometimes I feel a mean thing coming to my head and I want to unload my angry comment but before I post anything, I always remind myself that if what I’m about to say is not constructive or nice and stems from a strong negative emotion, is it really worth it to share it and spread this angry feeling? It never is. I know that if I get a negative reply that’s angry at my point of view that I will feel bad if it’s mean. So why do it to someone else?

  • This is one of my go-to blogs when I’m sad, it always cheers me up! I guess I just never said it even though I’ve been a follower for many years. I commit to spreading the love!

  • I completely agree. Unfortunately I have witnessed it and it is not a good thing to witness at all. But I just try to surround myself with positive minded people in order to mute out any bullying. And I completely agree that we should all support and uplift one another.

  • This is so true! I have followed y’all for a few years now and read quite a few of your e-courses. I just launched my own blog on August 1 after reading your Blog Life and Blog Love e-courses. I think I watched your bonus video on negativity a few times. It’s difficult putting yourself out there, but it’s more important not to let that stop you from doing what you want or pursuing your goals.

    “If you can’t handle being talked about then you aren’t ready for success.” -Oprah

    http://heypooker.com/2015/08/3-steps-to-cultivating-your-own-joy/

  • I’m with you Elsie! Thank you so much for being vulnerable, I’m so sorry that you’ve had so much experience with bullying. I love the call/challenge to keep commenting and putting positivity out there! I’m going to commit right now to taking the time to put my positive thoughts out there.

  • I’m totally in!
    When I read comments about really any topic and see how people attack each other, all I can do is feel bad for them and hope one day they realize that being mean is never the answer.
    I wanna share with you something I’ve learned and realized… every single mean, cruel, nasty thing a person says to you (or to anyone), they are not saying it to you, everything people say (nice things included) are totally about them, the concept they have about THEM, and it speaks entirely about them, it’s not really about you, it’s never about the other person… and that’s a good thing πŸ™‚ Do never, ever let it affect you.
    I really think we can shield ourselves by understanding this, negativity is part of the world but it doesn’t have to be part of our lives.
    Hope this helps a little bit and you know you are lucky to have what you deserve, success, a great family, cool friends, a super cool job and something bullies don’t have HAPPINESS!!! πŸ˜€

  • Kudos to you for bringing attention to such a tough subject. I am sharing your message with family and friends.

  • Bravo to you for both addressing this issue and proposing a solution- an extremely good one at that! I see ugly comments made all the time on Instagram, so much so that I have actually stopped following some accounts that I really liked because they post beautiful pictures that shouldn’t but nonetheless result in heated and ugly exchanges in the comment sections. Cyber bullying can be be in some ways more destructive because the bully can hide behind their screen, and pointing out their offenses only incites them more. You are so right, the only way to really deal with this kind of bullying is not to take their bait in the first place, don’t address them, and make sure the kind comments outnumber the negative ones by adding positive ones.

    I was bullied quite a bit growing up too. I guess the sensitivity to it never really goes away.

  • You’re amazing, Elsie! There’s an army of us here online who have your back. Kindness starting today!

  • I was kinda bullied too when I was a kid, in school and high school. If I learnt something about it is that [some] people are just mean. They are happy if they see you fail and they will look for the lamest excuse to mess with you, usually because of jealousy. I learnt that they are not worth my time to answer to their childish comments or for me to get crazy mad/sad. If they can’t get over themselves and accept that everyone is different and that if you don’t like something or someone it’s better to just go in another direction, is not our problem. I stopped caring about what that kind of people had to say a long time ago.

    I’m just starting to follow you, but no one deserves nasty comments. And it seems easier to just be mean on the internet just because they are behind a screen.

    Be happy.

  • I love this TED talk! It made a huge impact on me, too. I’m always completely floored by the choices some people make when posing comments online. Recently I saw a CUTE vlog from Sam + Nia where the husband reveals to his wife she is pregnant. A week or two later, they vlogged about how they had a miscarriage. The response was horrendous–people saying they deserved the miscarriage for telling people too soon, telling people publicaly, people saying it was a publicity stunt because her tears looked insincere and so they must be faking it. Gosh, it was awful. My heart broke for them, first for the miscarriage and then for the insult-to-injury backlash from sad and broken ans hateful people.

    It scares me that that is where we are in society, and I am always committed to doing my part to combat that negative downward spiral!

    Keep up your GOOD work. You always cheer me up!

  • IΒ΄m in! great post, by the way. never really thought about standing up against negativity online…I usually just hide away from it and from exposing myself (which is terribly boring and scary). happy to join in
    πŸ˜€

  • I’m in, Elsie!
    You (and the ABM team) are my greatest inspiration every day. Negative feedback is a part of puting something out there, where everyone can see it, but being proud of that, and knowing you do the best job (because you do!) is like an eraser for all that cyber negativity.
    Wright now I’m going to give some positive feedback to all the bloggers that I read, and love, and that I’m, sometimes, too busy to encourage.

  • i guess I just don’t understand cyber-bullying. I personally would never say anything online that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face. Being anonymous behind a screen and keyboard does not excuse bad behavior! Kudos to all of you who never let someone else’s bad manners destroy your dream!

  • I’ve been following you for a while and let me just say I adore you and your work. It is beautiful, whimsical and fun just like you seem to be. While I’ve never considered myself vary creative this blog has inspired me to try out a few things here and there and if I do say so I don’t think they’ve turned out half bad. Keep on doing what you’re doing. Great post. Stay beautiful.

  • Thank you for posting this! There is so much negativity online and it’s so nice to see someone who is encouraging people to show kindness. I think this needs to be seen in real life, not just the internet as well!

    I am in the process of starting my own blog and the negativity is something that I’ve worried about. It’s still really new so I haven’t experienced it yet but I’ll go back to this post if it does happen.

  • In my experience, the best thing for people who make things for public consumption or who are in the public eye (or even those who aren’t) is to find a good balance between a thick skin and openness. I think that sometimes criticism manifests itself as bullying when it should (or could) be constructive.

    Being really sure of yourself just helps to absorb the cheap and pointless jabs. But you can also make it positive by looking to see if there is anything to be gained from hurtful words in order improve your work in the future. That’s what I do anyway!

  • Elsie, the number one quality that makes me return to your blog everday os your positive approach to life. Your kindness. Your smile. Your enthusiasm. You and Emma are role models. <3

  • GREAT, great post!! Cyber bullying is terrible and needs to stop. My mother taught me “if you dont have something nice to say, dont say it at all.” Terrible that other people don’t live with that in mind.

  • You are awesome, thanks for sharing this and all the other goodness!!

  • I was recently listening to the The Lively Show podcast with the guest, Brooke Castillo. She said something that speaks to the topic of this post. In a nutshell, she said that anything that others say about you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. They are experiencing what you bring to the table through their own worldview and character. When that is spewed back to you as something hateful, it’s because of their life experiences and not in any way a reflection on you. It hurts to read/hear nasty comments, but thankfully there are usually supporters to rally around you and drown out the noise.
    That being said – I’m a huge fan and consistently inspired by A Beautiful Mess. Poopoo the haters.

  • Elsie- It is refreshing to see you step out of the ABM comfort zone and address something so important. I know there are people out there saying harsh things about you and it is truly shocking. I am so sorry you have to deal with that, and I want to thank you for putting yourself out there anyway. You opening up about this is just as beautiful and inspiring as all of the projects you create.
    I have watched this TED Talk before and I was so impressed with how grounded and articulate Monica is and happy for her that she was able to create something positive out of such a negative time in her life. Seeing her speak is very humanizing- she is not a headline, she is a real person! The more we all collectively humanize the internet, the better!

  • It’s so true that people don’t often take the time to say nice things, but they won’t think twice about a complaint or cruel comment. So much of the time I hope that there’s no real malice behind it, it’s the naive attitude that ‘it doesn’t really count’ because you’re not saying to someone’s face. Either way I love the idea of being more vocal (or type-al?!) about the good, the beautiful and the positive.

    I love what you and your team do, it always brightens up my day and gives me inspiration!

    With love,

    Holly

    hollylikestocook.com

  • Thanks for speaking up about this important issue Elsie. I completely agree with what you’ve said and watched the video. Monica is awesome! I think I now better understand your mantra Good Vibes Only! I’m grateful that although you’ve had this black cloud in the background of your on line life, that you still keep on keeping on and share all your beautiful ideas and photos with those of us who aspire to live in beauty.

    I hope you don’t mind if I bring something to your attention – the ad at the very top of your blog is circulating a video of ( I think) Oprah Winfrey with words that suggest a scandal of some kind, and of course we can click through to read all about it. I’m hoping you understand that I feel as a friend would in suggesting that perhaps you would like to change that so as to not have what appears to be a contradiction of sorts.

  • Hey, I’m one hundred percent in! So for starter, thank you for a good job you’re doing making our world more beautiful (and messy ofc;) place! I’m a looong time reader (don’t even remember, more than 2 years for sure) and I FINALLY took time to comment for the 1st time and say it – thank you!

    Love!

  • I would add to that idea with not supporting the celebrity gossip business by not purchasing those magazines or watching tmz.
    I would encourage you to be open to constructive critism though, rather than surrounding yourself with a hoard of young cheerleader types, which is the general audience of this and other youth lifestyle blogs. For example, when Cup of Jo posted something about Woody Allen and commenters responded unfavorably because of his history, they removed the post. I left a comment yesterday about being more environmentally conscious in your business decisions. That comment wasn’t published. I would hope you would see that as constructive critism and not bullying.

  • This is exactly what spurred me to start my blog a few months ago. The Internet can be used for such good- spreading inspiration in whatever form- but so often it is hijacked by a very loud minority who, for the most part, are just jealous and/or insecure. I pledge to stand up and shout about the good things! Thanks for encouraging others to be a bit nicer!!

  • Hey Nicole,

    I totally agree about the gossip magazines.

    Sorry your comment wasn’t approved yesterday. That was my decision. It wasn’t because I thought it was bullying (at all) though. I am always trying to be open to constructive criticism and I would never want anyone to think that I can’t tell the difference between that and bullying. There is a very big difference.

    Regarding A Cup Of Jo (I would never speak for her situation) I have often deleted posts (mostly on Instagram) when a lot of negativity starts to happen. For example the other night I was heading to dinner with my husband and I saw someone accusing me of something (untrue, but it was still causing a lot of other people to defend me and get upset) so I just went ahead and deleted the whole post so that I didn’t have to think about it during dinner. It was a statement or an admission of guilt- it was just that I didn’t have time to deal with it at the moment. And in blogging sometimes you get a lot of strong opinions (constructive and otherwise along with the bad stuff and it’s impossible to always sort it out perfectly. Sometimes it’s just not worth the time it takes to respond, defend etc because there are only so many hours in the day. I hope that makes sense. Just a perspective! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for reading. πŸ™‚ Elsie

  • I agree with you so much. Let’s all just be nice to each other! I’m so sorry you’ve been bullied. It is so not cool, and you deserve better.

    I first heard this Theodore Roosevelt quote from Brene Browne in an interview:

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming…”

    Keep fighting in the arena. You are doing the real work πŸ™‚
    xx Lane

  • Thank you, Elsie (and all of the other commenters!). This is a very empowering post. Blogging is something I’ve wanted to try for a long time, but I’ve been fearful of opening myself up to online negativity and harassment and haven’t moved my blog ideas past the planning stages. Thank you for the encouragement to brave the negativity and create content and to spread kindness as a better reader. I usually don’t comment on posts because I feel I have nothing unique to add/say beyond what other commenters have already said. You have inspired me to leave more positive comments! So many blog comments are extreme reactions (positive and negative), while the majority of any blog’s readership quietly enjoys the posts without commenting. This creates a lopsided gauge of reader reactions for the blogger and can give the negative comments more weight. Leaving positive comments, even short and simple ones, helps to show the blogger how well their blog is actually received and to dilute the negativity. Spread love and kindness!

  • Thank you for posting this. I was bullied throughout high school, and it can still rock me to my core today when I encounter the main person who did it. My only saving grace through school was having my younger sister, who is a much stronger person than I, continuously stand up for me to people she’d hear talking about me. I always try to only put nice things out in to the world, and agree that if more people just said those nice thoughts (and maybe thought twice before saying the mean ones), the world would be a happier place. xoxo

  • I recently also ran into someone who bullied me throughout elementary school. I was at an antique festival and when I saw her, I froze. There was the girl that made me hate going to school and eat my lunch in the library for years. I turned around and tried to walk away but instead ran into a chandelier that was on the floor and tripped and I felt ten years old again.

    There is no room or time for making anyone feel like they are less than they are and over the years I’ve learned that haters are usually just fans with frowns. Thank you for the lovely post, Elsie, and keeping us inspired and empowered for years.

  • Here here. I have been a victim on online bullying from someone pretty popular and well known in creative circles… I honestly don’t hv much nice to say about this person. She’s fake, she’s sweet as pie to some and mean and cruel and vindictive to others. Ugh. I hv seen her ugly side personally and others I’ve told can hardly believe it.. Yes she’s really that awful and ugly and mean. I choose to walk away fr that kind of negativity and childish behavior. I surround myself and my life with good things. I don’t believe in trying to fight a bully. Sometimes, it’s hard to reason or get through to crazy. SO I walk away and don’t allow her or him for one minute long to affect any part of my life negatively.. so far, this has worked for me. My life. My choices.

  • Thanks for sharing this. I’ve never thought about that a comment of mine could help someone (no matter if it is a friend or a stranger). Most of the time I thought that no one would ever read it or listen to me, but now I know I should take these one to two minutes a week or maybe a day to show compassion.
    Thank you Elsie Larson for not surrender and beeing who you are. I love reading your thoughts (as well as the ones of Emma, Laura and all of your friends around) and sometimes they help me to get along in times of doubt and disbelief.

  • Every once in a while, I read one of your posts EXACTLY when I’m going through something similar. How interesting!

    I grew up being bullied — like lots of girls, I imagine. Sadly, it was always considered normal, shrugged off with a “kids are kids” attitude from pretty much the whole community. I think that this dangerous mentality is still present to an extent, especially about young people.

    But what surprised me, very recently, was to realize that I’m being bullied at work. Now. As an adult. In a place of business. In front of coworkers, managers, and clients. It has been going on in different, subtle ways for almost a year, and I only JUST defined it with the word “bullying” this past week. I know for some this won’t sound surprising at all, but it sure has knocked me off my feet to realize that people can do this to each other. And get away with it.

    I’m still not sure what to do about it, but reading this and listening to that awesome TED talk was really helpful. I’ll admit, it’s hard for me to feel compassion toward this guy who is being so awful to me and other women at work, but it’s so important to keep in mind always… even when someone won’t return the decency. Thank you for being so open and honest! I pledge kindness!

  • I love this Elsie, thanks for your honesty and the great encouragement. Online, I try to live by “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” So I am totally in on this.

  • I have only been following you for a short while but in that small amount of time I’ve come to see that your are one of the sweetest people on the internet and I can’t wrap my head around anyone saying anything negative about you or the work you put on the internet. It makes me sad. Today for you and all the others being bullied on the internet I choose kindness.

  • This is my favourite post of yours ever. You’re wonderful humans.

    Maybelline Classic Volume Mascara Review (Before + After)

  • I love that you guys are addressing this as well! Urban Bush Babes just posted a great article on cyberbullying as well. It addresses all of that hate that Robert Patterson’s fiance is receiving on Instagram and Twitter. It’s crazy that the old saying “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all” no longer applies when a person is able to hide behind a computer screen. Best wishes!

  • I was also bullied as a child and you’re right, it does still sting. One of my bullies was recently complaining about her daughter being bullied and I wanted so badly to stand up for myself and say, “You did this to me for years and now you think it’s wrong. You’re right. It IS wrong.” But I couldn’t do it.

    I try very hard to “post only the positive”. That doesn’t mean that I don’t post about a bad day, but instead means that if I can’t say something nice, I don’t say anything at all. I always thought that was enough. But it isn’t. I now vow to be the positive when someone is getting bullied.

  • Elsie! Thank you so much for writing this! It’s scary to think about how teenagers these days can be bullied both at school and on social media. While I’m well out of highschool I’ve chosen to unfollow anyone who posts hurtful images (some people I followed posted candid images of strangers making fun of their clothes etc. and that’s totally not funny!!) Small things like that I think make a difference but I would love to start standing up for those who are being bullied. I so appreciate you stepping up because so many people look up to you. I bet you just helped hundreds of young girls who are being bullied and want to aspire to be as successful as you are. You’ve also inspired a lot of us to make a difference. Go girl!! <333

  • Thank you for this. Cyberbullying is the number one reason that I haven’t started my blog yet, even though I’ve been wanting to for quite a while. I’m worried about what random trolls will do to my self-esteem. You are so brave to put yourself out there day after day even when you receive such hateful feedback. Thanks for being so inspiring (in the creative realm and as a successful, independent woman!)

  • I read this in the morning and wanted to comment then but had a jam-packed day with the kids. I really enjoyed Monica Lewinsky’s speech and this post. I think it’s good to bring awareness to cyberbullying or any type of bullying, for that matter. It’s really bad on the internet, even for adults.

    About a year ago, I deleted all of my social media networks. One of the worst places for bullying is facebook. As far as blogging goes, I’ve always had good experiences with people. Sometimes opinions differ but overall people have been really nice and helpful.

    Some people such as, Gala Darling, have closed their comments in order to shut down any negativity. Maybe that would work for you, I’m not sure. Anytime I’ve been on here, for the most part, your readers seem really supportive of you, as well as loyal. You have a lot of young girls and women that look up to you and are inspired by you. I say put your energy and focus into that and let the hater’s hate. We still love you πŸ™‚

  • You Elsie have always been an inspiration and a leader. Good for you for standing up and also for not letting them take anything from you. Stay strong!!! There are a lot of us who have your back!

  • I was to bullyed as a child and teenager. And I am still nerves everytime I go to my home town to see my parentes. Especially if we go the the store or somewere were I risk meeting people from my childhood. I am know 34 years old.
    Im happy to see how far you have come. Its very inspiering! I pretty much followed your blog from the start.
    So lets make make the internet a happier and kinder place. If we dont, how can the little ones ever learn.
    If the silent masses speak up and make a kind statment , the bults will drown in the cyber sea! πŸ™‚

  • I’m in, sister! Fear drives people to criticize & judge, and the anonymity of the internet makes it easy for sad, angry people to project their own insecurities and disappointments onto others. I have always practiced your first two suggestions without fail – I ONLY post positive and NEVER click on the negative – but I need to embrace your third call to action. STAND UP. Consider it done. I’m on board!!! xo h

  • Love this post & love the blog/company/everything ABM has become. Keep up the great work and shake shake shake it off πŸ™‚

  • I recently had someone comment on a blog post that my baby was “f***ing ugly” and that I should be embarrassed to post photos of her face online. My first reaction was quite honestly laughter. I can’t image the type of person who trolls blogs at 8am looking for children to insult (they had to get into my archives to find the post they commented on), and I was shocked that in 2015β€” when bullying is so publicly frowned uponβ€” that anyone would take time out of their day for the sole purpose of letting me know how unattractive they find my kid. I’m really not sure what the actual intent or motivation was… so I can only assume they want me to disown my children if they don’t look cute enough.

    Thanks for the post. It’s good to remember that everyone who puts themselves out there deals with people who hide meanness behind anonymity. We can’t control the mean ones, only how we let them affect us. I choose to laugh.

  • What an amazing community! Starting to spread kindness right along with you, ABM.

  • Yes! Yes! YES!!!! Count me in as well!!! This has always been something that is pressed heavily on my heart and it is so encouraging to see everyone else here feels the same way! You go, Elsie!!!! xoxo

  • Thanks for posting, Elsie!

    Right now in my life I’ve been learning that receiving negativity and criticism is part of being a leader. And it’s often a sign that you’re really doing something in your life! It’s nice to hear others are in the struggle too, that we’re not alone, and we can stay positive and confident together!

    I’ve been reading your blog for over 5 years and am always impressed with the way you handle yourself. You’re really tasteful in the way you address the sticky issues and it always shows good character. Thanks for being open about your life! It helps πŸ™‚ Cheers to choosing kindness!

  • I just listened to Monica Lewinsky’s Ted Talk yesterday, and was so inspired! What a positive & wise woman she is. I know so many of us have similar stories to yours, Elsie, and am so happy to see people working to raise people up, instead of putting them down. Thanks for posting this!

  • It’s so important to lift each other up and not bring each other down. Cyberbullying has taken too many lives for it to be brushed off as something to not take seriously — I absolutely hate when people say, “Just turn off the computer.” It’s not that easy. Love this post.

  • I am 47 years old and I have been so inspired by you for years (I found you years ago through scrapbooking). I have never understood why people want to be so mean to other people. I am so sorry it has happened to you. I think the main thing it comes from is jealously. I would rather lift other women up than bring them down. Thank God for my family and true friends, because we all do that for each other. Also, when you are in your mid-thirties I think something just clicks and you just don’t care about that stuff anymore. I hope that happens for you because you deserve all the happiness in the world and also, WELCOME TO NASHVILLE! πŸ™‚

  • I’m committed πŸ™‚ thanks for posting this – making conversation about cultural shifts is so important – way to go!

  • I completely agree. Thank you, Elsie! Although I’m sure constructive criticism has its own place too, I am always shocked by how many people seem to have never heard from their mothers, ‘If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.’

  • Having been bullied pretty much all my childhood for one reason or another, I completely understand where you are coming from with this! I think that is partly why I tried to make sure that none of my words or actions hurt others because I knew how badly it could make me feel to be picked out for someone else’s cruelty. And I also understand that feeling of still being intimidated to an extent when meeting someone who formerly bullied you again because I’ve been there myself. Today, I do my best to ensure that what I say comes from a place of kindness and understanding because we are all human beings and words can hurt more than most people realize. Anyone who feels the need to be rude or cruel to someone else, obviously has issues they need to work on themselves.

  • I am giving you the biggest internet hug ever!!
    Thank you for this post, it’s a really hard thing to talk about and you addressed it really well.

  • I also wanted to say, my little sister (she passed away 5 years ago), anyway she ALWAYS called when she had good service somewhere. From Burger King to the nicest restaurants or any business she was in. I started doing that and it is so wonderful to hear how excited the managers get when you tell them, they are so appreciative to be receiving good comments instead of all the negativity they usually hear.

  • People like to hide behind the keyboard now. I ignored the girls in school that were mean, so I never considered myself bullied. You are the sweetest Elsie! Don’t let them get you down!

  • I’m in! I’m guilty of posting negative things (of and about myself) and I know I need to work on that. I guess I’m kind of a self-bully. Luckily I don’t see many negative things about others, but I do see posts that could potentially cause hurt. I steer clear of those. Anyway, I’m all for more positive steps and interactions! Thanks Elsie! Btw, I think you’d have been so cool as a kid! I remember you wrote somewhere that you had a teepee and either green carpet or astroturf in your room and I loved that! I love that you march to the beat of your own handmade/diy/thrifted/upcycled drum! You inspire me!

  • I’ve never left a comment before but I felt a need to respond to your article. There is too much negativity on the Internet and far too much of women being unkind to other women without reason.
    I admire your courage for opening this discussion and hope that we all learn something from it.

  • You are SO right, I will definetely start today.
    Thank you for the reminder. I love your blog btw, so inspiring!
    xxx

  • I have been bullied and still am bullied. Good to know that people actually do know and it sadly happens to others.

  • I love the internet so much but it can be a scary negative place too. Thank you so much for always spreading so much kindness and positivity. You guys make the internet a better place! Xx

  • Thank you for writing this. You put so much kindness out into the world and that will ALWAYS triumph over bullying. You’re making this world a better place. I need to watch that TED talk *puts headphones in and sits down with a snack*

    -Kaitlyn πŸ™‚

  • Such a great reminder! As a teacher I try to incorporate ‘Choose Kindness’ into my students’ daily lives. As an adult, I sometimes forget what it feels like to be bullied as a student, even having had my own experiences. Here’s to adding to all of the already existing kindness-choosers!

  • I am already a big fan of your blog, but I think this is my favorite post ever. Not only do I agree with you 100%, I can see the kindness that is Elsie in every word. I don’t know you, but in a strange way I do. You are the type of person that can light up a room with your presence and make a hard situation seem possible. Keep up the great work!

  • I was bullied in elementary school and then again in college (small school). I cannot tell you the irreparable damage it has done to me. I still cry when I think about it too much. I have tried to teach my kids to not bully, but god, it’s so hard these days to shelter them from it.

  • Amen! I work in customer service, and it’s opened my eyes to how powerful kindness can be! I’m sure to write companies when I see employees go above and beyond, and I always write something positive on every receipt I leave at a restaurant. It’s free and freeing to be genuine and nice. Little actions matter tremendously!

    I think you’ll like one of my favorite quotes: β€œShall we make a new rule of life from tonight: always try to be a little kinder than is necessary?” J.M. Barrie

    Thanks for this post πŸ™‚

  • We need to keep talking about cyberbullying and we need to keep saying “this is not okay.” We need to exercise girl power. There’s room for all of us to be great, and if we stick together, make we can make a dent in the haters.

  • The world always needs more kindness. I’m with you. Thanks for writing about this!

  • Oddly enough, the best rule I’ve ever learned I learned from Thumper. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all. I mean, a cartoon rabbit taught me how to live a great life. I was also bullied. I was super nerdy, moved a lot and had a hard time socializing with kids my own age and on top of all of that I was full grown by 7th grade which meant I was heads above the other kids. All I know is, I learned how not to be by being around those kids. I try to be nice to everyone and have good manners which really goes a long way. The problem with the internet is that it’s a lot easier to say stuff when no one can see your face. Just keep thinking, what kind of life does that person lead if they feel the need to be cruel to strangers. It’s probably not very pleasant.

  • I watched that Ted Talk with Monica after one of my professors told me about it and I absolutely LOVED it. Since that scenario predates my birth, I definitely had to share it with my parents who still held negative opinions of her!

  • Elsie, I have read your blog for years now and utterly adore you, your sister, your creativity, your projects and your plans. I feel as fondly towards you as I do my dear friends daughters who are young adults near your age. Thank you for having the bravery to share your life, your ideas and your voice with the world at large. You’re awesome!

  • Thank you for addressing this topic in such a positive way! I’ve found that many bloggers who attempt to bring up this topic just end up complaining. While I don’t blame them I admire the way you and Monica both bravely spoke your truth and encouraged others to be positive as well.

  • This world would be a much nicer place if we were all kind to one another and helped each other out. It’s really not that hard. I agree with everything you said in this post. Kindness matters.

  • Totally in! My sisters and I have all been bullied and it is super tough! This is such an amazing message! πŸ™‚

  • I have a lifestyle and multicultural family blog. I can’t tell you how many times I dealt with bullies that have a problem with either me being a foreigner living in India, me being a foreigner married to an Indian guy, or us having a child. There are also all those that think I have an indulgent life.
    This kind of cyber bullying hurts indeed. After a few years and a great support system from other bloggers in the same niche facing the same abuse it doesn’t hurt me as much. I pretty much came to the conclusion that cyber bullies are sad little persons who feel they can only exist through hurting people whose lives they wish they had for themselves.

    I of course also dealt with ignoramus who said it was my fault being bullied online, simply because…I own a blog…yeah right!

  • I agree 100% with everything you have said. It’s sad that people choose to continue to bully others to make themselves feel good. When, in reality, it makes them look bad. Some people won’t change, but we can stay kind and positive. Great post!
    Unique Geek

  • Too often it is the negative emotion that gets people acting. Thank you for sharing! I hope to never forget that there are real people on the other end of the computer screens and that even what you say online has consequences. I have never gone out of my way to make negative comments, but I will try to make more positive, encouraging ones in the future. So here is one to start:

    My friends and I have read your blog since the very beginning of A Beautiful Mess, before either of you were married, back before you even ran your shop. If I only have time to check one blog or thing un-work-related it is your blog! We enjoy reading it because you are so relatable and remind us… of us! It is always inspiring, encouraging and cute. Thanks for always remaining positive and giving us something beautiful to look at every day. πŸ™‚

    <3

  • Almost everyone I know has been bullied online, including myself, and it’s something that stays with you for the rest of your life. I will always choose kindness! xx

  • Brave and generous message–thanks. I’m just now reading Brene Brown’s book “I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t),” about shame and shame resilience.

  • Yes! I’ve been lucky enough to find a very positive corner of the internet, but the negativity online amazes me. I’m always a little sad when negativity is countered with more negativity, so I’ve made it a practice, like you said, to leave a kind comment when someone appears to be receive unkind or insensitive comments. I never relate my comments to the negative ones, I simple write something genuine and encouraging.
    I hope we’ll make the internet a better place together! πŸ™‚
    -Lauren
    http://www.musingsofaflowerchild.com/

  • This is such an important topic we need to discuss more! I think a must do for all bloggers is to moderate their comments. You don’t want to give a bully that power to see their mean comment go on live. I personally can’t understand bullying and all those mean things people say to each other. If you don’t have anything nice to say, then be quiet.

  • I read the blogs i follow through a rss feader so i rarely click through to comment. But i had too. This is so important. I was bullied heavily as a child and when i see it online from adults it just astounds me. Why anyone takes the time to WRITE hurtful and unnessecary words, i cant understand. There are so many aspects about A Beautiful Mess thats are positive and empowering. There is no excuse for bullying. Intimidation is not an excuse. Jealousy is not an excuse. I would like to think that if someone disagreed with or didnt connect with a certain blog/blogger/article, that they would have the common sense to just stop reading. Walk away. But i guess not. Thisnpost is wonderful, and i will take the time now to write positive comments on posts, to help drown out the negative.

  • Elsie, thank you for highlighting this. I can totally understand the need to not give bullying any attention but fighting it with kindness and positivity is definitely the way! I’ve followed your blogging for years, since back to your Blogger site to today and through all that time I’ve told lots of other people about your great work. I often find myself saying to my husband “I’m so impressed with those girls!” but I’ve never told you. Seems so silly now! So, here I am spreading the love, phasing out the bullies. Much respect to you and the whole ABM team xx

  • I’ve followed your blog for quite a long time Elsie, and have always admired you for your originality and ability to put yourself out there unflinchingly. I’m so sorry that you have to go through this. And that things haven’t been as rosy as they appear (they never are, are they?) I know what it’s like to be bullied and it’s the worst. When I was a kid my mom always told me to just ignore it and it would go away. Sometimes that would work, sometimes not. As an adult I find that at times it can be harder to deal with because it seems more out of the blue and completely random…you just feel completely blindsided. Not to mention I expect better behaviour from grown adults… If it helps, I’m rooting for you and I’m sending positive vibes your way. I’m one of those who will read a post and think something nice and then move on without posting. Will make more of an effort to post those kind thoughts. πŸ™‚ We need to uplift each other!

  • Loved the TED talk, thanks for sharing! And yes!, yes!, yes! to everything you say in this post!

  • I can’t believe anyone could say anything negative about anyone at A Beautiful Mess. I think all of you are wonderful and perfect! I always use you guys as an example to my 24 year old daughters.You are beautiful, kind, artistic, and most of all Successful!!! As a teacher, I see this going on even at a young age. I always try to put a stop to it. Yes, I will start today, to commit to be kind on the internet and in my life! Again, ABM is awesome because you are changing the world!!!

  • People can only give what they have. Those nasty comments belong to them, not to you.
    They show how bitter their hearts are so they need our compassion, not the other way around!

  • Well said! I watched the TED talk, and it was amazing. I am committing right now, today.

  • thank you for this. I will click less on trash and offer more kind comments.

  • Brave post, Elsie. And an important one, coming from you. Let’s hope the ‘kindness’ idea catches on….people can be so nasty and, as you say, the wounds hurt even years after the events. Kindness can’t stop those wounds itching and hurting but it could, if wielded in large quantities, make the nastiness even more unacceptable. Great post. Thank you, beautiful brave you.

  • Absolutamente de acuerdo !
    La bondad es el camino, es importante poner nuestro granito de arena para lograr un mundo mejor.

  • Thank you for this, Elsie – it’s so important to say!! i always try to be kind in everything I do, but I hardly ever leave comments online, even if I really like somethin. From now on I pledge to leave more positive comments to let bloggers and friends know that I appreciate them πŸ™‚

  • Well said. Bullying in any form is wrong. I have been blessed and encouraged by all the bloggers I have come across in my first year as a blogger. Two things – firstly – we don’t have to voice our opinion everytime we disagree with something and write negative stuff. Secondly – my Mum always taught me that if I didn’t have anything nice to say to somebody it was better to say nothing. I am so sorry you have experienced bullying in your life as an adult as well as whilst you were a child. I have always felt sorry for bullies – they clearly need to put others down in order to make themselves feel/look better. Sad really. Especially as others get hurt in the process. I hope from now on you experience love, kindness, acceptance and encouragement. Sammie http://www.feastingisfun.com

  • I have never understood how people can post such scathing comments. Regardless, their posts are a reflection of their hearts, not a reflection of you. Sometimes I wonder if women are their own worst enemies; seems like in the blogosphere and on social media, women are so quick to critique each other in non-constructive, flippant ways. I hope we as women can band together to start a movement of online positivity, focusing on building each other up. I mean, why not?? Thank you for your honest post, and your wonderful blog. My best to you all!

  • Thank you so much for this post, Elsie! And what an amazing speech from Monica Lewinsky. I wholeheartedly agree that we can outshine negativity with kindness. πŸ™‚

  • Such an important post. Gonna spread positive comments around like confetti:)

  • Dear Elsie and Emma,

    Never ever worry about negative comments. What you two are doing is incredible. I am a 47 year old mother of two who lives in London and I read your blog most days so yes, I’d say you are reaching out to a wide and varied audience. You are both full of life and inspiration and spark and creativity and I find myself feeling jealous that you have such lovely lives and husbands and jobs that you love at such a young age. Of course I know everything isn’t as easy as you make it look but I really want to say thank you. Never listen to the negative comments or cyber bullying – there will always be jealous people sitting at home on their sofas making no effort with their own lives and typing nasty comments into the ether. Whenever you read a negative comment go and focus on your blog statistics and remember how many people absolutely love what you do.

    You will never please everyone, but you are bringing joy to so many!

    Long may the beautiful mess continue and good luck in your new homes!

  • Elsie, you are fantastic. I love your work- it has been so fun to watch your business and art aesthetic evolve over the past 5+ years (yes, I’ve been following your blog for that long!) I choose kindness. : )

  • Elsie, I so agree about spreading kindness. And I don’t think anyone can say they haven’t been bullied verbally. I was verbally and physically abused by my first husband; and as an art teacher, not by my students, but by parents. It surprises me what comes out of people’s mouth and hearts. I do my best to make sure my words encourage,not discourage.

    I was just looking up something about one of my favorite bloggers and I found more than I cared to; being some of the mean and hateful things people post. It literally brought me to tears. Even though I did not post the words I read I felt this need to apologize to this blogger and let her know that she is loved and the cruel words were probably from some one with a damaged heart..

    I believe one of the best things we can do is to not fuel the fire – like you wrote; do not bring attention to these sites or the cruel words these people post.

    Love and hugs and carry on’

  • I recently started blogging and while part of me obviously wants to reach people and share with them (that’s kind of the point)…there’s definitely a part of me that is scared of readers for fear of the negative comments I will receive!

    Thanks for the great post.

  • There’s a book by Jon Ronson called ‘so you’ve been publicly shamed’ which deals with a similar topic to Monica’s TED talk. It’s funny and really readable, but also quite thought provoking. I really recommend it.

    I know a lot of people participating in online negativity say, ‘it’s not bullying, it’s just healthy criticism’.
    My barometer is to think about a real life situation, like talking about a colleague in the staff room at work. If I said ‘I think she is lazy and doesn’t pull her weight’, that could be a legit criticism. But if I spent my break every day picking apart what she wore/said/did that day, that’s just plain old bitching. & if I did it knowing she could overhear, and that it really upset her, then yes, that would be bullying. Xx

  • Thank you for speaking up on this important issue and for sharing this incredible TED Talk. I am deeply sorry for the pain you have experienced in your on life as a result of bullying. It’s just not right. As a mom of three young kids (10, 7, and 4), I will confess I live with some fear about what the future may hold for each of them online. That fear has existed for some time, but it became real two years ago when I started blogging. The attack we experienced was small in the grand scheme of things, but it sent the red flag up regarding the potential for cyber bullying in a tangible way that was very real for our family. (When my sister had a baby, our 8 year old daughter painted the newborn a watercolor of a tree by the water and included a Bible verse from the Psalms that was wrought with typos. My sister shared it on Twitter, and a grown adult lashed out in response over the fact that our daughter spelled so poorly.) I was stunned. And I was perplexed and disappointed for the fact that the attack came from an adult. Seriously? How have we gotten here? To that place where it’s OK for an adult to attack a child? For anything? It makes me very sad. And concerned. So you have my support. I will be kind online and will encourage our readers to go out of their way to do the same. May we all make a difference together with kindness together. Many blessings to you!

  • Wow, thank you for writing this!
    I am also a blogger and can totally relate!

    Here is to spreading kindness.

    You guys are gorgeous, inside and out <3 xx

  • Just like a smile and good morning to a stranger in a crowded hall doesn’t cost me anything and it may diffuse someone else’s sour attitude. I will be more mindful of adding online smiles to the posts I read.

  • Although, it is hard, what a lot of people do not understand is that you should not be angry at a bully or speak ill of them. Bullies are people in pain and they deal with it by projecting that pain on others. If we want kindness, we should give it; especially to the bullies because they need it. Ever notice how quickly the grumpy waiter, check out clerk, etc. changes when you show them kindness. We need to give love to and be kind to the least loveable and the unkind if we truly want to change the world.

  • I always try to practice this when leaving comments online. I can’t believe people would say such mean things, but then again, when you can be “anonymous,” people think they can say anything. Yet most of those mean people leaving comments don’t have the gutts to leave their name!

    I am totally for NICE, NICE, NICE! There is enough negativity in the world with news, hate crimes, etc. Let’s practice nice!

  • Not going to type my life story here. Lol. I was bullied as a child. I ended up transferring schools because of it. Which totally worked. Then once in Jr. High school I had such a good group of friends that those old bullies generally left me aline. I did however never stop encountering mean girls throughout my entire school life. Besides my core group of girlfriends I never got along with other girls because of this. Even now I am still intimidated by girls and put up my defensive or just act,extremely nervous around new girls, especially cute stylish ones. Admittedly, I am not a successful blogger but I keep at it because blogging is the only time in my life is feel accepted and supported with such a large group of girls. The internet-based is more often then not such a negative place and isnnternet think the blog world has single handedly turned that around. So before you have even made this post you already have been on the forefront of that revolution. Thanks for everything. PS I’m typing this on my phone and isnnternet it’s not always showing me what I’m typing so I hope it’s not to butchered.

  • Thank you for sharing! I think it’s very good to label negative comments on the Internet for what they are: bullying. A lot of people don’t realize it because of the anonimity that the Internet has. I would really like to suggest that you and Emma start a podcast! I would love to hear you speak about these kind of topics more extensively in a conversational way. Along with other topics related to the phenomenon of blogs like yours and their development.

  • Elsie! Thank you! I absolutely agree! Thank you so much for being both brave and vulnerable bringing up this topic! Sharing the video of Moncia Lewinsky is a game changer, wow. I avoid negativity in the media and I love your call to action for others to do the same. More love, more kindness. I commit to doing my best for a brighter world!

  • I cannot thank you enough for this. We women are all trying to do our best. We need to elevate one another rather than try to tear each other down. Let’s encourage and love on women!

  • Unfortunately, there will always be people making fun of others without any reason to. I was bullied as a child as well and know how much it hurts. It seems unfair, but I think most times it is just not possible to reason with bullies and I’m quite sure they don’t know how much can be at stake for the ones they bully.
    Your call to action is a great start and I will definitely support it.
    Love from Italy
    Fran

  • It’s good to talk about the subject. Sometimes we don’t want to give importance to something by not talking but we’re building the words inside us anyway. And people need to know this kind of thing happens to many others, and that we can support each other.

    Thanks so much for sharing!!

  • Keep doing what you do best…being you! I had my fair share of bullying and body shaming in school and as a teacher (of students as young as 3) the minute i see kids start making fun of eachother i try to nip it in the butt right away (they start soo young!!) and rather focus on stressing the good in each one and making them feel good about themselves and their strong points. Sometimes i feel it may be a very small gesture in the world we live in today but i like to think that it will have some positive effect on them in the long run.

    As for myself…i’ve learned to do the samek…excell on what i’m good at and be my own cheerleader. I am aware of when i’m not at my best but i am one of the first ones to comment/accept when i know i am and take pride in it!

  • I can appreciate the spirit of this post, but I also think that there is a difference between bullying and criticism. I don’t think that every “negative” comment should be considered bullying; sometimes, it’s just a reader offering criticism that, if taken seriously, could better the content of the blog.

    Someone with a “traditional” office job has a boss to answer to, who will provide criticism for the work produced. Is this considered bullying? Blogging is an “untraditional” job where the bosses are the readers. So, when readers say they don’t like something, I wouldn’t consider that to be bullying. Rather, I would compare that to a boss telling an employee that their work was not up to his/her expectations.

    I mean, when a kid does a homework assignment for school and the teacher gives it a C- because the effort was poor and the content wasn’t up to snuff, is the teacher bullying the kid? Maybe it’s because I grew up with a tiger mom, but I think constantly being praised is detrimental and you will never better yourself. Listening to your critics and taking the criticism seriously will only better you in the end.

    That being said, the anonymity of the internet has allowed commenters to be rude for no reason and I think that is when it becomes bullying. Commenting on someone’s weight, skin color, hair texture – basically picking on someone for the qualities they were born with or cannot help – that is what I’d consider bullying and that’s when I would say ‘f’ the haters. But, telling a fashion blogger that their outfit isn’t up to their usual standards, telling a food blogger that the recipe didn’t taste good, telling a craft blogger that their DIY doesn’t work – these are points of criticism that I think are actually helpful to the blogging community.

    … But hey, that’s just my two cents.

  • yes yes yes and yes. i saw a picture shared on FB today comparing how chandler and joey from friends look today compared to how they looked on the show. surprise surprise, they’ve aged. looking larger, a lot of grey, and basically looking like the middle aged men they are now. the comments were, of course, very negative. “they’ve aged horribly”, “look how much better the women from friends have aged”. i commented “good for them for embracing the grey”. i wish people would try and see the positive before being so quick to comment with the negative.

  • I’m a school psychologist in two elementary schools, and I cannot thank you enough for this post! You have such a large platform, and spreading this message is hugely important. Cyberbullying is incredibly difficult to deal with for us as adults, so I’m sure you can imagine the impact that it has on children. Kids are bullied at school, and then they go home and the bullying continues and amplifies. It’s so horrendous. I love your message to spread kindness, to avoid clicking on negative links, and to stand up when you see it happening to others.

    Thanks for your positive message and sending kind vibes out into the internet world!
    Al

  • thanks for posting. I watched this video this weekend and one of the parts that keeps resonating with me is where she says something like speaking up for INTENTION and not for ATTENTION. I thought that was really great. I feel like so often people say things just for attention and most often, those things are not kind. it is sad that people get to a point in their lives when they have to treat people so poorly just to get attention. I think this post is great and this topic is very important, especially to teens. it makes me sick to see some of the things these kids say to each other. it is truly heartbreaking. i hope we can all work on being more kind and being examples to those who are younger than us to know that being kind is much greater than being so cruel.

  • I don’t know how you do it. I think you and Emma are such strong women, and I’m so glad to know you. <3

  • I choose to be kind and share the positives/ strengths I see in others. Thank you for this refreshing blog and love this site. It really has made such a difference in my life on so many levels. Thank you again

  • Thank you so much for sharing this. It’s so sad that we have to have these conversations because of all the dark stuff out there online – the negativity, trolling, abuse. It’s not as though we are physically confronting the anonymous commenters or trolls, but words can be truly hurtful.

    It’s like surrounding yourself with positive people – I love indulging in beautiful blogs like ABM which uplift and provide a platform for positivity.

    Be Kind, Clicks Matter, Stand Up – excellent call to action xoxo

    http://www.awonderingstar.com

  • Hi Elsie, Thanks for this post. I avoid reading you tube comments as the negativity there is so draining. Isn’t it awful how negative childhood experiences are carried with us into adulthood. Bullying should never be considered normal.
    On another note thanks for publishing such a unique and creative blog. Love it!

  • Elsie- you’ve touched many hearts with this post. You are a beautiful person with a beautiful spirit. People forget that every single one of us has flaws and it’s not our place to judge and criticize one another. Here’s to seeing the beauty in everyone (including ourselves- which is hardest of all sometimes)!

  • I’m with you! I think being positive and kind is the way to go (in SOOOO many situations)!!!
    I’m trying, and believe me, it’s a challenge sometimes! But I’m working on it. I’m also trying to practice ‘sending’ people love. There’s probably a more accurate way to describe it or even a term for it, but you know, when people are being rude/difficult/negative or even just having a rough day…I try to send them love through my thoughts.

  • I’m so grateful you took the time to post about this, and shared Lewinsky’s TedTalk (which I had never seen!). I feel like people often forget about how privileged we are to have access to the internet; I mean, let’s be honest: it’s also a symbol of our privilege to live in a technologically advanced time and culture with easy access to so much information, a privilege other members of the world are still denied. The access is truly wonderful, although it does sometimes seem diminished in light of how nasty people get with each other the internet, almost as if they feel safer making negative comments online than in real life because it’s all done in cyberspace; except the comments are still made to and about real people. Anyway, thank you again for taking the time to post this.

  • I couldn’t agree more! Here in Denmark there has just been a series on TV about the cyberbullying that the public women in Denmark are experiencing, like women in politics, and it is really scary how sexist and terrible the cyberbullying is – every woman with an opinion on something is suddenly a slut or worse. That just makes it so much clearer that there is still a long way to go before we have a society with equality between the sexes, even though the sexism isn’t as obvious off line. Thank you for sharing this wonderful video, reminding us that showing kindness to others will always make a difference!

  • Thank you for this moving post. I would not have seen that Monica Lewinsky TED talk, had you not linked it. It’s amazing!

  • My mother always said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” So I try to keep that in mind, especially on the internet where what you say is very permanent. Thanks for sharing.

  • I am much older than you are And I have always admired your bravery in the things that you do. Moving past others negativity is sometimes Hard to do, but you all make it look effortless. Even when it isn’t. Keep on rocking it y’all. Kindness Matters!

  • Thank you for posting this. I was bullied as kid and its hard. And reflects in so much aspects in my adult life still today.

  • Small steps but so so good and necessary. It’s sad, that those bad things happen. Let’s make the Internet a more happy place.

  • I’m in. I usually don’t post/comment even if I do have something positive to say and especially if I’m thinking something negative. But I think it is important to make the internet a more positive place and I really admire that you are using your platform to promote change. When people have something mean to say just remind yourself that you legit built an empire that YOU are at the head of. That’s pretty freaking incredible.

  • I can’t believe some of the things that I’ve seen shared on the internet. I don’t understand the reasons, nor does it seem like a good way to live.
    I always love to come back to A Beautiful Mess, and I find that it’s a really positive place. That is so powerful. Thank you for moving past those little comments and not letting them hold you back. I also love how you guys respond and affirm readers.
    I commit to spreading kindness!