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Bagaimana mengenali trolling kekhawatiran

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What is concern trolling?

Key points in concern trolling:

  1. Concern trolling is a deceptive anti-debate tactic
  2. There are 5 key points by which you can identify concern trolling:
    1. Making false assumptions about you
    2. Trying to limit your potential
    3. Judging how you look
    4. Commenting on the way you say things a.k.a ”tone policing”
    5. Insulting your intelligence
  3. In dealing with trolls, don’t doubt yourself:
    1. State your arguments clearly
    2. Call out the trolling behaviour

What is concern trolling?

If you’re like me, you can get really passionate when people touch on your ideas, norms and values. You’ve probably had your fair share of heated discussions too. Sometimes you’ll just agree to get it over with, a lot times you’ll simply agree to disagree (I’ve never managed to convince my brother or my boss anyways!).

At theire core healthy discussions are those that don’t involve lies, omissions or other deceptive tactics and end with the parties’ mutual respect intact.

Sometimes the discussion turns nasty. Heated discussions can lead to raising your voice, they can even get physical, lately however, a more insidious anti-debate tactic has engulfed the discussion scene: concern trolling.

According to the Urban Dictionary a concern troll is ” someone who is on one side of the discussion, but pretends to be a supporter of the other side with “concerns”. The idea behind this is that your opponents will take your arguments more seriously if they think you’re an ally. ”

When is concern trolling being used on me?

There are a couple of red flags that indicate you are being concern trolled:

  1. Making false assumptions about you
  2. Trying to limit your potential
  3. Judging how you look
  4. Commenting on the way you say things a.k.a ”tone policing”
  5. Insulting your intelligence

1. Making false assumptions about you

Usually a concern troll thinks you think negatively a certain way about something. A coworker might tell you it would be better to focus on the harder projects in the morning, because you will be more focused.

Only you will know when and where you’re going to be the most focused, and maybe you don’t even need that much focus for tasks you yourself don’t classify as hard.

2. Trying to limit your potential

Concern trolling is especially rampant when promotions are due: ”Should you really take on this promotion, won’t you be spending less time with your kids?”

The implicit judgements in statements like these are definitely a form of workplace sexism.

3. Judging how you look

The classic example of concern trolling: judging someone by their weight by having ”concerns for their health”.

They’re implying you’re fat and you should lose weight.

You can be perfectly healthy and comfortable, only you know how you feel.

4. Tone policing

When they’ve run all out of arguments, comments on your tone start pouring in. ”You talk to loud, keep it down” ”You shouldn’t be so agressive” ”You’re being disrespectful”.

When you know you’re right, you’re right, and when solid arguments start pouring through their ears which they can’t counter, they’ll resort to tone policing in order try and silence you.

5. Insulting your intelligence

This one is closely linked to point 1 and 2 but the so-called ”subtlety” of the insult to your intelligence makes all the difference.

A friend or an acquaintance can feign interest in your current dealings, only to try and demeane them and by extension you as a person under the guise of ”you’re so talented, and you’re doing such and such”.

Basically what they’re saying is: people with certain jobs are dumb, and you are dumb too.

How do I deal with concern trolling?

Sometimes it can be hard to identify concern trolling. The trolls can pretend to be genuinely concerned, this can take the form of gaslighting. The concern troller wants you to start doubting yourself, maybe even feel a bit paranoid. My advice: don’t buy into that behaviour.

  1. State your arguments to the alleged ”concerns” calmly and clearly.
  2. If the concern troll isn’t giving in or giving up, call out their behaviour.

Usually the troll will back off, or pretend to suddenly have other business to tend to, and it won’t be uncommon to throw a fake invite your way too :”anyways, want to grab lunch?”.

If something feels off, and you start doubting yourself: don’t, you’re probably being trolled.

If you’ve come across concern trolling in your family, friends or workplace and you’d like to share these stories, please type your story in the comments below. Concern trolling is not limited to the workplace and even those closest to you can do it.

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