Concern Trolls

An ex of mine and my best friend hooked up, and then I found out they’d been together all along, when people in my family revealed that they had walked in on them coming out of the shower at the same time.

The thing is, my family didn’t tell me at the time, and I honestly feel like given how things played out, I’m glad they didn’t. The alternative is the person who told me they were together. I was at a camping event. We idly ambled down the hill, and someone asked, “Oh, is he coming to this weekend?” and the person next to me said, “Well, ***** is sick so I suppose not.” I got a cold feeling in my stomach, the culmination of a thousand fucking hints and shit I called them on, and I looked at her and blinked and said, “Why would that matter?”

She got this unmistakable look, a look I know so well I could identify it on anyone’s face. It’s a semi-smile where they know the punchline of the joke. It’s a hint of a laugh forming in their belly while they try so hard to look like they’re sympathetic.

It’s being a concern troll. Someone who is your friend and they’re just so concerned for you that they can’t fucking wait to be the one to break bad news to you. They see the cast list for the play you both tried out for, and they come to tell you with that half-smile that you get to be someone’s maiden aunt. Or you get to play a guy! Oh, her? She got the lead. But she’s so excited for you. So you can’t be mad.

These are the kind of people who have people you hate on their Facebook or G+ or Livejournal or whatever, just so that they can run to you and report all the nasty shit they’re saying about you. They act like they’re just friends with them still to support you, to watch out for you. They’re there for you. They’re SUFFERING through all this horrible drama and have to put up with this odious person just to be there for you.

Except they’re not. They’re Concern Trolls.

A concern troll doesn’t love you, like you, or even really give a shit about you. They care about managing you. They want to be the one to comfort you when you freak out – to earn cred with you, or so that they get to take all the things you say and go back to the other person. They run to you after someone puts a nasty forum post up about you so that they can turn around and maximize their social currency by being in the know about your reaction.

I can’t speak for what the best way to do anything is, but this is what I feel.

If someone’s a concern troll – if they’re haunting your blog telling you shit about another blogger, if they’re using terms like, “some people are saying” or specifically only telling you about shit someone you already hate says – ignore that person. Cut them loose.

A person who cares about you won’t come running to tell you nasty things other people are saying. There’s no altruistic reason to silently observe someone trashing your friend, remain quiet, and run to tell them – only drama.

Avoid the concern trolls. They’re only there to exploit your hurt feelings.

~ by oniongirl13 on January 27, 2012.

2 Responses to “Concern Trolls”

  1. Been there, done that! Concern trolls, that is a good description of how they act and what they are. I went through this so much in the workplace. They always wanted credit for being such a great friend and for standing up for me. They spent all their energy on appearing to be my friend and none on being my friend. A person feels the difference, instinctively, and I thought I knew all along, this person is not there for me and doesn’t care for me, not one little bit. My life is so much clearer and so much more balanced and sweet since I got those kind of trolls out of my life. I’m glad that you know that you are identifying them and are writing about staying away from them.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.


  2. What an excellent term to use. Thank you for coining it and teaching it to us. This makes me think about a friend of mine, the Chief Concern Troll since the break up of my marriage. Thank you for giving me the words.

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