Those that actively 'troll' people, spread gossip, make up lies, generally judge wrongly, disapprove or send negativity towards others; are very likely not even aware of the impact they can have on someone's mental health... not to mention their overall reputation.
It's far too easy to be swayed by another's views of a person or listen to 'gossip' which may or may not actually be true. When you are 'sucked in' to how someone else feels about another or has judged them, you can become party to a 'hate' campaign without even knowing the full facts.
I've witnessed several times myself recently, the online abuse of another who is peacefully going about their business, not actively inviting haters... and yet people have judged without knowing the full information.
I also have a few friends that have actually had gossip spread or lies created about them and then shared for ulterior motives, or simply to be unkind. It is so abhorrent that anyone could actively wish to effectively 'push people to the edge'. You never know what someone's background is or how fragile their mental health could already be.
I know how easy it is to be swept up in what others tell you; particularly if you are close to that person or know them well. This actually happened to me a few years back. Someone I had formed a strong connection with, told me their thoughts and experiences about a mutual friend. Unfortunately I was a little 'brain washed' at the time and bought into it. I'm embarrassed to say I then 'blocked' that person on social media. Later I became fully aware that the person 'sucking me in' to this belief and action, actually had an ulterior motive to keep me distanced from the mutual friend. Thankfully I was later able to realise the error of my ways and rectify the situation with an apology and reversal of my own involvement.
However, we don't always get these second chances. It is so important to assess people on their own merit, actually have your own conversation or meeting with them, don't go by here say! Even then you may need to 'take a step back' and be understanding that we are all different. Not everyone is going to gel or get on well. But regardless of that, please try to think twice before you actively slate someone's character or spread malicious lies or gossip about them. It's bad enough when the 'gossip' has some truth behind it, but it's even worse when untruths are spread and it affects that person's life completely.
Suicides have happened as a result of this type of behaviour in the past. Let's ensure we make a stand in the community of Sudbury to be a Town that bases thoughts and statements shared on actual facts and experiences, rather than what we have 'heard' or judged on a surface level; without delving deeper or actually taking the time to investigate further.
We really need to protect the mental health of our community. Also if you actually notice someone is being victimised, bullied or judged, either in person or online, please offer them kindness, if appropriate stand up for them and most of all behave in a non judgemental way, as you just don't know what someone is going through or already has to cope with in their life.
If you have been or are currently a victim of this type of behaviour, please do speak out and get any support you may need. Don't forget to check out the help pages on this hub for relevant contacts or get in touch for further signposting to an organisation that can offer support.