It has been revealed that someone who is motivated to troll on the Internet has a very low self-esteem.
How they feel once they've attacked someone online depends on what they were emotionally motivated by as to what the payoff is.
Someone desperate for attention or recognition will get it. It may be bad attention, but for some people that's better than none at all, Stuff.co.nz reported.
Someone with a low self-worth will put others down to build themselves up, will say outrageous things and get approval from others with a low sense of self-worth.
Maybe they feel a sense of mastery when they come up with something they think is clever or brave and hit the send button. Maybe it's that they feel marginalised or victimised in their lives and this is a way of getting revenge.
The problem with this is that all these feelings are transient, they don't last and so the person will have to do it again and again, trying to get shreds of those positive payoffs to prop up a fragile self-esteem, rather than doing it in a healthy way.
In their "normal" day to day lives, bullies tend to have a low level of self-awareness. They will try to convince themselves that they are ok with themselves, but at a deeper level they usually have a sense of being powerless or inadequate.
The bullying is a way of proving to themselves that they are not.
According to a critical teacher, our sense of who we are as a person and what we are capable of becoming starts in childhood but it's a fluid thing, shaped by other influences too, teasing during adolescence or even a controlling lover in your 20's.
A lot of trolls like to say "you've got nothing better to do" to the person they are trolling and they could probably be projecting.
Projection is another consequence of a low level of self awareness. It's when we have awareness of a particular trait, quality or attitude because we actually possess it, but rather than acknowledge it's a part of us because we feel ashamed of it, we "disown it".
Whatever we disown in ourselves, we are more sensitive to in other people, or we will "read into" their motives or behaviour.
People with lower levels of self-awareness tend to assume that everyone operates the same way they do and have a hard time accepting that they may be different. They tend to blame others for what would normally be their own, internal reaction instead.
The best way to deal with a troll is to ignore them.
Ignore them just like you would discourage attention-seeking behaviour in children. Give all the attention to the person who has been wronged instead.