ADHD, gluten-free, illness

Why Is Gluten a Problem? Could It Be a Problem for You? Or for Your Child?

I sat down yesterday and watched an awesome documentary.

It was actually the second time I had watched it, but the first time doesn’t count because I had insomnia at 2 am and watched it until I fell asleep.

I catnapped through the whole thing so I didn’t retain much.

I came away thinking “I need to watch this again when I am awake.”

So, when my mom came over yesterday, we sat down and watched it together.

Mom –on top of being a fabulous mom and grandma– is a gluten free consultant: she helps people who have just found out they need to remove gluten (or other allergens) from their diet.

My children are the fourth generation that has had problems with wheat: my maternal grandmother would avoid bread and pasta because it upset her stomach, my mom has an allergy to gluten, I am sensitive to it due to my autoimmunity –although not as sensitive as my mom, and my oldest doesn’t like how emotional and moody gluten makes him feel and will choose not to eat it.

People often wonder why gluten allergies are on the rise.

I have even had people tell me that gluten allergies and celiac didn’t exist before 2010 which is ridiculous because my grandmother was sensitive in the 1970s, my mom was diagnosed with a gluten allergy in 1995, and a friend has been celiac since the 1980s.

We are just hearing about it more because it is becoming such a huge problem.

The issue then is why is it becoming such a huge problem?

Could it be a problem for you?

I have heard researchers say that they estimate that as much as 1/3 of the population may be sensitive to gluten.

I highly, highly recommend looking into this documentary that thoroughly explains why gluten could be an issue.

It also explains why we have seen an increase in problems with gluten… it all has to do with changes in the wheat production in the last few decades.

Probably the most interesting part of the documentary to me is the mention that doctors tend to see even more sensitivity among those with developmental disorders and mental health problems –so pay attention moms of special needs kids like those with ADHD.

Some medical professionals even think that autoimmune diseases are on the rise due to the changes in how we produce wheat.

Here’s the preview:

This documentary, What’s with Wheat, is available on Netflix. A one month Netflix free trial is available as well if you don’t have a Netflix membership.

What’s with Wheat is also available for rent on Amazon for less than $5. (Please note that this is an affiliate link.)

What’s with Wheat? on Amazon.

Here’s the author’s blog if you would like to read more about the problems with wheat, What’s with Wheat Blog.

My mom’s blog is Gluten Free Training, and her Pinterest account has some great information, too.

I hope that those who have questions about gluten sensitivities or have special needs children will watch this video and educate themselves about the problems with gluten.


Sarah Forbes



Homeschool Quotes, Part 5

“Home-base education is not an experiment. It’s how people learned to function in the world for centuries. And there is no reason to think that people today can’t do the same thing. School is the experiment, not the lack of it, and I think that experiment is in trouble.—Wendy Priesnitz

“You will never look back on life and think, “I spent too much time with my kids.” —Unknown

“We’re teaching children far more than just history, geography, and science. We’re also teaching them to slow down, to look around, to dig in, and to move beyond their comfort zones –to try new tastes and to broaden their educational palates.” — Steve Lambert

“The things the kids remember about homeschooling have nothing to do with a textbook.” —Heidi St John

“When a child learns to walk and falls down 50 times, he never thinks to himself: ‘Maybe this isn’t for me.’” —Unknown

‘We cannot continue to send our children to Caesar for their education and be surprised when they come home as Romans.” —Voddie T Bauchman Jr

“You make me sit still. You make me look at my children. You give me eight precious more hours in the day to know them, to tell them ‘good job, Buddy,” to stand next to them while they do it again, to scratch  their little backs while we read. Homeschooling, you give us time. You take my time, but you give it back, pour it back into these little ones. For this gift, I will ever be grateful.” —Anonymous

“Why do people take or keep their children out of school? Mostly for three reasons: they think that raising their children is their business not the government’s; they enjoy being with their children and watching and helping them learn, and don’t want to give that up to others; they want to keep them from being hurt, mentally, physically, and spiritually.” John Holt

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and  I learn. —Xunzi

“Try to see the world through the eyes of a child. Eyes that are not yet cynical or skeptical. Eyes that marvel at everything they see. The lessons we learn from children about life are so much more important than the lessons we teach them.” —Leslie Reiki

I hope you enjoy the quotes as much as I do.


Sarah Forbes

ADHD, homeschooling

So, You Want to Homeschool Your ADHD Child

First,  relax. I know it’s very overwhelming,  but you can do this!

One step at a time.

The first thing you need to know is that there are multiple educational styles or approaches.

It looks like a traditional approach (what the public schools use) is not working for your child (or you’d probably leave them in school).

Don’t worry!

Even though the traditional approach to schooling what the public schools and many people consider “normal,” it’s not the only education method.

And it’s certainly not the most effective method for most children to learn.

It works well for a huge group of kids which is why the public schools use it.

But you don’t have 40 students, right?  

So you can easily use a different, more effective method of education which should make learning easier for your child.

If you put him or her into an online public school or other “normal” program it will more than likely adhere to the traditional approach and your child will continue to struggle.

I recommend that before you look into online schools or specific curriculum, you look at different educational methods such as delight-led learning, life-schooling, and unschooling.

There are tons of educational styles.

Homeschooling is a completely different creature from public school.

And you might have to unlearn some things you thought you knew in order to make this work,.

But I believe in you!

You can do this because you love your child more and are far more invested in her future than a teacher overseeing 20 or 30 or even 40 kids.

I recommend finding an online support group or a local support group. If you have a child with ADHD, I recommend my Facebook group called “Homeschooling the ADHD Child.”

These links may interest you:

This talks about different educational and teaching styles.

How to Determine Your Homeschool Style

This talks about learning styles

How to Determine Your Child’s Learning Style

This addresses the fear of every homeschool parent of what about if they’re behind. Make sure to follow the link to the second post about answers to questions about being behind.

There’s No Behind in Homeschool

This has some important points which I wish I had understood when I started homeschooling.

11 Things Homeschool Moms Need to Know

This post is about the importance of taking a break from book learning when you pull a kid out of school so that the child can recover from the damage left by the brick-and-mortar school. They need to relearn that learning can be fun and doesn’t have to be scary and overwhelming.

The Importance of Deschooling

Why non-traditional education methods work well for those with ADHD

ADDitude Magazine Endorses Homeschooling when Public School Isn’t Working 

I also recommend reading your state laws.

Homeschool Laws in Your State

Feel free to ask questions and I will help as best as I can either here in the comments on via private message on my Facebook page for Grace Under Pressure.


Sarah Forbes

ADHD, homeschooling

ADDitude Magazine Endorses Homeschooling When Public School Isn’t Working

I am super impressed with ADDITUDE magazine. I have never seen one of the ADHD support organizations endorse homeschooling. If you have a spouse or a doctor who is against homeschooling, here is something that backs your position from a well-known organization.

From the article:

When a child is left behind, ignored, or frustrated in a traditional classroom setting, many parents begin researching alternatives. Homeschooling a child with ADHD or learning disabilities is not easy, but it can a student build skills, gain confidence, and love learning again.

The traditional approach to learning — a teacher standing in front of children sitting behind desks — is not the most productive for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who get bored easily. If your child is demoralized by his poor grades, receives detention for forgetting books, is looked down upon by teachers, or is bullied by classmates, he may be a candidate for homeschooling — even if you’re not quite sure yet how it’s done.


See the rest of the article here.



Sarah Forbes


Helping Your Introvert Survive A Conference

**Read to the bottom of this post for a chance to win a couples pass to the 2017 OCEANetwork Homeschool Conference!**

Have you ever tried to survive a conference with an introvert?

It can be quite challenging –not only for the introvert but for their extroverted companions.

Here are some ideas to help both of you survive.

These ideas come from my own experiencing with my beloved introvert and may not apply to all introverts.

1) Understand as much as you can. If you’re an extrovert you need to understand that being introverted isn’t a character flaw. If you think introvertedness is a flaw, this is going to be a bumpy conference (not to mention marriage or friendship). So, change the way you think about your introvert. Value the differences, the way that God made him. This is important. Very, very important.

2) Let them take breaks. I remember the first time my husband and I attended our annual homeschool conference. It was very overwhelming for him.  We solved this problem by coming up with a number of solutions.

a) We located the closest exit in the event that he needed some fresh air.

b) We located low volume areas where he could get away from the crowd of 2,000 people.

c) I encouraged him to bring his laptop with his headset so he could watch a familiar Hulu show or play a game if he needed a break (this was before we had smartphones).

3) Make expectations clear. Here’s what I did:

a) Prepare. I told him ahead of time that I was okay if he skipped any of the sessions.

b) Scedule. I showed him the schedule ahead of time and let him know which sessions I would prefer to attend with him.

c) Set goals. I set goals like I want to at least go to the Math U See booth in the curriculum hall and attend Homeschooling Special Needs 101.

4) Appreciate what you have. Focus on the fact that your introvert was willing to attend and not about all the things you feel like he is missing. It’s a blessing that you have an introvert who is willing to deal with that sort of crowd to be with you at something that’s important to you.

5) Compromise. Be willing to leave if it just becomes too much. Leave with him if you’re able to. Leave permanently if you need to, or just go for a drive.  All those people may be too much for him, but I bet he likes spending time with you and that it would mean a lot to him if you were willing to take a break with him.

6) Reprieve. Give him space when you get home, especially if he managed to make it through the entire day without needing a break. I’ve seen research that suggests that extremely introverted people need 10 minutes of alone time for every 1 hour that they’re with people. So if your introvert was “on” socially for 8 hours, that means he may need as much as 80 minutes (1 hour 20 minutes)  to be socially “off.” Socially off means something different for an introvert than an extrovert: it means no one making any demands from them for that amount of time.  

Remember that God made us all different. Just because he’s wired differently, doesn’t make it wrong.

My introvert is caring, considerate,  kind, and an awesome listener.

I wouldn’t trade that for anything, not even a life-of-the-party conference goer.

Introvertedness does not need to be fixed. It needs to be understood and valued.

I have always appreciated it when my husband made the effort to attend the conference with me.

If you are in the Pacific Northwest, I highly recommend the OCEANetwork conference. Find the encouragement and support you need for your homeschool! You’ll enjoy amazing speakers including keynote Heidi St. John, a fantastic vendor hall, a used curriculum sale, and activities for the kids!


Sarah Forbes



Click here for a chance to win a couples pass to the 2017 OCEANetwork Homeschool Conference!


If you liked this post you might like this one about being married to an introvert or this one that gives more information about our local homeschool conference


ADHD, homeschooling

The Connection Between Autism and ADHD

If you spend much time looking into ADHD or autism, you will learn that researchers consider them to be in the same category of disorders: developmental disorders.

A developmental disorder is not a mental illness or psychological disorder. It is a difference in the way that brain develops.

For this reason in many cases, some parts of the brain mature at a different rate than other parts.

I have discussed in detail in another post why we need to value and appreciate those differences.

This post is about the connection between ADHD and autism.

There are many theories about how ADHD and autism are connected; this is how the connection was explained to me.

I made this chart a few years ago for my Facebook group, Homeschooling the ADHD Child, based on my doctor’s explanation of how he believed ADHD was connected to autism.

There is so much overlap between the two disorders.

And numerous theories about how they are connected.

I offer it here in hopes that it is helpful to others as it was to me.

[Credit for this information goes to Dr. Keith Swanson, Salem, Oregon, and it was based on diagnostic criteria available in 2009. I know that autism is not broken into parts under the current criteria. I think the information here is still useful for conversation and consideration.] 

Theory of ADHD on the Autism Spectrum.jpg

I hope this chart is insightful.


Sarah Forbes


Vasovagal: My Stress Reaction Explained

You might notice some changes on the blog. Please be patient as we try to upgrade with as few hiccups as possible.

The first time it happened I was singing a solo in front of about 200 people.

As I finished, I noticed that I was having blurry vision and was feeling shaky on my feet.

I carefully descended the stairs from the pulpit and holding on to the edges of the chairs made my way to the back of the sanctuary to the ladies room where I sat in one of the stalls until the dizziness went away.

As soon as I stood up again, it was back.

I went next door to the nursery and asked if I could lay on the floor for a few minutes.

The nursery worker –a nurse practitioner– took one look at my pale, clammy face and told me to lay down.

I assured her that I didn’t think I was actually sick with a cold but just that I was dizzy.

She knew I had thyroid problems and encouraged me to talk to my endocrinologist about what had happened.

Which I did.

He told me it was because I didn’t exercise enough, weighed too much, and I wasn’t consistent with taking my iron supplement (I was, but since my lab numbers weren’t going up, he said I must not be taking them).

That was ten years ago.

Sometime after that, I remember trying to walk through a wooded park with my sister in law and having to stop every 15 or 20 feet to rest. I couldn’t even get to the next park bench before I had to sit down.

I had no idea what was wrong, but I was no quitter! So, I kept pushing myself until I was so dizzy I couldn’t walk.

I lay in a patch of grass along the path until the dizziness and disorientation went away.

I finally admitted that I was beaten.

I just needed to go home.

Maybe I would be able to walk farther next time.

This only got worse.

More recently anything can trigger one of these episodes.



Food reactions.

Lack of food.


Emotional stress.

It seems that any time my system is stressed (physically or emotionally) it resorts to this, and the only way to shut it off is to sit or lay down.

I didn’t know what these episodes were until a few weeks ago when I had an episode while in my doctor’s clinic for IV nutrients.

I had one of my episodes right in front of my doctor.

That’s when the magic word was spoken that explained what was going on.  


Now, plenty of people have vasovagal episodes.

Remember that kid who passed out in high school choir even though the director said to never lock your knees?

That was a vasovagal episode.

Here’s the thing though: tons of people have an episode sometime in their lives.

It’s not so common to have them a few times a week for a decade.

Basically, what it means is that stress triggers my blood pressure to drop.

Then, there isn’t enough blood going around to all the parts of my body that really should have blood visiting them regularly.

My legs get shaky.

My breath gets labored.

My mind doesn’t work.

My speech gets slurred.

And I feel all around horrible.

This is basically what I have been referring to as “disoriented” for years now with no explanation of what is going on.

Most doctors I saw just wrote it off.

I honestly thought that it was from low iron and was very disappointed when my iron levels came up and these symptoms didn’t go away.

One time, when I got really really stressed, the symptoms were extremely bad.

I had pushed myself too hard physically and I was dealing with anxiety because it was the first time I had ever not been able to walk and had to use a wheelchair.

The episode that followed ended me up in emergency doctor appointments because my doctor thought I had a heart attack.

I couldn’t breathe.

I had pain in my chest.

I couldn’t walk.

I couldn’t think.

I don’t remember feeling panicked at that moment, but my body was obviously not happy.

Apparently, it is not uncommon for these episodes to be misdiagnosed as a heart problem.

A dozen tests and 6 months later, my doctor still couldn’t find anything wrong with my heart.

Why do I tell you all this?

Because this is the reason I can’t handle drama on my Facebook wall, homeschool groups, author page, or in the comments.

This is the reason all my online spaces have specific rules about how I expect people to behave in my online space.

This is the reason I don’t publish any and all comments to the blog.

I love you all, but I am not willing to risk having one of these episodes and being days in bed –or worse ending up in the ER.

Yeah, I could stop writing, but wouldn’t that be like admitting defeat?

Am I going to crawl in a hole and hide in fear of life?

That’s not really the way I am.

I am more likely to make rules that create drama free environments and remove comments and people who are unkind.

I am more likely to try to do as much and as best as I can to function and live normally until it is obvious that I cannot.

I have been able to significantly minimize my symptoms by lowering my exposure to online drama.

I wish I had known a long time ago what was happening.

All I knew before I started reading up on vasovagal was that being dragged into a single argument on Facebook could easily result in 3 or 4 days where I was unable to walk. (Vasovagal is just a symptom and not an actual diagnosis –that’s yet to come; perhaps POTS or dysautonomia)

It didn’t make any sense –but it was my reality.

Instead of shutting myself off from all people, I made parameters for interaction such as letting people who are my Facebook friends know that if they are argumentative on my wall, I would unfriend them for the sake of my health.

I like walking.

It’s fun to not be stuck in bed unable to function.

I actually dream of riding a bike again someday.

I don’t want to end up in ER or emergency doctor appointments.

So, I limit my online exposure and monitor my online spaces to keep them as stress-free as possible.

I wrote this all out so that if you’re my Facebook friend, or in one of my groups, or commenting on my author page, and wonder why I adhere to “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all,” you will know why.

I am hoping that understanding will help other people, too: I wonder how many other people have lived with similar symptoms or years with no answers like I have.


Sarah Forbes



Why I’ll Never Say “Just Wait Until He Is Older!”

I will never ever tell you “If you think it’s bad now just wait until he/she/they’re teens!”

Why not?

First of all, it’s completely unhelpful to a mom of young children to put dread and fear in her mind of something that is probably a decade away and not written in stone.

Second, a lot of teens are not horrible vile monsters who are out to make their parents lives a living misery.

Many are sweet, kind, helpful, mature-for-their-age young people who blow you away with their mature behavior and attitude.

That doesn’t mean they never do stuff that makes you wonder or want to pull out your hair, but overall they’re not the nightmare that was foretold.

Thirdly, I refuse to do that to other moms, because it was repeatedly done to me; and it was very discouraging!

I remember how discouraging it was for me to hear that sort of prediction when my boys were really little.

When you’re really struggling, the last thing you want is for someone to say “You ain’t seen nothin yet!”

Why don’t we share hope instead of fear?

Now, admittedly, my son is only 15, but he’s a far cry from what I was told I would have in a 15-year-old boy.

This young man, when I was in so much pain I couldn’t put my own shoes on, put my shoes on me every day for a year a never once complained.

He picks up the slack around the house when I’m sick or struggling.

He and his brother a blessing.

It’s possible that things could go awry and he’ll get rebellious or something when he’s older.

But, from where I stand now, the teen years have been nothing but a huge blessing.

I know many, many Christian families who would say the same thing: that it’s not nearly as bad as those fear mongers say.

I actually think some people resent that their teens are so difficult and get some sort of glee out of predicting that a 4-year-old is going to make his frazzled mother even more miserable in 10 years.

Not everyone of course.

Some people use it as a warning of what might be, like “Hey, I just thought you should know it gets worse.”

But does it?


Maybe not.

Only time will tell.

I’ve certainly had my struggles with my family, and my boys have gone through rough patches where I wondered what on earth I was going to do with these children.

But, overall, they bring me such joy.

I can’t imagine my life without them.

I don’t have any regrets.

I wouldn’t change a thing (except maybe have more children if that we’re feasible).

So, mama, out there with a screaming 3-year-old who’s determined to have his own way: stay strong.

You can do this.

I believe in you.

I believe in the plan that God has for this child.

I don’t believe you’re powerful enough to mess up God’s plan. (Sorry! You’re awesome, but not that awesome!)

And I will not put the fear of teenagers in you.

Rather, I implore you to pray for that child.

Pray for his heart to be open to the things of God.

Pray for him to choose the path of wisdom.

Pray that you’ll be able to win his heart.

Pray that he’ll heed correction.

Pray that he’ll make good friends.

Pray that he’ll pick a good wife.

Pray that he’ll have a servant’s heart.

Pray that you’ll be the example of Jesus to him that he needs to see.

And rest in God’s goodness.

It’s there.

I promise.

In the midst of screaming toddlers or even rebellious teenagers.

God is God of the storms.

Sometimes He calms that storm.

Other times, He asks us to believe that the storm is there for a reason.

So rest in Him, mama.

Regardless of what the future holds.


Sarah Forbes


12 Things I Learned from My Local Homeschool Conference

**Read to the bottom of this post for a chance to win a couples pass to the 2017 OCEANetwork Homeschool Conference!**

When my friend invited me to my first homeschool conference in Portland, Oregon, I didn’t know what to expect.

Having grown up in the homeschool community, I thought I had a pretty good grasp on homeschooling.

I was wrong.

The conference opened up to me not only new curriculum but new ideas about how to approach homeschooling and education.

The first time I heard about deschooling, unschooling, delight-led learning, life schooling, car schooling, relaxed homeschooling, notebooking, or unit studies,  I was sitting in a session or around a table visiting at OCEANetwork’s conference.  

This was around 2005 or 2006, and the internet was not as much a part of my life as it is now.  If this kind of information was available online back then, I was unaware of it. We still had dial-up back then!

I found that my family wasn’t the only ones who didn’t fit the homeschool stereotype: there were other families that did not wear dresses exclusively, didn’t make all their own matching clothing, didn’t have very type-A parents, and didn’t homeschool with a copy-the-public-school mentality.  

I was blown away by the diversity and by the idea that anyone could homeschool if they were dedicated to finding a way to make it work for them.

I’m very grateful for the insight the conference has offered which is why I have agreed to promote the conference here on the blog.

In the interest of full disclosure: OCEANetwork has offered me a free pass to the conference in exchange for helping promote the conference. I’m hoping to go this year as I’ve not been physically well enough to attend the last few years. Due to my health, I am unsure if I’ll be able to attend this year, but even if I can’t attend I consider this event worth promoting because of what a blessing it has been to me.


Here are 12 things that I learned at the conference which have stayed with me:

1) I don’t have to be type-A to homeschool.

2) Homeschooling doesn’t have to cost me a ton of money.

3) Homeschooling allows me to customize the education to the needs of my children.

4) Homeschooling is a great form of education for special needs kids –and special needs parents, too!

5) I don’t have to worry about getting too far behind if I understand how homeschooling works –that it’s just the start of a life-long learning process and even struggling learners usually catch up if given patience and the time to do so.

6) I am not alone in the crazy journey, and there are tons of moms out there like me fumbling their way through each day hoping and praying they’re doing right by their kids.

7) I can trust my homeschool and my kids to God who is far more invested in them than I am and loves them more than I ever could.

8) Even the struggles my kids and I have can be used for God’s glory, so we just need to trust Him and His timing.

9) There are tons of different methods of homeschooling, there’s not one right way, and I need to keep looking and trying different things until I figured out what works for my family.

10) It’s okay if I have a bad day or a bad week; it doesn’t make me a bad mom or a bad teacher. I learned this from Heidi St. John who is the keynote speaker this year!

11) It’s not helpful or healthy to compare my family and our homeschool to the neighbor or that family at church because each family has unique challenges that they must address in their own way.

12) I answer to God for how I raise and educate my children –not my neighbor, or someone I think is a “super homeschool mom,” not my parents, or even my pastor– so I need to make prayerful choices for my family even if others don’t agree with my choices.

Those are just a few of the many things I’ve taken away from the conference.

I hope that those who are local to Portland will consider attending. I always leave feeling refreshed and encouraged!

There are even scholarships available for families who have young children and are considering homeschooling. Parents who have never attended the conference before and whose oldest child is under the age of six by the conference date may attend the conference for free.

One of the nicest things about OCEANetwork, in my opinion, is that they try to make this conference available to those with limited funds –which is most homeschool families. One year my husband was laid off and money was really tight. We were still able to go to the conference because of one of their scholarships.

See this link for a list of available scholarships.

I hope you’ll consider attending the OCEANetwork conference, and, if you’re not in the Pacific Northwest, perhaps there’s another homeschool conference near you that you could attend.

Teachers go to continuing education; homeschool parents can, too!


Sarah Forbes

P.S. for general homeschool posts click here, and for beginning homeschooling posts click here.  


Click here for a chance to win a couples pass to the 2017 OCEANetwork Homeschool Conference!


How to Be a Wonderful Online Neighbor [Satire]

[This is a satirical piece and based on my experience and observation in dealing with nasty, hate-filled people online.]

How to be a great online neighbor in 11 easy steps:

1) Make sure you comment on every single post, article, or thread that you disagree with and comment with as much vim and vigor as you’d need if your very life depended on the defense of your position. There’s no such thing as scrolling past an article, post or comment that you disagree with! Go into every conversation  with the intention of stirring things up. How else will you stay entertained?  


2) Never allow anyone to have a different opinion than you do. You are 100% right all the time,  and no one is allowed to have an alternate opinion –not even on their own group, wall, blog, webpage, or social media page. Make sure they know you are the final authority on every topic –especially topics you know nothing about. This is vital. The true test is how you respond when someone has a different opinion, so respond a lot and with extreme force!

3) Refuse to acknowledge anyones personal experience or let them tell their story in their own space. Your experience is the only valid experience. If they have a different experience then obviously they’re lying. Make sure you call them out on it. No one’s experience is valid except yours, and everyone needs to know they’re wrong about what they think happened.  You are the final authority on what’s truth no matter where it’s posted. If is this not true for you, there’s no way it could possibly true for anyone else! Never choose to post your alternate opinion in your online space: they need to know how wrong they are! You need to confront them in their space so they know just how wrong they are.

4) Send nasty and threatening private messages on social media if anyone dares have an alternate opinion on their own page, wall, or blog. This is especially important if they have removed you from a group or blocked you, because they have obviously directed your attention to this avenue of communication by blocking the other methods you were previously using. They obviously want you to message them or they would have allowed you to continue to comment on the original post. Make sure you get angry and call names if they don’t answer your private message within two minutes, because they don’t have a real life or anything better to do than to pay 100% attention to you.

5) Get angry when your unkind and confrontational comments are deleted or not approved on an post or article. You have a right to spew hateful free speech anywhere you want to spew it, and no one should be able to stop you from regurgitation your hate in their space. That’s so unreasonable! That’s unconstitutional –don’t they know that? It’s unconstitutional to even give the owner of the page the ability to remove comments! Make sure you threaten to get a lawyer involved and sue them. Never acknowledge any rights other than your own. Then, refer to number 4.  Don’t use number 4 sparingly. It’s so very useful!

6) Make sure you stoop low when your ideas aren’t affirmed in someone else’s space. Tell them they’re unfit to write or lead –whatever is needed to undermine their position of authority and confidence. Use mocking, passive aggressive behavior, sarcasm, and projection –like accuse them of being close minded for not allowing you to be nasty in their online spaces when you know it’s actually you who can’t handle alternate ideas, or accuse them of being arrogant when it’s actually you who are a hothead and think you know everything. Call them irrational if they find your behavior offensive, but make sure you get offended at everything even if it was intended as a compliment. This is how you control the conversation and get all the attention. It helps to tap into the darker side of yourself. You have been gifted with the ability to make other people feel crazy when you’re the one behaving in an extremely inappropriate way, so use that gift! Check out the character traits of narcissism and machiavellianism for additional ideas.

7) If you really need to get their attention, call them names. Sanctimonious is one of my favorites. Calling someone a Democrat or Republican  (whichever would be more inciteful) seems to have a huge impact. When in doubt, accuse someone of being racist –especially if the topic has nothing to do with race. Nazi is a useful accusation too and is especially useful when it’s completely out of context. Any four letter words you can fit in should be helpful, too. Whatever you need to do to get a reaction. Ignore suggestions that you’re seeking attention and by all means don’t go buy a puppy because that might make you less angry and attention-seeking. This will not work if you find a way to be happy by any method other than making other people’s lives miserable for your own enjoyment.


8) Attack their character and prey on the weak. This is really important if the author seems like a nice, sweet person. If the other person is just as obnoxious, self-assured, and mentally unstable as you are, they won’t care about your attack on their character. So keep your eyes out for people who seem like they might care –kind, compassionate, honest, decent people– you know, weak people– and attack those ones. Your actions will go a lot farther with these people who are easily preyed upon than with those who have the same lack of boundaries that you have.

9) Refuse to acknowledge any boundaries. Anything goes. Stalk them, verbally abused them, spam them with messages, emails, and comments for hours or even days on end. Look them up online, find their phone number, and call them personally to tell them off. (This is especially useful if they have a landline.) Try to manipulate them by saying that if they don’t agree with you or answer your questions to your satisfaction then you’re going to unfriend them, unfollow them, leave their group, or block them –as if somehow they’re actually going to want you around after how you’re behaving. Figure out who their friends are and send their friends nasty messages about them. Try to get mutual friends to unfriend them by gossiping and slandering. Accost them on mutual friend’s Facebook walls to attack them for something they said months ago on a different social media site or personal blog. Give them bad reviews on web pages because they refuse to listen to your hatred. Join new social media sites just so you can find them and spam them with your hatred in new places.  There really is no limit to how far you can take this if you’re willing to ignore all propriety, decency, and social expectations. When all else fails, threaten bodily harm. This always gets their attention. They need to know how wrong they are! You’re the only one who can tell them. Consider it your personal mission to make their lives miserable, and don’t give up until they capitulate and admit how very wrong they were for daring to think anything different than you do.

10) Act like there’s no person on the other side of the screen. In your mind, refuse to see a person’s face. Never consider that this person may have a real life with real feelings. They don’t have a family or problems. They couldn’t be sick, or grieving, or hurting. Shut off all avenues of compassion. You can’t do this if you allow any empathy in your being. Only wimps think of other people: don’t be a wimp! Look up sociopathic behavior for more ideas. Stay strong!

11) Refuse to acknowledge that there could be something wrong with you. Ignore research that suggests that this is antisocial behavior and reflects mental instability and possibly even one of the Dark Triad personality disorders. Assume that your behavior is completely reasonable even if there are signs and indications everywhere that something’s not quite right with you. Vehemently attack anyone who voices concern about you –especially if they’re concerned about your mental health and psychological stability.

There you have it: How to be a great online neighbor!

Or, as I like to call it: “How to be a Horrible Person Online.”

I have written previously about how we behave online and how important it is that we regulate ourselves online even if there are no social expectations. I’m not the only one who has posted about this topic of online haters. I found this video very insightful and amusing.

I thank God for these difficult people He brings into my life. They’re teaching me patience and grace. But for God grace that could be me. All I good that is in me is Christ.


Sarah Forbes