The Toxicity of Online Forums in Your Healing Journey

The Toxicity of Online Forums in Your Healing Journey the toxicity of online forums in your healing journey
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When embarking on your healing journey after abuse, engaging in online forums can provide a sense of validation and understanding from others who have experienced similar traumas.

Participating in online forums like Reddit, Facebook or even Medium while on the healing journey after experiencing abuse can be a valuable source of validation and support. Connecting with individuals who have gone through similar traumas can help survivors feel less alone in their struggles.

Sharing stories and experiences with others who truly understand the pain can be comforting and reassuring, fostering a sense of belonging in a community of survivors. Moreover, the anonymity of these platforms can create a safe space for individuals to open up about their experiences without fear of judgment or stigmatization.

While online forums can be a valuable resource for healing from abuse, there are potential traps that any survivor should be mindful of, especially if you’re quite ‘new’ in your healing journey and very susceptible to online advice. In this article, we will address these potential pitfalls and explore how to navigate them to ensure a more productive and empowering healing process.

Trap 1: “Us vs Them” or Narcissist vs ‘Empaths/Survivors”

One of the traps that online forums may present is the formation of an “Us vs Them” mentality, where survivors of abuse categorize themselves as “Empaths” or “Survivors” and label their abusers as “Narcissists” or “Toxic People.” While it’s essential to find support and validation among like-minded individuals, this division can lead to a narrow perspective and hinder the healing process.

By focusing solely on demonizing the abusers, survivors may inadvertently perpetuate a cycle of victimhood and resentment. This divisive mindset may prevent them from fully exploring the complexities of their experiences and hinder their ability to heal and grow beyond the role of a being a victim.

When your mind becomes fixated on this “Us vs Them” mentality, it can hinder your self-reflection and personal growth. Believing that only the abusers (narcs) need to work on themselves can create a false sense of superiority, making it challenging to acknowledge any personal flaws or vulnerabilities that might have contributed to us attracting toxic relationships. Also, this comfort zone of feeling blameless and faultless may provide a temporary “feel-good vibe,” but it ultimately prevents you from confronting your own issues and taking responsibility for your healing journey.

Getting out of The Trap:

Understanding that emotional distress and pain are deeply personal experiences is crucial for you. Your feelings are unique to you, and no one else can fully comprehend the depth of what you are going through. It is essential to recognize that healing and setting healthy boundaries are your personal responsibilities.

While support from the groups can be beneficial, ultimately, it is up to you to carry your own burden and take charge of your healing journey. By taking ownership of your emotional well-being and not relying on others to fix your pain, you empower yourself to navigate life’s challenges more effectively and foster resilience in the face of adversity.

Trap 2: Distraction on Your Healing journey

While seeking external validation from online forums may offer temporary relief and a sense of belonging, it can become a distraction on your healing journey. Constantly scrolling through online forum feeds may provide a temporary distraction from the emotional wounds that need healing. It can feel like a band-aid, offering momentary relief as you engage with the experiences and stories of others. However, this continuous scrolling can also become a way to avoid facing your own emotions and working on your healing journey.

Also, constantly seeking validation and approval from others can prevent you from addressing the deeper issues within yourself. It may create a dependency on the opinions of others, leading you to rely on their reassurance rather than building self-confidence and trust in your own judgment.

The constant desire for more validation can keep you stuck in a cycle of seeking approval, leaving little room for true introspection and personal growth. Instead of focusing on your healing and self-discovery, you might find yourself constantly checking the forums and seeking validation from others, which can hinder your progress in the long run.

Getting out of the Trap:

Striking a balance between seeking external support and finding inner validation is crucial in the healing journey. It’s important to cultivate self-awareness and find inner strength to face your emotions and work through the source of the problem. This means taking the time to look inward, identify your own needs and feelings, and practice self-compassion and self-validation. Seeking professional help or therapy can also provide valuable guidance and support in your healing journey.

Trap 3: Perpetuating your People-pleasing Tendencies

If you tend to have people-pleasing tendencies, engaging in online forums can lead you to get stuck in a cycle of trying to make other survivors happy. You may feel compelled to give them advice and support, even if you’re not following the same advice yourself. This can be draining and overwhelming, as you may find yourself constantly trying to meet the expectations and needs of others, neglecting your own healing process in the process.

Getting out of The Trap

It’s crucial to recognize that while supporting others can be helpful, it should not come at the expense of your own well-being. Setting boundaries and prioritizing your own healing journey should come first before engaging in online forums. Remember that you cannot pour from an empty cup, and taking care of yourself first allows you to be a more genuine source of support for others in a healthy and sustainable way.

Trap 4: Terrible Advice (Crabs in a Bucket Mentality)

The last and the most dangerous trap of them all is that you are likely to receive the worst advice about your healing journey from those forums. Ever heard of the “crabs in a bucket” mentality?

The Crabs in a Bucket Analogy:

Imagine a bucket filled with crabs, all trying to escape to freedom. Instead of working together to climb out, each crab pulls down the other in a relentless struggle for personal liberation.

Similarly, individuals in online forums who have low self-esteem or unresolved traumas tend to pull others down to their level instead of supporting their growth.

In online forums, you may encounter people projecting their own unresolved issues onto you or discouraging you from seeking professional help. Some examples of common terrible advice you may get in online forums include:

· “Don’t bother with therapy; it won’t help anyway. Just tough it out like the rest of us.”

· “I’ve tried all forms of therapy and nothing works, you just got to live with it”

· “You don’t need professional help. Just cut off all contact with anyone who triggers you, and you’ll be fine.”

· “Just keep yourself busy and everything will be okay.”

· “I’ve been with my problems for 20 years, welcome to the club.”

This kind of toxic advice can hinder your progress, especially if you’re still naïve and susceptible to getting advice from people you ‘relate to’ (that’s what we really think), and it can keep you stuck in a cycle of negativity.

Fed up with all this, you may deeply become negatively skeptical about the prospects of your healing journey because other ‘crabs’ are directly or indirectly pulling you down to their level of victim mentality.

Getting out of the Trap

“Never ask advice of someone who has not left home; you won’t get any beyond the limits of his sight.” — Rumi

Advice from someone who hasn’t worked on themselves or acknowledged their own biases can be dangerous and misleading. Remember, not everyone in those forums has your best interests at heart, even if you share similar experiences. It’s essential to be discerning and prioritize your mental health by seeking advice from qualified professionals and trusted sources.


In conclusion, while online forums can be a valuable source of support and validation for survivors healing from abuse, they also present potential traps that can hinder your progress. The “Us vs Them” mentality, distraction from inner healing, perpetuating people-pleasing tendencies, and receiving terrible advice can all impede your journey towards healing. It’s essential to strike a balance, seeking support and validation from others while also finding inner strength and validation from within yourself.

Remember to be discerning and prioritize your mental well-being by seeking advice from qualified professionals and trusted sources. Healing is a personal and courageous journey, and with the right approach, you can navigate online forums with greater awareness and mindfulness on your path to healing.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these subconscious patterns for good (in less than 2 months) using Mind Shifting, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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