The 6 Types of Trolls (and How to Defend Against Them)
The Meh Troll:
Easily identified by its complete absence of originality and creativity, the Meh Troll is a common, but minor threat. It relies upon the beating of dead horses and archaic stereotypes when attempting comedy. Consider the guy who can't help but offer grape soda to his black friend or who depends upon making fun of Justin Bieber and you'll get the idea. At best, he'll get a few nervous chuckles.
You can turn their desperation for attention against them. After a particularly uninteresting joke (usually followed by a few unamused yawns and/or blank stares), quickly, loudly and obnoxiously applaud them for their "fresh" grasp on the comedic genre. Maybe throw in a few "bravos" for added effect and you'll have the Meh Troll regretting the all-too-mediocre day it was born in Boring, Oregon.
Taking its name from the loathsome Skyrim creature, you should tread carefully with the Frost Troll. These are the sort of guys who have convinced themselves that being an asshole qualifies as a legitimate sense of humor. The breed consists of those who blow cigarette smoke into a cancer survivor's face, or who, even more offensively, wear an Ed Hardy v-neck.
Like an infantile child who proudly sits in his own shit, the Frost Troll's social ineptitude makes it nearly invulnerable to any criticism. Its Achilles heel is the rejection it faced as a youth. Maybe it was that rather unfortunately timed "cold sore" outbreak which was forever memorialized in the high school yearbook or that embarrassing first time experience with the poor girl's armpit.
One needs only to tightly embrace the Frost Troll and repeatedly say: "It's not your fault" and wait for the waterworks. The troll will feel better about its life and leave you alone. No need to explain why this is called the "Robin Williams approach".
As many of you know, a sexually transmitted disease is hard to kick, just like this troll. Even when you think you've lost it for good, it comes back for another round. Unless you are a Zen monk, you'll quickly lose patience with this cretin and reward it with the desired reaction.
The best way to fight this troll off is by doing something counterintuitive: agreeing with it (please keep in mind this philosophy only applies to STD trolls, you should really just stick with a good antibiotic for an actual STD). I refer to this as the "roll with the troll" defense. You'll effectively take away any joy the troll obtains from his bullying and he'll have no choice but to slink away in defeat.
If left untreated, the troll could spread into other social circles and you'd have a larger, more persistent problem on your hands. People may not want to connect with you for fear of being introduced to the STD Troll. Do us all a favor and take care of it before we have a full blown epidemic.
The Connoisseur Troll is so full of himself that his head is lodged up his ass. A movie critic whose only credential is that he watched Citizen Kane once, a friend who considers himself a wine aficionado for being able to discern the difference between a Franzia Cabernet and a Mike's Hard Lemonade and the guy who takes it upon himself to note whenever you mistakenly use "good" instead of "well" in a sentence are all examples of the Connoisseur.
The troll will use his supposed "area of expertise" as a weapon to disagree with anyone's opinion.
You can return this pretender to his rightful place by merely spending ten minutes on Wikipedia and learning about the subject at hand. The next time he pollutes the air with his smug, outdo his "informed" opinion with your newfound knowledge. The troll will gain a sense of humility and there will be a little less methane in the atmosphere. What more could you ask for?
The Overtly Reflective Troll:
If you've ever known some tool (usually armed with an acoustic guitar) who speaks in an unnecessarily soft tone and refuses to use any other adjective but "deep" or "meta", you are familiar with the Overtly Reflective Troll. It will tirelessly comment on the state of our existence and leave your nostrils with the overpowering stench of an overcrowded, but well-fed bullpen.
While its approach is far subtler than other breeds, this troll is not to be handled lightly. The Overtly Reflective Troll doesn't really believe its drivel, but just wants to make you look bad in front of the ladies. Whenever a male appears to share their emotional understanding and sensitivity, the women in your life may suddenly find your devotion to fantasy football or The Last of Us "immature". Before you know it, the closest thing to female contact you'll have will be listening to Siri's directions.
Just question its beliefs and statements until the ladies realize the troll's complex monologues are nothing more than dressed up nonsense. Or simply point out that his jeans were bought from the local Old Navy girl's department and your significant other will remember she already has enough girlfriends in her life.
The Internet Troll:
The alpha and the omega, the godfather, the OG, and sometimes OP too. This breed defines the quintessential nature of the entire troll species. Those who comment that Obama is racist on Washington Post articles or who reveal that Asiana Flight 214 was piloted by "Sum Ting Wong" belong to this (ig)noble breed.
The only thing you can do about Internet Trolls is ignore them. Before you defend Beethoven from PunkR0ck3r666's rude Youtube comment, take a deep breath and calm down. Most posts are just trying to grind your gears. Next time you find yourself furiously typing away at the keyboard, explaining what Jesus actually said (or didn't say for that matter), just stop. Do something worthwhile like spending time with your family, friends or dog (if you have a cat, you deserve to be trolled). It's time we all learned the Internet can never be used to address social issues or to institute change.