Ariel Winter: ‘Responding to online trolls didn’t bring me joy’

Ariel Winter quickly learned that responding to Internet trolls didn’t bring her any joy.

The Modern Family star has found herself at the end of rude comments from haters since starring as Alex Dunphy in the hit U.S. TV show. And while she’s now learned not to let such cruel remarks get her down, she initially tried to respond by being horrible back – which didn’t help.

“That doesn’t feel good,” she told Teen Vogue magazine. “I don’t like to hurt people. It doesn’t bring me joy. And at the same time, when I’m writing that negative comment back to them, I’m not being like, ‘Yeah! I defended myself!’ and, like, laughing and feeling good. I’m writing it back, and I’m sad that they wrote me that, and then I’m sad I wrote that back and started this whole thing.”

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Ariel has been going to therapy for the past eight years, which she credits for helping her in many aspects of her life. But while she has a new-found confidence in dealing with trolls, the actress was quick to stress that it’s not that she’s unconcerned about their comments, it’s just that she’s learned to deal with it in a better way.

“I feel like that (pain) never goes away,” the 22-year-old explained. “People are like, ‘How do you get that to go away? It doesn’t bother you at all anymore.’ Again, that’s missing the point. What I’ve said is, I’ve learned to deal with it more. It’s a journey of being confident enough to look at that and evaluate my opinion of myself, which I’m not fully at yet. I’m still working there.”

And when it comes to her therapy sessions, the newly redheaded star has no intention of giving up her weekly slot anytime soon.

“For me, therapy is so important,” she smiled. “I never want to quit therapy. I feel like people are never ‘cured’ (with) therapy. It’s not a ‘cured’ thing, because you’re not going in sick. You’re just going in.”

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