Toxic Gaming Behavior: Trash Talking

While tweens, teens and adults love gaming, there are many risks associated with it. Each week, we will be sharing a toxic gaming behavior here on This week, we are starting with Trash Talking. We will share what it is, why players do it, the effects of it and recommendations on how to deal with it.

What is Trash Talking?

Trash talking is making fun of or putting players down while gaming. It is when a player intimidates, makes fun of or boasts about their skills in an effort to joke around or demoralize them.

Why players trash talk

Players trash talk one another as an attempt to make the other players lose their focus in the game.

The effects of trash talking

While most trash talking is just meant to throw other players off their game, taking this type of talk personally can cause harm. Some kids begin to take what they are hearing to heart. Comments such as “you suck”, “you’re the worst gamer” and “no one likes to play with you” can run deep for a child.

Read more about toxic gamers.

Recommendation for parents

Encourage your child to pre-plan what they will do when trash-talking begins.

  1. Think positive thoughts – instead of focusing on what was said, help your child to come up with positive thoughts that they can call on when the trash talk begins. For example, encourage them to focus on the fun, or focus on beating a level. Have them think about their gaming strategy or think about something that they are good at. This will divert their attention from the trash talk and keep them focused on the game.
  2. Don’t take the bait – We all know that when someone is trying to bully you, they are trying to get a reaction out of you. So, help your child to understand that they shouldn’t take the bait. That doesn’t mean that they should sit in silence, but they shouldn’t engage with the trash-talking comments.
  3. Another good technique is to laugh along with the trash-talker. Instead of letting them get a rise out of you, join in with them and agree with their comments about you or laugh along with them. This is likely to deflate them!
  4. Lastly, if your child won’t lose out by not talking during the game, then you can always tell your child to unplug and play without listening. Sometimes that is the best line of defence as your child learns other strategies that they are comfortable with.

Examples of Trash Talking:

Want to know what trash talking sounds like? Take caution in watching these videos as trash talking can include a lot of aggressive language.

What toxic gaming behavior would you like to know more about?