Don’t feed the cycle
I have recently observed of mean spirited comments escalating within closed groups. These closed groups could be coworkers, friends in meat space, friends online, or even just acquaintances. The trend is not for everyone to be mean all the time, it kind of slowly builds.
The example I use is that one day Person A makes a joking or biting comment about Person B’s appearance with in a group. Perhaps it is the color of their shirt not meeting the gender stereotype. People laugh knowing it was “meant in fun”. Everyone has a little chuckle and walks away with the feeling of having had a laugh.