Last week I held a Facebook Live session called, “How not to become an Internet Bully.” It was the result of a conversation I had with members of a book group who were talking about the angry, judgmental comments they see on social media – many inspired by current events.
During the Facebook session, I talk about how to elegantly and effectively use your voice by learning to manage your reactions to others.
Any time I see a comment from someone who feels compelled to school me on a topic they assume I need to learn, I remember what it feels like to get my buttons pushed. I get angry, I might feel emotionally threatened, and I often want to lash out.
But I don’t.
Instead, I do my best to step back, take a deep breath, and pay attention to what the reaction is trying to teach me about myself. I do this because I’m committed to growing and because I’ve learned that bullies don’t get heard, they don’t educate anyone, and they only add to the mess.
When I receive an angry email or comment, I listen carefully to what the writer has to say if the communication is thoughtful and respectful. I’m open-minded and I learn a lot from my readers.
If, however, the email or comment is mean-spirited, I usually stop reading and hit delete. Sometimes the anger is so loud, I can’t hear the message.
At the end of the day, when people are mean, critical or judgmental, it’s helpful to tell yourself:
Every contact I have with another human being is an opportunity for me to learn something about myself and maybe even to heal something within me.
If you’d like to learn how to use your reactions as a tool for growth (and prepare yourself to communicate respectfully and effectively), I invite you to check out last week’s Facebook Live lesson, here.
P.P.S. – This week’s Facebook Live session will be held on Tuesday at 6pm EST/3pm PST. You can join me on my Facebook Page here. And you can watch previous sessions on my YouTube channel at CherylRichardsonTV here.
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