Text vs. phone vs. talking in person.
This is not a new subject but one that deserves attention.
Recently I was reading and posting on a social forum and recognized that people were not picking up on sarcasm or someone’s attempt at humor vs. someone being totally sincere in their opinion.
When one person does not pick up on some sort of queue and responds in kind the entire thread turns bitter and quite frankly is a perfect example of the human condition.
There are two issues at play here, one is that people miss a queue and assume the worst.
The other is that some out of “being anonymous” just show the worst side of themselves. This in turn begets more sarcasm, name calling and just downright ugliness.
Any post with a long thread; this type of thing will come up.
People either want to assume the worst or look for a reason to be pissed about something and then respond to it in like fashion. Political correctness is one such way that anyone can be offended at any time they want, then feel all righteous about it and rant.
I for one would like to see the anonymous post go away. I think you should have to let the world know who you are when you post so if you choose to be a jerk, at least the world knows that you have a proclivity towards such behavior and not put much weight on what you are saying or just not even read your post.
If you will notice that when you are waiting in line at a restaurant or ride at some amusement park or even the bank, most are polite and await there turn. They may even strike up a conversation with you about the weather or some such thing. I am one of those that will do that not only in line but on an elevator as well.
The interesting thing is that people hide behind their glasses; their blank stare and the very clothing that they wear; are much like some sort of shield against the world.
Online or in your car your shield expands and you can drive aggressively or rant your thoughts or opinion on a subject with little or no fore-thought. I see this all the time where people sound off on some subject with little or no facts, they just want to be heard! Some actually use words as a weapon to hurt people, just to do it.
You see it to when people cut you off on the freeway or other surface road just to get one car length ahead of you, maybe causing you to miss the light that they should have missed, but now you did.
When you talk on a social forum or blog or what have you, type as though you are having a conversation with the people in a room with you. When you expound upon your thoughts, do so in a manner that is respectful of all of those who might be reading it. Do not respond to idiots! If they choose to make an ass of themselves, ignore them. Ignored behavior goes away.
I would implore you to drive in a similar fashion. Any good manager knows to lead by example. Drive like you would like others to drive. If 90 seconds extra at a light is that big of a deal, leave the house 90 seconds earlier. Too many people cause accidents trying to beat a light, yellow means stop if you are not already in the intersection, and can stop without being in the middle of the intersection. (Always look in the rearview first however; as there are many that will run you over as red does not even mean stop to them.)
Emoticons are a great way to let the world key into your feelings on a subject. A smiley face will give the reader the idea that you are trying to be funny or what have you and it will elicit a different response from the reader that may have otherwise taken offence to your remark.
The emoticon replaces the one to one facial queues that one misses in face to face communication and it also replaces the laugh or humor in your voice.
Toxic people and boundaries.
Lastly, stop looking for a reason to be offended. Pollyanna had the correct idea. What you look for you will find. You will shorten your life and have a miserable life at that if you are constantly on the lookout for things to be pissed about. There are people out there that will piss you off simply for their own amusement. Don’t fall into that trap and avoid them.
I stay away from Toxic people and I don’t invest my time and energy on those that enjoy being a victim or offended or look for political incorrectness just so they can be offended.
They are only hurting themselves. If you climb onto their pity train then you too will become despondent over things that you really don’t have a dog in that fight.
There is this principle of boundaries. Where friends or associates are concerned we need to stay alert to the place that they are in and be prepared to push them away. You can pray for them, loan them a good self help book and even listen to them if you choose but, don’t own their shit. What they are going through is theirs! Councilors go through years of training to learn how not to own their clients shit! They themselves have to go through counseling to make sure that their head stays on straight. What are the odds that you can counsel people without the training and not start to own their shit!?
I liken boundaries to the orbits of the planets around the sun. For the sake of argument you are the sun. Mercury is you closest friend, Venus is next and then Earth, Mars you get the idea.
Mercury is your closest confidant which should be your spouse. Venus may be your longtime friend that you share things with.
Let’s say that Venus has something going on their life that affects you and they are unwilling to help themselves which in turn brings you down. Don’t push them out of the solar system but do push them out past Mars or even Jupiter for a while.
If you can help them without owning their shit than by all means help them, otherwise push them out until they get their act together. There is no shame in seeking counseling and in this complicated world we live in that might be a great profession to be in as this world is a messed up place.
I am not telling you to abandon your friend. I am telling you to advise them to get help and if they don’t or wont, than you need to keep them at a safe distance. No one is immune to this “shit owning” and there is no sense in making their issues yours.
Many people, who never look into the mirror, blame their lot on life on someone else or some circumstance. It is always easy to blame someone else. Next time you want to do that, go look into the mirror and blame that person. Odds are incredibly good that the person in the mirror is the one that did it. The person in the mirror needs to examine themselves and make some course correction as to not be the problem.
- Use Emoticons
- Don’t be part of the problem
- Don’t look for things to be pissed off about
- Text and drive (not at the same time) like the people around you are your neighbors
- Look for the good in people and not the bad
- Stay away from Toxic people
- Look in the mirror and seek counseling for that person in the mirror if they need it.
Now go take on the day!
-Best to you and those that you care about!