There have been some bloggy discussions in the past few weeks that have made me think. There's one going on here which has some very interesting comments and is well worth a look. Basically, some bloggers are calling for a kinder, gentler Blogosphere, especially between women. It seems we're not always as supportive of each other as we might be. (Sorry, I can't give you any examples as I always seem to miss the big fights.)
So here (ta-daa), 'cause I know you're all waiting with baited breath for wise old EPM to weigh in, (Hey - less of the "old") - are my thoughts on the matter:-
Assume the Best.
Because let's face it, in the absence of a face in front of us, and a voice to listen to, it's very hard to decipher meaning from words on a page. Especially when it's 140 characters or less. (Tweeps, turn around and pay attention.) Even when there's "LOL" in there (which incidentally, means "Laughing out Loud" rather than "Lots of Love"). Even when there's a smiley emoticon or a pair of smacking lips, or "With all due respect..", in there.
Even if we don't respond immediately, many of us assume the worst. Our hackles are up. We go away and steam about it, usually making things far worse than they ever could be. We go to other blogs and talk about it, we post about it without mentioning the offender specifically, we snap back with a comment that on the surface looks terribly polite, but the real meaning is there for all to see.
In short, we assume the worst.
So my suggested mantra is "Assume the Best". In fact I think this is a great approach to life in general.
Here's a few things to try:-
1. Read the phrase/post again and see if you can put a different slant on it. Perhaps this is what the writer meant?
3. I'd say "try to put yourself in the writer's shoes" but it's very hard to think like another person, even when you've had similar experiences. We all come to a situation with our own life experiences, so the way one person reacts to something is rarely the same as the next.
4. If you're still steaming, compose a response on paper or in draft. Read it out loud. If it sounds mean, ask yourself if that's how you want to come across.
5. If you're answer is "Yes", take a breath and ask yourself "How do I think people will react? Is this what I want?"
6. If you're really upset about something, that's even more reason to sleep on it, have a cup of tea or otherwise think twice before banging out a response and hitting the send button.
Don't you want everyone to jump to the best conclusions about you instead of the worst?