This is a photo of my 3 year old being a 3 year old. Don’t be like her.
I’ll admit to you… I’m a person that holds a lot of opinions.
What you see on here is just a small tip of the iceberg to what David has to endure day in and day out.
Sometimes I’m afraid to share these opinions because I fear they may isolate other people.
After hearing your response to the post I wrote last week about Kavanaugh, I decided maybe… MAYBE I should share a few more of my opinions.
So here we are.
I’ve noticed an alarming trend on Facebook.
Maybe you’ve noticed it too:
people not being very nice to each other.
Sometimes when I open up my news feed I feel as if I’m observing a bunch of three year old’s arguing with each other.
Which honestly is kind of silly and not really helpful… because as I constantly remind myself throughout the day:
“I will not argue with a three year old.”
Because, well, logic right?
It’s pretty much nonexistent in a three year old’s tool box.
So just as I have to train my three year old on the proper way to get her point across, it occurred to me:
maybe people just need Facebook conversation training.
Apparently we truly do revert to acting like a child when presented with new and shiny things like social media.
But here’s the thing:
discussions are not a bad thing. Talking about things you disagree on is not something to disregard. Let’s keep talking about hard topics, but let’s learn how to do it with kindness!
As I tell my three year old: “you are allowed to feel anger, but you must express it with kindness.”
feeling up to the challenge?
So today I’m going to give you five ways that you can express your anger with kindness:
1 :: be truthful about your motives.
No more of this nonsense:
“Well I’m just sharing how I feel about this very controversial issue in this very public space, and now I’m MAD because people disagree with me and I’m going to lash out because of it.”
If you are sharing your opinion on a controversial subject in a public manner, be honest about the fact that it IS, in fact, controversial. You’ll be much less disappointed, and much more prepared for the inevitable disagreements. Share what you believe… but don’t be surprised when not everyone has the same opinion. I KNOW. It’s shocking, but if you want to graduate to an adult way of arguing, this one is a must.
2 :: see past the disagreements to the person who typed them.
This one is hard. It’s hard to realize that people who disagree with you are still, in fact, people. They feel hurt, pain, and anger just as you do.
Engage with the opinion, disagree if you feel compelled, but do so in a way that acknowledges the PERSON.
Don’t mock, belittle, or use inflammatory language. Be respectful… courteous even. You can do it!
3 :: if you’re using insulting language, do me a favor and throw your smart phone out of a moving car.
Insults are just that: insulting. Don’t use them. You’re above that I promise.
Don’t use words like snowflake or Trumpster. Please.
If you want to have a productive dialogue (which I suspect you don’t if you are leading with insults), this is not the way to proceed.
And if you don’t want to have a productive dialogue, and are in fact, just sharing your opinion, then I refer you back to point number one.
Playground rule number one: don’t name call.
4 :: If you have decided to use Facebook as a place to air your regrets: be ready to support your claims with fact.
Another hard one people! It takes a bit of extra work…
But just as I need my daughter to give me a better reason for eating an entire bag of suckers than “I want to,” I need you to back up your claims with sources sir!
And no. I’m sorry, but blog posts don’t count as sources (not even this one!). I don’t care how angry Matt Walsh or the Other 98% gets, they are NOT A SOURCE.
Show me your data, show me official sources such as memos from organizations directly dealing with the issue, show me studies… do not wave an opinion piece in my face and call it facts.
It’s not. It’s never going to be. No matter how much you wish it… it’s NOT.
Anecdotes will never be fact. I told you this one was hard!
5 :: Finally, and MOST IMPORTANTLY: don’t forget to breathe.
Maybe take a yoga class or something (unless you are a Christian, in which case RUN AWAY FROM THE EVIL TEMPTRESS THAT IS YOGA TRYING TO GET YOU TO PRACTICE PAGAN RELIGIOUS WITCHCRAFTERY)… or do what I tell my daughter to do when her rage really starts to whip up: fold your hands and count to five. Nothing pagan about that I promise (unless you ask her).
I am confident that 98% of the issues on Facebook would magically go away if people just took five seconds to breathe and think.
Think through a way to respond with kindness…
think long enough to acknowledge the person behind the offending post…
think through the concept that it’s really not THAT surprising that someone wrote something I disagree with…
think on whether this post warrants a response on my behalf.
think through how your preconceptions might be coloring your reactions.
Think on whether or not your response will benefit or distract… you have every right to share your opinion. Seriously, go ahead! Don’t let me or anyone else stop you. But you also have the full responsibility of presenting yourself in the way that you want to be perceived. If you want to be perceived as rude and judgmental, then by all means, be rude and judgmental. But if you want to be perceived as kind and thoughtful, it is UP TO YOU to be kind and thoughtful.
In other words: have some self awareness kay?
Alrighty then! Pat yourself on the back. You’ve officially learned how to fight like an adult and win at life.
P.S. This post was meant to be humorous. If you caught on to that yay! If not, read it again and… breathe (while I run for cover). Namaste.