How often have you seen comments on social media degrade into arguments and personal attacks?
You're in control of how you want to respond if you need to take a stand. You can add to the polarization or choose to make a reasoned response. When you need to make your voice heard, here are 5 practical skills to manage your emotional state and protect your integrity.
1. Show Respect
Every human being deserves dignity. You don't have to like or agree with them, but respect, even in anger, builds bridges.
2. Use Silence as Action
Silence provides time to calm the reactive parts of your brain and return to logical thinking. When you're ready, you can return to a difficult conversation with integrity.
3. Manage Your Behaviours
Know your emotional and environmental triggers.
Manage or turn off social media notifications so you get to decide when you will take part. When you fight back online, you give away your power to the person who started the argument. Know when you need to walk away to avoid more upset and to avoid feeling guilt or shame after saying something out of blind anger.
The best way to understand and manage your triggers is to keep notes.
4. Do You Know The Truth?
Do you know all the facts? Is there more than one way to understand the situation? Are your beliefs adding emotional conflict and contention?
5. Find the Middle Ground
To create understanding, find out what connects both sides of the argument? What does each side want, albeit from a different vantage point? What does each side value, but for different reasons?
Which skill do you want to try?
What's the easiest skill above for you to practice — and why? Put it into action for the next 15-days and pay attention to how that improves your peace of mind.