Darren Stehle — Coach | Writer | Podcaster

Apr 27, 2022

Why Do We Defend Our Beliefs with Anger Leading to Physical Violence?

When did it become normal and acceptable to express the desire to harm another person for saying something you don't agree with?

This has not always been the case, but observing how people react across social media platforms, it begs the question.

For example, on RuPaul‘s Drag Race, many of the queens receive death threats or are told to kill themselves for something they said on the show about another queen. RuPaul‘s Drag Race is a reality-based competition that challenges its contestants to the edge of their creativity and stress levels. And we all know that good drama makes for fantastic television!

Does saying something you don’t agree with warrant a public declaration (or DM) that you wish the person violence or death?

The Under-Appreciated Value of Silence or Walking Away

This is not an admission of ignorance or an unwillingness to deal with an uncomfortable situation.

Walking away is a safety mechanism. Choosing to be silent provides time to calm down the reactive parts of our brain and return to logical thinking. Only when calm can we return to a difficult conversation with integrity and humility.

If I limit this essay to changing our behaviour on social media, this would be the most important advice I can offer:

Don't comment on social media if you are agitated, angry, or enraged.

This practice may take time to master so start with being kind to yourself:

  1. Step away from your computer or device.

  2. Move your body to alter your emotional state.

  3. Reflect on why you're feeling upset and own your emotional reactions without blaming the person.

If you strive for clarity about what's important to the other person, you will communicate understanding, which demonstrates the willingness to listen and moderate contention.

This doesn't guarantee they will respond in kind, but at least you will be demonstrating connection and respect.

Darren Stehle — Coach | Writer | Podcaster

🏳️‍🌈 Empowering LGBTQ+ change-makers and creatives to embrace their uniqueness and become inspiring, impactful leaders.