Do you ever stop and think about what your reactions are doing to other people? We have all seen comments on Facebook or Medium and wanted to fire off an angry response. Do you ever consider if the person you are responding to, is having a bad day?
Today I contacted an ex-colleague to talk about a new project I was setting up. The response back from her was harsh, to say the least. It is not that I don’t respect her opinions, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. The way it was put across though, was the issue. At the time, I’m not too big to say, that it upset me.
Sometimes one tiny little comment can be the last straw for someone and we don’t think about this enough. We have no idea what is going on in the personal lives of others. The lives people portray on Facebook may be happy and excited. Do we know what people are going through, though? Do we ever stop our busy lives to even consider this?
Was my colleague to know that I was having a tough time. I have lost my job, am struggling to pay the bills. The new company is to put food in my little girl’s mouth. Well, some of it she did know, other parts I have kept from Facebook. Forgive me for not putting cryptic status about how tough things are. I prefer to keep my problems within my house. Facebook is, after all, a social site I use it socially.
There were so many different ways she could have voiced her opinion. We could have gone for a coffee and a chat. She could have heard more about the company and then voiced her concerns in a supportive manner. She could have offered me advice on the venture, she is someone who I deeply respect.
The other consideration is, that I don’t know what is going on in her personal life. Was her reaction because she is having a bad day. That is why my response was measured and not aggressive.
I did not fight fire with fire, I fought it with water.
Take a moment before you fire off a response to someone. Whether this is a comment on your work or social sites. Can you say hand on heart the message was meant to be mean or is it a person having a hard time? Compassion and kindness cost nothing but can change a persons day from bad to good. Don’t be the person that upsets others and tramples on them during your journey. Of course, if this person belongs to the troll family, then hit them as hard as you want.
Life is tough for many of us, kindness costs nothing. Give people the benefit of the doubt and support them when you can. These will be the people that support you when you are down on your luck.