Rules of Engagement

One of the things I’ve stopped doing since enjoying this new paradigm I’m in is not to engage someone in a verbal confrontation.  Typically if someone launches into me it has to do with my belief system.

It happened on a local blog/news site a few months ago.  I didn’t engage, because I understood they were simply looking for a reaction.  Ninety percent of the time when someone questions me they are simply looking for a reaction.

The above example of my being confronted reminds me of Dustin Stout’s entry at his blog called Stay Humble.  I shared that entry yesterday saying:
One of the things I do when I’m emotionally abused is to take a step back from my attacker and realize that much of the time when something negative is done to me, it has nothing to do with me.  Either:
A) My attacker is releasing their energy on me because they themselves had just had an equally negative experience and I was the first person in their line of sight:
Convenience

B) My attacker is simply reflecting something in their own persona they don’t like about themselves and they can’t throw the negativity at themselves so they look for a substitute and transfer their anger:
Transference

If you can keep this in mind the next time someone negatively affects you, you’ll maybe be able to better handle the situation.

Why give someone what they are looking for when what they are seeking is a reaction to negativity?  It will only serve to perpetuate the activity.

I’ve learned to turn the other cheek.  It’s not that I’m averse to confrontation, but why devote negative energy on top of negative energy?  Isn’t better to throw light upon darkness?  If you can’t throw light, then certainly don’t throw dark.  That will only hurt you.  I learned this lesson long ago and I’m hoping to teach it by example.

I understand that I run the risk of verbal confrontation because some of what I discuss at Wisdom and Life is ripe for attack:
Writing about Spirituality can cause conflict especially when using words such as God and Religion.

That’s I’m very careful not to use the word Religion in any of my writings.  When I use the word God I mention that I’m using it in the universal way as in the Divine, the Spiritual God, not the Religious God.  Typically, this sets most people at ease.  There will always be that one person who can’t see what I’m attempting to point out and occasionally I will be on the receiving end of negativity.  When that happens I’ve learned not to react.

Of course there will always be a segment of society that either doesn’t care or doesn’t understand the ramifications of said behavior.  I mentioned J.C. Kendalls blog entry:
What is Your Personal Brand Saying About You?
in last Friday’s entry:  
Sharing, Re-Sharing and Circles
and that entry happens to hold some truth here as well in that ALL of our online activity is now searchable.  Business, prospective dates, clients:
They can all find anything about any of us easier now than at any other time in history.  What does your online resume say about you?

Are you an instigator?
Are you a verbal/emotional vampire?  If you said yes, it isn’t too late to change.

Are you strong enough to turn the other cheek in the face of a negative storm?
Are you strong enough NOT to be the vampire?  Not to attack?

Social Media and the Internet has brought everyone closer and yet has also pulled everyone further apart.  How can that be you may be asking?  It has pulled us further apart because we are able to hide behind a screen, hide behind a created persona, hide behind a made up name.

That’s another reason Google+ has so drawn me into its realm.  G+ is attempting to have its users adopt their real names when writing content.  As I’m writing this now, I understand the implications for this policy:
By using our real names, we MAY be less likely to throw vitriol around.

Social Media has brought people together in a more meaningful way than anyone ever anticipated with the advent of the Internet.  Think of all the ways we connect now:
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
Facebook

And these are just four of the most prominent networks.  Social Media is becoming Internet 2.0 if it hasn’t already.  That’s why it is so important to filter what we say online.

Do we really want the “Drunk” photo showing up permanently in our online resume?
Do we really want that post saying I suffer from Tourette’s. as part of who we are?

Unfortunately for a vast majority of people on Facebook this is what we see.  And it’s another reason I extricated myself from the network.  I don’t need to be part of a network that is becoming more juvenile with each passing day.  It’s why I’ve settled into G+.  The discussion on Google’s platform has so far been focused on the positive, has so far been more professional.  It would appear that for professional content, LinkedIn and Google+  are where you want to focus your attention.  Although these two networks operate in different ways, G+ being a platform where you must actively share and produce content and LinkedIn being a storage bank for your professional resume, they both rely on professional content and not the common content you find on Facebook.

Have you noticed I don’t have much positive feedback for Facebook?  Maybe it’s because that network has outlived my productivity.  The place to be now is Google+ and I’m so happy to be here.  I’ve learned more here on G+ in the past few months than I have during the entire time I’ve been here.  One group I belong to is responsible for my exponential learning.  The Blogging Army that Jeremy Smith assembled placed me in contact with several heavy hitters in the G+ World.  Larry Deane being one of them.  From Larry I became acquainted with several other G+ heavy hitters such as, Jesse Wojdylo and Mark Traphagen.  If you have any desire to know what’s happening on G+ I suggest putting these people in a circle you regularly check.  They will all provide you with a vast amount of much needed info on G+.

What I find completely fascinating about The Blogging Army that Jeremy has assembled is the fact that all of our blogs have the same central theme.  It just proves to me again how connected everything is.

Tim Young and I connect because we tend to parallel each other.
Dustin Stout
and I connect because we have a common interest in Social Media.  We also share a commonality with our blogs.  Heck everyone in this group is amazing and just another example of how Social Media can bring people together.

I’m reminded of a question recently I posted on Google+
Is it more important to you to be right or to have a relationship with someone you care about?

I’d rather keep the relationship and not give energy to something not worth fighting over, even if the other person is only someone I know virtually, or may not know at all.  Why create negativity by continuing a discussion that is best left alone?  I’ll let someone else take up the mantle.  Someone always will.  It happened on that local news site and I’m sure it will happen again out in the world as well as online

So if someone questions my authenticity online or my belief system online in a less than positive light, don’t expect me to join in and continue throwing negativity at it.  I’ve learned to stay above the fray.

It keeps me healthier.
It keeps my happier.
It keeps me centered.

What are your rules of engagement?

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

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5 responses to “Rules of Engagement

  1. Thanks for the mention. I don’t feed the trolls – and there are lots of them out there. My faith is a pretty significant part of my life, and it does come up in my articles. I’ve pretty pretty surprised that nobody has tried to start a religious debate with me yet.

    My rules of engagement are like yours, it really depend on the person’s intentions. If the question is a legit one, I’ll respond, but if not I just move on.

    I’ve honestly found G+ to be so much better in that regard so far, almost zero trolls.

  2. Chris, I cannot recall one negative comment on my blog, and that is a good thing. I just figure that people who read it are doing so for all the right reasons. I do have a certain person on Facebook who likes to “go after” anything I post (other than my blog) which puts God in a positive light. Like you, I simply turn the other cheek. It isn’t worth the negative energy, for sure!
    Blessings to you!

  3. Pingback: Rules Of Engagement, Google Plus And Social Media

  4. This was really thought provoking. So far I’ve been lucky within my blog – I’ve had wonderful comments. But I did have a friend say something to me about my blog – I actually wrote a post about it ‘An unexpected comfort’. I think I’ve come to realise that when people criticise you they are simply trying to find a way to say how they feel, but they are still in the blaming phase. I tend to stay clear until they can take responsibility for the way they feel. Otherwise, trying to help can land you in deeper criticism.

  5. Hi Martha and Gabrielablandy:
    Living as I do now I simply can NOT engage when someone throws negativity ay me. It winds up hurting me. I realize that their negativity is coming from somewhere within them and they are simply looking for validation.

    Chris

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