On the internet, if you’ve been around a while, you know that many of the comments people make in public forums are angry, negative, and nonproductive. On the rare occasion I read these forums, my stomach ends up tied in knots after a few minutes.
I hate conflict. I grew up in a home with a lot of it. It took me many years to figure out that it’s toxic, and that you can choose not to indulge, encourage, and embrace conflict. That you can defuse it or at least walk away from it. I now choose to minimize it in my life. When I’m exposed to it, I try not to wallow in it and relive it, after the fact.
The best thing is to find unusual ways to neutralize it and move on from it. I interrupt the thought patterns that revisit it, break down conflicts in my head as honestly as possible if they’re bothering my heart, and then when I’m done with it, discipline myself to think about something more productive.
I like when people comment on my blog with views contrary to my own. You can’t grow or learn without other ideas and people pushing back on your own. So bring it on!
Somebody unsubscribed from my newsletter because I once blogged about a political issue. Somebody else quit reading the blog because I wrote my thoughts on vaccines. That’s okay, because I’d like a free information exchange here–no gag orders or topic restrictions.
I promise not to get offended if your opinion differs from mine.
If you dig deep on this site and blog, you’ll find that I won’t engage in conflict that doesn’t seem productive. If someone is hostile or abusive in a blog comment, I delete it. If someone is a bit contrarian and lively in their disagreement, even if it’s a personal criticism of me–I approve the comment.
But there is precious little anger and hostility even in others’ comments here. Generally GSG readers almost always take the “high road.” I hope that’s because my goal is consistent and comes across clearly: to nurture people on their journey. Not tear them or their choices down. We do enough of that to ourselves to last a lifetime!
It isn’t productive to be negative. And the corollary is this: it’s infinitely valuable to praise good first steps, good efforts, towards a healthier and happier life. I have always appreciated comments that are constructive and helpful.
Ideas and experiences abound in the comments made here on my blog. Those who contribute, thanks for helping me build valuable resources for others!