Being kind, the Internet and good stories

There are a lot of wise people who already talk about the value of being kind to others and showing and expressing appreciation. It’s all easy to understand and we can nod our heads. And I wonder, when we see these things in the world of social media, do we roll our eyes and skim passed as quickly as possible?

I know a good many people in the social space who just enjoy sharing good news stuff and motivational quotes and inspirational stuff. It’s their bag, I get it.

I also don’t knowingly know anyone in the online world who actively abuses others. Trolling, criticising with mal intent, verbal abuse, offensive language intending to harm and hurt, causing threat to others, that kind of thing. I see it plenty and read all sorts of stories about stuff like this, though, and I am constantly amazed at how and why people act in such ways.

One of the things talked about in the world of emotional intelligence is in understanding that all our emotions are useful and helpful to us, and that includes difficult emotions like anger and sadness. Our challenge when feeling these emotions is in being able to find safe and supportive ways of expression that allow the individual experiencing them to know they can do that. And one of the important elements in hearing these messages is in discerning if we need to actively support the resolution of those emotions.

In the online world, it’s so very hard to know what intent a person has when they share difficult messages. Are they ok? Why would they share that? What did they say? That’s just rude. How offensive. They could get in trouble for that. It must be their parenting. Don’t they have a sensor for saying these things?

When we then see people being kind it offers a counterbalance to such activity. When I advocate for #3goodthings it’s often because I want people to appreciate an acceptance of expressing the good they see, feel and experience. Good stories help connect us back to what it is to be human and to have faith in fellow people.

The challenge is in balancing wanting to share the good stuff, while not denying the bad stuff. Bad stuff happens too, and when it does, we need to be able to accept it and just let that stuff happen. It’ll pass and when it does, we can focus on the good.

With thanks to Julie Drybrough and Joey Stephenson for their thinking in helping me write today’s post.

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Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

One thought on “Being kind, the Internet and good stories”

  1. Reblogged this on People-ology and commented:
    A great piece from Sukh Pabial to acknowledge that looking for the good and being positive is helpful – and so is expressing our sadness, frustration or anger.

    Where do you feel safe and supported to do this?

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