Friday, August 14, 2015

17. How to handle online conflicts?

Do not respond right away
When an email or a post make your feel hurt or angry, best thing to do is not responding right away. Take at least 24 hours to feel normal with a clear mind to respond.

Read the post again later
Read the post a few times, Try to write it in different tone if you feel offended.  
“Once I received an email from a friend who had written a message in an angry tone. At first i became upset and disregarded the message. After one hour I read it again and replied softly. Immediately I received a reply saying “Thanks”. I became happy because my empathy solved the problem that would have cost me a friend.”

Discuss the post with someone
Ask their opinion on it and the response you plan to send. You might be able to look at the situation differently.

You have the right of not responding
You don't have to respond every message you receive unless it is worthy of a response, ignore it to discourage bullying or aggressiveness.

Everyone has bad days
Someone would react insensitively to a situation and writes a message without thinking it through completely, doesn't mean that they have a bad intention.

Avoid that bait
Some people tend to start fights no matter how kind and patient you are with them. They might distort something you have said and accuse to antagonize you. Avoid their bait to start a problem.

Clarify what someone means
Most people tend to misinterpret what they hear and read specially when they feel upset. Always to clarify them to understand the message correctly. Apply the benefit of the doubt and give them a chance to be clear about what they meant before taking action.

Verbalize what you want to accomplish
When replying use "I want to understand what you're saying.", "I feel hurt by your post., I want to talk about." "I want to find a way to work this out”,"I hope we can talk this through because I really like you.” Using "I" statements when sharing your feelings or thoughts would develop empathy in recipient ‘ Use "I feel" instead. "You made me feel"

Use feeling statements
Feeling statements are conveying how you felt.
Examples : felt hurt, sad, scared, angry, happy, guilty, remorseful, etc. They help person to understand the depth of our feelings and experience made from the message and softens out.

Choose your words carefully
The person reads your post alone. You are not present with them to clarify what you meant. They must rely your words to interpret the meaning, intent, and tone to understand your message. you can still be real and honest while selecting words carefully and thoughtfully.

Put yourself in other person's shoes
Consider, how might they feel from your message? Try to avoid conflict or hurt feelings. The other person  need to be able to understand your message exactly what you meant. Ask what if they send you the same message. Would you get offended? Do your best to be respectful, sensitive, and clear in your communications.

Use emotion icons to express your tone
The smiles, winks, and laughter icons are visual and auditory cues used to convey your tone. Even if you have a conflict or misunderstanding it does not mean you you don't like them any more. Tell them that you like them to reduce the tense interaction and soften the communication.
How to start and end your message
Using positive, affirming, and validating statements at the beginning and end strengthens your post . Say what you agree with and what you understand about how they feel at the beginning of your post to set a set a positive tone, End the post with a positive note as well.

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