Self-compassion and giving kindness online #5TTT

Hi all,

Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, snapchat etc etc. Being a part of todays modern world means having 24/7 access to these websites and platforms. We see smiling faces, delicious food, read interesting stories but more often than not we read, look and as a result have opinions.

‘I wouldn’t do it that way’

‘No way would I try that’

‘That’s too much effort…’

‘That’s not enough effort!’

Some take their opinions to the extreme (trolls), some don’t go so far but instead make snarky comments. Others keep their opinions to themselves (thank you!) but it doesn’t stop us from feeling the way we feel. I’m not perfect. I don’t read blogs and look at pictures on Instagram and believe everyone is doing or saying the right thing. I disagree all the time and, like everyone, I let certain things really get to me. But I always reflect back – why do I feel this way? Then I give myself some compassion and the author and poster of said blog/ picture some kindness.

Let’s dive into that a bit more for this weeks 5 top tips on a Tuesday – self-compassion and giving kindness online.Self-compassion and giving kindness online - chase the red grape

Reflection

Reflecting back on why something makes you feel a certain way is important. We do it all the time in our day to day life but we somehow forget to do it when it comes to our online life. This person was not writing or posting directly to you, why have you taken it so personally? Does it expose some insecurities you have about yourself? Get to the bottom of why you feel this way.

Self-compassion

We are human. We are going to compare our lives and have different opinions. We are going to feel jealous, frustrated and hurt by what some people post. Some are pushing the boundaries trying to hit your buttons and you are falling right for the trap. But in these moments show yourself some compassion. So you see someone with the ‘ideal body’, who does 4 hours of cardio per day. You have reflected back and realised that this picture makes you feel insecure about your own body but also makes you angry at the message he/she is promoting. Be compassionate. You are human. This will happen. It’s what you do next that counts.

Kindness

Let’s carry on with the example above. You are feeling insecure and angry about that photo. You can do one of 3 things. 1) Leave an angry comment about how you disagree with their message 2) Walk away and stew for the next few hours letting it affect you. Or 3) Show them kindness.

Many people out there don’t realise what they have done would annoy you. Many folks are out there doing their best with what they know. You may be seeing their highlight reel but not knowing the struggle that goes on behind that post. They may be too afraid to show the truth or their fear. Kindness is acknowledging their right to post. Kindness is being friendly because it makes you feel good, not because you have to, but because you want to.

To follow or unfollow?

I follow people I disagree with on a regular basis. Why? Because I acknowledge their right to think differently from me. I like the questions they allow to bring up in my mind. I like that they help me define how I really feel about different issues. However, I have also followed people who have made me feel unhappy. I understand I am allowed to feel this way but the best kindness I can show this person is to unfollow them. You are in control of what you see on a regular basis. If someone does not gel with you or makes you feel unhappy then unfollow. It’s as simple as a click of a button.

Let it go

Our online lives are only going to become more prominent. We are going to be exposed more and more to things we don’t like/ disagree with. There were always people out there who thought differently to you, you just didn’t see them pop up on your Facebook feed every morning. Follow the steps above and even after you have unfollowed them, you must let it go. We all need to start either being at peace being surrounded by differing opinions or backing away from life online. Don’t let one picture or post ruin your day. Instead focus on the ones that have made your day. Keep your life online a happy one.

Do follow people online that you disagree with?

How do you react when you read something you don’t like?

How often do you unfollow people?

(Linking up with ‘Thinking Out Loud)5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

11 thoughts on “Self-compassion and giving kindness online #5TTT

  1. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table says:

    I don’t understand trolls. Why bother? And who has that kind of time? If I disagree with someone’s post, I just let it go. Unless it’s a discussion… and I’m not going to lie, I totally unfriended my aunt during this last election. At some point I’m just offended and it’s not worth my energy.

    • Jen says:

      I think it is so important sometimes to unfollow folk on social media, even if it is family. Yes people are entitled to their own opinion but sometimes there is only so much you can take!

  2. Juli@1000lovelythings says:

    I don’t get people who leave negative comments. Even if I disagree it’s not my job to tell people they are wrong in my eyes. Who am I to judge.
    But I am a bit more strict with who I follow/ unfollow. When someone rubs me the wrong way I don’t mind that much and actually don’t think about it anymore unless it’s downright rude, homophobic, racist… then I unfollow. But when I don’t like someones content anymore over the time I have no problem to unfollow. My time is too precious to me to keep up with content I don’t appreciate. I have zero problems with letting go. It’s a bit trickier with real life friends though. I have a bunch op people on instagram who I wouldn’t follow if I didn’t know them in real life. But I am a fast scroller ;-P
    Facebook is even trickier. I make use of the unfollow function a lot but don’t unfriend them unless they post ignorant/ homophobic/ racist stuff…. It’s a good middleground.
    Juli@1000lovelythings recently posted…Spicy Peach Peanut Sauce RecipeMy Profile

    • Jen says:

      You are so right, it’s so easy to let go and detach yourself from an online blogger or website but real life is much harder. The unfollow function on Facebook is fantastic for that! I think everyone needs a middleground when it comes to social media, you gotta know what your limits are and how you react to differing opinions and thoughts.

  3. Cora says:

    “Keep your life online a happy one.” —-> This is so spot on. At the end of the day, WE are in control of our lives, our opinions and our reactions. We are in control of our happiness. We all need to have the confidence to do the things we need to do – whether that be following or unfollowing certain parts of social media – and not feel guilty or like we have to validate our own decisions.

    I think asking ourselves “why is this bothering me so much” is an extremely hard, but very important question to ask. Hard, because it risks bringing up some feelings that we are used to hiding away, or things about ourselves we do not like. But answering these questions are what helps us learn about ourselves and will, in the long run, help us create a life of safety and genuine happiness for ourselves.
    Cora recently posted…Week In Review: What Makes You Feel Productive?My Profile

    • Jen says:

      You are so right Cora, asking yourself why something is bothering you so much (both on and offline) is a hard question to ask but so vital in order to know yourself more and understand why certain situations rub you up the wrong way. A few times I have asked myself that question and the answer could not be further from what I was expecting, yet it helped explain why I reacted in a certain way to certain situations.

    • Jen says:

      I do agree to a certain extent. I think it’s great to open up dialogue about a certain subject and to get different sides of the topic discussed but I think the way people come to that discussion is what needs to be looked at. Discussion and debate is great – an attack or someone having to get very defensive in a response is not. So you are spot on with being mindful – and I think you will soon be able to work out which blogs you follow that would be open to the idea of a debate and which ones would not.

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