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View Full Version : Healthy Message Board Living...no, really, you want to read this ;)


allisonintx
10-13-2010, 12:36 PM
Healthy Message Board Living:

This is my 15th year of Message Board-ing, as it were, and my tenth year of membership here at GCM, and Iíd like to talk about being understanding and understood on a message board. I spent a lot of years being misunderstood and hurting peopleís feelings, and the ladies here have been so patient with me in my growth toward gentleness. I am far from a finished product but I have picked up a trick or two along the way, and I thought Iíd share.



Formulating an OP for maximum impact


All words have meaning, and some people give them more weight than others, so you have to remember that each individual will read your post with weight on different words.

Start with your main idea of a post, especially if itís about something controversial or something youíre having big feelings about. Write it all out as you normally would.

Leave the post alone for a while. Minimize the window and go do something else.

This is where the magic happens.

Read your post with new eyes. Think. Take time to consider what you are asking/saying or why you are posting. Clarify your intent. Think about wether or not you would want to read/respond to this post and why, or why not?

If youíre asking for something, are you using emotionally healthy vocabulary (I think / I feel / I need) ?

Are your words in active voice (http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/active-voice-versus-passive-voice.aspx)?

Passive voice is vague and leaves too much room for misunderstanding. The passive voice is what politicians use when they want to say something without taking responsibility for it, such as saying ďbombs were droppedĒ or ďmistakes were madeĒ

You take responsibility for what you write and what you feel by using the active voice. Not only will you be clearer in your intent, in your posts, but you will also feel empowered when you do this regularly! :mrgreen Bonus!

Ask yourself if the post itself, or the answers you hope to garner, will educate, illuminate, entertain or have an otherwise positive impact on your community here at GCM?

Does what you wrote still make sense upon a second reading? :shifty

:heartObviously, if youíre writing about a difficult situation in your life, the questions will be more along the lines of Ďdoes this post accurately describe my situation? Have I made clear what Iím looking for wether thatís hugs, help or both? and again, Does this post still make sense upon a second reading?:heart

There will be times when this kind of editing is just not going to happen, of course, but when possible, it improves your chances of getting what you need out of your Message Board Experience.



Intent in Response :heart

Take the high road with regard to intent.

Even if you believe that someone is saying something to be snarky or slightly offensive, just read it with the most positive tone you can manage. In this case it is a gracious offering to play dumb, just a little, and ignore the Ďtoneí you originally Ďheardí in a post. I find getting 12 hours between my first reading of an emotionally charged post and sitting down to type my response will give me a brand new perspective on it...and if it doesn't, then I need to pray about how/whether to respond.

When formulating a response, edit edit edit. Make haste slowly to post an answer.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Prov 15:1)


It is good to remember that women who appear tough and talk tough are often the most sensitive among us, and to keep that in mind when responding.

Be kind. Be kinder than necessary. Practice being kinder than you ever thought you could be, especially since no one can hear the tone of your voice. Kindness is never wasted and will be returned to you.

If something youíre writing *might* be construed as unkind, leave it out or re-word it. It might make you feel better to say it, but unkindness benefits no one in the end. Often, I type something thatís a little ugly just to get to type it out, and then I just donít hit post. I completely reword it or I delete it, entirely.

Iím embarrassed to say how often I write something with my own Ďflipí tone and then have to rework or delete it. Iím talking about one out of every three or four posts. :shifty Umm, check out my post count, and do the math. :O

Take no offense for someone else...especially if they donít appear offended!

This is an energy suck of epic proportion and causes more board strife than the two people who are struggling actually working out what is going on without everyone else coming in trying to interpret for them.

If you believe another member has been wronged by a sister here, attacking the person who wrongs them is not going to be productive or helpful. Encouraging the women to work out their issues according to Matthew 18 absolutely *will* be helpful every time. If you see a thread going this way, contact a Moderator or an Admin who will help the ladies take their disagreement to PM per the board policy.


Saying the Hard Thing


This is something I do pretty frequently. If you have something to say that you know is going to be hard for a member to hear, please temper it with all the love in your heart, and use all the appropriate emoticons to indicate your intent.

If you can not say it with love or are struggling to say it graciously, just donít say it at all, or contact someone who can help you word it appropriately :yes If you're concerned about how your response will be received ask a friend who is also a member in that forum, or staff member, via PM, to help you proof it. I do that a couple of times each month. It helps me say what I mean.

Also, give fair warning when you're going to say the hard truth in a situation, that way it's not as much of an ambush on an already vulnerable sister.

Personalities

We have 2000 (yes, TWO THOUSAND) members. Thatís a lot of amazing women and a lot of personality.
:) :dreads2 ;) :(:phone :giggle :cool :snooty :read :think :doh:D :firefighter :mrgreen :shifty :eyebrows :-/ :jump :pray4 :yawn :peace :O:nails :kiss :P~ :mad :sick :phew:shy :smile :sillygrin :foot :paranoid :bag :tired :crazy2 :tooth :scarf:sad :pout :blue:ptl2 :wow :shakehead :neutral :glare:hearts:dance:cheer:music:dreads:glassesb :smileb :listen :pan :eyebrow :mutter :blahblah :laughtears:sad2:hissyfit

Thereís always going to be a member or two who just rub you the wrong way.

You know who they are.

If youíre perpetually bumping up against someone in negative ways and havenít been able to resolve your conflicts without resorting to snark, passive aggressive digs and sideways namecalling, donít go into their threads. Just donít... unless youíve decided that youíre going to understand their POV and are determined to not be provoked by their style or ideology, and are feeling steadfast in your graciousness.

If you feel that thereís a possibility that youíll be set off and unable to control your words and/or big feelings, just donít open the thread. You donít need the conflict or drama in your life...youíve got small children, so thereís enough of that already ;) and you can choose to not have it, here. Thatís one of the benefits of the style of board we have. For that matter, if a member makes you too crazy to control yourself, you can set your User CP to ignore them entirely and you wonít see their posts at all :hiding

:gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm

I love this place. I am so much closer to the woman God intends me to be on this earth, because He brought me here and gave me the opportunity to know the wonderful women here. He drew me out of the depths of my own wretched wrath and showed me the light of grace and mercy in this place. To say that I am utterly transformed since my very first day here, is not hyperbole.

I am thankful daily, as is my family, for what GCM has done in His Name. There is no place like this place, this side of Heaven itself, and I wish that every mother/daughter/sister/grandma had such a haven and such good support.

Sometimes we spit and growl at one another the way siblings can, but every day, I always know I can count on my sisters from GCM to hold up my arms when they are too weak, to be my voice when I can not pray, to surround me with loving arms when I despair, to rejoice with me in my blessings and mourn with me in my loss. This is one very complete body, in service of the King of which I am honored to be a part. :heart

Tuesdayschild
10-13-2010, 12:40 PM
Well said! Thank you :heart

Aisling
10-13-2010, 12:41 PM
:yes :ty :cool I appreciate this a lot...good reminders for me and everyone!

DoulaClara
10-13-2010, 12:42 PM
:rockon

Raspberries
10-13-2010, 12:45 PM
Fantastic!!!!:heart:heart:heart:heart

ShiriChayim
10-13-2010, 12:46 PM
Healthy Message Board Living:


Take no offense for someone else...especially if they donít appear offended!

This is an energy suck of epic proportion and causes more board strife than the two people who are struggling actually working out what is going on without everyone else coming in trying to interpret for them.

If you believe another member has been wronged by a sister here, attacking the person who wrongs them is not going to be productive or helpful. Encouraging the women to work out their issues according to Matthew 18 absolutely *will* be helpful every time. If you see a thread going this way, contact a Moderator or an Admin who will help the ladies take their disagreement to PM per the board policy.


I'm giggling ironically at this one because I've seen this SO MANY TIMES where the two people actually involved end up all :shrug3 :hug and everyone else is all :mutter and generally mods are going :hunh:scratch :giggle (See my lovely use of emoticons there?) :D

butterflyqueen71
10-13-2010, 01:07 PM
:cool

(This should be a sticky! :) )

Bonnie
10-13-2010, 01:35 PM
:heart

november
10-13-2010, 01:44 PM
Preach it, sister! Haha. :)

mwwr
10-13-2010, 01:47 PM
We have 2000 (yes, TWO THOUSAND) members. Thatís a lot of amazing women and a lot of personality.
:) :dreads2 ;) :(:phone :giggle :cool :snooty :read :think :doh:D :firefighter :mrgreen :shifty :eyebrows :-/ :jump :pray4 :yawn :peace :O:nails :kiss :P~ :mad :sick :phew:shy :smile :sillygrin :foot :paranoid :bag :tired :crazy2 :tooth :scarf:sad :pout :blue:ptl2 :wow :shakehead :neutral :glare:hearts:dance:cheer:music:dreads:glassesb :smileb :listen :pan :eyebrow :mutter :blahblah :laughtears:sad2:hissyfit
:gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm :gcm

I like the way you put all of our pictures in the post. :)
:tu

TraceMama
10-13-2010, 02:40 PM
:clap Well said and very much appreciated! :yes :tu :hug :heart

The Tickle Momster
10-13-2010, 03:23 PM
You have a way with words Allison. :hug

allisonintx
10-13-2010, 04:07 PM
Thank you ladies for all the love :hug

I've been working on this post off and on for almost a year, and I'm glad to finally have it done ;)

Llee
10-13-2010, 04:46 PM
I like you lots and your ideas lots. And if you were here, I'd bring over a batch of fresh oatmeal cookies. But since you're not here, I shall keep them. ;) Well, except for what the littles and dh nab. :giggle

ArmsOfLove
10-13-2010, 04:49 PM
I'm giggling ironically at this one because I've seen this SO MANY TIMES where the two people actually involved end up all :shrug3 :hug and everyone else is all :mutter and generally mods are going :hunh:scratch :giggle (See my lovely use of emoticons there?) :D


See, now that is TOTALLY what it looks like :giggle

Lantern Light Mama
10-13-2010, 04:51 PM
The internet exhaust me. How do you fix this one? I love GCM but I get seriously exhausted sometimes. What would you do to fix this besides unplug? Sometimes I want to unplug RL too and just sit around on my sofa eating bonbons. :shifty

TrinMama
10-13-2010, 04:51 PM
Bravo!


I can't tell you how much those words from Proverbs spoke to my heart today...and not even in regards to the message board. ;)

Teacher Mom
10-13-2010, 05:18 PM
very well said Allison. You can tell that you worked on it for awhile. Well written indeed :clap :hug :heart

made4more
10-13-2010, 05:20 PM
:popcorn

Momma2Luke
10-13-2010, 06:19 PM
Oh! What a great post! :heart

I had no idea that staff (mods) were willing to sometimes review a potential post (if we felt led to say 'the hard thing'). Thanks for letting us know!

made4more
10-13-2010, 06:25 PM
that active voice thing had my head spinning. i had to turn it off. :shifty

ArmsOfLove
10-13-2010, 06:35 PM
The internet exhaust me. How do you fix this one? I love GCM but I get seriously exhausted sometimes. What would you do to fix this besides unplug? Sometimes I want to unplug RL too and just sit around on my sofa eating bonbons. :shifty

it depends on what is causing you to feel tired :hugheart Sometimes logging off is the best thing to do :heart

charla
10-13-2010, 06:39 PM
Thank you for the wise words.

allisonintx
10-13-2010, 07:03 PM
Media Free Week every quarter or so, is a good way to deprogram from the noise in your head :yes

Lantern Light Mama
10-13-2010, 07:21 PM
It actually feels like I soak up others' energy (not intentionally).

newday
10-13-2010, 07:25 PM
It actually feels like I soak up others' energy (not intentionally).

you might want to make sure you are hanging out in threads where you can stay healthy :hug2

Teacher Mom
10-13-2010, 07:35 PM
I hardly ever enter some forums.

RachelB
10-13-2010, 07:51 PM
Thank you for such beautifully written words of advice. :heart

Did anyone else feel that this post itself is a wonderful example of gentle discipline? The "expectations" are clearly stated. The tone is firm, especially in regard to how we treat each other, but is gentle. It reminds us that we are responsible for our own words and actions, and that we should slow down and be intentional in our choices. Most importantly, it stresses how fortunate we all are to have this "family," and conveys a love for this group that is so deep that it literally brought tears to my eyes.

While this may have technically been a post about message board etiquette, all I could think while reading it is that it made me feel exactly the way I want to make my children feel.

Thank you, Allison. :heart

Kat
10-13-2010, 08:02 PM
:cool

(This should be a sticky! :) )

Yes, definitely!!! I second the idea that this should be a sticky! :yes

godsgracegiven
10-13-2010, 08:06 PM
Very wise words!! :heart

backtobasicsmum
10-13-2010, 10:17 PM
:heart

Barefoot
10-13-2010, 10:39 PM
I wish every message board had a sticky like this. I quite often open topics only to read the OP and think, this is going to end badly.

Firebird Rising
10-13-2010, 10:48 PM
subbing to read all this. it looks like a gem Allison. :heart

ArmsOfLove
10-13-2010, 10:49 PM
It actually feels like I soak up others' energy (not intentionally).
that's a high level of empathy that may actually be from a strong spiritual gift that no one has taught you how to use wisely. It's really important to learn how to be a conduit with other people's pain going through us to the Lord--lifted up in intercessory prayer--and His love flowing through us out to other people. Otherwise we end up bottlenecked where we are full of their pain and trying to love them out of our own limited resources :hugheart

Tuesdayschild
10-14-2010, 12:40 AM
Media Free Week every quarter or so, is a good way to deprogram from the noise in your head :yes
ITA from experience that a media hiatus every once in a while is *vital* for resetting priorities / clearing head space.

BearyBlessed
10-14-2010, 01:30 AM
Thank you, Allison. :heart

3xblessed
10-14-2010, 06:06 AM
Thank you, Allison. So beautifully said. :heart

zak
10-14-2010, 06:19 AM
:heart Thank you, Allison!

mother love
10-14-2010, 07:26 AM
Wow! Thank you so much!! I just re-joined gcm and so great to read this before I start posting!! :)

Heather Micaela
10-14-2010, 11:38 AM
bumping
(and voting to make this a sticky)

cro
10-14-2010, 09:54 PM
:heart

Definitely a sticky-worthy post! :rockon

Peridot
10-15-2010, 11:05 AM
very well done. Thank you Allison.

:gcm

Maggirayne
10-15-2010, 11:33 AM
A year writing it, wow, you are amazing and such a blessing here, Allison!

ShiriChayim, Smilie Win! :cake

MamaCare
10-15-2010, 11:36 AM
Amen, and amen!

Forsynthianicki
10-15-2010, 11:47 AM
Thanks for taking the time to think/ write all of this out. Wise words Allison :heart

Soliloquy
10-15-2010, 12:11 PM
Bravo!!! Encore!! (:shifty)

Awesome, awesome, thank you!
Posted via Mobile Device

Lantern Light Mama
10-16-2010, 12:35 AM
Ty AOL and Allison :). Honestly it is emotionally exhausting me. I'm drained.

Aisling
10-16-2010, 07:27 AM
JoyinTheSpirit-I've struggled with similar feelings for a long time, and am starting to gain some skill in managing them. Start another thread, if you want, and send me a poke toward it; I'd love to chat with you! :heart

allisonintx
10-16-2010, 04:24 PM
I agree. Won't one of y'all start a spin somewhere and we'll talk about not only coping with empathy like that but thriving with it.

kwisie
10-16-2010, 04:34 PM
Thanks, Allison! :heart

amyhntr2
10-16-2010, 09:06 PM
Such a wonderful post. I plan to reread this several times in the next few days.

allisonintx
11-27-2010, 08:48 AM
In light of several other threads that have recently come up on the board I'm giving this one a :bump

ShiriChayim
11-27-2010, 08:51 AM
Hey, did that thread about surviving and thriving with empathy ever happen? Anyone wanna pm me a link?

Aisling
11-27-2010, 08:55 AM
I'm not sure if it ever did. :think

Nightingale
11-27-2010, 09:00 AM
:heart

simplegirl
12-26-2010, 02:22 PM
The empath's thread was started, by Aisling I think. I'm not sure what forum but it was great!

hopeforchange
03-04-2011, 12:43 PM
not sure how i missed this thread before, but glad i found it. :heart

mathematicalmessymamma
03-08-2011, 12:49 PM
As a newbie here, there was a lot of good stuff in your post for me to remember. Thanks!

littlerainbow
03-30-2011, 05:42 AM
As a newbie here, there was a lot of good stuff in your post for me to remember. Thanks!

Exactly what I wanted to say!

Turtle Herder
05-03-2011, 12:41 PM
Bumping this because it's just so good :heart

Thanks again, Allison!

Maggirayne
05-29-2011, 09:26 PM
Checking to see if this has been stickied yet. :heart

jedimastermom
05-30-2011, 12:03 PM
I am so glad I found this :)! Thank you for posting this (last year) b/c I was searching for just these answers to some questions I had about the message board.:rockon

CapeTownMommy
05-30-2011, 12:22 PM
How did I miss this until now?! :scratch

:rockon Thanks Alison.

TenderLovingWillow
05-30-2011, 08:03 PM
Thanks Allison.. This is such a good reminder. :rockon

allisonintx
10-19-2011, 08:28 AM
As we enter this political season in the US; I see my sisters begin to forget a few of these things in the midst of their passion and fervor. I humbly request that each of us take a moment to remember that, even though we may believe in wildly different ideologies, or distrust ideologies on the whole, we all desire the best and brightest future for our children. Sniping, snark and namecalling are never "best" for anyone.

juliew
11-01-2011, 08:44 AM
Great suggestions.

LovelyMorning
11-28-2011, 09:32 AM
Great suggestions! Thanks

peep
12-20-2011, 03:54 PM
Thanks for posting this! I think I need to start applying this to facebook statuses as well ;)

natural_mama
12-20-2011, 05:45 PM
lol I shoulda read this yesterday ;)

shekziwi
01-09-2012, 03:15 PM
Thanks for the time you put into this. As a newbie to the forum, ( actually this is the first forum I've ever chosen to participate in) it will definitely come in handy:). Hopefully I will remember to apply at least a third of the information posted and everyone here will give the other two thirds of my mistakes a whole batch of grace.:D

Chaos Coordinator
02-05-2012, 12:52 PM
Bumping for those of us who might need a reminder :shifty

sunflowermom
09-26-2012, 10:39 PM
I'm so glad this is laid out so clearly here. Thank you!

flowermama
10-04-2012, 04:02 PM
Wow, I can't believe that almost two years have gone by since this was first posted! It's so full of wisdom. I'm going to take the time to re-read it. :heart

DoulaClara
10-04-2012, 04:23 PM
:heart Almost two years exactly!

joyful
06-27-2013, 04:36 PM
Thank you for this. I need to write a sensitive email and this has really helped me :)

Teacher Mom
06-27-2013, 09:43 PM
yes......this was full of lots of wisdom......:giggle :lol

"reading" people on line can be hard sometimes. Assigning positive intent is the key.

ECingMama
12-08-2013, 03:40 PM
Thanks, Barefoot Besty, for linking to this thread!

BarefootBetsy
12-08-2013, 04:39 PM
Thanks, Barefoot Besty, for linking to this thread!

No problem at all :heart

SillyMommy
03-17-2014, 11:12 AM
*applause*


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Onebusygrl
03-24-2014, 05:27 PM
This is excellent advice! Thank you!


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