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Old 10-13-2010, 12:36 PM   #1
allisonintx
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Default Healthy Message Board Living...no, really, you want to read this ;)

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?

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! 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?

Obviously, 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?

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


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. Umm, check out my post count, and do the math.

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 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.


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



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.
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allisonintx
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Mother to Elizabeth 19, Andrew 17, Abigail 14 & Evelyn 12

Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take a boat in the air that you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turn of the world. Love keeps her in the air when she ought to fall down. Tells you she's hurting before she keens. Makes her a home.
. . . . . . .



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Old 10-13-2010, 12:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: Healthy Message Board Living...no, really, you want to read this ;)

Well said! Thank you
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: Healthy Message Board Living...no, really, you want to read this ;)

I appreciate this a lot...good reminders for me and everyone!

Last edited by Aisling; 07-19-2012 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Healthy Message Board Living...no, really, you want to read this ;)

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Old 10-13-2010, 12:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Healthy Message Board Living...no, really, you want to read this ;)

Fantastic!!!!
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:46 PM   #6
ShiriChayim
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Default Re: Healthy Message Board Living...no, really, you want to read this ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by allisonintx View Post
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 and everyone else is all and generally mods are going (See my lovely use of emoticons there?)
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Healthy Message Board Living...no, really, you want to read this ;)



(This should be a sticky! )
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Healthy Message Board Living...no, really, you want to read this ;)

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Old 10-13-2010, 01:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: Healthy Message Board Living...no, really, you want to read this ;)

Preach it, sister! Haha.
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:47 PM   #10
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Default Re: Healthy Message Board Living...no, really, you want to read this ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by allisonintx View Post
We have 2000 (yes, TWO THOUSAND) members. Thatís a lot of amazing women and a lot of personality.

I like the way you put all of our pictures in the post.
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:40 PM   #11
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Default Re: Healthy Message Board Living...no, really, you want to read this ;)

Well said and very much appreciated!
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:23 PM   #12
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Default Re: Healthy Message Board Living...no, really, you want to read this ;)

You have a way with words Allison.
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:07 PM   #13
allisonintx
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Some Cal/Mag will probably fix that.
 
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Default Re: Healthy Message Board Living...no, really, you want to read this ;)

Thank you ladies for all the love

I've been working on this post off and on for almost a year, and I'm glad to finally have it done
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Mother to Elizabeth 19, Andrew 17, Abigail 14 & Evelyn 12

Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take a boat in the air that you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turn of the world. Love keeps her in the air when she ought to fall down. Tells you she's hurting before she keens. Makes her a home.
. . . . . . .



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Old 10-13-2010, 04:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: Healthy Message Board Living...no, really, you want to read this ;)

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.
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Lead the children to see in every pleasant and beautiful thing an expression of God's love for them. Recommend your religion to them by its pleasantness.
Let the law of kindness be in your lips.
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:49 PM   #15
ArmsOfLove
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Default Re: Healthy Message Board Living...no, really, you want to read this ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShiriChayim View Post
I'm giggling ironically at this one because I've seen this SO MANY TIMES where the two people actually involved end up all and everyone else is all and generally mods are going (See my lovely use of emoticons there?)

See, now that is TOTALLY what it looks like
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