I don’t know about you, but this is an issue with which I’ve been struggling. I recently wrote an article about people being challenging on social media and this is related to that.
I was brought up to be polite and respectful of others. My father was a diplomat and I spent my childhood in countries where the culture was very different to the British one. Dad was a great people person and became friends with many of the locals in each place we visited. My childhood was enhanced by such a rich immersion.
That is now a long time ago and these days I can easily communicate with people from different cultures and countries on social media. It’s not as rich an experience as being physically in the country, but it comes a close second.
So, back to the point of this article!
I have a very much ‘live and let live’ approach to life. I understand that not everyone will be of the same belief or opinion as my own – the world would be a very boring place if they were. I have spent approximately 23 years as a reader and, as it happens, most of my clients are of different cultures and nationalities from my own. Within the course of my readings I am used to being questioned on why I say and believe certain things, and each time I am reminded that we are spiritual beings first and human beings second.
I have no problem with being asked genuine questions by people with open minds in any area of my life – or having them disagree with me because my beliefs don’t resonate with them. The same way I will ask genuine questions of others to gain more understanding and additional education! This two-way street is extremely valuable and, I believe, brings the world into more unity and harmony.
The challenge in being polite and respectful is when I am dealing with people who don’t offer me the same courtesy. This plays out in different scenarios:
- They will appear to be interested in my opinion in order to engage me in conversation, and then revert to personal attacks when I don’t please them in some way
- They ask for evidence of my beliefs, and when I send it, it is ignored as though they had never seen it
- They are completely dismissive and disparaging from the start and go into attack mode because they have a strong belief that they are right and I am wrong
When I was travelling at home and abroad doing readings, I sometimes came across people who thought tarot was absolute rubbish, or that I was dancing with the devil. I always engaged these people in conversation, not to persuade them otherwise, but to find out why they had these opinions. A few of the people had actually had tarot readings that had frightened them, been inaccurate or caused them concern and would never have another. That I could completely understand. However, the vast majority had never had a tarot reading, would probably not even recognise a tarot card if they tripped over it, but had ‘heard’ about tarot from outside sources and had taken on the belief system of the other person, with no actual knowledge of what they were talking about.
I have to assume that the people who ‘go in for the kill’ on social media are no different. There is usually the energy of anger, frustration, righteousness and sometimes fear in their words. Whatever their reasons – whether it be personal experience, or beliefs they have picked up from others, the results are the same – they are treating another person with disrespect and rudeness.
I have been on social media for a number of years now, but as my business is growing and becoming more visible, I am experiencing more of these encounters and, as I have become busier, I have had to make a conscious decision on how to react to them.
I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that their minds and hearts are closed towards me and there is nothing I can say or do to reach them in any way. Therefore, the best thing is to wish them well in my thoughts and not respond at all. In that way, I won’t be fuelling their fire and they won’t be sapping my energy, which is better spent with people who are like-minded, or open to learning about something new and/or sharing their own experiences.
Politeness and respect were so much simpler in my youth, before the age of the internet. However, there are so many advantages that it is a small price to pay for the privilege of talking to people worldwide by virtue of the ‘send’ button! There is also the option of blocking the people who are offensive, the same way that I wouldn’t allow someone of the same tendency into my physical life.
How do you deal with people who are out to bully and intimidate you online? Have you found another way of dealing with them? I would be interested in hearing your story. Please feel free to use the comments box below.
Sue is the Founder of Soulfully Connecting. She has spent over 40 years on her spiritual journey which, amongst other things, included training as a medium, hands on healing and travelling with a shaman. She trained for 3 years as a graphologist and for 23 years has been a reader specialising in graphology and tarot – 14 of those years were spent participating in festivals both at home and abroad.
The idea behind Soulfully Connecting is to demonstrate that there are other ways of living which can heal the earth, the animal kingdom and ourselves. She is passionate about people having freedom of choice, which is only possible when they know about all the options.
Sue is a member of the 7 Graces of Marketing community, the core purpose of which is to promote ethical marketing.
Twitter – @soulecting and @soulfullysue