This week I took an unexpected detour through Crazy Town, specifically it’s Social Media neighborhood. Without re-hashing the details, I found myself interacting with someone , and I thought we were sharing ideas and collaborating, but that was not the case. Person X (protecting the innocent) proceeded to bark at me – twice. Ahhh! Social Media.
I’m basically a peace-loving person and when it comes to SM groups I’m there to learn from like-minded folks, encourage personal growth, and support people on their journey. However, when pushed aggressively – and without cause – I am gonna push you back. Hard.
This time, as I was about to take Person X to SCHOOL, I took a half of a second of pause which was just enough for me to stop and rethink things. And it was good I did. Not for the other person, but for me. Because when you drive through Crazy Town, guess what happens, you get crazy yourself. I ain’t got no time for crazy!! Do you?
A hardy slap back (typo intended) would have been ridiculously gratifying in that moment, but then it likely would have lurked over me all day and probably the following day too, because that is not me or behavior that represents who I am or what I believe about how to treat others. Acting out that way, even justifiably, would be disruptive to me and my happiness. Instead, I took the high road and politely wrapped up that chat.
Afterwards, I paced around for a few minutes to get the adrenaline back to where it should be, and I asked myself “What was your part in that?” The entire thing had clearly introduced some turmoil into my day and this year my focus is on success not “overcoming struggle” (which sounds positive but is still a focus on struggle). To me adversity like this is part of a necessary balance – you don’t have success without struggle. The key is to cull whatever lessons you can from that struggle, adjust as needed and move on. Being a victim to Social Media Crazy Town would leave me dwelling on the melee and that is not the goal.
My first reaction to my own question was indignation “I didn’t do anything! Person X started this!” When I let go of that automatic response and really considered the encounter, sure enough there were some things out of the norm for me. (Nuts!) First, I was splitting my focus between at least three things at the time. Normally I am much more attentive to the task at hand and being present with it. In truth I wasn’t present with any of the things that I was doing, which is why none of them were turning out well.
Next, I was taking my communication cues from Person X, who set the tone when initiating the contact. Yes, adjusting your communication style to your audience has benefits. Abandoning your style in the process does not. Lesson learned, even when you are flexing your style you need to remain authentic and true to who you are, otherwise there is no way to form a real connection with the other person. They will be interacting with an odd version of you and that is not helpful in the long run.
Finally, I made an assumption rather than investigating a course of action. Had the first two things not happened, this probably would not have either, but they did and so I assumed Person X’s intention based on what I was seeing. Normally I would have felt out the conversation and the individual a bit more. I thought their purpose was very clear and so I assumed I could move ahead with the same clarity and pace in my approach. Turns out, not so much.
The upside to the entire encounter was very clear re-enforcement about being mindful of Self and the environment I am in, even if its virtual. I mean we all know things work differently in SM Land, this was just a sharp reminder of it. Gratefully, my visit to Crazy Town was short lived. Now that I have gathered my insights and shared them appropriately here in the blog, I’m moving on.
Successville, I’m knocking at the front gate! Onward!!