In my opinion, opinions are like food:
Harmless if you can see the ingredients and can trace where they come from.
Hence, we digest food as well as opinions.
It is a good idea to step back from one’s own opinions and look at where they come from. Perhaps, feed them into Google.
It is amazing, the names and labels you get for opinions on social media. Remember that you know yourself best and inaccurate labels can be shrugged off and fair ones can be worn with pride.
In my view “freedom of speech” means we can express our opinions without attack, judgment, assumptions, criticism, blame, shame, name-calling, finger pointing, accusations or dismissal.
However, we ought not to feel entitled to express ourselves without a response. I also call a response “feedback” as it directly refers to what it replies to. Not to something before it or maybe yet to come.
What do I mean by a response? How do we differentiate between a response and a reaction?
This can be easily defined. A response can be responded to. A reaction can be reacted to. See for yourself how easy it is to respond to a reaction.
Nothing beats conversation in my view. The sharing of honest, open, vulnerable feelings, experiences, ideas, thoughts, plans, need for information, thirst for knowledge, inexperience, triggers, lack of something, struggles, challenges, aims, ambitions, questions and observations. Doesn’t that make good stand-up comedy or a great piece of literature like a conversation?
How easy is it to judge, criticise, advise, direct, dictate, accuse, shoot-down, silence, ignore, dismiss, invalidate and ridicule?
These are not being honest. Don’t you find hard to express yourself if you dread emotional harm, being judged, rejected, disliked, disrespected, ignored, invalidated, misunderstood or risk of pain?
Growing up in a critical family, who competed for airtime, respected men more than women, with undetected dyspraxia (auditory processing difficulties – turning everything into pictures to take on board and needing context), sociable and sensitive child, feeling others’ pain, which meant reacting to it and getting reactions back, which suggested I caused the pain, and with hearing loss, therefore never losing pre-verbal communication and processing words, tone of voice, body language and facial expression more than people with good hearing I have had to work very hard to grow confidence, express myself and show up when I am sure I will be booed off.
As Brené Brown says: “It is so much easier to cause pain than feel pain, and people are taking their pain and they’re working it out on other people,” she said, “and when you don’t acknowledge your vulnerability, you work your (expletive) out on other people. Stop working your (expletive) out on other people.
The choice to embrace exposure is easier in the end”.
If we speak then criticise, judge, label, accuse, dismiss, ignore, advise, invalidate, shoot-down, stifle, censor, edit, correct or ridicule a response or feedback, that is not being responsible. response able.
Maybe, in summary, we could tell a response from a reaction with:
Sharing would mostly start with and contain first person pronouns, I and me.
A reaction would contain 2nd or 3rd person pronouns, you, them, they, he, she or it.
I welcome discussion, debate, challenge, disagreement or any other response.
Right now particularly, it would make a big difference to be mindful of our communication. It’s free so have the best quality you can find! Feel the love.