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Everyone on our community and their wellbeing is important to us

Deb_ScopeDeb_Scope Posts: 170Administrator Scope community team

Our community is a place for a good chat, and we know that some conversations are challenging and diverse.

Every day the community team at Scope expect to read different, funny, knowledgeable and challenging posts from all of our members which reflect our disabled customers and their families.  Many of you are using our community to find information, join discussions and share tips on employment, parenting, equipment, care and of course last but not least disability allowances.

Out of all these topics it will come as no surprise to you all that disability allowances and money are the most complex of posts.  Many comments are posted at a time when the member may be dealing with a mixture of emotions such as anger, frustration, sadness, anxiety, stress and disappointment as well as times when they may have had success, happiness and be feeling relief.  It is therefore not surprising that some of the forum conversations can become or feel very personal, because let’s face it, it is very personal to each and every-one of you.

The community team are aware that often emotions regularly run high which can lead to some conversations being misread, people being misquoted and advice being given to individuals personally, when the response could be answering a much wider audience.

This is really a reminder that our aim is always to offer a safe and supportive place to every-one and to that end we have provided some mindfulness thoughts for you to consider when using our community

  • Before you respond to a post think
    • Am I feeling preoccupied, anxious, inadequate, physically uncomfortable and tired; are you making assumptions?
    • Do you feel a strong urge to give advice, find solutions, rescue, reassure, and to want to ‘fix it’ for the other person, so that they feel better?
    • Are you looking at the post from your point of view, not the other person?

Often, just being available and showing you are listening is all the support that people need.

Using empathy is key to a supportive community, no-one is expected to have all the answers, but a kind post that shows you are hearing a member’s problems and that you care goes such a long way.

Sympathy vs Empathy

Empathy is the ability to experience the feelings of another person.

It goes beyond sympathy, which is caring and understanding for the suffering of others.

Your emotional health is so important to us and if you are personally having a difficult time, then you may negatively impact your own emotional health by trying to take on the problems of others.

Be sure to take a break, move away from any posts that are triggers for you and let the community team know if we can help in any way.

Debbie
Online Community Manager

Replies

  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Posts: 2,842Member Disability Gamechanger
    Very well said Deb


    I am a fibrowarrior!
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 290Member Pioneering
    This worries me.  Is it considered wrong ever to suggest a practical solution?   

    E.g. if someone is troubled that they need a walking aid, but the crutches hurt their hands, it might be tempting to suggest they try gutter arm rests, which spread the weight all along the forearm.        It is surprisingly rare for any of the standard n.h.s. gear to be issued with gutters,  or for the general public to be aware of  the option, despite the millions who have arthritic  hands.

     Or, if someone for physical or emotional reasons finds it difficult to deal with women's hairdressers who want to push their heads into a back basin.       So, they are reluctant to get their hair cut.    If you shared that dilemma,   until you discovered the solution,  it might be tempting to pass on a handy hint:            By-pass the traditional routine of cut-shampoo-set.     Just have a dry cut.     

    (Old fashioned  men's barbers just did quick, cheap,  dry cuts.     Hair is hair, and there is no logical reason that women are obliged to spend a long time, and a lot of money, undergoing the shampoo  routine if it is either  too uncomfortable, too triggering or distressing,  or simply too expensive.)

    Or, if  the person posting is troubled,  like so many people, by their physical pains.       Would it be wrong to mention the  fact that electric hot water bottles can be extremely helpful at times, and some makes use infra-red, which is what physiotherapists use for pain relief?        The general public know about old fashioned  water filled hot water bottles,  but not many know that the electric ones exist, and of course all the makes have a heat control and a timer and an automatic  cut-off, so nobody needs to get up and boil kettles, and it is safe to fall asleep using one.


  • SingingSinging Posts: 114Member Courageous
    This is a wonderful and really lovely and kind and thoughtful post. It’s made me think about how I might react in the future. Thank you
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Posts: 2,984Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @newborn and thank you for your post. Practical solutions are fantastic if you can offer them! :smiley: The intention of the original post wasn't to deter suggestions of advice, but instead to remind members of our community that it's important to be empathetic first when trying to support someone.
    I hope that helps,
    Adrian
    Senior Online Community Officer
    Scope
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