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Things to keep in mind
As always, the online community hosts many difficult conversations. Some of these topics will involve complexities that, when combined with heightened emotions, can easily lead to meanings and intentions being misinterpreted or misread.
I am posting this as a reminder that our aim is to offer a safe and supportive place to all disabled people and their families.
I know that sometimes you will stumble across a conversation that upsets you, or you’ll find yourself involved in a discussion where you feel picked on or challenged and your first instinct might be to rush to make a reply. To that end, here are some thoughts I’d like us all to consider when using the community:
Before you respond to a post think:
o Am I feeling preoccupied, anxious, inadequate, physically uncomfortable and tired? Am I making assumptions?
o Do I feel a strong urge to be right rather than looking to offer advice, help find solutions, support and empathise with the other person?
o Am I looking at the post from my point of view, rather than the other person’s?
o Is it worth engaging and potentially making a bad situation worse? Should I step away and perhaps report the post?
Sometimes being available and showing you are listening is all the support that people need.
Accurate information is vital. But it’s important to remember that people not only reach out in times of need, but also in times of great anxiety or frustration. Tact, tone and understanding are important. Often people want to feel heard just as much as they want to hear the truth.