Come at me bro…

Four steps to comment wars!

All over the internet we get pulled into arguments in comments sections.

As a self defense instructor, it is important to get your information out in front of people.
It’s important to know who you’re trying to reach and what the message is. It’s easy to feel defensive when someone comments negatively on something you put out. What we generally have is a lack of communication.

There is a need not being met and a lack of clarity on what it is and how it can be resolved.

Instead of puffing up your chest and running in to protect the sanctity of your virtual video, take a deep breath, and use this as an opportunity to learn.

1) Remember, you learn or you lose when it comes to online comment discussions. Enter the interaction with that lens: What can I learn from this experience? Where are they coming from? What am I in control of?

2) Keep the discussion to the content in question. Often times the comment has little to do with the context of the video/image/caption and more to do with picking out what they think is wrong, including your clothes or how you talk. Continually focus the discussion back to the context in question. I like to simply ask: “What part of the video do you disagree with?” Then keep my discussion focused there.

3) Ask for clarification. It’s easy to add our assumptions, judgement, and imagination to others words. Encourage them to define certain words, clarify their thoughts and how they read it, identify which pieces of the content they disagree with. Ask more questions. Make sure you are doing the same. Keep the discussion on fact. We are constantly translating other people’s actions and words though our lens. That means, we’re changing it. Make sure you stay honest.

4) As @markengland2020 would say “Get involved, or stay uninvolved.” If you are going to approach the conversation with the goal of learning, then feel free to do so with an open mind. If you are going to be defensive, just walk away and stay uninvolved. That is one person and most likely someone that the content was not intended for. Walk away and breathe easy.

Go forth and be awesome.

– Aaron

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