When my kids come home from school, upset because someone has made them feel bad about themselves or their abilities, my first and last response is always comfort. Then what can we do to change the situation?
Can you turn the other cheek? Is it necessary for you to be in the person’s presence, as in do you have to associate with them?
When they’ve calmed down, we usually have a conversation about setting boundaries which includes control and giving their control to someone else. I know, it’s a big concept. But more often than not, I’ve found it to be true.
When someone makes you feel inadequate, or hurts your feelings, your response makes all the difference in the world to your own happiness. Please understand, I’m talking about day to day conflict, not serious bullying or abuse. Those should be put into a different category and dealt with differently.
I recently got a taste of my own medicine, so to speak, on Facebook. Big surprise, right? #nosurprise
I miss the days when Facebook used to be a place to post pictures of your kids’ achievements, or celebrations, or good news. But it’s taken such a dark turn lately. Depressing, really.
So much arguing and political bashing on both sides, and quite frankly, I’m tired of the fighting. It’s really starting to affect me.
I’m hesitant to say what I posted, because, though I got all kinds of “likes” and what I posted was, what I thought, constructive and meaning to bring everyone together, it was met with one person’s venom and anger and it shook me to the core. I’m still upset about it three days later.
The stupid part is that the comment was from a “friend” from high school who I haven’t talked to in 30 years, and the only other time she’s left me a comment was on another post that was met with equal venom and anger. Obviously, she’s an angry person who I have NOTHING in common with anymore.
So what did I do? I gave away my control to a virtual stranger. I let HER make ME feel bad about myself. I let her opinion matter to me. Why? I’ll NEVER have to talk to her. We don’t even live in the same state anymore. I didn’t practice what I preach!
Here I am telling my kids NOT to do EXACTLY what I did. #parentfail
I think Facebook is dangerous because it gives some people the assumption that they have POWER. People say things on Facebook that they would NEVER say to one another in person. They drop their garbage and then drive away. They don’t ever have to face a consequence.
I don’t like to “unfriend” people without serious thought and consideration. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought “Why am I “friends” with her?” The only thing we have in common is a past, and even that is limited. And the only time she ever comments is to criticize, and that’s not healthy. If we were “friends” in real life, I would probably eliminate her from my life anyways. #boundaries
So I took back my power, set my boundaries, and set an example for my kids: Not everyone you “friend” on Facebook is a friend. It’s okay to be discerning. Life is what you make it and no one has the right to steal your joy.
And that’s what I want to instill in my kids. It’s YOUR joy, and if you need to set up boundaries to protect it, than that’s perfectly acceptable.