In my last post, I spoke on fake support. This one goes along with that a bit, in silencing those that speak up.
When you look around in a room full of people, what do you see?
You see people.
When you are speaking, you are often speaking from your own experience and may use phrases that to you are clear. You think the person in front of you is coming from similar beliefs, background and therefore will take what you say the same way.
I would love for you to stop, think and listen more before we use phrases that silence.
It could be a topic that encompasses any subject, polarizing or not. You may be in a place where you think everyone is anti- abortion, and make a comment, “Only an insane person would ever consider an abortion.”
You do not know who you are speaking to and if that was something that they have experienced. It shuts down relationships that have any depth.
On Social Media, when you post praising someone that has abused others, defend them and claim that “It was in the past.” or “It was not like it seems,”, you tell the people in your social circle that have been abused that they cannot trust you. If they came to you, and told you of abuse they were suffering, would you say, “Abuse is such a buzzword these days. Everyone has been “abused”.”
I would hope not. But when you say it online, or in passing conversation, someone that has experienced abuse hears that you do not believe her. She is not going to be able to come to you for support.
I know, I know. Many people will say that they have freedom to speak, they should be able to say what they want on their own places without having to think about everyone else in the world.
But is that really how it should be?
Everyone has filing cupboards in their head, or at least I do. You have files of people you like, but they are not safe people to tell any info outside the surface level. When I hear statements that shut others down, I add them to the file.
It doesn’t mean I am not around them, but I am not going to ask them for help when I am in trouble.
Our lives are short. We never know when the end will come. If we want to be trustworthy people in this life, think before you speak.
A few practical ways you can do this.
- Use supportive words.
- Don’t assume political parties or affiliations
- Do not use shaming words like “Buzzword” or “Drama Queen”.
- Don’t hide your discrimination or racism in your faith.
- Say, “I hope anyone that is struggling in that way feels I can be a support even though I have never been through it.”