Submitted and written by Shamrin.
I am kickstarting this series because nothing is more satisfying that to list a bunch of commandments as a reminder for myself, and a token to maybe help at least one person out there. Also, I happened to be on a verge of a massive breakdown all due to a petty problem I have been dragged into non-voluntarily by irrelevant neanderthal in my past life. Ah, the beauty of social media wars and insecurity-driven malevolence.
But hey, what’s success if you can’t handle a little bit of poison in your life, you know? My momma taught me better than that , so no, I am not going to sit and host a pity party. Below are idiot-proof , bullet-proof and stress-free (-ish?) ways to counter and overcome those nasty friendship feuds or Neanderthalic issues that comes with the millennials, which surpasses the good-ol’ confrontation days to a reality where the cowardice trolling takes place behind a computer screen.
1. Silence is bae
Do not react. This is exactly why trolls perpetuate negativity. They feed on reactions and actions and it continues in a vicious cycle. The biggest hearts and the strongest minds thrive on using silence to ‘kill’ the bad vibes, because it is just that. One thing that we all have to keep in mind that is there would be always noise in your background especially when you are doing something right and when truth is on your side. Unless this matter is not threatening or endangering your life, at least half of the problem would be tuned out by turning a blind eye to the matter. Nothing screams ‘classy’ than that.
2. When circle becomes a semi-circle
I know a little juice of gossip is an agenda for a kitty party with your best girls, right? Definitely an indulgence, I must say, but how often you stop yourself and think “..but to whose expense though?”. More often than not, we don’t think of the consequences of laughing at a person A’s bad haircut to sharing person F’s nasty fall out with a partner. When you are in the middle of a social wildfire, it is imperative to keep the news to yourselves. This is when you should shrink your social circle into a semicircle (at least) to minimize the damage for later. Your homegirl from high school do not need to know your personal beef with an ex, nor do your colleague about your dispute with another colleague. I am aware that this is easier said than done – in fact, one could challenge me by asking “ what if the opponent is doing the exact opposite? What else to do, if not to straighten the issue out with the forced audience? ”
This is where trust and a person’s ability to save their own asses come into play. Coming from an observation, no one would jump into someone else’s vendetta to play hero for either party. Now, mediating an issue is completely a different thing (although necessary in some cases) , however taking up a role to “handle” a feud for one party is extremely rare and almost unheard off. We have to accept the fact that most people tuning into your stories are in it for their own entertainment , a short-lived satisfaction that perhaps the grass is indeed greener on their side. A bold statement, but this is purely from my observation. Before you seek someone for a solution or consolation, do weigh in on their influence on the dilemma as a whole, as well as making sure that their role would not blow the existing problem out of proportion. Nothing beats choosing a close family member for a place of comfort , or a caring friend, who has no relation in any shape or form with your opponent. Try this, and thank me later.
3. Distraction is always a good idea
So far, I have only touched on being anti-enabler of a vendetta. Following this personal mantra, I turn to my various channels of distraction to put my mind and heart on ‘airplane-mode’ when things starts to get shaky. Youtube is my loyal husband through thick and thin together with exercise. Fitness is my alternative to punching people and nothing gives me the high and de-stress as a good session of cardio gives me. With distraction, one would be able to measure the proportion of a nagging dilemma they thought they were in, and then carry that forward to the next logical step. I see distraction is the first line of filter to really determine how badly an issue could affect myself. Also, I see it as a mild process to detach your heart from an issue, and lubricate your mind to think about solving the problem. If you have hobbies and passions, this is the high time to tune your mind towards it and then determine your next step. If you realise the matter is in fact petty and not worth your time , that’s fantastic, move on and continue your path. However, if you still find it particularly hard to get over the issue, don’t fret it. Calm down, get your mind into zen mode and configure your next move.
4. Detox is good.
Adulting includes having a handful of trusted people, surrounding you with love and support. Just as how a meat-free detox can do a body good, social detox can do your spirit great things.
We happen to feed off of other people’s energy and vibrations, so why taint your surrounding with a fouling one? When a misunderstanding occurs, you can tell a lot of things about the other person on how the problem is driven. If both parties are righteous and compassionate, any issues would be resolved almost instantly. Shit hits the fan when a foul-play occurs and you got to be the bigger person to ditch the “dirt” and move on with your trusted tribe before it affects your well being. Also, have you heard of the infamous social experiment called the “digital detox” ? Yeah, it is brutal especially when smartphones are the modern-day dictating device that runs our lives are shut off – regardless of that, it is the most freeing feeling to realise that you too can function without have a dinky device to carry out your day. This is an effective experiment as, in today’s life, we put so much of ourselves out on a platform, so raw and vulnerable. I assure you, at least the mildest form of a digital detox would do good things for one to stop and reflect especially at a time where emotions run high.
5. Never lose sight or purpose
I can’t believe I am saying this, but it is true when they say life is short, so don’t sweat the small things. Right this second, just about any inconvenience you are in would look so big and arrogant, maybe even unbearable on some instances. However, I am a firm believer in the saying “ this too shall pass”- I am not implying all vendettas are petty matters which should be dismissed lightly. I am aware that there are vindictive people in the world who would do just about anything to bring another down. That is the biggest plaque of every society. Women go against women, communities and races collide and crash against another ; it is and have always been an obscene situation. I think it’s high time for everyone to realise that each of us are accountable for our actions individually and as a community. With this said, I learnt that despite how you handle a social conflict, years down the line, none of it would matter. As long as your action was not done out of malice and hostility, and purely carried out with utmost accountability and righteousness, then nothing or no one can snatch away the solace you’d worked for coming out of a pulsating tension.
I am right beside you for taking the right steps forward; I applaud you when you come out of this emotionally intact and safeguarding your morales and without hurting anyone or anything.
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