Hurt Feelings on Health Social Networks

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social-networkHealth support social networks can be a great resource for chronically ill people but they can also be a place of hurt feelings.  The internet has allowed the opportunity to be involved health support networks without leaving our homes.  Only on the World Wide Web can you wake up at 3 am dealing with pain and other symptoms and find someone else online who is awake for the same reason.

As noted, online health support networks also bring with them annoyances that we also find in face-to-face interaction.  Things can escalate further because people are not feeling well and temperamental.  In addition, people are more likely to hit the send button when they have something to say and there is no face-to-face interaction to consider.

Hurt feelings on health social networks are bound to happen.  How do you resolve these emotions of feeling hurt in your health support communities?

Some things to consider when you find yourself angry or feeling hurt while looking for online health support:

  • Step away from the computer.  When someone posts something we don’t like, we generally are tempted to type a rebuttal and the guess what, the faster you type, the more upset you will find yourself.  Sometimes, stepping away from your computer can also to cool down and also save you and others hurt feelings.
  • Apologize.  If you find that you are the one who has said something hurtful or inappropriate, acknowledge it and offer an apology rather than avoiding the person you have said it to and hope it just goes away.  The fact is it is very common for someone to say something without thinking when they are up late and dealing with pain, other symptoms, and depressed feelings.
  • Kindness.  Use kind words because you never know what kind of day someone is having.  They could be having a bad /painful day or a whole bunch of them.  Remind yourself that that your words in this type of setting are powerful because there are so many people dealing with sensitive issues and with rejection from family and friends.

How have you handled hurt feelings on health support networks? How to you keep your emotions in check so that you do not hurt the feelings of others?

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