Accountability in the "Comments" Section

Mental health practitioners have noted for a long time how differently people can behave online than they do in person; often in more negative and aggressive ways, with resulting effects on readers. This is especially typical with topics that generally tend to be polarized to begin with: religion, politics, and relational dynamics (i.e. parenting, sexuality, marriage, etc.). See the following article: The Psychology of Online Comments. I’m inviting all of us to consider both self-care and self-monitoring when it comes to the “comments section” of any online medium we may be visiting. Here are some ideas to consider both as we make comments… and as we read them: Boundaries. When and if somebo

The Ring Theory

Psychologist Susan Silk and her friend Barry Goldman wrote a piece about a concept they called the “Ring Theory”. This is something I find helpful when trying to support loved ones. When someone has been through trauma, they will need support. During that time it is important to realize the best ways to help. As we try to support them, it is not a time to advise or talk about how hard it is to give them support. It will also be important for you to be supported. That support needs to be from other people, not the one you are trying to help. You do not want the person you are trying to support to feel like a burden. We can balance our own emotions about what is happening and give space to t

Nonviolent Communication

In his influential book Nonviolent Communication, Marshall Rosenberg proposes that most communication is about getting our core needs met, specifically, our need for connection. (Something like 70% of human communication is in some way about relationships). Solid healthy relationships (connection, intimacy, love, belonging) are at the core of mental wellness. So the key to nonviolent communication is the question, is this style of communication creating connection or disconnection? Am I feeling seen, heard, and valued, and is the person I am communicating with feeling seen, heard, and valued? If not, how can we change the quality of communication so everyone’s needs are being met compassi

So who is the woman in the relationship?

With the new season of Queer Eye on Netflix I got to thinking. I remember in the first season one of the contestants asking Bobby (i.e. Interior Design) who was the “woman” in his marriage to his husband. Bobby was quick to call him out, and I am glad he did because it was a powerful teaching moment for straight people like me. Bobby then went on to explain why this question was inappropriate, sexist, and essentially heteronormative. Which is a fancy way to say it was putting Bobby and his husband into a box that traditionally is only made for heterosexual couples. I reflected on this and started asking myself a few questions. I first asked what this contestant really meant. I imagine it was

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