Using Self-Care Tools & Strategies While in Chat - Forums at Psych Central



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Old 03-08-2015, 08:44 AM #1
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Chat Using Self-Care Tools & Strategies While in Chat

Our chat rooms are a live social environment where you will be interacting with other members from all different kinds of cultures, backgrounds, conditions, issues, personalities, triggers, and experiences. Just like in a real-life social gathering or social situation, not everyone is going to get along splendidly with everyone else. That's an ideal world that doesn't exist anywhere, unfortunately.

Being aware of this wonderful diversity is your first self-care strategy. Not everyone is going to be like you or think like you or have your same tastes or sense of humor. We are all wonderfully unique!

Unlike in real-life, however, our chat rooms leave out a lot of communication that human beings tend to rely on to discern the true meaning and intent of another person's message. Psychologists call that "nonverbal communication," and it includes things like your body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions. In chat, you have none of these important cues to go on.

All you have are another person's words (and the occasional emoji). This makes it even harder to make sure you're understanding another person in the way that other person intended.

When in doubt about the meaning of a message in chat, ask questions rather than just assuming the worst.

If another member is saying things you, personally, don't want to hear, think about what you would do if you were in a real-life situation, like a party. Let's say you're chatting in a small group of 7 or 8 other people, and the conversation is something of interest to you. Suddenly, one of the other people start talking about a topic that is triggering to you, but the others in the group seem fascinated and interested in the story.

Would you...?


1. Make an excuse and walk away from the conversation temporarily while the topic was being discussed.
2. Say, "I don't like this topic, can we please change it?"
3. Stay in the group, but distract yourself with your smartphone so you don't have to listen to the conversation.


All of these are strategies for dealing with something of this nature. Two of these strategies work without disrupting the entire group, or asking the group to change their behavior for your needs. One of them is disruptive to the group -- #2.

In chat, we all have the same strategies available to each and every one of us. We can leave the room (#1), or we can place the other member on our Ignore list in chat (#3). Both of these are very effective self-care strategies where we work to take responsibility for our own triggers, and take appropriate action that isn't disruptive.

Asking the rest of a social group to change the topic because you're triggered (#2) is also a strategy. But it is a less-effective one because it requires the entire group's consent and agreement with doing so. With such a diverse group of people in chat at any given time, what chances are there that everyone is going to agree to change the topic every single time this happens?

So please, if you are triggered in chat, or otherwise find yourself engaged in a conversation that seems to be taking a negative or nasty turn, use a self-care strategy that is effective and the least disruptive. That means leaving the room if need be, or placing the other person on Ignore.

Why Don't More People Use Ignore while in Chat?

I suspect the primary reason many people are reluctant to "Ignore" other members in chat is the belief that they may miss something "important" the other member might be saying. Especially about them.

But members can't talk about other members while in chat in order to bad-mouth them -- that is clearly against our community guidelines. Any member doing so may find themselves without chat privileges. So there's no risk you're going to miss something that person is saying about you.

And it's not something you need to do, then keep doing for a long period of time. Maybe you place the other member on ignore for a few minutes until the issue passes, or the conversation takes another turn. That's all it usually takes to diffuse a situation and move on.

Chat is Not for Everyone

As I say repeatedly -- chat is not for everyone. Not all of us enjoy going to social parties, and some of us actively avoid them. Chat isn't everyone's cup of tea, because of it's fast-moving environment, the inevitable friendships that arise (making it, at times, seem clique-ish to an outsider), and because of the lack of nonverbal communication clues.

If you're not finding chat to be a rewarding experience for you, I suggest you take a break from it. Or try to engage more self-care strategies and tools more often -- especially when things seem to be going in the wrong direction in chat.

Hope this helps some...
DocJohn
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:46 AM #2
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Default Re: Using Self-Care Tools & Strategies While in Chat

There should be a link to this in every chat room. I have found it quite helpful and not everyone is aware it exists. just my random Friday thought
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Old 09-23-2015, 07:14 AM #3
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Default Re: Using Self-Care Tools & Strategies While in Chat

This is good info. Kudos to Em for sharing
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Old 10-06-2015, 07:03 PM #4
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Default Re: Using Self-Care Tools & Strategies While in Chat

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocJohn View Post
Our chat rooms are a live social environment where you will be interacting with other members from all different kinds of cultures, backgrounds, conditions, issues, personalities, triggers, and experiences. Just like in a real-life social gathering or social situation, not everyone is going to get along splendidly with everyone else. That's an ideal world that doesn't exist anywhere, unfortunately.

Being aware of this wonderful diversity is your first self-care strategy. Not everyone is going to be like you or think like you or have your same tastes or sense of humor. We are all wonderfully unique!

Unlike in real-life, however, our chat rooms leave out a lot of communication that human beings tend to rely on to discern the true meaning and intent of another person's message. Psychologists call that "nonverbal communication," and it includes things like your body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions. In chat, you have none of these important cues to go on.

All you have are another person's words (and the occasional emoji). This makes it even harder to make sure you're understanding another person in the way that other person intended.

When in doubt about the meaning of a message in chat, ask questions rather than just assuming the worst.

If another member is saying things you, personally, don't want to hear, think about what you would do if you were in a real-life situation, like a party. Let's say you're chatting in a small group of 7 or 8 other people, and the conversation is something of interest to you. Suddenly, one of the other people start talking about a topic that is triggering to you, but the others in the group seem fascinated and interested in the story.

Would you...?


1. Make an excuse and walk away from the conversation temporarily while the topic was being discussed.
2. Say, "I don't like this topic, can we please change it?"
3. Stay in the group, but distract yourself with your smartphone so you don't have to listen to the conversation.


All of these are strategies for dealing with something of this nature. Two of these strategies work without disrupting the entire group, or asking the group to change their behavior for your needs. One of them is disruptive to the group -- #2.

In chat, we all have the same strategies available to each and every one of us. We can leave the room (#1), or we can place the other member on our Ignore list in chat (#3). Both of these are very effective self-care strategies where we work to take responsibility for our own triggers, and take appropriate action that isn't disruptive.

Asking the rest of a social group to change the topic because you're triggered (#2) is also a strategy. But it is a less-effective one because it requires the entire group's consent and agreement with doing so. With such a diverse group of people in chat at any given time, what chances are there that everyone is going to agree to change the topic every single time this happens?

So please, if you are triggered in chat, or otherwise find yourself engaged in a conversation that seems to be taking a negative or nasty turn, use a self-care strategy that is effective and the least disruptive. That means leaving the room if need be, or placing the other person on Ignore.

Why Don't More People Use Ignore while in Chat?

I suspect the primary reason many people are reluctant to "Ignore" other members in chat is the belief that they may miss something "important" the other member might be saying. Especially about them.

But members can't talk about other members while in chat in order to bad-mouth them -- that is clearly against our community guidelines. Any member doing so may find themselves without chat privileges. So there's no risk you're going to miss something that person is saying about you.

And it's not something you need to do, then keep doing for a long period of time. Maybe you place the other member on ignore for a few minutes until the issue passes, or the conversation takes another turn. That's all it usually takes to diffuse a situation and move on.

Chat is Not for Everyone

As I say repeatedly -- chat is not for everyone. Not all of us enjoy going to social parties, and some of us actively avoid them. Chat isn't everyone's cup of tea, because of it's fast-moving environment, the inevitable friendships that arise (making it, at times, seem clique-ish to an outsider), and because of the lack of nonverbal communication clues.

If you're not finding chat to be a rewarding experience for you, I suggest you take a break from it. Or try to engage more self-care strategies and tools more often -- especially when things seem to be going in the wrong direction in chat.

Hope this helps some...
DocJohn

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Old 03-14-2016, 11:04 PM #5
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Default Re: Using Self-Care Tools & Strategies While in Chat

I kind of have to disagree with you a little bit on this because sometimes if someone is saying things in chat that others find uncomfortable or triggering, sitting by silently isn't always the way to engender peace. Sometimes the person doing the triggering is doing it on purpose and needs to be stopped or at least told they're behaving unacceptably, even if others think they're behaving well enough.

Sometimes putting someone on ignore isn't the best choice because, while you don't see the perpetrator's comments any more, you see the arguments everyone else is having with them and that is upsetting to some.

I guess a better way to put things is "don't be a jerk". Would that this would be sufficient but we both know better. LOL
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:43 PM #6
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Default Re: Using Self-Care Tools & Strategies While in Chat

I've been here over 2 years and I'm finally reading this! Thank you, it makes a lot of sense. I think it would be a good idea to have this link posted in every chat too.
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:47 PM #7
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Default Re: Using Self-Care Tools & Strategies While in Chat

I think with the recent difficulties with members and chat its good that people take the time to read this. Thanks!
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