Posted in Uncategorized

Are you a FB Follower or a Stalker?

I have a website, in fact, several, and I have followers. I know who they are. I appreciate them very much. Sometimes I hear from them and I appreciate that even more, just knowing they took the time to read, and wanted to respond. That’s awesome.

I don’t really care how many times someone visits my blog and doesn’t “comment” or “like” my post, but I feel differently about Facebook. Facebook is my life, not an edited article. For this reason I expect people who visit my site to let me know from time to time that they have dropped by and leave their calling card in the form of a “like” or a “comment.”

Sometimes I drift out of touch with FB friends. That is a reflection of what just happens in life. It’s impossible to keep in touch with everyone as often as we might like.

But at times I wonder if I have stalkers, people who are carrying on a one-sided relationship with me. It’s kind of flattering to think someone would stalk me, but it’s creepy too.

What makes a stalker different from a follower? The answer is probably similar to what makes an alcoholic different from someone who has a couple of drinks a week. They don’t want you to know how much they are drinking. A stalker would probably be embarrassed if you found out how often they visited your site. Maybe not, but for some reason they prefer to remain anonymous.

When I visit someone’s site I like to let them know I’ve been there. A simple “like” can do that. It’s good etiquette. It’s like smiling and waving as you walk by their house, as opposed to peeking in the window and ducking.

It is just weird to visit a person’s site multiple times without letting them know you’ve been there. Of course FB allows us to do that. Maybe it encourages it. But the better use of FB is to let someone know you take an interest in their life, don’t you think?

Posted in Communication

How Do Others Hear You?

Have you ever listened to a recording of yourself and not been able to believe you sounded like that? I have. The truth is we often don’t have a clue how we sound to others. Do I sound whiny? Do I sound gruff or abrupt? Do I sound bored?

With so much emphasis these days on the importance of listening, I think some time also needs to be given to how the person who is speaking will sound to others.

There are people we would much rather listen to than others. Their tone and expression is engaging. They appear to be genuinely interested. They sound concerned about the welfare of others.

People who are perceived as self-centred or disinterested do not get an audience for long. The same is true for people who are harsh, or whiny. We tend to withdraw from them.

So the truth is that if you want to be heard, you have to be listening–to yourself.

Think of saying the following:

It’s raining.

It’s raining again.

If you are happy that it is raining, your tone will be different than if it has been raining for forty days and forty nights.

Now consider a relationship, like a marriage. Your spouse forgot to pick up the mail when he or she said they would. You respond:

Did you pick up the mail?

You didn’t pick up the mail.

You forgot to pick up the mail, again.

Does your spouse hear, “I care about you as a person. I know you mean well. Sometimes you slip up, but, really, it’s not a big deal.” Or does he or she hear something like this:

Did you pick up the mail? (Accusation in the wings, waiting to pounce and nail him.)

You didn’t pick up the mail. (Gotcha! What I expected.)

You forgot to pick up the mail, again. (You hopeless, pathetic…)

The tone of our words is like body language. It just happens. And it flows out of our attitude. If I think the world is out to get me, I will sound like a fighter, abrupt and defensive. If I feel hopeless, and think I am always the victim, I will whine and pout. But if I am hopeful, if I genuinely appreciate others, and am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, then my tone will more likely be uplifting and encouraging.

We may be disappointed, but we do not actually have to make the other person feel small. There’s no need to dump on them the full weight of all of our past discouragement. Instead we can voice hope, maybe even offer praise, “You usually remember the mail.”

To do this effectively will require taking a moment to evaluate how others hear us. A small adjustment can make a big difference.