Ever since social media came out, there has been more and more unhealthy communication on the Internet. Political rhetoric and unhealthy communication seem to go together. Instead of debating in a reasonable, logical manner, invariably emotions get in the way. There is no desire to learn from another person’s experiences, to find consensus, to find solutions. Don’t dare mention ‘to find compromise’. So individuals, Americans, become more and more divided. Hate overcomes love.
The following are examples of unhealthy communication. Individuals from the Left or Right Politically, Individuals who claim to Christians have all manifested various types of unhealthy communication. Sadly, many excuse, justify, try to explain away their inappropriate communication. So division and hate increase. Hopefully some will choose to walk a different path.
Calling individuals bigots, racists, haters, evil, freedom haters, warmongers, etc just because you do not agree with their position. Unless you know them personally you are making accusations that may or not may be true.
Insinuating someone is saying something they have not said. “You said this so you mean this.” “You don’t believe in freedom because….”
Making statements as if you know what someone is thinking..”You said this so you must believe this.”
Making statements to try and make the person look foolish. “Only a fool would have your position.”
Sarcasm can be an effective tool to make a point, but sarcasm to attack someone to put them down is wrong.
Intentional exaggeration can be an effective tool to get someone to see the seriousness of a situation, but it should be perfectly clear that the exaggeration has been intentional-not being presented as a fact.
Unwillingness to See Both Sides
A refusal to acknowledge the other side has some valid points.
Attacking the Messenger instead of the Message
Attacking the opposing party instead of their position. Normally done through name calling, mocking, insinuating, sarcasm. “you think you are better than”. Listen-attack perspectives, not people.
Lying is lying. Stating something as fact when it is not is lying. Citing false statistics is lying.
When confronted about communication improperly, and given examples, refuse to admit any wrongdoing. Actually attacking the one who pointed out your flawed communication.
If things go like they normally do, someone will read this blog article and then immediately go into unhealthy communication They will tell me as a pastor I should not do, be, etc. They will say I think I am better than anyone else. They will tell me what I think and who I am. They will say I am preaching, (But if pastor was not in front of my name, they would not say that, it would just be me sharing my perspective.) My confession-I have not been the best communicator myself.
Let’s have healthy communication-tell me what above characteristics are okay to do in a public forum.
P.S. President Trump is guilty of many of these forms of inappropriate communication. That should not be the case of any leader. (President Trump you are suppose to set the example of doing what is right, not wrong.) At the same time those who attack the President, including the media, have been just as guilty. The very thing they accuse the President of, they do themselves. (BTW, the purpose for the freedom of press was to prevent corruption, to bring facts, that is no longer the case-that is a whole other topic.)
Feel free to comment below-in a healthy manner.