In this age of anonymity where you can pretend to be whomever or whatever you want to be on the internet, it’s easy to harm someone. Some people, trolls, take this maliciousness to an entirely new level and raise it to an art form.
For the rest of us, though, for those who just want to connect, converse, and peacefully coexist, it can be hard navigating the ins and outs of social connections in an online setting. This is made doubly difficult when the person, or persons, you’re conversing with can’t hear your voice and the natural inflections we use to stress words when we speak.
Why do I bring this up?
I recently made a comment to someone and while my intention was humor, a teasing comment made between friends, or, at the least, familiar acquaintances, it landed in a hurtful manner and I caused the person I was speaking with pain.
We have to be careful about how and in what manner we speak to others on the internet. My intention was humor, I caused pain. I was, rightly and properly, called out on my infraction and I immediately apologized for causing harm.
Therein is the point of this. Too many times in our world, we cause harm, intentionally or unintentionally, and we don’t do anything to make it right. An apology might prevent further conflict, but it does nothing to limit or change the fact the original pain exists.
All we can do, when we harm others is to apologize, note the persons boundaries, and promise to do better in the future. And then do better.
When I wrong someone, I try to apologize. Anger may prevent apologies from landing immediately, and rightly so, but, if it’s possible to apologize and if I can do anything to right my wrong, I make ever effort to do so.
I wronged someone recently. I said something insensitive. I apologized. I hope I can repair the damage to our, I’m not going to presume a friendship, so I’ll say familiar acquaintanceship.
If you read this, I apologize again.
With great respect,
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