This is a silly post, with a little bit of seriousness tucked for a bit of Truth. I’ve been thinking for awhile on one of the things I’ve learned from the concept of Verbal Judo – “ju” is Japanese for “gentle” and “do” being the Japanese word for “way,” thus, the Gentle Way of Communicating with anyone. The way that causes the least amount of stress or effort while still ensuring that people react the way they are required to. Verbal Judo is a book written by a cop, and definitely for cops, although anyone can benefit from the wisdom in it. It’s got great tactics for dealing with difficult, or even downright horrible people – for throwing them offtrack, for making them do exactly what you want them to do – which is crucial if you’re in law enforcement, or teaching, or in any position of authority.
One of the basic principals within verbal judo is being aware enough to be nice to the nice people.
Nice People are not your problem, but it’s still wise to treat them as if they’re important. If you don’t treat them well, they may do what you want but will feel rotten about it. You’ll lose credibility with them and gradually they’ll stop supporting you. Besides, just because they are cooperative is no reason to take advantage of them or take them for granted. Treating them with respect is right because it’s right.
So few people are cooperative that you have to cultivate and cherish the ones who are.
I’ve thought a lot about incorporating a Comment Policy, which is basically a “Rule” for my own little corner of the internet that seeks to moderate what is shown on my blog as far as comments go. I’ve read that a lot of people don’t respect a blogger who moderates, because it’s somehow deceptive to not show comments that are critical or argumentative.
The problem is not with criticism, but instead with a person attempting to attack and destroy another with their reckless words in a comment or in an email. One of my favorite bloggers who is a woman my same age & after my own heart, and yet beyond me in her growth and in her ability in disregarding her hate mail, surprised me as I read this morning that she also receives a fair amount of hate mail for running her blog. Here is her explanation:
I get a lot of hate mail. No, really… I get countless emails saying terrible things about me and my family. You might be surprised. There isn’t much I say on this page that would seem to come across as aggressive or deserving of hate. As a matter of fact, the sole mission behind all of my writing is to bring healing and hope to the hearts of others.
I guess, sometimes, hope is hard.
Sometimes, people don’t like hope… Or at least they don’t like how I offer hope to them or to others.
I could choose from many examples, but take this one for instance. I wrote article about a mom I saw at Chick-Fil-A. When scrolling through comments awaiting moderation, I was shocked (to say the least) to find that I had been called something that I read on the wall in a dirty bathroom stall once when I was in middle school. I was just as shocked to read it 20 years later in regard to my hope for the momma who wanted to eat her chicken nuggets while managing her small children.
I couldn’t understand why someone would stop in the middle of their day to say how angry they were about something that had nothing to do with them. Why would they seek out an opportunity to destroy hope?
I protect my readers passionately by not publishing every comment and by carefully moderating conversations on this page and my other social media accounts. I treat these places like my living room. I keep them safe for me and for my friends. Do you know why? Do you know why I care so much? Because this is my small corner of the internet.
And this is an area where I get to say no to hate.
With so many people who feel uninhibited in expressing their views of pessimism and criticisms, it is good to treasure the people (or bloggers) who we know are for us, to feel that we can trust them to give us criticism that we actually need to better ourselves, and who don’t feel the need to attack us personally or viciously.
It’s good to be thankful for the people who back us, the trustworthy people – to appreciate them.
It’s good to be nice to the nice people.