In the little, but intense time I have spent on Twitter, I found that it is a very positive and open-minded place to be. I wrote about this many times before.
Yet, at the odd occasion it happened that I found myself in an unnecessary and very negative argument that didn’t help anyone.
Someone I love quoting for his thoughts on Twitter is Dave from @TweetSmarter, who once told me:
“There was no tough enough situation that I couldn’t turn around to the positive yet.”
I believe this is something we should all be after. Here are a few thoughts on how to better achieve this:
1.) Strive for harmony not being “right”
There is a distinct situation from my very early days on Twitter, when I led a discussion with someone on whether sending links is ok. The topic isn’t of relevance actually. What is, is the fact that I tried to force my view onto him. And it ended pretty badly, with both of us parting ways, not talking for monhts.
I was convinced I was right, when the point of argument was one on how every individual chooses to handle Twitter. It turned out I wasn’t anyways. This taught me lots that it is far more important to maintain and respect how we are all using Twitter.
2.) Put yourself into the other person’s shoes
As we go along and do our thing on Twitter, we are often driven by a natural self-centeredness. I think this is a purely natural instinct aimed to help us survive and definitely not something to worry about.
A very simple technique to avoid negativity that helped me many times is to put myself into the other person’s shoes. Who are they? Why are they doing what they are doing? Simply trying to understand what the other person is going through can be very powerful.
It leads us away from the focus on what we are doing and helped me greatly to sort out situations, where I was focused only on my own good.
3.) If you shout, do it privately
Bursting out in curses over someone rarely solved my problems in the past. I also have a feeling that it has a very negative long term impact on myself, if I let myself down to hold a shout festival with @replies over Twitter.
So, if all things happen to go wrong, I believe it helps to take it at least to DM level in order to sort out the problem. Here, it often happens that when no one is listening in, we are oftentimes far more likely to calm down and take it back to a human level of interaction.
4.) Admitting you are wrong
This is something which writes so easily, yet is oftentimes so hard to do. Having our own pride and feeling of importance hurt is something no one takes easily. It is often the greatest women and men though that are able to admit when they are in the wrong.
The same applies to Twitter. Saying publicly in a Tweet or a blogpost even that there was an unfortunate situation you would have loved to deal with differently can turn around things radically. A wonderful example from @TweetSmarter and @biebert can be found here.
The best part of all is that on Twitter people are usually extremely respectful of each other. It is a big factor, why I love discussing things via Twitter so much. In the (hopefully) rare situations where a discussion gets heated up, I hope the tips where helpful.
Have you had a troublesome situation on Twitter yet? How did you deal with it?