Whether it is social media or in a group of people, there are certain ways you can ensure you are being compassionate, while pointing out someone’s behavior.
What is a Call Out?
According to Merriam Webster online Dictionary:
call out verb called out; calling out; calls out
Definition of call out (Entry 2 of 2) transitive verb
1: to summon into action call out troops
2: to challenge to a duel
3: to order on strike call out the workers
4: to publicly criticize or fault (someone)
The Public Call Out
Keep in mind, no ones likes to be corrected in a public arena, whether it is social media or in person. Whether you are online or in person, you may feel your words aren’t harmful but you do not know how another perceives them. Your words are powerful and so is miscommunication. In the online word, we often miss out on nonverbal cues and vocal tones.
When someone gets called out in public, the other party may feel embarrassed for making a mistake. Rather than educating them, you have offended them, angered them or hurt them. This closes down a person’s energy and mind to learning. Socially calling out someone risks their belonging, social status and sometimes their professional reputation. Many people online are on alert for posts or certain words that may trigger others. Sometimes this is needed and sometimes it is not.
Before you call out a friend or even someone you don’t know consider:
- Your intention. Are you attempting to educate others or feel superior? There is a certain judgmental or critical energy to a call out. Is your intention fueled by a need to be right (ego) or is your intention from the heart? Tread carefully.
- What has triggered you exactly? Often it is not the post or what someone has said that is really the problem. The post can act like a stimulus to a past event you have had. Go back into your history and ask yourself; What does this remind me of? Why does this bother me so much? Heal the original wound.
- Is this really harmful? There is a difference between harmful and annoying. Harmful is something that is abusive or ethically wrong. It is usually clear to anyone who hears or sees the post or statement. Annoying can be something as simple as how a person says something.
- Who is around? On social media you really do not know who is around to see the post or your call out. Some people may admire you speaking up but others may be turned off by your approach. In an at person event, look around and notice who can hear you.
- Be ready for the consequences. A call out can lead you to become unfriended or blocked on social media. In real life, you may lose a friend or strain an important relationship. Is it worth it?
Here are some options
- Choose to not call out. People are not perfect. Social media can bring out our most emotional selves. If this is not a constant offender, let it go. If you are that upset, unfriend the person or walk away. I recently went for a walk, as I was passing a gentleman, I said,” Hello.” He said, “Good morning ma’am.” It was 1:00 pm. I chose to not correct him. What good would it have done? Except maybe cause him embarrassment. We exchanged friendly banter and I left. Sometimes it is best to take an interaction or post for the essence of it. You do not have to correct every discrepancy. Let some stuff go. Do you want to be right or be happy?
- Do a call out in private. Whether you are in person or on social media take your conversation elsewhere. Think about work environments. Would you prefer your boss correct you in front of everyone or one on one? On social media do not write a comment under the post, either text the person or private message them. You assume you know this person’s story but you may not. Let them express where they are at. Seek to understand and then give your take. Don’t expect anything. Allow him or her to have some space to process what you wrote. This is the beauty of doing this privately without the other person being ostracized by a group of people or pressured by social media time. The person may or may not agree with you but you have not harmed them. This is an empathic call out. If your goal is to elevate and educate others, use this method. Once the person has processed the information, he or she may chose to share what it learned or not.
What are your thoughts on empathically calling out others?
Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach. She works for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at http://www.lisahutchison.net