There's a saying that goes "Never Complain. Never Explain. Never Give Advice." Yet today's prompt is asking me to give advice for dealing with negative feedback in my community so "Never, say never." Welcome to Day 14 of WEGO Health's National Health Blog Post Month...
As someone who has recently faced adversity for my method of sharing and advocating for Lupus Awareness, I feel compelled to share what I have learned with others. The hardest thing is writing this post... in fact, I had planned a complete detailed post for the alternatte prompt "My life is reality show." in order to avoid addressing the issue of negativity in the community. While I was participating in yesterday's WEGO Health weekly #HAchat on Twitter, I decided to scrap the reality show, which happens a lot in the TV business and start thinking about the tough stuff.
Whether your negative feedback comes from an individual or an organization, my advice is the same. Stay focused on your goals. Stay true to your heart. Don't let anyone silence your voice. Perhaps the person is having a hard day, or in a lot of pain. I strive to feel empathy. Having had my share of "bad days" and pain, I understand. The most difficult negativity for me is when the attacks are in the form of passive aggressive tweets. If you have something to say about me, you should have the courage to say it, honestly. My goal is to rise above it. To soar and find my wings of "flair" - it is not easy.
All I want to do is share that "Lupus Awareness is fun, lupus is not." A few people have complained that I am too positive. I am not, ask my husband. I simply like to share and celebrate what I can, when I can, how I can. I choose to focus on "Lupus Style". I am often get empowered when I read or hear stories of other lupus patients or conditions through WEGO Health's #NHBPM or #HAchat. My advice would be to participate in a #HAchat, there you will find support and a community of friends. When the so called "haters" show up; stand up and rise above it. Just say no to negativity.
The stress of negativity isn't good for anyone, especially those with chronic conditions. I am bewildered when someone who has the condition and knows this intentionally puts negativity out there (on the internet). My bouts with negativity have made me stronger. I know that some people want to put duct tape on my mouth and unplug my connection. I won't back down. I am who I am - a lupus patient whose voice will not be silenced.