8/13/21: How Our Words Can Indirectly Impact Others

I saw the impact that the last post related to suicide, had on so many. The DMs I got on it were extremely heart-felt…seemed to strike a chord, describing how so often, these thoughts are impulse error msgs that begin not far in advance…often not “planned.”

Who was the PRIMARY target of that post? I assume we could say it’s a lot of diff segments of society who aren’t as familiar w how these thoughts often work (bc we just don’t talk abt it enough). But, if I had to select one as the “primary”…it’d be those who’ve either had the thoughts before or may have them down the road, so that they know what to expect..what they feel like…won’t feel like an alien for having ‘em…that’ll lessen their anxiety, & give them a fighting chance to reach out for help & win that “tug of war” battle.

Then I started thinking abt the indirect impacts of those comments. I put it on twitter & what seemed to resonate the most, is how the explanation removed SHAME. It allowed ppl who hadn’t thought abt the topic in this way, before, not to equate choice w it automatically.

When choice is taken away, shame erodes. If shame erodes, then ppl who might NEVER have thought to ask for help, will be more open to reach out, knowing they won’t be judged (at least as much). Families who see their child struggling w the thoughts might be more open to reaching out.

That INDIRECT impact, on the “others” hearing the msg, may be even greater than those the msg was initially intended for.

And indirect impacts of msgs can both help, & hurt situations. Remember when ppl were shaming Simone for “quitting.” Some of the most impactful memes I saw in the days following went like this: “Simone may never see your negative comments about her quitting. But, your friends will.” Wow….wow! That’s a mic drop comment. And it’s so true.

When we say things, they have meaning…& the meaning (especially on SM where anyone can view our comments), may impact more ppl indirectly (positively or negatively way more than the primary target of the comments).

Also, check out newest member of the Celeb Alliance, Samantha’s Arsenault Livingstone, Gold Medalist who’s had her own struggles w ideations @slivingstn

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