As I looked at my Facebook timeline today, I was so disappointed to see how many people are posting messages with negative rather than positive language.
They include a commonly used sentence on these posts now “I know 99% of you won’t re-post this….” What a strange choice of language; If they choose to focus on negative language, then many people – like me – will indeed choose not to re-post their message. If they choose positive language I, and many more like me, are sure to engage in a positive way.
So why would they choose this approach? Why start by assuming people will not respond, be moved, care enough to share something that matters to you? I believe they are hoping this comment will work in several ways:
1) If none of us re-post their message, we help them reinforce the negatives in their head. Those voices that tell them “you are not worth it” “people don’t care about you”. By setting us up in this way, we can prove they are right in their minds. They would, of course, deny this is the case and would probably attempt to make your lack of response all about you.
2) Emotional blackmail. They somehow hope to make us feel sorry for them, to believe that we are the 1% who will post it and prove they do matter. This approach may get some people to share – once. They are, however, likely to get bored of the “victim” approach pretty quickly.
3) They enjoy the attention. When you see a post that contains this phrase, the first thing that comes to mind is often “oh dear, sounds like they’ve been let down in the past” or “they are obviously having a tough time”. There is a chance you will contact them and simply say “hope you are ok” and bingo, they got your attention.
What response do you think you could create with positive language instead? I would suggest more people will engage, more people will want to share your posts, more people will take notice.
Today, choose positive language and let me know how people respond.