Tactics for Keeping Cool in Heated Debates - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 01-02-2013, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was thinking it might help if we had a discussion of our tactics for keeping cool in debates when taking the side of vaccinations being the best option. We all know there is a fairly combative atmosphere on the debate threads, but I think we do better to stick to the facts calmly as much as possible. And I'm sure that will help the moderators. 

 

 Now I'll admit I struggle with keeping cool sometimes when I'm repeatedly being accused of ignoring facts, or with the (what I interpret as) repeated attempts to provoke. At MDC those posting in the vax boards in a "pro-vax" manner do seem to be in the minority, so it can feel a lonely place sometimes when you see all those "likes" on the nasty (but inside the UA) posts - although makes me all the more thankful for those who do jump in to try to defend me!

 

Anyway, back to my first point -  one tactic I have is to not immediately respond, but to read, go away and consider and return to post. I think I'm lucky in a sense that I'm online at really different times to most people here, so I can usually have the boards to myself for a little while (e.g. in the morning in the UK). 

 

Any other suggestions? 


Mother of two living in UK. Daughter (2007) born in USA, son (2010) born here. I'm pro natural birth, midwife care, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing and a keen advocate of cloth diapering. I'm a full time working research scientist (physical sciences) and I'm pro-vaccine.

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#2 of 14 Old 01-02-2013, 03:10 PM
 
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I think that's a major one. Using the block feature helps me. Even if I click to read, at least it's not in my face everytime I load the thread.

I definitely do better sometimes than others! Trying to focus on having compassion and remembering there's another mother on the other end helps, too.
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#3 of 14 Old 01-03-2013, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's a good point and finally persuaded me to block someone I'd been "on the fence" about. I forgot you can always click back and read if you want.


Mother of two living in UK. Daughter (2007) born in USA, son (2010) born here. I'm pro natural birth, midwife care, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing and a keen advocate of cloth diapering. I'm a full time working research scientist (physical sciences) and I'm pro-vaccine.

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#4 of 14 Old 02-20-2013, 07:10 AM
 
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I think the most important thing is to remember where people are coming from with their views. Some anit-vax folks are living a daily dose of hell because of damage done to their children by the very vaccines (or drugs, or doctors, etc.)  that were supposed to help. They are understandably upset. There are also moms who are afraid that the un-vaccinated kids might get their kids sick, or are undoing the progress of years of vaccinations on the general public to eradicate disease. It all comes from a place of fear.

 

In the words of the late, great Mr. Rogers:

"There is no one you cannot love, once you get to know them."
 

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#5 of 14 Old 02-20-2013, 09:19 AM
 
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I think eeems point about remembering others perspective is important. To some extent it's their perception that's important, because that's what motivates their actions. Sometimes I need to remember that people have a good reason for actin the way they do, and let potential nastiness or what I might view as irrational behavior slide, since I don't know where that person is coming from or what their life is like.
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#6 of 14 Old 02-23-2013, 10:57 PM
 
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This thread is closed for review. 


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#7 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 07:53 AM
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prosciencemom, I have removed your post as it was inappropriate for this forum. Your post contained the points of an argument that is not suitable here for discussion, which you recognized yourself and posted our guidelines to show it could not be had here and should be taken to the Discussions and Debate forum. So I'm sure you can understand why your post was out of line and removed. Please refrain from posting in that way in this forum and take your discussion to the general forum where it can be stated and carried forth with participation by all. If you have any concerns or questions about this you can PM me or AdinaL.

 

This thread is now reopened for discussion. Let's please keep it positive, respectful of the variety of parents who post here with differing views and beliefs, and within the guidelines of the forum. 

 

Thank you. smile.gif


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#8 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 08:11 AM
 
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I think any time you have a discussion, particularly with those who may not feel the same passion for it that you do, you take nothing personally. Taking nothing personally is an all around good practice as nothing really is personal, although those who take things personally are in the majority. Not always an easy task, valuable nonetheless.

My two cents.

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Sus

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#9 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 07:06 PM
 
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For me, this is a mixed issue. For one, I always want to think of the choice to vaccinate or participate in any medical interventions as a spectrum. I can always find someone more x than me or less x than me on any given subject. And, in raising my kids I've changed my feelings on several things. 

 

So, for instance, this is the MV forum so we have mamas who selective and delay vaccines. This is home for the parent who decides they only want to vaccinate for tetanus. 

 

For me, it starts with not taking sides...because we're all on a spectrum. 

 

Then would come a little introspection. I would look at what is getting me so riled up. I'd look at my motivation. Am I trying to share information? Or am I trying to convince a mama of the error of her ways? If it's the latter - why am I doing that? I'd try to see things from their perspective. I'd remind myself that I am as shaped by my experiences as that person is by theirs. When talking about MV specifically, I'd remind myself that *I* (especially if vax on schedule or just delay) have the privilege of being part of the mainstream in this case. 

 

Another thing I do is remember that I have no control over the people who read this stuff. I always give them the benefit of the doubt that they can read the same stuff as I do and come up with their own opinions. I feel it's a little unhealthy to think another person on the internet can't read the same stuff I'm reading without my filter/opinion/retort. Not that I don't sometimes get sucked in. 

 

Anyway...

 

I think the issue of staying calm when debating stuff is really multifaceted.  If I found myself having to ask that question I think I'd start with getting really clear on my intentions for posting in the first place. Then I suppose I'd read more and post less for a while. I'd spend some time asking questions and really listening to the answers. I'd try to relate to members on another level for some portion of posting. If I felt I really wanted to identify and understand I may consider a sort of hypothetical discussion so folks could communicate more neutrally. 

 

That's what I do. 

 

But, also, keeping in mind that this forum is for all of us who choose to vaccinate, you can ask fellow MV members how to discuss this in a way that's approachable. 

 

Also, a little thing floating around on my FB account went something like this, "How people treat you is their Karma, how you react is yours."  heartbeat.gif


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#10 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 07:26 PM
 
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That's very insightful. Especially about it being a spectrum. Sometimes I definitely need to check myself to see if I'm trying to share information or just caught up in being RIGHT!
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#11 of 14 Old 02-27-2013, 06:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

When talking about MV specifically, I'd remind myself that *I* (especially if vax on schedule or just delay) have the privilege of being part of the mainstream in this case. 

 

 

This is a good point and worth remembering than non-vaccinating parents may feel threatened due to wider societal pressure....  Most of us on MDC should be familiar with that feeling since we're all here presumably because we make some non mainstream parenting choices. :) 

 

Although on MDC it's interested that the situation is reversed and the "mainstream" here is actually not-vaccinating (or at least 50% of people answering the below poll): 

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1373830/what-is-the-vax-status-of-your-children


Mother of two living in UK. Daughter (2007) born in USA, son (2010) born here. I'm pro natural birth, midwife care, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing and a keen advocate of cloth diapering. I'm a full time working research scientist (physical sciences) and I'm pro-vaccine.

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#12 of 14 Old 02-27-2013, 09:27 AM
 
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I think even on MDC the choice to not vaccinate at all is a distinct minority.  Perhaps not on the Vax board but in the community as a whole I think that is the case.  


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#13 of 14 Old 02-27-2013, 10:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rrrrrachel View Post

Sometimes I definitely need to check myself to see if I'm trying to share information or just caught up in being RIGHT!

Agreed right backatcha. I think motivation is a good thing to "meditate" on. Both for you as a the poster but also to think (and assign positive intentions) to the person you're feeling frustrated with. I rarely get into the heated stuff here at MDC anymore but I did recently involve myself in a really hot issue over the LLL. Looking back on that I'm not sure exactly what my motivation was to be honest. For me an underlying drive is that I want us as mothers to really support each other first and foremost. I think that what unites us far outweighs what divides us. When I see threads that really fly in the face of that I tend to react in a less objective way than I normally do. So, having self-awareness of what my personal triggers are helps me avoid getting into unproductive debate (usually).   


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#14 of 14 Old 03-26-2013, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This seemed to fit with this discussion:

 

*

 

Much better to stick to the facts and keep calm.

 

Also this (from the ever brilliant http://xkcd.com/386/): 

 

 


Mother of two living in UK. Daughter (2007) born in USA, son (2010) born here. I'm pro natural birth, midwife care, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing and a keen advocate of cloth diapering. I'm a full time working research scientist (physical sciences) and I'm pro-vaccine.

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