Listen to the blog here: https://anchor.fm/meghan-greenwood/episodes/Be-Supportive–Not-A-Rival-e12beq1
In our social media-driven world, we are attuned to every little opinion and change that may be going on in our network’s personal and professional lives. On one hand, this can help keep us up-to-date on the information, but on another, it can very much fuel negativity, jealousy, and competitiveness.
Let’s take 2 examples.
First example: As a mom of 2 young boys, I am a member of various Facebook parenting groups. Sure, I like to collect opinions on best practices, school/medical recommendations, and other mommy items. However, when I see a post that is showboating or worse, rudely denouncing another mother’s thoughts, I’m immediately taken aback. What is the goal of putting another person down, especially on a public forum? Making yourself feel better? Making them feel stupid? Boosting your own self-perceived power? I don’t get it. You can’t ‘win’ parenting. There is a polite way to disagree, but there is no need to throw another parent under the bus. Parenting is a struggle already; being supportive is as necessary as it was in the days of communal living. Remember, it takes a village!
Second example: With several different businesses to manage, I often gather inspiration from my peers, especially those in similar ventures. I also strongly believe in supporting their efforts – whether that means purchasing or resharing posts from small businesses. This is why it absolutely pains me to watch the competitive venom seep out. On social media, it is all too apparent who is truly supportive and who is not. As most folks are aware of Fbk & IG algorithms, with more comments and reshares comes more visibility. Sure, they will share that ridiculous meme or the story that benefits a big box name, but for some reason, the jealousy overrides their ability to hit ‘Like’ on your growing business. The rivalries that manifest, ESPECIALLY between women in similar businesses, can often lead to slander and blatant hatred. I’ve seen friendships crumble and bruised egos lead to bankruptcy. Instead, why not applaud your fellow entrepreneurs and even perhaps learn from them? No 2 people or businesses will ever be exactly the same, so it is in your best interest to be an advocate and provide utmost quality to your ability. Dragging someone through the mud or ignoring their business efforts will only spoil your reputation.
We are hardwired for survival, but when it comes to contemporary relationships, we need to hit the pause button on our gut instinct to defend ourselves and instead practice some humanity. Who knows, our supportive and inclusive demeanor may lend to us getting help when we need it in the future. What goes around, comes around.