I'm always looking for ways to foster a climate of engaging and constructive conversation on Shine, so I was very excited when I stumbled on an Allure Magazine article called "How to Give Good Advice". In the article, NY Times columnist Randy Cohen (aka "The Ethicist") offers 6 quick tips on giving advice, and while they may not radically change the way you comment on Shine posts, I hope you'll consider them the next time you bestow your sage wisdom. :-)
These were my personal favorites:
Tip # 3 - "Keep it to yourself. While it is tempting to launch into a personal anecdote, that changes the subject to you - and that's not what empathy is all about."
Tip # 5 - "Be kind. Being honest doesn't excuse a lack of tact, so be careful not to insult someone, even if you've chosen to say something tough. Keep your thoughts focused on the issue, not on the person."
On a related note, for a long time now I've been impressed by Shine users "Lizbeth" and "B E L L O V E D 21". Whether they agree with the subject matter and user opinions or not, they always keep their comments honest, helpful, and respectful. I found two recent comments from each user that demonstrate that it is possible to disagree without resorting to hurtful comments. Don't forget - constructive comments will always get you further than negativity. Thanks ladies!
Lizbeth's comment on "The Myth About Exercise May be That it Doesn't Work"
"I've read many responses and I agree with the other women; the article is very skewed and harmful to the public, fitness is an individual thing and exercise should be part of our lives for health and well being.The problem is we're all so compulsive and entitled and exhausted, that we think hard work should equal "gimme, gimme, gimme"; why do we all feel so empty? The picture on the cover says it all; we only do work while thinking of the reward, as opposed to simply doing it and seeing the act itself as pleasureable; like loving your spouse, spending time with your kids, doing a favor for a friend,...doing any of these things and feeling fulfilled by the act of giving/doing as opposed to feeling FILLED from a Big Mac or 3 glasses of wine.There just seems to be a major void within people these days...maybe it's always been there, and before food we filled it with other forms of debauchery, throughout history. Now instead of chasing the dragon, we chase The Burger King, on our treadmills.
I think Time should be ashamed, this article is going to discourage lots of people who are struggling with their wieght and have comitted themselves to the gym (I have two friends right now who've been busting their butts at the gym, but they both admit it's their diets that haven't changed much)4-4=0+8 still equals 8 and eating 600 calories from two slices of pizza is a far cry from eating 600 calories from celery and apples.
Don't eat food that comes in boxes, burn 500 calories per workout 5-6 times a week, strength train for 30 minutes 4 times a week, eat 1800 calories a day and limit your 'cheat meals' to 2 per week. You'll get lean and you'll stay healthy.
All this craziness. If all else fails see a shrink."
B E L L O V E D 21's comment on "What Makes A Guy Creepy?"
"Wow, Amazing how some people think this is superficial, then way too deep, then way into the woods or shoe on the other foot. I think that if something bothers you about someone else you should first and foremost check before you project. Creepy is a two way street, are you creeped out because of thier behavior or is it because YOU have a problem with it, if you do, communicate that dislike and either tolerate it or get out of the creepy situation. It is funny how we blame the other person for just being themselves when in actuality it is bothering US, if you really dont care about something then 20 guys could stare at every inch of you and you would be like, oh, what-ever. and creepy interpretation is more what we are experiencing. We do not have to interpret everything as creepy. Although I have had the in your face when you wake up, and standing outside of your place or your car experiences, if the person is not killing you then quit worrying :D There are too many hateful things out there, admiration, even the creepy kind, is kinda cool."