How to share without offending?

On 20161121, Little Princess’ maternal grandmother (LPMG) told me a reason why she only sent 1-2 photos of Little Princess to her great grandmother (who does not know how to use apps) via LPMG sister-in-law (F). F’s son once mentioned that I sent him too many [1] travel photos, hence LPMG concluded that they do not like to receive. While my intention is to inspire them to travel and explore the world, the recipients may think that I’m boastful or end up feeling envious or jealous.

To share without offending:

  1. know your audience (this is the 知彼 part of 知己知彼). Not everyone wants what we are sharing (e.g. gifts, advice, smiles, nod, etc). Consider alternatives: for many things in life, there are multiple answers.
  2. choose our battles wisely. Do not share to some people who are likely to feel offended or annoyed. Do not send things electronically, just make them available online. The same goes for snail mails, we ourselves have received too many unwanted snail mails (e.g. advertisements) that consume our time and energy to have a look and decide to discard. “You can’t force people to read or watch, but you can make it available.” ~ Leo Babauta
  3. #pandaMnemonic: THINK = Thoughtful + Helpful + Inspiring + Necessary + Kind? “If you propose to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind.” ~Buddha
  4. It’s not only what we say to others; but also how (the manner in which) we say it that truly matters. To flourish relationships, use appropriate language, word choices, and tone. Minimize “you should …” statements.
  5. ask questions, ask caring (non-nosy) questions. listen more than we talk. “Nature hath given men one tongue but two ears, that we may hear from others twice as much as we speak.” – Epictetus

[1] adjectives are relative to different people.



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