What Would Shawn Do? How to Handle Facebook Snarking

Q:

I am a receptionist in a busy clinic, and one of our technicians has been making comments and sharing quotes on Facebook that seem directed at me. She doesn’t mention me or the clinic by name, but I’m sure she’s talking about me. I’m usually very even-tempered, but this is pushing me to my limits. What should I do?Facebook Eye Roll

A:

First, question your assumptions. Unless she named you or a specific incident that only you were involved in, you don’t know for sure that she’s talking about you. It’s really easy to personalize people’s online behavior, but you need to allow for the possibility that there is an alternate explanation.

Second, don’t fan the flame. Facebook conversations are public, and the fallout from a passive-aggressive word war isn’t worth it. If her remarks really are directed at you, and she’s hoping you’ll notice, the fire will die out much more quickly if you simply ignore them.

Lastly, work on the relationship. Try communicating with her directly about any problems between you, without mentioning the Facebook posts. Be a good listener, and ask questions to get to the root causes of the problems so that you can work together to solve them.

If she ever does name you, or posts negative comments that are specific to your role or the clinic, take a screen shot and report her to the practice manager or owner immediately. Online bullying is completely unacceptable and is harmful to you and the clinic.

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