Lately, we have been devoting our time to our clients, helping them fight the good fight to stay afloat through one of the most challenging times to operate a business in the last fifteen years.
That hasn't left a lot of time for writing, but today, as CEO of Startup to Success Media, Marketing and Consulting Agency, I have had enough of a disturbing trend and felt it warranted to take some time away from the front lines.
First, you should know when I say "our clients," the kind of people we are talking about... Brave, resilient people who refuse to give up. People with families to feed. People who support others with their struggles. People whose businesses help other people. Local business owners, restaurant owners, health and wellness practitioners, owners of a company providing free services for small businesses through the pandemic.
Right now, besides working longer hours, having determination, and being able to manage on less, marketing is an essential tool for a business to use to stay in business. Letting people know how to avail of its products or services and when is something customers look for before venturing out in a pandemic world. If there's no communication going on, business is lost. Social networks being the widest used form of media, consistency on these channels is a must. But, unfortunately, it seems people with too much time on their hands or who need to vent their frustration with life, in general, take this as an invitation for criticism. Sure, everyone's opinion is valid; however, more and more, we are seeing people who have no intention of patronage getting their digs in—bringing up negative experiences of years past, complaining about prices, conjecturing if the business will last, turning positive innocuous posts into political debate. This has the potential to destroy a struggling small business. STOP IT.
Every retail and food industry business has to raise their prices right now because their costs have gone up.
THIS JUST IN
When a business has to take the time to respond to unnecessary negative posts, that is wasting their precious resource of time, which means money.
I keep finding myself asking, "what is behind this?" Being a student of psychology, I found this is called schadenfreude, a bit of enjoyment at the misfortunes of others.
In a study by van Dijk, of Leiden University in the Netherlands, it was found that those with lower self-esteem gain a temporary boost of confidence from the use of schadenfreude. I find equally intriguing that those who participated in self-esteem-boosting activities no longer required joy in others' failures.
Guess what boosts self-esteem? Lifting other people up!
Emily Roberts MA, LPC, a psychotherapist, says, "Helping others has a profound effect on your brain chemistry, promotes joy and realigns you with a sense of purpose, even in the face of pain. Contributing to the greater good can build self-esteem and create a positive relationship with yourself."
BREAKING: POSITIVE NEWS
You are not a bad person if you have been doling out schadenfreude, especially because you can recognize this in yourself and turn the tide. Psychologists say that everyone falls victim to this practice at sometime in their life. The COVID-19 world has us all experiencing a roller coaster of emotions and swaying confidence.
When you find yourself wanting to throw a little shade on a small business' post, remember what you are doing is called shadenfreude and that it sounds like a sneeze. Then, remind yourself you will feel a whole lot better by virtually saying "bless you." in your post than the alternative.
We all benefit by supporting each other through this difficult time.