In the world of computers it’s essential to have a firewall to prevent unwanted viruses and other malicious elements reaching your PC. In this context a firewall is described as – To protect (a network or system) from unauthorized access with a firewall. or “a firewalled network” The same in my opinion applies for human interactions! This blog contains personal observations on the importance of setting up definition in all communications and in some cases blocking unwarranted communications.
The Contribution of Social Media Hyperactivity and need for firewalls
In this era of social media and 24 hour news, I have increasingly begun to realise the importance of setting up “firewalls”. Facebook and other mediums serve a very useful function in allowing people to connect up in a new way. The downside however is that the clever idea of “FB friends” redefines the idea of “a friend” and many people who live literally in cyberspace with very little human contact begin to actually believe that “FB friends = real human friends” Of course this can be the case and this medium can be fantastic for networking but also create some quite delusional thinking, where online “friends” are then considered as actual friends in the traditional sense. In recent times I have begun to unfollow and even block a number of individuals who to me seems overly enthusiastic about posting political and religious posts. I just don’t want to see endless examples of these on a daily basis on my FB page, but of course I fully respect the right of people to post what they want as long as it’s not libelous…
Firewalls in gang warfare situations
The emergence of forums as well as social media have helped to create the whole “gang warfare” nonsense I blogged about back in 2011. Unfortunately this can create all manner of problems for some such individuals who get a bit carried away with the “whose gang are you in?” type mentality. Of course in recent times legal prosecutions have made some people think twice before making libelous malicious and/or comments online. I’m all for discussion and debate, but when people start throwing around allegations that affect a person’s professional reputation then it’s a whole different matter…If you find yourself on the receiving end of such behaviour, my advice is quietly record everything and hand all the material over to an appropriate authority who will eventually hold such characters to account. Some of these issues can take a very long time to resolve of course and as somebody once said “the legal wheels grind in a very slow manner but of course grind extremely fine”
Unsolicited calls and the endless daft SEO emails
I have previously blogged about attention seeking behaviours and unfortunately many of us are bombarded with unsolicited phone calls, spam e-mails and other unwanted communications. Sometimes there seems no escape from this unwanted avalanche of unsolicited nonsense. It wouldn’t be so bad if some of these communications at least had some kind of considered thinking, but it most cases these are endless examples of lazy robot marketing, with no imagination whatsoever. I don’t know of anybody who has not been plagued by daft “SEO” messages promising to get your site “on the first page of Google” and other such nonsense. It seems that these appear on a daily basis and many come from “SEO experts” in India. Quite frankly most of these communications are plain embarrassing.
Increase in Profile = Increase in Attracting Craziness
I was told by a colleague a decade ago that as soon as I become more well-known I would attract all manner of attention including some jealous and very odd types! Again I have no issues with discussions and debate, but sometimes an increase in profile results in some obsessive types following you. The best advice in such situations is to NEVER ENGAGE or make any comments as this only encourages such characters. Sometimes is tempting to lay out some actual facts, but essentially it’s a waste of time and energy. Again quietly collate information and then make a decision whether to hand the evidence over to professionals who are best placed to deal with such scenarios. The very best trainers and therapists will inevitably attract all manner of attention. Many of my professional colleagues like Andrew T Austin and Doug O Brien who have really excellent skills have both made this exact same observation. One of my main mentors Frank Farrelly attracted all manner of attention from many jealous and attention seeking individuals. Frank maintained his stance throughout all such moaning and continued to focus on helping others in every way he could.
Sometimes you may need to go down a legal route, when people are totally unreasonable. In such situations always pay for the best possible support. Some folks would be surprised to know that in the last 25 years I have engaged legal services on three occasions with very unreasonable people and each situation on average resulted in an average of 40k in payouts, to me. Details remain confidential as a result the final settlements and I thank such characters for their stupidity. If you are involved in working with or training the public, you can be sure that you will never please everyone. Also be aware that when your profile increases, you will inevitably attract some very unstable characters. Such individuals will often spend hours online posting. A good example of this was a 63 year old woman who hounded The McCanns with abusive tweets – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2777145/Police-probe-trolls-sending-hate-messages-McCanns-Detectives-investigate-given-dossier-catalogues-remarks-including-death-threats.html What many such folks don’t realise is that if they make libelous or malicious comments online, even if they post in haste and then delete comments, those comments can still be found online. If you are on the receiving end of such nonsense, always to the following 4 rules 1. Gather all information 2. Be patient (don’t respond at all) 3. Follow legal advice to the letter 4. Buy something wonderful with the proceeds! I have a policy of always spending such payouts on specific items, so when I look at a classic Fender Custom strat worth a substantial amount of money I think “X paid for that!” However this is not a route to take lightly, expect to allocate 8 – 10k to go down this route! Most people expect empty threats and as long as they apologize after quite malicious behaviour they will get off the hook. In their interests and all the poor other potential future victims I strongly suggest showing that there are consequences for such poor behaviour. Most stalkers are attention seekers and are too stupid to realise that they will ultimately be held to account. They are also too stupid to appreciate that they will be held to account. Fortunately these days the legal remedies can be quite severe, although the process can take a while to finally manifest.
Final thoughts and doing what you love is what ultimately matters
It’s easy to waste a lot of time on such matters but I always advise people of the old proverb “Act in haste, repent at leisure!” Putting firewalls in place help to avoid inflamed situations than can result in wasting a huge amount of time. Ultimately most people have good manners and behave in a reasonable fashion. However it’s naïve to think that all people think and operate in this way. It’s smart to have firewalls in business and personal dealings, so you are better placed to focus on what you most love in life. Nick Kemp is a board member of ANLP and runs a clinic at The Orchard Therapy Centre in Leeds for private clients as well as running Skype sessions for international clients