In our small town we have an online service between residents. Weather cautions, street closings, yard sales, athletic events are posted. Lost dogs and cats also appear from time to time. Free giveaway items are offered to anyone interested.

Occasionally, a disgruntled resident will post something not appropriate for the website. Only a time or two has an online “tiff” broken out. When I sense anger festering, I try to post a message that acknowledges the pain or anger being aired along with a calming line or two. Another neighbor has a great statement that “hears” the angry person but does not encourage its growth. She says, “That’s not my experience….” and then makes a positive suggestion or statement that defuses the earlier message.

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