It’s a hard but sweet discipline to avoid spreading negativity like a disease. Any time we needlessly subject someone to our negativity (whether or not the words are actually about or against them), we have harmed that third party in some way, much less the person to whom we’ve directed our vitriol.
It may seem like there is a fine line between standing up for what you believe/calling it like it is vs harming others directly or indirectly through negative messages, but I don’t think it’s very fine at all. I think the difference is obvious, and has everything to do with how things are said and the intent (conscious or subconscious) behind the words.
Sometimes in anger and more often in fear we say things rashly and regret it. The best result of that regret is to act like you do here: take responsibility, learn a lesson, make amends, and honestly try to not repeat the behavior.
But I don’t think it’s necessary to stay silent and not take a stand when you see something that strikes you as very wrong. Passive acceptance of other people’s bad behavior doesn’t solve anything, and indeed in many cases it is interpreted as support for what they are doing. Somtimes silence is a collusion, a ‘crimes of ommission’ sort of thing.
Nevertheless, our reactions – whatever they are – either escalate or de-escalate, inform or obfuscate, promulgate negativity or simply give notice that the questionable behavior will not be tolerated.
It’s a very good exercise to force oneself to speak honestly without exacerbating the negativity that you find fault with. “Write thrice, erase twice, send once” might be an appropriate guideline.
…..words of wisdom…..