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Art Of Communicating in Social Networks

How to deal with tricky questions


Ahh.. one of those dreaded moments for the guys.

We all know the pressure here. Oh yes, we’re tricky. But you know what? A little wisdom can definitely save you off the hook. But first, you need to know your partner better– the ground rule before all tips and tricks.

How does this have anything to do with social media? Every bit of it – urgency and the consequences of a reckless response. Regardless celebrities or politicians, even us normal people are responsible for the words we blurted out in the open. You’ll be surprised a simple joke can either build you or crush you, especially when we’re networking with users from different cultural backgrounds and status.


Art Of Communicating in Social Networks


In order to interact better with people from various social networks, identify:

  • Who are they – readers, followers, business partners, potential customers, random chatters ?
  • What are their backgrounds ?
  • Where is the boundary; When shall the line be drawn ?
  • What’s the amount of ‘Trust’ built or given to both sides ?
  • What are the possible conflicts that may be or had already existed? If none, will you continue to avoid it ?
  • What is your personal branding in the public eye ?


Cautiousness in social networking does not forbid you to express freely, but the courtesy to think twice before responding. Our mind reacts quick to disagreements, fast to defend and attack. Self-protect instinct like this can easily blur our judgments. Ask yourself,

“Is building credibility important to me? Am I encouraging it or another way around?”

Let’s brainstorm based on some possible answer(s) for your partner below:


1. Silence : “… …


In Social Networking:

Social networking does not tolerate silence. If you’ve spent 5-10 minutes on a post surely there’s something about it that triggers your interest. Share your thoughts in the blog comment and create continuous conversations with other commenters. Hitting that ‘close’ button is easy but not if you wish to make all your blog visits worthwhile. Do SOMETHING.


For the guys:

Silence does not always mean safety. Advisable to have the ‘response’ ready if you are not prepared with the answer. Prevention is better than cure. Appear doubtful and troubled may sell you out at that instant.


2. Diversion: “Ah, It’s late! I’ll tuck the kids in bed. KIDDSS.. !!


In Social Networking:

Diverting people’s attention to our network seems logical, but not always welcoming if you hard push it. If you think people shall read your work, state out why and be convincing. Never flood people’s Facebook Wall and inbox with self-promoting post links for it is rude. You can easily jeopardize the friendship and trust people have in you.

Another kind of diversion is to run away from problems. I remember there were times I had trouble with the comment form in Blogger platform. Never occurred to me in trying out other commenting systems before I finally decided to move to WordPress from Blogger. Now I only regret for not doing it sooner, same thing with DoFollow.


For the guys:

Yes, temporarily this may solve your problem but don’t grumble if the question pops up in some most unlikely moments. The earlier to deal with it the better.



3. Honesty: “Then mood swing it is !”


In Social Networking:

There’s nothing wrong with honesty but mind that virtue involves. It is one of those ironies that got people wondering why it sounds much better in theory but not in practical. Going through the questions again and weigh in the consequences of each possible actions. We are not talking about your family members or closed friends who have known you for years but acquaintances who just shared a few conversations with you. Take into considerations all factors and risks involved. Shall this be done in private emailing or out in the open? The impact may cost your digital footprints and branding so you need to think twice.


For the guys:

Gals dig that, Right? For some lady friends I know, this can both be a straight forward question or a tricky one. Sometimes it is not just about the honesty alone, but the way you respond to the question. For some who can accept honest feedback, a little tip: no ‘must be’ or ‘it’s KILLING me’. Don’t forget you are being honest to help her, not trashing her self-esteem.


4. Skillful: “I love you just the way you are!”


In Social Networking:

Be thoughtful. You don’t add burden to an already troubled-mind. If you’re commenting on a site which the author talks about bankruptcy out of a poor judgment, don’t say ‘Stupid! I wouldn’t do that if I were you’ but be compassionate. There’s a line between hypocrisy and skilled communication, so make sure you know where to stand.


For the guys:

So far this has been chosen as the best response according to my female friends. Safe, they say, and can be the honest truth. You can’t really change anything, can you?


How To Deal With Tricky Questions?


There’s no definite answers on how to deal with tricky questions. It’s all about the art of communicating, how you willing to give and take in different situations. Perhaps it’s not common for us to face tough questions but someday when you do,

  • Understand the question thoroughly. It’s easy to ‘assume’ and misinterpret so always be SURE you know what exactly is in demand here.
  • Test the water with a brief remark; or provide scenarios (if needed) to understand the motive.
  • Be thoughtful. You can’t please everyone but don’t blind yourself with self-absorption.
  • Try to know your readers/followers personality through their writings or on social media connections.
  • Listen more.
  • Consider the consequences of each action.


Now It’s Your Turn…

Have you ever encountered any tricky questions? How do you deal with it? Kindly share YOUR art of communicating in the comments below.


    1. Kevin,

      I’m truly thankful for your kind support and RT. It has been a pleasure to know you on Twitter and your site too. 🙂 Do visit again sometimes. Best wishes!

  1. It is so easy to react without thinking, but always a good idea to take a step back before responding. Think of the time it took to build your relationship and how quickly it can be destroyed by one impulse-driven remark. This is one of those times when my grandmother’s saying of “count to ten first” comes in quite handy. Even with emoticons it can be hard to decipher inflection in the written word. A whole new aspect of social interaction. I hadn’t yet mastered face-to-face and now I have this. 🙂
    .-= Anne´s last blog ..Coffee Deal & JCPenney Savings Newsletter =-.

    1. I agree with you, Anne. 🙂

      It’s funny that our messages could be misinterpreted sometimes. This post was inspired by some incidents we came across in the social networks, even among the comments too. It’s always better to clarify before jumping into conclusions.

      Ah..count to 10. Reminded me of the famous quote “When angry, count ten before you speak. If very angry, a hundred.” lol.. yes, it’s better to deal with the problem during calm moments. ^^

      Always enjoy your visit here, Anne. Thank you so much!

    1. DiTesco,

      Well said, my friend. When I was writing about this, I was actually telling myself the kind of attitude I should have during online networking. Sometimes it isn’t about winning the debate but how to present ourselves during responding.

      Another lifelong lesson. 🙂 Thank you so much for the input.

    1. Michele,

      Welcome, I’m lucky enough to spot your tweet today and send you the post link. 🙂

      Indeed, request for clarity is a great idea. Sometimes the question is not the ‘main’ issue. ha.. thanks so much for enlightening that.

      Thank you and hope to see you again sometimes.

  2. What a refreshing post. It really moves anybody. Every suggestions are well judged and worthy.

    Its more easier to fall in trap when communicating online than face-to-face communication. You won’t get response immediately and will never had your turn to read the expression, nor can you correct your mistake immediately. Its very necessary to be cautious and think twice for controversial or emotional topics.

    Thanks a bunch for a great post.
    .-= Suresh Khanal@blogger´s last blog ..Why I Add Digg, Twitter, Reddit, FaceBook and StumbleUpon Buttons on Blog Posts? =-.

    1. Suresh,

      Yes, you have shared a very important point about social networking – the time when we are unable to correct misunderstandings, this can be fatal to our online branding and career. The risk is definitely there. Well shared and so happy to see you here. Hope you’ll visit again. 🙂

  3. It’s helpful to ask clarifying questions. And perhaps there’s a need to reread the post again? It happened to me twice this week already. I did not read carefully before commenting. Then, bam!

    I leave little disasters in my wake. My consolation is that I was in the company of friends.

    As regards tricky questions: It’s always helpful answering them positively. Even contrary views can be expressed in a positive way. We only have to take a moment to find that non-judgmental tone or level-headed style of expressing it.
    .-= jan geronimo´s last blog ..Here’s Why I Unfriended Darren Rowse in Facebook =-.

    1. Jan,

      Allow me to re-quote “Even contrary views can be expressed in a positive way” — brilliant! 🙂 I think to be polite is always the first, best ethic to go for. Even if we are disagreeing, there’s no need to be harsh about it.

      Your comment just reminded me of something. I’ll DM you, talk later. 🙂

    1. Michael,

      That’s true, showing personality is not entirely relying on being negative, objecting all points. It’s much to learn about dealing with tricky questions, on- or offline.

      Great seeing you here again! Hope your tech blog is going smooth. 🙂

    1. Anne,

      I think we are dealing with the same risk daily with our posts huh? 🙂 Yes, think before we write or say; listen more instead. Good tip. ^^ Always nice to have you here!

  4. Hi Ching, yet another excellent article from your side. I must say you have become used to it 🙂 btw, I was also planning to write an article on the same thing few days back but I changed my mind 🙁
    Very rightly said, social networking has taken the web by storm and there is hardly anytime, which goes without it these days. Yes, its all about the communication in the end. We need to have these communication skills if we want to do better in these area. One thing I am never afraid of is to make new friends online on these social networks and I’ve been quite successful with it till date. If you are asking me how do I do it, well..I just go with it without giving it a second thought making sure that I maintain my politeness and decency in all forms. It is very important that you follow those etiquettes as you mentioned above. Well, to be honest.. no such tricky questions for me till date:) Social Networking is all about connecting with people and why not do it in the best way possible? I think everyone should.
    .-= Aswani´s last blog ..Social Media Networking – The excitement continues.. =-.

    1. Aswani,

      That I must agree – you could be one of the best mannered bloggers I have met online. 🙂 Definitely one of the top reasons why you have a lot of connections on various social networks.

      Sometimes the tricky questions are what you think you’re reading. Mind can be deceptive at times, we just need to be cautious. 😉 Appreciate your input!

  5. Great post. Good points to benefit all who want to grow their following and benefit from it.

    Its kind of funny that for each advice, you have a section for ‘the guys’. Were you just trying to be funny or do you truly believe that most guys have communication issues.

    1. Amit,

      Welcome and nice meeting you here. 🙂

      First of all, no, I don’t have anything against the guys about communicating issues. Notice the image on top of the post? — it is a guy-girl relationship type of question that I try to add in as an example of how multiple responses will bring different effects. ‘For the guys’ section is just a side dish to make the post more fun and less stressful. ^^ It has nothing to do with gender or anybody having issues with communicating. No worries.

      The whole idea is still about us, bloggers, whoever is networking to be cautious online. Thanks for visiting! ^^

    1. Marko,

      You got me! (j/k) I guess the tricky question here is to entice fellow commenters to share their wonderful secrets of social networking skills. ha.. ^^

      Yup, you’ve said it. Always take a second and think before answering. Great to have you here!

  6. Another great article here Ching Ya…

    One of my main points is to take time to listen and make some mental notes.. to often we burst out with a response without really knowing what the other part really meant about their statement.

    There are so many tools that can help us listen to the conversations on Social Media.

    And I also loved the creative way you addressed the importance of communications on Social Media…

    Cheers.. Are
    .-= Are Morch´s last blog ..Social Media Experience 101: Spark Customers Expectations =-.

    1. Are,

      Thank you my friend. I’m glad the ‘added’ part is not misleading. lol.. The post was initiated from a question, then it just hit me. Another good reason why we shall never neglect inspirations huh?

      Love what you shared. Thanks for the support, Are. 🙂

  7. Very well said, excellent job.

    It’s pretty easy once you really know who you are and have the proper control in place.

    Think first (but don’t over think it), always shoot from the hip with honestly, yet proper tactfulness.

    You’re not going to please everyone and you shouldn’t try. As you said, as long as your open and honest, thee isn’t much to change afterward.

    If someone still has issues, you can try to work on it, but don’t kill yourself or go back on your own ethical codes.
    .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Do You Know The REAL Difference Between Bloggers and Internet Marketers? =-.

    1. Dennis,

      Fantastic input! You have shared your thoughts well in this. Very important point here – “If someone still has issues, you can try to work on it, but don’t kill yourself or go back on your own ethical codes.” — it’s the reality we need to accept. Definitely, it’s hard to please everyone; when we do it forcefully, we are displeasing ourselves. Honesty and respect, I think these 2 can go hand in hand. 🙂

      Your comments are greatly appreciated here. Do visit again. ^^

  8. There you go again with a stimulating post and you (still) want me to add to it. I hope my personality shows that I don’t want to be pegged….made to order….I enjoy social networking but as you know, I have a hard time keeping up with all of the rules. You are definitely stretching me!

    Keep up the good work, see ya around.
    .-= Kissie´s last blog ..Heart of a Child =-.

    1. Kissie,

      Ha.. you are a delightful commenter, always enjoy your presence here. No rules attached, Kissie. The only rule is to be yourself, which I think you’re doing fantastically as we speak. 🙂

      Pleasure to know you, appreciate your RT too. Best wishes my friend!

    1. Evelyn,

      Welcome and certainly wonderful to meet you here. *busy rolling out the red carpet*

      I’m glad you like the post. It’s a mixture of personal experience and a provoking question we may face daily. It’s exciting to hear what everyone has to say about this subject. I appreciate your visit, hope to see you here again. 🙂

    1. Ricky,

      lol.. oh no, I hope I didn’t erupt any un-needed disputes whatsoever. ^^ Before call it quits, maybe one shall think thoroughly too. Count to 10 first. 🙂

      Thanks for dropping by!

    1. Arafat,

      Real life problems huh? 🙂 Hopefully you don’t ever have to face this tough question from your lady friend.

      I appreciate your kind words. Keep up the good work in blogging & networking.

    1. Thank you Dave,

      I gotta say I love the quote “be nice, but don’t be a doormat”. 🙂 There’s always a better way to voice out, disrespectful is never an option. Thanks so much for visiting.

  9. Very good stuff, Ching Ya. I will add one thing, however, if I may. I don’t answer any question where there’s only one “correct” answer. I told my wife that before we were married, and I tell everyone else that as well. So, your question in the cartoon would never be answered by me. 🙂

    I will also say that when people decide they want to learn how to be courteous in responses when there are tough answers to give, it becomes fairly easy to know how to handle oneself most of the time.
    .-= Mitch´s last blog ..Expert, Specialist, Professional Or Hack? =-.

  10. Like you always do, This article too motivated me and I learnt something.
    I always preferred to be silent and didn’t left my opinions (not just on this blog but everywhere else) but I need to change, Hitting red cross on tab will not mark my presence and no one will notice me.
    Will try to implement it. Thanks again for such a nice article.
    .-= Rohit Langde´s last blog ..Trend Micro Internet Security 2010 Free 1 year subscription Download =-.

  11. Hi Ching

    Some people have to say something regardless of whether or not it contributes in a helpful way.

    I’m thinking about a particular post I saw recently. The author had written a “how-to” article. A reader didn’t like the subject and chose to personally attack the author instead of simply walk away.

    I think the red X would have been the more “social” route in this case.

    I wonder how big a difference there is between the quality of social etiquette observed by those posting under their real name and those posting using a pseudonym.
    .-= Reeta Luthra | Stress and Health´s last blog ..Is Your Self-Image Reflecting Your Potential? =-.

  12. I think it boils down to questions which you are not aware of, say if you have don’t have knowledge about that subject. I actually treat the problem, by either dealing with it by reading content related to it and learning more about the topic. It’s not know it all but being smart and fast 🙂
    .-= Gautam Hans´s last blog ..Roundup of the Best Posts in February =-.

  13. Hi!!

    I especially like the points of being compassionate, and listening more. Those are ALWAYS the way to go , in anything.

    I never thought of the gender differences before.

    My tip is to…put in smiley faces, sometimes people might not know if you are making a joke or not.

    And if the person you are talking to is really sweet and nice, be sure to put an “x” and an “o” at the end of your comment or conversation!

    .-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..The Blog Party (a poem) =-.

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