There are some things that I feel 100% confident/passionate talking about, based on my personal experiences and research, and experiences that other people have shared with me. These are the things I choose to talk about on my posts.
Sometimes though, the conversation goes down a path that you feel you ‘can’t argue with’, and that’s okay.
An example of this for me was when the Colston statue was taken down, and people started saying ‘well what about Churchill? Will he be next?!’.
Now I will be the first to admit that I know next to nothing about Churchill. The ONLY reason I knew about Colston was because a petition was posted in my university Freshers page when i started uni in 2013, and I read about it and signed it. So I will not pretend to be knowledgeable about history.
So when someone asked on one of my posts ‘what about Churchill?’, I didn’t immediately answer. Because I didn’t know. I also wasn’t really interested in spending my time researching what he did and how he did it in order to answer, when there were so many other things I could learn about instead that I was more interested in! Luckily for me, I am friends with a lot of people on FB, and the more knowledgeable historians amongst them swooped in and gave their opinion.
Although i’d initially felt like I didn’t want to do the research on Churchill, I WAS interested enough to watch the conversation unfold. I learnt more about Churchill by watching that conversation take place than I did at school (who says Facebook can’t be educational?!).
So next time someone said ‘what about Churchill?!’ I still didn’t pretend to know much about him, because I still didn’t, but I could happily post the link to my earlier post and comments for them to see.
People STILL comment on that post, so i’m still learning, but I know it may never be a strength for me to talk about, and that’s okay. So if conversations go that way I try to be open and honest, and say that I don’t know enough about the subject matter, and return to the original point of the conversation (which would NOT have been about Churchill, because i’ll have picked my battles!).
So give it a go. Pick your battles, don’t feel the need to comment on EVERYTHING if you’re not needed (because there are plenty of other people who love to do just that - they’ve got many, many spoons!), and don’t be afraid to say ‘I don’t know about that’.
Your mental health comes first, and these are some of the ways I protect mine.