Using Social Media as a Support Group

Going through change can you can feel very lonely.  Some people find support from friends and family – this is the ideal.  But for those who can’t social media can help.  The right kind of on line communities can provide a neutral space to share problems and that might be helpful for all of us.  This article – extract below provides some guidance on finding a group.

“It seems that now-a-days we can do most things online… clothes shopping, looking for Colleges, buying Holiday gifts, doing our banking… pretty much anything.

But there is something else we can do online….. something much more personal and sacred. We can even work on mending our inside pain and turmoil.

Before I get deeper into this topic I want to show why finding support groups online can make a lot of sense.

The Definition of a Support Group

Support Group – A support Group is a group of people who support each other over a problem they all share.

The Definition of an Online Community

Online Community – A group of people online who share a common interest.

Wow, both of those definitions sound very similar, don’t they?

An online community and support group are on the same type of idea. They have a common ground…. a common interest. And, the group builds from there. Because of this it makes sense that support groups would work online…. that they not only work, but they thrive.”

More at  Using Social Media as a Support Group | Collective Thoughts.


The positive change cycle

Disciplines > Change Management > The psychology of change

The positive change cycle

Uninformed optimism | Informed pessimism | Informed optimism | Completion | See also

Just as there is a negative cycle of emotions experienced when the change is not to the liking of the person in question, so also is there a positive cycle. Not all people experience change as a bad thing: some will benefit from the change, whilst others just find change in itself intriguing and exciting.

Uninformed optimism

In the first stage of positive change, the person is excited and intrigued by the change. They look forward to it with eager anticipation, building a very positive and often over-optimistic view, for example that it will be much easier for them and resolve all of their current issues.

And for a time after the change (sometimes sadly short), there is a ‘honeymoon period’, during which they are positively happy with the change.

Informed pessimism

The honeymoon period does not last forever and the rose-tinted glasses start to fade as the untidiness of reality starts to bite. The person finds that things have not all fallen into place, that other people have not magically become as cooperative as they expected, and that things are just not as easy as they had expected.

This pushes them over into a period of gloom when they realize that perfection, after all, is not that easy to attain. This may evidence itself in mutterings and grumblings, but still does not reach the depths of the depression stage of negative change perception (unless the person flips into a delayed negative cycle).

Informed optimism

Before long, however, their original optimism starts to reassert itself, now tinted by a resignation to the reality of the situation. After all, things are not that bad, and a positive sense of potential begins to creep back.

As they look around them and talk to other people, they make realistic plans and move forward with an informed sense of optimism.


Eventually, things reach a relatively steady platform of realistic and workable action. The person is probably happier than they were before the change started and, with their realistic vision, have the potential to reach giddier heights of happiness as they achieve more of their potential.

Link to Changing Minds

Change And The Grief Cycle (Kubler-Ross)

Change And The Grief Cycle (Kubler-Ross)

Here is an article from Changing Minds – link below


For many years, people with terminal illnesses were an embarrassment for doctors. Someone who could not be cured was evidence of the doctors’ fallibility. And as a result the doctors regularly shunned the dying with the excuse that there was nothing more that could be done. There was, after all,  plenty of other demand on the doctors’ time.

Elizabeth Kübler-Ross

Elizabeth Kübler-Ross was a doctor in Switzerland who railed against this unkindness. She spent a lot of time with dying people, both comforting and studying them. She wrote a book, called ‘On Death and Dying.’ This included a cycle of emotional states that is often referred to (but not exclusively called) the Grief Cycle.

In the ensuing years, it was noticed that this emotional cycle was not exclusive just to the terminally ill.  But it was also found in other people who were affected by bad news. They may have lost their job or otherwise been negatively affected by change. The important factor was not that the change was good or bad. It was that they perceived it as a significantly negative event.

The Grief Cycle

The Grief Cycle is shown the chart below, It indicates a the roller-coaster ride of activity and passivity as someone wriggles and turns in their desperate efforts to avoid the change.

grief cycle

The initial state before the cycle is received is stable, at least in terms of the subsequent reaction on hearing the bad news. Life before, compared with the ups and downs to come, feels stable.

And then, into the calm of this relative paradise, a bombshell bursts…

Sticking and cycling

Getting stuck

A common problem with the above cycle is that people get stuck in one phase. Thus a person may become stuck in denial, never moving on from the position of not accepting the inevitable future. When it happens, they still keep on denying it.  Such as the person who has lost their job still going into the city only to sit on a park bench all day.

Getting stuck in denial is common in ‘cool’ cultures (such as in Britain, particularly Southern England) where expressing anger is not acceptable. The person may feel that anger, but may then repress it, bottling it up inside.

Likewise, a person may be stuck in permanent anger (which is itself a form of flight from reality) or repeated bargaining. It is more difficult to get stuck in active states than in passivity, and getting stuck in depression is perhaps a more common ailment.

Going in cycles

Another trap is that when a person moves on to the next phase, they have not completed an earlier phase and so move backwards in cyclic loops that repeat previous emotion and actions. Thus, for example, a person that finds bargaining not to be working, may go back into anger or denial.

Cycling is itself a form of avoidance of the inevitable, and going backwards in time may seem to be a way of extending the time before the perceived bad thing happens.

See also

The positive change cycle, Coping Mechanisms, The need for control, Psychoanalysis and mourning

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, On Death and Dying, Macmillan, NY, 1969

Changing Minds Website – link below

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link