From Dreamwidth Notes
What goes up must come down. Sometimes the landing is better than other times.
Occasionally things get pretty intense in IRC. There are some things that can help return the mood to something closer to normal.
- Pretending that whatever happened didn't just happen won't help matters.
- It can be helpful for people under stress to have an explanation of what just happened, especially if they came in during the middle. It's also a service to people who have been away and might scroll up, in case they don't feel equal to reading that sort of thing at this moment, or would like the opportunity to brace themselves before they do so.
- Discuss. (Sometimes.)
- Not everyone will know what to say or feel comfortable talking about it (this may include you). It helps if one person (preferably someone in a position of authority) breaks the ice. Even "That was a thing that just happened!" can make people feel like they have permission to discuss the event. Check who has the resources to be available to talk with in private, and let them announce that.
- Redirect discussion. (Sometimes.)
- Sometimes the channel is a little too vulnerable and unhappy to bear much discussion right now. Let people know where they can take their discussion, and who they can talk to. Sometimes this will have to be something like "Please take this to PM; I think most people here are a little burned out/sore on this topic right now."
- Thank people.
- Sometimes specific people stood out in helping. You can acknowledge them specifically, and/or name the actions that were helpful. "Thank you, Anna; you got in touch with Bit very quickly." This can also help others who might not have been in a position to help this time know what's helpful if it ever comes up again.
- Return to normality.
- Introduce a pleasant or neutral alternate topic of discussion, when it is right to do so.
- Helpful topics can include:
- The weather
- That local sports team
- NOT politics in main-channel
- Any (unrelated) normally common topic.
- Physically de-escalate.
- Addressing physical factors can help your body adjust to normal again.
- Some people may find "You Feel Like Shit: An Interactive Self-Care Guide" helpful.
- Stretch/physical motion. If you can do something particularly energetic (like working out or doing some strenuous housework), this can help your body cope with adrenaline.
- Human contact
- Post-event review.
- In an appropriate space, review what happened and how it was handled.
- What happened?
- What was done right?
- What could have been done differently or better?
- Is there anything that could be changed or documented so there's a better outcome next time?