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Ruth Kudzi: “I let myself be upset and then took a step back”

I let myself be upset and then took a step back. Where it was competitors I could see it was about fear, I have a strong sense of justice and at times have reacted when negative things have happened. Now I take a deep breathe and move on — I can’t control what others say I can […]

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I let myself be upset and then took a step back. Where it was competitors I could see it was about fear, I have a strong sense of justice and at times have reacted when negative things have happened. Now I take a deep breathe and move on — I can’t control what others say I can only control how I respond and how I act.


As a part of my interview series about the things we can each do to make social media and the internet a kinder and more tolerant place, I had the pleasure to interview Ruth Kudzi.

Ruth Kudzi is a coach, speaker and blogger who works with new and aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start and scale successful, profitable businesses in the service sector. She is committed to her own personal development and has a BA in Psychology & Management Studies, a MA in Psychology, a PGCE in Business & Economics and a PGCERT in Coaching alongside lots of other qualifications. She has worked with some of the worlds leading coaches to develop her own coaching style and build a business which generates over 6 figures in revenue. Her passion is empowering other women to start up and develop their dream businesses through a variety of programs.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

I am a business mentor, mindset coach, podcaster and best-selling author who has worked with 1000s of clients worldwide. I combine practical business skills with a MA in Psychology and numerous coaching qualifications including NLP to help my clients build businesses they love.

Can you briefly share with our readers why you are an authority about the topic of thought leadership?

I have built a personal brand over the last 3 1/2 years with a strong emphasis on thought leadership and standing for what you believe in. My thoughts and ideas have helped me grow an audience in excess of 30,000, write a best-selling book, launch a successful podcast and be featured in the press.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

When I was in my early 20s I went out to New York for 8 months to help establish and grow the office there for my recruitment firm. It was a fantastic opportunity and I loved the buzz of the city, walking to work and getting a coffee with Kevin Bacon or meeting Bob Hoskins in a lift were highlights.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When I first started my business I thought I knew how to do YouTube and was setting up and bickering with my husband because it wasn’t working (and I had a tiny baby). Little did I know that this whole episode was saved on my YouTube channel.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I am in the process of setting up my own program to teach people how to become coaches and become accredited. This will help people become confident and competent coaches which can help them in their corporate career or can help individuals and charities.

My plan is to role out this program on a not for profit basis to educators, individuals and entrepreneurs in Ghana.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the main focus of our interview. Have you ever been publicly shamed or embarrassed on social media? Can you share with our readers what that experience felt like?

Yes I have a couple of times.

I have had competitors say negative things about me and have had a couple of people say negative things in my group.

What did you do to shake off that negative feeling?

I let myself be upset and then took a step back. Where it was competitors I could see it was about fear, I have a strong sense of justice and at times have reacted when negative things have happened. Now I take a deep breathe and move on — I can’t control what others say I can only control how I respond and how I act.

Have you ever posted a comment on social media that you regretted because you felt it was too harsh or mean?

No I haven’t but I have regretted a comment I made once when I was reacting to a number of negative comments from an individual.

It created a drama which I didn’t want or need and impacted my emotional well-being negatively.

Can you describe the evolution of your decisions? Why did you initially write the comment, and why did you eventually regret it?

I initially wrote the comment as I felt like I had been pushed, I kept seeing things directed at me and others which were untrue. I regretted it afterwards as I realized that no good can ever come out of negativity and it impacted me and others.

When one reads the comments on Youtube or Instagram, or the trending topics on Twitter, a great percentage of them are critical, harsh, and hurtful. The people writing the comments may feel like they are simply tapping buttons on a keyboard, but to the one on the receiving end of the comment, it is very different. This may be intuitive, but I feel that it will be instructive to spell it out. Can you help illustrate to our readers what the recipient of a public online critique might be feeling?

I have had this on Twitter too !

Let’s be honest we are all individuals who you feelings and any of us who have something negative about us will feel sad / angry / upset at least for a moment.

If the person targeted is feeling vulnerable or upset then these feelings can be magnified and it could trigger anxiety.

Do you think a verbal online attacks feels worse or less than a verbal argument in “real life”? How are the two different?

I think they are both equally bad — there is no reason to make others feel bad even if we don’t like them or don’t agree with them.

I believe people say things online they might not face to face as they aren’t able to see the impact their words are having on others.

What long term effects can happen to someone who was shamed online?

There can be serious psychological impacts including mental health issues.

Many people who troll others online, or who leave harsh comments, can likely be kind and sweet people in “real life”. These people would likely never publicly shout at someone in a room filled with 100 people. Yet, on social media, when you embarrass someone, you are doing it in front of thousands of even millions of people, and it is out there forever. Can you give 3 or 4 reasons why social media tends to bring out the worst in people; why people are meaner online than they are in person?

People don’t connect with the person so don’t consider how their words can impact them

People can project their anger and frustration onto others in a way that isn’t acceptable face to face

You aren’t able to see body language, tone of voice or emotional response so Pepe often push harder than they would in real life

If you had the power to influence thousands of people about how to best comment and interact online, what would you suggest to them? What are your “5 things we should each do to help make social media and the internet, a kinder and more tolerant place”? Can you give a story or an example for each?

Ask yourself:

– how will this make the person feel who receives this?

– how does responding like this make me feel?

– how would I speak to this person if I met them in real life?

– what can I do to respond to negativity

– how can I treat this person with compassion

Freedom of speech prohibits censorship in the public square. Do you think that applies to social media? Do American citizens have a right to say whatever they want within the confines of a social media platform owned by a private enterprise?

I believe to an extent but I think we all need to be vigilant in cases of bullying or unacceptable behaviour

If you had full control over Facebook or Twitter, which specific changes would you make to limit harmful or hurtful attacks?

I would have clearer guidelines of what could be / couldn’t be harmful and I would get users to agree and sign them plus be reminded. If they violate the rules the user is removed.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Always treat others how you want to be treated yourself

We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

Rachel Hollis as she has boundless energy and has built her business on being honest and authentic. I would love to chat to her about how she does it and her big goals for the future.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

www.facebook.com/ruthkudzi2/

www.facebook.com/groups/rebelcollective/

www.instagram.com/ruthkudzi/

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