It’s a vicious cycle. I write a blog. You comment. I think of something to say based on comments. So the following is all your fault.
First off, I learned a lot about trolls. I am floored by the comments that others have made to bloggers. To be fair, the majority of our little community is good, and seeks to inspire, not to criticize. But you know, one bad apple….Someone was criticized for being too happy…..can you imagine? “I’m sorry, happiness isn’t allowed here- it might give people the idea that happiness and positivity is an option- wouldn’t want that to happen.” I don’t know about you, but, even though I don’t always get there, happiness is pretty high on my to do list…..
We know that I love a good spirited debate. I have no problem with people who disagree with me, and vice versa, as long as it’s done logically and with respect, and no one tells the other, “Nah nah, I’m right and you’re wrong…” I once had a conversation with a guy- we had opposite opinions of a subject. I laid out my reasonable, rational argument, countering his points with my own. After about 10 minutes, he began to see the rationale of my point of view, and actually changed his mind to my way of thinking. Now, we were in bed at the time, but I really don’t think that influenced his decision at all……
But what do we think about when people give you instructions on how to do things?
I’ve given parenting advice. My intention is not to shame anyone, or say “I’m right and you’re wrong” (though, who are we kidding, I’m always right), but it is to share the knowledge that I have learned in the past 50 years. Some of it I have learned the hard way. Some of it I have learned by doing almost the exact opposite of what my Mother had done. I’m just sharing pieces of my life, in hope that you can see how I screwed up, so maybe you won’t have to feel the pain I did.
But what about the people that give advice, or make comments that are really just thinly disguised criticism?
You’ve seen them. The type that leaps to my mind are the Mommy Shamers. They post pictures of perfect homemade treats, while they are wearing pressed white linen, their toddlers sitting quietly reading the works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. They say things like, “Oh- we’re so glad you had the time to run to the store to bring in that bag of Oreos for the bake sale. We always forget about the children who don’t have advanced palates.”
There are also the lip pursers. When you are discussing your wedding plans, the friend across from you looks like they are sucking on a lemon. They say things like, “Sure, you could wear an off white dress, and carry flowers. I know you’re not really the creative type. You need to play to your strengths, which is bland.”
And these are often people we call our friends.
So what do we do?
Yes- I’m about to give advice…..
- Not everyone has to be a close friend.
- Be selective about what you share. Not everyone needs to know everything
- Be thankful if you have 1 close friend- a true close friend is a rare and beautiful thing
- It’s ok to have activity specific friends. I have a movie buddy. The only thing we do together is see movies. It works.
- Limit the amount of time you spend with people that only bring negativity, or make you feel bad about yourself (this includes family)- feel free to unfriend them
- Don’t take the shamers seriously, or pay them heed- they don’t deserve your time or consideration
- My advice is the only advice worth listening to- I am perfect……