Friday, February 4, 2011

Thanks for the Sting

Every now and then I receive a comment on my blog that bugs me.  I can't really put my finger on why.  What is it about that comment that irritates me so?  Makes me feel like I need to defend myself?  It wasn't mean, exactly.  So why did it sting?

Well, today I think I finally found my answer.  I got my first truly snotty comment.  It was on an older post.  And a fairly popular one.  It felt like a slap in the face.  A moment of shock.

But there was beauty to it as well.  You see, it was written in a way that helped me figure out what had been bugging me about those other comments.  And in such a way that it showed the insecurities of the woman writing it.  It was obviously her issue and she was projecting.  I am grateful for that.  Because it was so evident in hers, I can see it in others' as well.

So what was it?  What is it that bugs me so much in those comments?  It's someone else assuming that they know what my motivations are.  It's someone else telling me how I feel.  It's someone else putting words into my mouth.  Basically, it's all the childish arguments I've had over the years with people who would rather attack me than argue their point.  It's not debate.  It's not stating your opinion and backing it up.  It's saying, "You don't agree with me so you're stupid!"

I've had way too much experience with this kind of arguing.  Too often I don't see it when it happens.  I am hurt and can't figure out why.  I feel defensive.  I feel like a little girl being chastised for not being good enough.  I feel like I'm being told that everything that's wrong is my fault.

And those are my issues.

But because this woman took the time to comment, in all her snarky glory, I was able to see it.  I was able to see that when a person attacks like this, it's not about me.  It's about them.  And just because they blame me or think I am stupid it doesn't mean I am.  They may throw the label out there but I don't have to choose to wear it.

So if any of you have the need to tell me how I feel, you may.  And I will not argue with you.  You can just be wrong.  And I can be right.  And I don't have to prove to you that I am right or defend myself.  It's okay if I'm the only one who knows.

To that wonderful woman who gave me this gift this morning, thank you.  It may not have been what you intended, but it turned out great for me.  Good luck to you as you work through your insecurities.  I hope some day you can receive a similar slap in the face that helps you become the person you want to be.  And I said that in all kindness and sincerity.

Thanks for the sting.

24 comments:

Not Blessed Mama said...

i was shocked when i got my first nasty comments (on a touchy subject). i still don't know why someone wouldn't just click away, un-follow, or tell their friends.

Bonnie said...

ah! I had a friend who did exactly that for me. Actually, multiples! One would say, "so, what are you going to do about that?" and just smile. The other once told me, "Bonnie, everything's not *always* about *you*". Useful. Educational. Stung at the time. Way to go to sift the individual responsibilities. Here's to living our own lives!

Kelly Latour said...

Have I mentioned lately that I love you? You managed to put a bunch of my random feelings into coherent words.
I have only had one nasty comment on my blog so far (but i'm new, so there will surely be more) and I knew exactly who the commenter was. Fortunately I knew the person in real life so I was able to cell them out on it and somewhat deal with the issue.

Shell said...

What a good way to look at it. I don't mind someone disagreeing with me in a comment- we're all entitled to our opinions. But, when someone is just attacking or makes wrong assumptions, oh, how it grates on me.

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MaggieJo said...

I feel the same way as you, I hate when people tell me how I'm feeling. But don't we have to assume how we perceive someone else is feeling in order to help, sympathize, put ourselves in their shoes? So how can I try to see you without telling you how you are feeling? and that you doesn't really mean Robin, just in general. Something I've been thinking about. Feel free to answer and help me out.

Jessica Grosland said...

You're only posting this because of what I said last night, aren't you? Stop trying to crush my spirit, wench! You're always only thinking about yourself, and every time you post on this blog it's just to tell me what a terrible daughter I am and how you wish I'd move to Austrailia! Well too bad, because I'm not going anywhere, jerk!



...(*snarky grin*)

Pastor Sharon said...

How true that projection is a mirror for people who instantly want to tell you how you feel.

I love the way you wrote this. What a growing experience for you. Wow.

From Tracie said...

I love that you were able to take that rude comment and use it to learn something about yourself and others. That is awesome!

It is definitely one of my pet peeves when someone does not listen to what I am saying, and instead proceeds to tell me what I am saying/thinking.

Cheryl D. said...

Anytime, I'm glad I can be of service!

Stephi said...

I don't know if you remember my mentioning in my last post that some people were mean to me. Well, one of them was a follower of my blog who sent me one of the most hateful, angry e-mails I got in a long time. I actually felt so small and awful because I thought I had made this guy feel this way.

Once I read it again though I realised he was someone to be pitied because he was so full of hate- not for me but because of his situation and striking out at me was his desparate attempt to take back some power.

Blogs are a stomping ground for people with insecurities. You handled this like a real lady- turning around something that could have been hurtful into something empowering.

Hatton said...

Now I want to know what the rude comment is!! Blog comments have given catty women a whole new forum to go back to middle school & tear down others - good for you for shrugging it off.

Baby Making Mama said...

Nasty comments aren't fun. I have gotten my fair share. You're right, it's their insecurities not your problem. The internet makes it so easy for people to hide behind the computer and say rude things to others, just look at youtube comments or comments on news stories. Many are so rude, even racist. Don't let the sting hurt you, and remember this post when you get another... It happens.

LBDDiaries said...

What a great take on that woman's negative comment. That is so eye-opening - they can disagree and it doesn't mean you're wrong. Brilliant. I can see myself applying that theory to a lot of thing! Thanks!!

Life with Kaishon said...

Really? I don't mind snarky comments at all. I love that we can all view life and things differently! Sometimes I get tired of everyone agreeing with me. I mean, let's be honest, I am not ALWAYS right : )

Your page is very pretty. Wishing you a blog that is void of all snarkiness. Love, Becky

Saretta said...

Glad you got something positive out of something potentially negative!
Visiting from SITS!

Making It said...

Totally agree. I am always stunned that someone would bother to take the time to write a comment that was so negative. Good for you for finding the positive.
Visiting from SITS

Making It Work Mom said...

Sorry totally pressed the wrong button before I had finished. AWKWARD!

Modern Gypsy said...

Now I'm curious to know what this lady said! But it's great how you took somethingnegative & turned it into a learning experience. Good for you! :)
Dropping by from SITS.

WhisperingWriter said...

Yup, I've received a few stingy comments before. They aren't fun, but I try not to dwell on them. Usually I just delete them. Which sometimes pisses off the commenter even more, but when I keep deleting what they have to say, they eventually get the point. I'm all for different opinions, but I believe in a little thing called tact. And no name calling.

April said...

Hey...I'm visiting from SITS! I really admire you for being able to turn a negative into a positive...that takes COURAGE! Good for you!

The Blonde Duck said...

Popped in from SITS! I never understood why people leave nasty comments. Why bother?

BlackEyedDog said...

I just chose to ignore such a people a looooong time ago...and I just feel sorry for them: they apparently haven't got anything else to do than bugging other people just to make themselves feel better...even if it's just for the couple of seconds that it takes them to write the comment and click 'Send'.
*buh*

Lisa Nickle said...

So a long time ago, I recommended this post to a friend. And I just reread it and it fits so perfectly well in my life right now. Thank you. I admire you. I love you!