Monday, May 28, 2007


Why is it that the words of a stranger, someone you've never even laid eyes on- can hurt so bad?

I have to admit that I am not innocent when it comes to this. A few months ago I went off on a rant about how I thought the opinion of another person was basically misogynistic and unwarranted, and this persons opinions I felt affected me... over a silly blog award I was nominated for (along with many others). Even though I thought that I was justified in my own opinion... what I said was hurtful to this other person.

I tried to apologize, but to no avail. The damage was done. I'm a hot head, what can I say? The way in which I voiced my opinion was very hard and cold.
But I did try to make things right, despite feeling that the only thing I had done wrong was to voice my opinion in cyber space where this person (who I thought didn't read my blog anymore) could find it...

I had started a post but deleted it, a post in which I tried to figure out why words from internet acquaintances hurt and cut so deep.

Recently someone commented on my blog about something very silly, but they didn't see it as silly. They typed four simple words that I tried to shake off. It hurt. I was told in so many words that I was messed up.

Those four words have been bothering me for over 2 weeks now. While living life without an internet connection, I contemplated giving it up. I wonder to myself how I could let a stranger affect me so. ***BTW, don't bother to find the post/comments, I deleted the whole thing already***

Here is my theory. There is a safety to living a life on the net, in written words. In the web and blogoshpere, you can tell your deepest, darkest secrets. You can face you demons and be more honest than you would dare to be in real life, with your friends and family. I have noticed this bizarre phenomenon where complete strangers bond, and become dear friends. On the net we learn to trust people with our heart and soul, something we are sometimes unable to achieve in the real world.

Just like in real life, blunt and hurtful words can cut to the quick of a persons soul... and considering my theory that people tend to be more open and honest on the net, enabling people to make deep friendships in little time... those words can hurt even more.

So, here we are being brutally honest with each other in cyber space, and sometimes just downright brutal. We are opening ourselves up and entrusting our deepest feelings to the unknown- feelings that we sometimes cannot bear to share with our own loved ones... and when that trust is betrayed, the outcome can be devastating.

I'm all for honesty. I think if you have been reading my blog for a while you might have noticed that I try my hardest to lay it all out there and be accountable ( and the fact that I am incredibly dorky, and try not to take myself too seriously). I learned a lesson months ago, and this lesson has been revisited by the tables being turned on me.

I learned the hard way that somethings just can't be taken back, no matter how hard you try. Revisiting the mistake that was made months ago, and the realization that I came to... because of four words.

I made a vow to myself to keep my rants to myself when it comes to someone who has the slightest chance of reading my blog, and instead I bend the husbands ear. I still rant, just not via keyboard.

No matter how justified you feel, it's not worth hurting another person over, and in 10 years it wont matter.

So no matter how much four words can hurt a person, I refuse to lash out (like before), this person is entitled to think that I'm messed up. That's their opinion. If that is what they come away with from reading my blog, my honesty and dorkiness... there is not much I can to to convince them otherwise.

I'm thinking though that if this person was really the blogging friend they claimed to be, they never would have commented that way and in such a public manner... on my own blog.

I have been struggling with my worth, what my value is to the blogosphere since those four words. I know that my blog hasn't been as positive as I would like it to be, and that I have gone a little down hill. When I started this blog I was trying to be something that I wasn't. Then I realized that was wasn't being real, and that was why people weren't commenting or coming back. I decided to try to change myself for the better, some days are better than others, but after a year I am comfortable in my blogging skin. This the real me... in all my sarcastic, dorky, and brutally honest glory. I can only be me, and if someone looks at what I am after all of that and tell me that I am messed up... OUCH.

But ya know, this person never got the real me to begin with, or I was never going to be good enough.

I vowed to myself ( after my rant fiasco a few months back) to try my absolute best to be kind, and if I don't agree with something to try to bite my tongue and move on. If I really have the need to express my opposing opinion on something another person has written, especially something that has hurt me or offended me, perhaps it's best handled via private communications.

It's just not worth it.


Leanne said...

Sometimes things like this make me wish I were as bold, sometimes it makes me thankful that I keep these feelings out of reach of people who could misinterpret or misuse my words. You just never know how cutting a sentence can be until after you say it. :/

In the end, it's all trial and error, mixed with a lot of forgiveness.

Judy said...

It hurts when people say something unkind. I always try to make sure that what I say is at least not hurtful. It's especially easy to "say" things in print that can come across as mean. I always try, when I'm writing, to be noteful of HOW my words may be interpretted. It's difficult when you don't have the body language and tones to help. Words in print cannot always convey what you are trying to say. If I've ever said anything to hurt you... I'm sorry. (Can you tell I suffer from a guilt complex?)

Kelly - PTT said...

I feel so badly about your angish over something someone left in comments. I don't know which post it was, but it sounds like you put yourself out there like I sometimes do. I'm always a bit afraid someone will put me down too. So far I've been lucky, but I always wonder.

I appreciate your frankness, and they way you keep yourself "accountable". I think that's a great way you phrased it, and what I try to do as well. I know that as my blog becomes more public, with more professional readers, I've been hesitant to reveal those truths as often. I've even considered starting a pseudonym blog for my blogging friends, for that reason. But I just don't think I have time.

In life, I think there are pivotal moments when people say things to us -- in person or online -- that hurt, that ruin a friendship, that cause a rift. And sometimes I don't think the relationship recovers from it. But we can recover as individuals. If there's anything to learn from it, I hope you do. If not, I hope you'll learn to forget.

You're in my thoughts, Mary. Hang in there - and don't change just because of someone's careless words.

Mert said...

Thanks very much for all of your words of kindness, I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

Leanne, I am going to forgive this person, but I just think that this person wouldn't have something like that if they really cared about me as a person. I see what you are saying, though and I plan to forgive them and move on... and most likely will not be visiting their blog anymore.

Judy, I understand what you are saying! I try to wait a bit and reread something... I sometimes do misread and misunderstand. And no way was it you, thanks for asking! :D

Kelly, I've often wondered about your situation and how basically being "discovered" is affecting your blog. I don't have the same problems that you do as far as that goes, but I worry that my mother will find my blog... I just know she wouldn't be able to leave me be, she's just not capable. All in all though, I think the balance you have going on your blog is wonderful... but at least you know you could always go out and start that blog under the pseudonym.

Jenny Ryan said...

Oh, I'm so sad someone was so hurtful to you. I'm always so (unpleasantly) surprised at the things people feel free to say on the phone, or in an email, or in a blog comment that I don't think they'd actually say to someone's face.

Slackermommy said...

As you know I'm also struggling with this although you put it into words much more eloquently that I did. The hardest part about the written word is that it can come across much differently than what was meant. I can be sarcastic and I worry that my comments could be taken wrong. I know that I've misread comments and gotten myself all in a tizzy. I'm sorry someone has hurt you. I've recently been hurt by a blogging friends written words. It sucks.

Karmyn R said...

I think, sometimes, writing is difficult because sarcasm doesn't always come across as that when being read - or "joking" either....I find myself re-writing comments because the words I've written don't come across how I actually mean them.

I've had a couple comments, myself, that upset me - it sure takes the fun out of blogging, doesn't it?

Daddy Forever said...

Sorry to hear about the hurtful comments. That's the negative side of blogging. I'm not sure why someone would say something hurtful -- especially when they don't even know you. All you can really do is ignore ti and focus on all the other positive comments.

Pamela said...

if it was me... kick my butt. You cant miss it, because it follows me big wherever I go.

Here is where G.R.A.C.E has to pour over you like warm oil....

I'm often amazed at who you are - in spite of what you came through.

I can understand why you would expect criticism as that is what how you were sustained you as a child. Whereas it should have been praise.

When you feel that other stuff flowing over you, promise me that you will stop and remember your worth......

Then blog, kiddo, blog!!!!!

Karianne said...

Wow. I don't know how to take this all in. My first reaction is that I'm angry that you feel that you can't do something in your own blog anymore. Having to give up your rants in this format seems so wrong, because here is where you can process them.
But then, you are trying to be kind, which I suppose is honorable, but I'm sad that you have to censor your ownself! Anyway, you know I support you regardless, but I wanted to speak up to the unfairness of it all.

Factor 10 said...

I hope you DON'T censor yourself, Mert. I think the differences in our lives and situations and opinions are what make blogging such an interesting phenomenon. Did I spell that right?
I think it's amazing when someone I've found so much in common with and enjoyed reading so much suddenly comes up with something unexpected. I have to admit that I stalk a lot more than I comment on, but if I disagree, I just know NOT to comment on that post. Your rants are a part of you, and if you are feelin' it, it's a valid post.
Mistakes are a part of the big picture, and it's true that things can't be unsaid (except in court--how does that work?), but hang in there and don't stop speaking your mind. We happen to love your mind and the way it works.
Dorkk happens.
Sending some dorky love your way...

Not So Anonymous Michelle said...

Don't censor yourself and try to not let other's negative comments outweigh the positive ones. We love you and you know there is always a critic out there. It's so easy to put ourselves out there in the blogging world and make ourselves pretty vulnerable. I say a lot online that I'd maybe find hard to say in person. I had a lot of thought about my post Friday actually and deleted it, but I read your comment first and it made me even more thankful to have a friend like you...even if we're just online buddies, I get so much support, laughter and a feeling of a bond with you, more than I've had with some friends offline. Keep going with your blog and know you have more supporters than you do critics. HUGS

Mert said...

Jenny- Thanks :D I really appreciate your kind words!

Slackermommy, Isn't it funny that we had similar situations? I happened to have the excuse of not having internet to confront my situation... and I tried to not let it bother me, but the more I thought about it, the more of a funk I was in.

Karmyn, I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes I have had to wait a day or two to see if that person really meant what they said or was just kidding... you can tell the difference usually if they keep coming back ( and by the use of emoticons/smileys... i think that is why i tend to use them a little too much, so that there is no mistaking my intent). In this case, it's not so. This person hasn't returned to my blog, so they meant to be hurtful. Oh well. And yes, it does kind of throw a wrench in one's day, huh? :D

DF, I actually have only ever had a few negative or bordering on negative comments , only a handful. I think what bothers me is that this person asked me for help in the past, and even though I didn't know them very well, I helped them. All in all, though they called me a friend, the blogging relationship was kind of distant... and in my need to be accepted I still tried to get them to really like me, maybe even trying a little too hard. I think that's why this is bothering me so much. It's a little too "high school" for me... I just not considered "cool" to them.

Pamela- NO WAY was it you sweets! You have given me sage and blunt advice at times (which i am so thankful for, though i don't always say it), but never in a hurtful manner. Don't worry, despite the funk I'm in, I'll work through it. I don't think i could live without this life line called the net, I'd miss you guys too much. :D

Karianne, I'm really mulling over your comment. I think what you're saying is very true. I shouldn't have to censor myself... I know what you mean. I'm just saying that I have ranted in the past and at least one person was hurt by it. I'm the type of person that can become angry very quickly and say very hurtful things when I feel attacked. In the end though (you'd think I would have learned by now), I always end up feeling very bad about my actions afterwards, I always feel guilty whether my anger was warranted or not. All I am saying is that I have to work harder if I expect for people to treat me the way i want to be treated. Even though I never use names in my rants about most people (except the MIL), it doesn't mean they wont know who I am talking about and become hurt by my words. All I am saying is that if this person I feel the need to rant about is on the web reading my blog, it's probably best not to rant on my blog. I just don't feel good about hurting people, no matter how right (or wrong) I might be.

Jen, you pretty much said what Karianne said... see above, LOL! Don't worry, I don't plan a complete censoring... that just wouldn't be me. But I can go from 0 to bitch in 3.4 seconds... its something I need to work on. Thanks for your support, babe!

It all goes back to what I've said before, not everyone is going to like you and vice versa. I lost some readers after my more dorky/sarcastic side started shining through in my blog... and after a rant or two. I decided that those people "can't handle the truth" of who i am, and that's ok... I have stopped reading a few blogs myself. But when you tell someone that they are a mess... well, that just goes to show that you didn't really appreciate me for who I am in the first place and you were probably just pretending.

I really do appreciate all your kind words of support. I just have to work towards that happy place, and happy medium. ;)

Mert said...

Thanks Michelle! I know what you mean... I do share a lot more online than I do with some people, so true!

As far as just being blogging, I don't think that is possible! I've had another dream about visiting you :D

maggie said...

Well I have to say - I'm very happy reading your not always so positive almost sometimes positive sarcastic, dorky, and brutally honest blog. Here are four new words.

I Enjoy Mert's Blog


Carrie said...

Hi. This is actually the first time I am leaving you a comment. I've only been reading your blog for a little while....

But what you have said is so true! The internet world is so strange, and unlike anything else.

You really do bare so much and feel so safe doing it. Yet it is a completely public domain where anyone can find you.

I was on a message board once and got involved in a situation where a dear friend turned out not to be such a dear friend, and it cut like a knife to my heart. My husband for the life of him, could not figure out why an 'internet person' was bothering me so much.

I have been blogging for several months and am still trying to figure out what to share and what not to share. It is so easy to just lay it all out there, but should I, do I really want to, etc.??

I am sorry that your feelings got hurt. Mine have been before as well, and I'm sure I've hurt others. Never intentionally of course. But with the honestly and blatantcy that's often used on the internet, added to the issue of not seeing the person face to face and being unable to see their expression and hear their tone of voice as they speak to you, things can get out of control quickly. The screen between people gives them a false sense of bravery and annoynomity.

It's a strange, and beautiful world we're in, isn't it?

Good luck, and big hugs!

Holly Schwendiman said...

Okay first... I really like your new blog look! Second, sorry I'm so late catching up on everything blog related. What a crazy weekend!! Third, you just keep being you girl. I'm so sorry there was anything that hurt so much - sending cyber hugs your way!!


Robin said...

I've been VERY out of the blogging loop for the past several weeks, but yeah, I wondered if it could've been ME, too (cause I often tell people they're "messed up", but IF I did tell you that, SURELY SURELY SURELY you would've known how I meant it!!!) I'm with Pamela, my behind's big enough to find (not that Pamela's is big or anything...I haven't seen it).

ANYWAY, I felt the weight of your words here. "Sticks and stones" don't hurt nearly as bad as someone whose love language is "words of encouragement"; words DO mean something. I've been hurt by what people have said--and haven't said--at times on my blog, and yeah, sometimes I feel like walking away.

That's when I remember that people here HAVE made a difference in my life; and I hope, in some small way, sometimes I'm able to return it. You've done your own share of spreading sunshine my way, and I've seen you do it for many others.

The good thing is it's times like this that teach consider your (my) own words carefully! Once they're out there, they're out there, and there's no way to take them back, no matter how hard you try to undo the damage.

Your new look was a surprise to come back to, a N.I.C.E. one :). I can't see it in Bloglines, but I liked it as soon as the page loaded.

Hope this momentary sting has passed...



kailani said...

I'm sorry for what you went through. I know I would feel hurt if criticized by another blogger.

However, it's your blog and you should write about whatever you want to. If they don't like it, they have the option to move on. Your blog should about you and your opinions. Besides, sometimes a little debate can be a good thing!

wolfbaby said...

I really really hope it wasn't me that hurt your feelings. Sometimes when I say stuff it comes out totally wrong. Let me know of if it was me so I can apologize properly. Take care of yoruself ok