#WriterWednesday: Taking It Personally #blogging #writing

A few weeks ago, I totally ignored Don Miguel Ruiz’s second agreement:

Don’t take anything personally“.

Let me give you the Coles notes version.

Knowing my love of music, one of my readers told me about a fellow blogger’s music challenge. When I checked it out, I loved the idea so much that I asked that blogger if she would like to cross-promote and she graciously agreed.

We’ve been having great FUN ever since.

Both of our respective challenges revolve around music and are just for fun – her challenge revolves around the fun of digging through your music collection to fit the week’s theme and my challenge asks writers to create a fiction piece based on a song lyric.

We enjoy exchanging with other like-minded music lovers and fiction writers like ourselves.

I even reached out and told some fiction friends I met during the A to Z Challenge and #Barathon as well as a few others whose blogs I follow and who I know share music. They were all cool with it and happy that I had let them know.

All except for one. I’ll affectionately call this one blogger “G” (as in “Grinch”).

Photo credit: pareeerica via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

From following his/her posts, I knew that G often posted music and I thought that s/he might be interested in joining in on the music fun part.

I was wrong.

The sharpness and the tone of this blogger’s response totally took me for a loop. This is an edited snippet of G’s response:

Have you encouraged that individual to visit my page? I only visit people who show interest in my blog…In the future, please refrain from unsolicited advertisements of other sites. Those will result in being marked as “spam” and being perma-blocked…”

My initial thought was “What?” followed by the contradiction in the first two sentences. How does a blogger/writer expect to build community when they are only open to showing interest in those who read their blog?

Sure, as bloggers, we are all a little narcissistic since we often talk about ourselves but only visiting blogs who show an interest in yours?

Alrighty then…

I’m not a quid pro quo blogger. I don’t follow and read others with the expectation that they will do the same. I read tons of bloggers that don’t follow me. I might enjoy what they write but if they don’t enjoy what I write, I don’t expect them to visit more than once or follow me. As readers, we can’t all have the same interests – that’s what makes the world go around.

To be quite honest, G’s response broke my heart a little bit, making me feel as if I had done something underhanded and sneaky when all I was being was friendly – the same way I’ve mentioned a new release of a fantasy sci-fi book to a blogger who I know enjoys fantasy sci-fi or forwarded a link via comment about NaNoWrimo to a writer who says that they want to write a novel in a short period of time.

Simply a friendly gesture.

But in an instant, I allowed G’s negativity to turn me into a “tit for tat” blogger.

Though I replied in a diplomatic way, I will admit that my tone was steeped deep in total annoyance. Not only did I invite that blogger to unfollow me, I told them I was unfollowing and then promptly unfollowed him/her. That’s how annoyed I was.

Should I have taken the comment personally?

Maybe not but in that moment, I chose to take it personally. There are times when you need to boomerang back what someone gives you and that’s what I did. And I don’t regret it.

But after my annoyance subsided, I actually felt a little sad for G. In hindsight, most of G’s posts were tinged with quiet undertones of negativity against society which I let slide due to the heaviness of the subject matter they usually posted about. But now I realize that G may simply have been a sour person unable to recognize what “friendly” looks like.

There is always at least one positive lesson to be learned from any negative experience and these are the takeaways from mine:

  • If your open hand is met with a closed fist when you reach out with the best of intentions, it says nothing about you but a lot about the other person;
  • Don’t be shy to say what you want to say in a diplomatic way;
  • Shake their negativity from your spirit. Who knows what they may be going through in their lives;
  • Unfriendly bloggers are very rare so focus your energy on the friendly WP folk; and
  • Remove them from your Reader. You don’t need others dulling your shine.

If I ever encounter another G, I will simply have two words for them (and no, not the two words that you are thinking of 😊).

My two words will simply be “Thank you”…as in “thank you” for helping me appreciate the other 99.9% positive WordPress folks I have encountered over the years in the community.

And I thank YOU for continuing to share, exchange, read and comment.

M xoxo

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

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18 thoughts on “#WriterWednesday: Taking It Personally #blogging #writing

  1. It’s difficult not to take it personally when it’s delivered as an accusation, but you’re right — it isn’t about the target, it’s about the source. Sometimes it seems to me the best response is to, laugh, back away slowly, and shut the door. :/

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Dahlia. I had to draft this post and put aside for a while before posting. That blogger showed their true colors for a 2nd time after that so I KNOW that I did the right thing for me. And thank you for being you D!💜

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Unfortunately, there’s are people who are just plain negative and bitter about everything. I think you did the right thing. I’ve only encountered two or three of those type in the 3 years I’ve been doing this. But cutting those ties, swiftly and completely, was for the best. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Such a strange and unnecessary response, especially coming from someone you considered to be a blogging friend. We often misread messages like that because we don’t have the tone, facial, expressions, body language, etc. to help us understand what the person actually means, but I don’t see how anyone would construe that message for being anything other than what it was– absolutely rude! He/She could have simply just ignored the invitation and kept a great friend.

    The petty person in me wants to know who G is, but we have enough trolls on the internet that we don’t need another online war breaking out. It’s best just to unfollow and move on.

    Liked by 3 people

    • S/he wasn’t a “good” blogging friend but s/he did post knowledgeable pieces about Black history, race in the States, etc – though in a less than positive slant. But I was right to unfollow..thinking that I had maybe overreacted, I went back to read his/her comment and discovered a passive aggressive “new” post clearly for my benefit. I smiled because his/her confirmed that s/he is not worthy of my reading time.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t like that you had to experience all that, but I’m delighted you shared the experience. I appreciate how you point out that it’s natural to fall into a kind of narcissism (let’s face it, most of us do – especially bloggers – at some point), but we do well to watch for it, have a heart and share it. Great post Marq

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Aw man! I cannot imagine this happening to YOU! You seem nothing but positive, friendly, open and honest. But I agree with every point you made in this great post. And I don’t know why we humans give attention to that .01%??!! It’s odd but I know I’ve done it.

    Good for you for weeding out the funky energy.

    Liked by 1 person

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