Miss Woodhouse's Musings

…about life, the universe, and everything. Don't panic!

Temper Tantrums

on 24 June 2010

If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen- don’t just make the kitchen “invitation only”.

As a blogger, you open yourself up to encouragement and praise, but you also make yourself a target for criticism and critique. I write each and every post with the nagging mindset that anyone can read this. So far, my readers have been wonderfully encouraging but I know that I may have critics at some point.

Thus, I’m careful not to write anything that I am annoyingly passionate about, and nothing deeply personal. That’s just setting yourself up to feel hurt and abused.

I follow about 50+  blogs; some are corporately minded, some are photo blogs, and some are a mere whisper away from a tell-all private diary. In one of those diary blogs, this young person spilled their guts (yet again) about their “newfound” purpose in life. By doing so, they completely put down their current vocation in a harsh and hurtful manner. It was completely unprofessional.

In the comments, one of the blogger’s readers called them out on the hurtfulness and immaturity of their post. This commenter was firm, but very kind in their rebuke. They said only what needed to be said and nothing more. They ended by telling the blogger that they loved them.

Before the end of the week, this blog became “invitation only”. Hmmmm.

Coincidence? I think not.

I understand that criticism hurts. I get that when you are flush in your newfound “calling in life”, then the last thing you want is for someone to pull you up short. But, listen to your readers. This commenter is a personal friend of the blogger; they’ve known each other for some time. If your friends are telling you that you’re not living up to your goal in life, then maybe that should be a wakeup call to take a step back and assess where you are. It’s not a call to get defensive and block all but a choice few readers.

So like I said before- if you can’t stand the heat, stop blogging now. You’ll only save yourself a world of hurt and pain. The world isn’t going to get kinder. People aren’t going to become more tolerant of your dreamy-eyed ideals. It’s happened once, it can happen again. It’s time to face the music, accept the comment, and move on.

Ironically, this blew up into a bigger deal than it had to be. To gracefully acknowledge the comment and move on with the blog would have been the mature decision; in a few days, the whole situation would have blown over. Instead, every time I see a link to the now-private blog, that situation comes leaping to mind. It was a bad call, if I’m being honest.

It’s never healthy to surround yourself with “yes” people. We all know the type: any question you ask them, they tell you what you want to hear. “Does this chartreuse and grey zig-zag striped dress suit me?” “Yes!” “Did you enjoy my apricot and tomato risotto?” “Yes!” “Should I quit school to join the circus?” “Yes!

See? It’s just not healthy.

So, there are a few lessons to be learned:

  1. Accept constructive criticism. Not that I think you should change everything about yourself because one person thinks you should; use common sense. However, most of us could do with a bit of improvement, so be open.
  2. Don’t post deeply personal thoughts online. No matter how much you may want to share your epiphany, don’t just spew out your latest thoughts. You are much more likely to react emotionally to a negative comment.
  3. Just be smart. Don’t be the kind of person where “no thought goes unpublished.” Wait, think, then act.

That’s all.

Comments? Compliments? Criticisms? Leave them on the link to the left!

Wee bit of housekeeping here. Sorry for the third blog design in a month; I promise that this one will stick around for a while. I’ve been waiting almost a year for a design like this: readable, light, and girly without being “too much.”

A few things moved around, but it should be straightforward. Don’t forget; if you want a nice little email when I post, just put it under “Be In the Know” and hit submit (look up and right!). I’ll make sure that you are kept in the loop!



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