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“Dare I open this can of worms?”

September 2nd, 2009 No Comments

“Dare I open this can of worms?” is the question I am asking myself right now.

Although I have some fear this introspective post will be a bit painful for me, I think that’s what I want Wednesdays on MoreThanMary to really be about…probing deeper into how and why we do things, even if the answer isn’t always pleasant.

Here’s my thought on this quote.

Lately I’ve had a lot of interesting comments come through the blog regarding my decisions on my car, botox, skin care, brands, etc.  As long as the opinion was relevant to the content of the post (although some have been direct jabs at me), I have been “approving” the comments.

Many people ask me why I allow the negativity to bring down my work.  Others say I shouldn’t allow people to shit in my home because they wouldn’t do that if they were physically present.  Well, I have so many different perspectives on both, so I will try to sum it all up for you.

  • We will never see eye to eye on everything, but I think it’s important to consider other perspectives.
  • Some people are curious, but communicate in an overly aggressive manner because they are anonymous in the digital space.
  • I invite people’s comments because they help me grow not only as a blogger, but as a person.
  • Listening to the desires of your audience is what makes a product better.
  • I asked several times for people to be constructive in their critics, but that fell on deaf ears. Even after enabling myself as a filter, people still write snide remarks and attacks.  First of all, I feel as though they understand my perspective, but choose to play devil’s advocate because they know I will post their comment.  Or I believe they’ve already passed judgement, but want to “put me in my place” anyway.

Here’s the funny part.  I respond!

Yesterday I wrote in response to a comment:

“I don’t have to justify anything to anyone but myself. I share my experience and logic with you, which does not mean you have to voice your opinion (although I allow you to do so because I find the different perspectives important) or that I have to listen (but I do), and certainly doesn’t mean I will change my ways. I try to   act with intention and confidence in everything I do. Of course I’ll make mistakes, but I can only hope you will be supportive instead of judgmental and watch me learn from the experience. In this particular case, I did and continue to do what is right for me. I appreciate all comments and advice despite the tone they are communicated.”

Today I read Kyle’s quote and it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I knew some of my retorts sounded defensive, and I hated having to defend myself.  Because really, I don’t have to, it’s my blog.  But I felt, more like I feel, readers are more curious than mean-spirited so I explain myself in hope they will understand me more as a person.  Now after my explanation, if they choose to disagree, I’m with that.  It’s at that point where I have to say “take it or leave it.”  This is MY life, and I’m sharing it with you.  YOU lead your life how you see fit, whether that means reading my blog, incorporating some of the stuff I talk about, or leaving it all on the web for someone else.

The irony of this post is that, according to Kyle’s quote, it’s a representation of me being defensive.  And I’ll own up to that one here.  I think I’m just tired of the negativity.  I truly value your opinions, but it’s the tone in which you write them that is difficult to absorb.

Now back to the real question.  If I know that some of the comments that come in will be negative and I’m frustrated with people’s self-entitlement to judge me and my choices, why do I continue to allow comments?  Why do I continue to blog?

Because in the end, the good outweighs the bad. The countless emails I get daily asking for advice, saying thank you, or offering support make my job worthwhile.

This is not meant to be a pity party post.  I’m a-ok over here.  But it does mean that I might not be responding to some of the negativity in the comments as often.  I will continue to post your comments, despite the tone, when they are relevant to the content.  But I’m going to take a break from “explaining” myself because I think Kyle is right.  There is really no need to defend myself.