Saturday, January 22, 2011

Stepping away can be a good thing

Have you ever found yourself reading a blog, messages on a forum or on Facebook and talking back to the person/people in anger or disgust? I've found myself doing that lately which is a signal it is time to step away from those posts. I'm positive no one who reads here is guilty of that, so please exhale that worried breath.
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Years ago I was in a weekly activity with a woman who spent most of our time together complaining about her husband and kids. We all vent about some things like the socks that he never gets in the hamper or kids bickering about whether blue or red is a better color. I'm not talking about off hand comments nor am I talking about the very real concerns that some of us have from time to time and share with a trusted friend. This woman would complain that her husband never bought her anything, then suspect he did something wrong if he gave her flowers unexpectedly. A gift from him was never the right color, brand, or you name it. Same thing with her kids. If her son got an A on a spelling test, that lead to berating him for not getting a better grade on his math test. Nothing was every right or enough. It got very tiring and worse, I was coming home with a bad attitude. Once Bill pointed it out to me, I realized he was right and how tired I was of this person. Summer brought an end to that activity and I did not resume it the following autumn.

I came to blogs after years on message boards. There are a few small ones that I still belong to, and anything said there among friends is read with interest and taken seriously. If one person complains a little long and hard about something that would normally be trivial, I think there is probably an underlying cause and wait to see if the mood passes or if something bigger is going to be revealed before commenting.

There are a few large message boards that I visit infrequently, mainly to occasionally touch base with a few friends who are still there and not active elsewhere. I can't tell by a post title what mood is going to be prevalent among those who reply to that thread. Sometimes reading is like watching a train wreck.
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When you aren't personally involved, your reaction might merely be "He said what?" or " I can't believe she'd say such a thing!" Lately I haven't been amused from a distance, I've been agitated. Bigotry over big issues and small. They're like the little children still arguing over red and blue, and God help you if you don't like their choice.

I don't know why so many people have short fuses or why they feel they can say any darn thing they please behind the anonymity of words typed and attached to a screen name. I can't control those situations, I can only remove myself from them. It already feels like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

The older I get, the more I appreciate some of my father's favorite pieces of advice. The first speaks more to throwing the first punch, the second is about retaliation.
If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all
and
Just because other people are nasty, you don't have to be nasty too.

I hope you all have a warm, safe, happy, peaceful weekend.

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4 comments:

Blondie's Journal said...

I hear you!! I don't belong to a message board, but if I were subjected to complaints and anger constantly from someone...I would avoid them like the plague. I don't want my day brought down by someones mood. Great post, Knitty...written from the heart!

XO,
Jane

Kelli said...

Sometimes stepping away is the ONLY way. I've stepped away a few times myself. It's that natural instinct to save yourself! ;)

Sewconsult said...

I have done the same thing recently. I have enough drama with family!

Changes in the wind said...

It takes a wise person to break of a relationship that is not healthy...my grats to you!