Wednesday, October 9, 2013

121 : Stand up or back down

So, recently, I've shared some personal stuff in my blog posts. In response to my latest personal post, I received a negative comment. This comment was, of course, anonymous and purposely hurtful. The comment went on about what an awful person I am and finished with how terrible I look in those jeans and those hot pants. There was't much to be taken seriously in the comment, and I suspect it was from one of those catty bitches at a certain internet forum who are known for spreading anonymous hate across the comments of various blogs. Nevertheless, I'm an introspective person and I engage in self-analysis regularly. It might not seem like I spend hours and hours going over every little thing said to me and every thing I want to put out into the world...because when it comes to this space, I've already made my decisions. However, I do spend a lot of time really considering all that happens in my life. While this comment doesn't have much worth to it, there was an interesting point brought up that I wanted to address...

"...You are being told by multiple people that your shitty attitude towards life in general...And instead of addressing this, you appear to ignore it."

The commenter goes on to say my only reaction appears to be cutting people out of my life, when I should be the one to change. Look, that's not really true. Cutting people out of my life generally takes months of consideration, and in the case of the recent demise of a friendship, was over a year in coming. But like I said, all of that behind-the-scenes stuff isn't what ends up posted on my blog. However, what I wanted to talk about was this idea that just because multiple people tell me something, I should somehow buy into it.

People are going to tell you, over and over, all kinda things you should change. They'll tell you to change your hair cut or color or your makeup choices or the clothes you wear. They'll tell you to change your friends or your major in college or the job you have. They'll tell you to change your attitude or your boyfriend or your mood. Sometimes, they tell you this directly and sometimes they do it in dismissive comments or backhanded compliments. Over and over and over and over...I can't think of a week or possibly a day that hasn't gone by that I haven't received some sort of criticism.

Did I receive criticism at the demise of a friendship? Hell yes! I received a preponderance of LUDICROUS criticism from how I single-handedly ruined an entire wedding by following the plan we had devised a month in advance and I received criticism about what an AWFUL friend I had been for the ENTIRETY OF OUR FRIENDSHIP and how it was SO HARD, walking on eggshells so as to avoid the type of interaction I had in other relationships. But this friend conveniently FORGOT that the inner workings of my interpersonal relationships were shared with her because I needed advice and she conveniently FORGOT that she yelled at me on her wedding day when I was trying to stick to our timeline and she was the one who caused us to be an hour behind schedule.

The thing is, in arguments, sometimes people don't respond well. Sometimes, criticism is born of jealousy or envy. Sometimes, criticism comes from anger and manipulation. Sometimes, criticism comes from hurt feelings and exaggeration. Sometimes, criticism comes from the heart and is important.

However, just because multiple people criticize me does not mean there is merit in that criticism. Just because someone points out my perceived flaws does not mean there is truth in those words. Life is about choosing when to take something to heart and when to stand up for myself. Sometimes, life is about letting people go. It's certainly not easy. Certainly, I'm not perfect. But also most certainly, the words of others are not the rules for my life. Yes, there will always be someone who has something to say about how I act or how I look or what kind of friend I am, and it's up to me to sort through that and come out on the other side for what is most productive and reasonable for my life.

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