I was inspired to write this post after hearing the same negative feedback loop for several years. Apparently people think I’m not listening to them. They are wrong. I heard the same handful of criticisms you’ve lobbed at me over and over and over and over and over again for several years.
Here is a short list:
1. You never listen to anyone! – Oh really, then how did I put together this post using only your quotes?
2. You think you’re better than everyone! – What does that even mean? I’m a social justice warrior who fights for equality for all human beings. Yes, even trans people! Le gasp! Maybe you just have that impression because I’d rather pursue an actual hobby than sit around a campfire getting drunk and talking shit.
3. You’re too raw/real! – I don’t know what this means unless you cite specific examples from my writing. Otherwise it just sounds like small town conservative women clutching their pearls. It could be useful feedback if you supported it with evidence. Unfortunately, you never cite any specific examples, so I can’t really work with it.
4. You write too much dialogue! – That’s because I want to be a screenwriter. Screenplays are basically made up entirely of dialogue. Derp. Look up the difference between a novel and a screenplay, then come back to the adult table.
5. You never take responsibility for your actions! – Oh, you mean like this? “To whom it may concern, I apologize for what I wrote about you when I was blackout drunk for seven days straight. I have since deleted the post and continue to work towards sobriety.” You know what I’m not responsible for? You. I am not responsible for your thoughts, feelings, interpretations, and assumptions. If you have a problem, it is your job to communicate with me so we can resolve it. I cannot read your mind. Please stop putting all of the responsibility for this conflict on me when I have tried everything possible to de-escalate the situation and make my feelings heard.
6. You make everything about you! – Okay, you’ve known me for how many years now? You know I like movies and art and travel and culture and fashion. That didn’t change just because I decided to write a bizarre memoir/screenplay/personal essay mash-up online in real time. I didn’t stop caring about the world just because I made a choice to prioritize my own mental health. The problem is that you never want to talk about these things. You just want to gossip and complain and be negative.
My favourite example of this was when the group of people whose quotes I used for this post held a movie night. I attended, but did not care for the movie. When I asked everyone in the room what they thought of the film, they all immediately started screaming insults and criticisms at me. It was crazy. I literally asked what they thought of the movie and the response was “You make everything about you.” Bitch, what? I literally just asked YOU for YOUR opinion and YOU went on a tirade against me instead.
As you can imagine, I left immediately and never hung out with any of those people ever again. My newfound aversion to these people was substantiated when I posted a status about the movie and they flooded the comments with personal attacks. None of these people ever actually said anything about the movie, which is what I was talking about the entire time. Instead, they continued to insult and attack me. Unfortunately, they still haunt me to this day by standing near me and making loud, passive-aggressive comments about how I “make everything about me.” Sorry, but from the looks of it, the only people who are “making everything about me” are you.
7. You need to just get over it! – Yes, but here’s the thing: traumatic experiences take time to work through. If you did what I did in my early 20’s, which was bury them underneath lots of alcohol, they will manifest themselves in very ugly ways later on. In my case, all of the stuff I spent years “getting over” eventually came out in the form of Liz and a collection of “revenge stories” aimed at those who had wronged me over the years. I understand that this is what is happening here, which is why I actively work to confront my emotions and engage with them in a healthy manner. Literally any therapist, self-help book and/or course will tell you this. I’m doing what I need to do in the way that works best for me. There might be other ways that work better for you. That’s fine. Just understand that you have no right to judge my personal process just because you disagree with it.
8. You write like you’re on social media! – A blog is considered social media.
9. You’re mean! – Yes. Yes I am. And you know what? I can be a lot meaner. So I suggest you step the fuck off, bitch!
10. No one cares! – Then why does my blog get so many page views? Yeah, I’ll take that one seriously when BetseyHorton.com stops getting traffic. By the way, that will never happen. Why? Because I’ve spent the last 15 years of my life building up a following for my work on social media. A small handful of people passionately declaring they don’t read my blog doesn’t hurt my stats at all. It’s cute they think they matter, though.
This is all I can think of at the moment, which is fine because I don’t want to dwell on negativity for the rest of the day. I’m just writing this to prove that yes, I do listen to what you’re saying. It’s just that what you’re saying isn’t as useful or enlightening as you think it is.
Thank you your feedback. As you can see, it’s been noted. Next time you have an opinion, I suggest you deliver it in a less aggressive, insulting manner. Then perhaps I will take it into consideration. If you have a personal problem, it is your responsibility to communicate that problem in a constructive, meaningful way in order for us to resolve it. If you have a criticism about my writing, you are welcome to send me an email citing specific examples of things you don’t like with helpful suggestions on how to fix them. If you do not pursue either of these courses of actions, then your opinion does not exist in my world. Therefore, I have no reason to take it into consideration. I will continue living my life as if you don’t exist while you continue poisoning yourself with your unresolved resentment.
In the end, I’ve learned a big lesson about friendship from all of this. The company I keep is a reflection of me. I need to make sure the people around me are not bringing me down. In the future, I will be sure to cultivate friendships based on common interest, mutual care/support, and healthy communication/interaction. I will especially be sure to look for people who actually want to engage in a serious critical dialogue after the movie.
Off to work on other things now. I’ve wasted enough time on this.