Below is a comment I wrote to http://www.drevets.com in response to a post dated March 15th. Her blog, called “Snotting Back,” made it to the “Freshly Pressed” section on WordPress. Blogs posted on “Freshly Pressed” appear on WordPress’s main page. That means that everyone who goes to WordPress to write a blog or set up a new blog site or just because they’re WordPress curious will see a picture and a title from every blog site chosen to appear on that page. It’s sort of a free advertisement for bloggers, so it’s pretty cool, and WordPress bloggers strive to one day appear on the site’s main page–brings over lots of readers, you see.
In any case, I decided to comment on this blog because it started me thinking about a dilemma I’ve been pondering. When you reveal yourself, put yourself “out there” for all the world to see on a public blog, some people won’t like it. That’s right, some people won’t like you no matter what you do, no matter how “nice” of a person you are. And anything you do or say can and will be used against you by those people who’ve decided they just don’t like you.
But in order to make friends, quality friends at least, one must put one’s self out there. One must announce to the world: ‘this is me–take it or leave it!’ Because if you don’t reveal who you really truly are then like-minded people won’t be able to find you. They’ll see you as someone different from them, not like-minded at all, because you’re hiding your true self. Your soul mate won’t find you, but your nemesis will. So, while you’re trying to avoid conflict, you end up drawing it to you just by running away and hiding… (Bullies are attracted to those who run and hide from conflict. They view runners as weak and, therefore, easy targets.)
So what to do?
Well, one must put on one’s thick skin and plunge right out into the world as one’s tried and true self, of course. And this is something many of us have trouble with. When we’re surrounded by those who are very different from us, it is easy for us to want to hide, to conform, to strive to get them to like us. It doesn’t occur to us that there might be people out there who’ll like us exactly as we are but that we’ll need to take the risk of being disliked by those who are different from us before we can find them. So now, here it is: my wondrous comment. This time I’m quoting myself:
“What strikes me as making this an effective blog is your courage in revealing something personal about yourself (i.e., getting drunk) and that’s something we can all relate to.
I often struggle with this dilemma. I maintain two blogs and one is highly political (and therefore, attracts the haters) while the other is more lighthearted. (At least I try to keep it that way.) I blog because I need to. (Pathetic, isn’t it?) But yeah, I’ve been writing most of my life ’cause I feel a mad desire to express what I think. And, frankly, most people don’t want to listen to my verbal rants and ravings on my theories as to why we’re all here and what’s right or wrong with the world. So I blog out my ideas (rather than talk about them) and then I feel better. Yet sometimes I stay away from the blogosphere as I fret (probably needlessly, as I’m not exactly famous) about how much I should reveal about myself. Should I reveal the city and state in which I reside? My legal name? The type of work I do? What if my current employer comes across my blog?
Yep, I’m over-thinking it all. We have to take risks in life and writing a blog is sort of a written performance. Some people will like it. Some won’t. But that’s a risk we all need to take. If we want to reach out and interact with the world, we need to understand that not all of the world is going to be receptive and pleasant toward us. So while I remain cautious about revealing certain things, I’ve learned (from blogs like yours) that we do need to be honest and forthright about some things ’cause otherwise our blogs won’t be interesting and other people won’t be able to relate to what we have to say.”