I had this whole education rant post in my head, ready to pour out (and quite possibly bore you all to death yet again), but then I read this post by FrankiE, and I just had to transform my would be blogment into a full-fledged blog. For those of you who don’t know him, FrankiE is this fabulous, artistic, gentle soul thinker-man who writes the most lovely blogs about everything from his truly romantic meeting with his wife to poems and on to songs he sings. He’s really quite a blogging marvel. Anyway, he wrote tonight about misplaced loyalty (yo! FrankiE, is your blog still friends only or can I link to it?), about people who try to force others to dislike people they dislike and about whether or not it is loyal to do so. Is it being a friend to dislike someone who has upset your friend, even if there are no grounds for your dislike (other than that your friend does . . . for some reason)? Well, FrankiE, unsurprisingly, says, no, that is not loyalty at all.
And I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I want to go on and on (and quite possibly on) about this topic as it’s one that has pecked at me at various times both in life and (FAR more frequently) here on 360. Of course, we all remember Jr. High and the I hate her so you have to mentality that went along with that. Gah! I so need to be cursed out on Springer for some of the horrible things I said about and to people that I didn’t even know back then. I’d be the oblivious person, gliding through life, unaware that I had caused lasting pain to someone through thoughtlessness, spite, and that trying to fit in thing we all experience (God, I hope it wasn’t just me!). While the victim, would show up, all dolled out and possibly a millionaire to show me that I had missed the boat on that one. There might be tears, as the person I helped ostracize wept about nights spent home alone and sad, lonely days in school. I hate that insecure and mean little me. But I was 13.
Very few, if any (thank God, yet again, that’s what myspace is for), people on 360 are 13, but more than our fair share sure act like it!! Now, I will say, that not everyone is like this, and that I quickly get away from people like this and stay away — so OF COURSE I’m not talking about anyone on my friends list. In fact, quite the opposite, my experience with the people currently among my friends has been great when things turn sour with other “friends” or with whomever might stop by, and my friends have stayed both my and the other person’s friends, and I admire that, find that smart and sane and adult.
However, there are toxic people here, just as there are in life, and they do here just what they do in life: find power and some twisted sense of pleasure in upsetting people, disrupting friendships, and basically setting people (even groups) against one another. It’s laughable. It’s sad. And really, it’s just pathetic. But it happens all the time, and each of us then wonders how do we respond? What is the loyal (as FrankiE asks) thing to do? And how best do we cope with the disruption? And we all have to make our own choices, for our own reasons, of course.
So let’s say this blogger, we’ll call her “Fussy,” has experienced a couple of these incidents . . . .
There’s our Fussy, skipping through the tulips and singing a song of joy at the wonderful world of blogging she’s stumbled upon. Poor Fussy can’t sing in tune, but we can hear that she is happy. She’s making friends and visiting blogs and loving her tulip strewn bloglife. When all of a sudden, happy singing (more than slightly out of tune) Fussy is barraged with hateful information about another blogger friend. Oh, the horrors that are revealed! Poor Fussy is saddened and scared and not a little worried that she’s mixing with the wrong sort. But Fussy doesn’t do anything, she doesn’t delete the scandalous horror person, she just sort of . . . galumphs through the tulips, kicking them now and then, wondering how she could ever have been happy. And she sees that the Dark Cloud is happily interacting with the Unspeakable Horror, visiting back and forth, joking. Cozying up to the Unspeakable Horror, even!
Thunderstruck, Fussy flops down in her tulip field and ponders her childhood. Didn’t she know someone just like Dark Cloud once long ago? And didn’t that Dark Cloud spread rumors and say hateful things behind everyone’s back? In fact, didn’t that Dark Cloud at some point turn on Fussy and do that very thing? Yes. Yes. And yes, again! Well, Fussy, thought, as she picked herself up and unbent a sat on tulip stem, that’s that, then, isn’t it. I will not listen to Dark Cloud; I will make my own decision about Unspeakable Horror. And she did. And Fussy’s heart and soul grew three sizes that day. And to this very day, she is friends with (the not at all) Unspeakable Horror (who is really the most kind and nice sort of person).
But that wasn’t the end of the Dark Cloud. Dark Cloud then began the Unspeakable Horror campaign against someone else! And Fussy’s heart and soul were once again tested, and she almost failed! She actually de-friended the new Unspeakable Horror. Fussy was a stupid, bad blogger girl, oh, yes she was! But then, after much thought and soul and heart searching, Fussy realized she had made a horrid mistake and de-friended the wrong person. She crawled to the good good person and begged that she be forgiven her silliness, her hastiness, her stupidity. And she was. Well, Fussy’s heart and soul practically burst with the growing that time, and she vowed never again to hear a bad word against a friend. And a funny thing happened, Dark Cloud didn’t have much else to say once Fussy stopped listening to the meanness. So Dark Cloud went away. Yay!
Perhaps you can relate to Fussy and her story. Perhaps you can’t. But I do think (and have seen enough on here to feel certain) that everyone has been touched by this or similar mean-spiritedness. I’ve seen my very own friends have to blast that they’re sick of drama or have deleted this or that comment or have been pushed to setting their blog to friends only by some malicious outside force. It’s sickening. I know that this blogger (the one we’re calling Fussy) was never happier than when Dark Cloud finally evaporated, but poor beleaguered Fussy soon learned through a concerned friend’s email, that she was being accused of practically stalking Dark Cloud. Well, Fussy could have defended herself, but she didn’t. Instead, she laughed. How preposterous! Good riddance to bad rubbish never had more resounding meaning. That was long ago, and now Fussy skips in her tulips and sings her sadly out of tune songs and is a happy happy blogger again, just as she was before the Dark Cloud darkened her blogway.
I learned from Fussy’s plight, and I stay away from drama. I run miles when someone wants to berate someone else I know and like, and I have to reign myself in from jumping in to defend my nearest and dearest when they get sucked into similar dramas. Okay, so I have been known to run my big mouth when someone I truly adore is attacked, but hey, all that old misguided loyalty can’t be defeated in a day, can it?
All I can say is this: if you have something bad to say about someone, please think before you speak. We all need to vent or kvetch now and again, and that’s one thing, but maliciously attacking someone, trying to make them persona non grata . . . well, just don’t. I have no patience for that sort of thing, and I like to make my own decisions about whom I’ll be friends with and why. Besides, you’re not liking someone is not grounds for me not to do so. And quite frankly, I will look at and think hard about you. My experience has been that someone who attacks others usually ends up att
acking me. I don’t stick around that long. Besides, isn’t blogging supposed to be fun?
And as a related aside: This works both ways, just because yo
u love someone to pieces doesn’t mean that I or anyone else will. Everyone is different: some people click, others don’t. And yes, you can be best friends with someone that none of your other friends like all that much. That’s life.