The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Do You Prefer Anger?

Angry Penguin
Angry Penguin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

          Memorial Day Monday was busier than I had expected seeing as how the response to my telemarketer post was better than I had expected.    Today starts where that post left off and if you didn't read my Monday post you can, but understanding today's post is not contingent upon reading that previous post.  That post was just a story about something that happened to me recently.  Today's post is the actual point I want to make--or at least the point I want to make until Friday's post.

          This world is filled with so much anger.   People seem to get ticked off over the most minor irrelevant things.  Most anger stems from impatience, misunderstanding, self-absorption, and unwillingness to listen carefully to what others are saying.

         Anger is a behavioral choice we make.  In most cases it is a spur of the moment, often irrational, reaction to some external stimulus.   Sometimes though, anger is an ongoing state of mind--it's the way certain people look at life and a condition of their own failings of self-acceptance.  Something may be lacking in their lives and rather than accept the responsibility of addressing the shortcomings within themselves they will direct their negativity outwardly.

        A specific example of this that I encountered recently came from a blogger who will remain nameless in this post.  A few of you know the story because you noticed the exchange in my comments or have seen similar exchanges in other blog comment sections.  Some of you may even have come here today expecting me to name this angry blogger and dish out some dirt.  Sorry, but I'm not interested in making enemies, but just to understand something about this type of anger in the world of blogging.  And besides, I might be totally wrong about what I have perceived.  

       To briefly recount an overview of the story, I had noticed an author blogger whose name I knew though I knew little about that blogger repeatedly attacking a blogger friend of mine ad nauseam in this latter blogger's comment section.  A rather vicious feud developed on both blogs.  Curious, I started investigating the author blogger and became intrigued.  This blogger had many published works listed and seemed to me to be a somewhat interesting person.  Since I had nothing against the author blogger I decided to engage in order to form a blogger friendship.

        This author blogger in turn left me a rather nasty unfriendly comment which suggested to me that he wanted nothing to do with me nor was he interested in having any sort of professional friendship.  That's fine because I already follow more blogs now than I can keep up with in an adequate manner.  I was just trying to be nice.  And I was genuinely interested in this person's background as a writer.

         The series of incidents involving this author blogger led me to wonder about anger in social media in the context of professional relationships and what makes us follow certain bloggers.   To take this to a broader scale my question becomes more of why we chose certain people to be our friends.

         Obviously, common interests and situational involvement have a great bearing on why we pick our friends.  When we have interests in the same or similar things then we have something to talk about and can share experiences involving those things.  In some cases we might befriend others because they live next door, work with us, or some other circumstance that brings us together even if we have little else in common.  Then there are those we just like for some undefinable reason.

        Perhaps similar to the way we develop preferences in the people we want to consider friends, we choose particular music, literature, movies, or whatever else it is that we like.  Specifically thinking of music--since this series is leading up to my Battle of the Bands post of Monday June 1st--favorite songs or music styles can have connections to certain people, places, events, or points in the space-time continuum.  Sometimes our preference is obvious and can be pinpointed while in other cases a preference just seems to happen without our specifically noticing why.

      In the case of friendships--or professional relationships of mutual benefit--the question I would want to answer is why someone would display belligerence or harbor an ongoing grudge toward anyone else without first making an attempt to resolve issues and smooth over the rocky places in the road as best as possible.   More specifically in the case of the angry blogger to whom I refer, how would a display of resentment toward me or anyone else make them look better?

        I try my best to be nice to others and not harbor grudges as best as I can.  Life's too short as is often said.   Anger and discontentment is emotionally and physically unhealthy.  When tempted to fall into an ongoing state of anger we should probably ask ourselves if this is a constructive state of mind for us to be in and does what we choose to feel, do, and say make the world a better place to be.  What exactly do we accomplish when we leave a trail of enemies and hurt feelings behind us?

       Sorry that I've rambled on so, but I try to maintain some degree of positive attitude in what is so often a very negative world.  When those doses of negativity infringe upon my attempt at keeping a peaceful state of mind, they can at times weigh so heavily upon me that I tend to fixate upon them.   Sometimes I will wake up in the wee morning hours pondering the garbage that makes our world a nastier meaner place and wonder what I can do to bring peace between feuding bloggers and any other unhappy folk within my realm of life.

        So if you want to belittle me, chide me, or unleash your attacks upon me then have at it.  I like to reason and discuss, but when you take combat stance then I probably won't be donning my sparring gloves to fight back.  And if you think you're being funny rather than vicious then maybe you need to put a smiley face behind your words.

         My apologies again as I had a rough night non-related to the issues here, but nevertheless related to blogging and complicated by other life issues weighing upon me.  Yeah, I feel like crap. This post is probably not what you were expecting and it was not exactly what I had planned.  For now I'm laying the groundwork for my next post which is supposed to be about preferences.  Or maybe it will be more related to making choices, but I suppose our choices have something to do with our preferences since our preferences are essentially choices.  Something like that.

          Do you think a blogger who is marketing product should respond negatively to the readers of his or her blog?  Should an author openly express disdain toward someone who has given their book a negative review?    Have you ever let loose on another blogger?     Do you think personally directed anger can help one's image?    Does it make you feel better to unleash anger on someone else and if so, how?

     

76 comments:

  1. I do think anger can be a bad habit or as a result of PTSD.

    No matter the origin, it is a terrible social skill.

    When I was young, if someone made me mad, I ignored them. I look back at what a nincompoop I was for that thinking. I know I should have gotten friendlier and tried to talk.

    One year at work, I worked with a young cranky teacher and it made the difference for her that I would take the time to visit and talk with her after an episode. She really was a sweet girl, she just had a temper problem.

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    1. Ann, we all get angry sometimes, but in cases like you mention perhaps the issue should be addressed and dealt with in some professional manner. The angry person like anyone with issues probably needs to be understood and talked to. Ongoing anger is often the result of unresolved negativity continuing to be bottled up and not discussed with anyone else.

      Lee

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  2. You'll never be friends with that person, Lee. As you said, life is short - make friends with those who want to make friends.
    Should an author respond in anger? Only if we want to slit our own throats.
    You might be on to something about anger being a way of life. Someone could get caught in an endless loop of bitterness and resentment. That would be a really sad way to live.

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    1. Alex, I guess in respect to the angry author I wouldn't say that I was seeking friendship so much as a line of professional communication such as I have with many other bloggers.

      I've known people who have ongoing anger problems and they have existed in a cycle of unhappiness and difficult relationships. I is very sad.

      Lee

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  3. Well, my friend (and I do consider you one), as a therapist I'm not agin any emotion. We all get mad, glad, sad and scared. Anger can give a lot of energy to re-right wrongs but I think what you are mostly talking about is behaviour - in specific - aggression. I think unfortunately the web harbours many who are aggressive and passively so. They are what journalist Heather Mallick calls 'angry pyjamas' as they can sit in their dark caves firing out expletives without fear of having to be held truly accountable for them. A writer who is trying to boost their image on the internet and gets into a pissing contest with a fellow blogger is foolish. Perhaps they believe in the old myth of the angry young artist, fueled by coffee, whiskey and a disdain for fellow humans. Too bad. I'm glad you are choosing to address this and move on - quite healthy.

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    1. Jan, thank you for this intelligent explanation. Passive anger can be a scary thing and particularly bad for the person who harbors it and for anyone who is close to that person, if indeed they have any close relationships. The "angry young artist" image seems like it would be incompatible with a proper marketing campaign and developing a healthy following. I'm amused by the "angry pyjamas" term--it's so fitting of the type of person we are discussing here.

      Lee

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  4. If that person is trying to drum up support and readers for their books, they are going about it the wrong way, that's for sure. Sorry you had that experience. I haven't really encountered too much nastiness on the blogs, except around 07/08 when a few blogs I followed in those days were discussing politics. I have seen it on Facebook though. I have thought twice about leaving my opinion on certain news stories b/c there always has to be some troll that comes along and berates you for your opinion. I have also had a few Facebook friends that I unfriended b/c they were just so unpredictable with their moods and I was tired of walking on eggshells all the time with them. You never knew what would set them off screaming at you. Who needs it, you know?

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    1. JoJo, you bring up a good issue. I think Facebook tends to be a more spontaneous realm of communication where feelings rule. At least on a blog a person usually takes time to think about what they're going to say and then composes it with time to think and edit their words. Blog comments are more like Facebook posts as they are immediate reactions on what one has read in a post. The comments is where I've seen most nastiness develop.

      I rarely say much on Facebook especially when it comes to emotionally charged issues. When blogging I try to be careful about what I say and attempt to handle ugly comments in the most constructive way I can.

      Lee

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  5. Hi, Lee! I'm sorry to learn you've got some side issues going on lately. I hope you get them resolved, good buddy.

    It is very easy for the printed word to be misinterpreted. Try this exercise. Select a written sentence that you perceive as having been written in anger. Now read the words aloud in a very calm and rational tone of voice. Tone is key. It's not what you say it's how you say it. Some people have a direct manner of communicating, a passion, a desire to be understood, that can be misinterpreted as anger. There is no way to be completely sure how much anger, if any, the author carries inside unless the message is written entirely in CAPS. I agree that life is too short for people to harbor long term anger and resentment toward others, engage in running feuds and launch kamikaze style attacks on each other's blogs. That said, I have found that true friends, real friends, genuine friends, sincere friends allow each other to express an upset now and then without pulling the plug on the relationship, especially the very first time it happens. "One strike and you're out" seems like a very hasty, knee-jerk response and solves nothing. It closes the door on a tremendous amount of potential good that could come of the relationship in the future, a future that will never be. I believe in giving people a second chance and a third. Some of my greatest friendships got a shaky start. Indeed, some of my best friends are people I once perceived as "natural enemies," people whose politics and/or religious beliefs conflicted with mine. It's easy to surround yourself with clones, people who share all the same interests and have the same views on the issues. I welcome those people into my world, but I also seek out and welcome people with whom I have nothing in common, because forging lasting friendships with those people is empowering. It is also a breakthrough when two people who experience an upset with each other put it behind them and demonstrate the power of forgiveness.

    Thanks, Lee. I hope your Wednesday is off to a great start.

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    1. Tom, I agree with what you are saying here. Establishing and maintaining an ongoing relationship sometimes requires work and careful exchanges of communications. The first round of misunderstood words should not be a cue for dismissal of anyone when further explanations sometimes are needed.

      Written language can be such an awkward means of expressing opinions, feelings, and such and often leads to misunderstandings as we don't always say things in the same ways or understand meanings as another person has intended. I enjoy open discussion about disagreed upon issues, but anymore try to avoid them with most people as feelings are often hurt and negative emotions ensue. It's sad, but I get weary with fighting as well as with trying to keep the peace among people. Sadly I find this to be the worst among family members, but that gets into a whole different realm of discussion.

      Thanks for you comment and since I got a good night's sleep I am doing much better today.

      Lee

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  6. I once had a blogger crush. I thought this person chose the most interesting topics to write about. I was in awe of the way “myblogger” could express views and make even the most mundane experiences of say “a day at the grocery” sound exciting. I became a loyal lurker of “myblogger’s” blog, following, (along with hundreds of others) reading every word but too shy to comment. After all it was “myblogger”, what could I possibly contribute? Then one day, “myblogger” wrote about an incident that I thoroughly related to. Finally, I thought, something I could comment on and perhaps even attempt a little wit. Of course there were many other comments. There always were on “myblogger’s” posts. “myblogger” always, always, responded to each and every comment. That day, the day that I was brave enough to respond, ‘myblogger' did, as usual respond to everyone’s comments. Everyone, that is, except mine. I couldn’t understand why. My comment was in the midst of other’s, not the first, not the last. “myblogger” responded to the one above mine and the one below, but not mine. To make matters worse my comment was no longer visible, replaced by the dreaded “removed by” instead.
    I became angry! “I’ll show “myblogger”, I thought. I will stop following! I even wrote a post about rude bloggers who don’t respond to comments. (I did not specifically mention “myblogger”)
    After a few days of not having “myblogger” in my life, I calmed down and realized that my “anger” was really and expression of the hurt, disappointment and rejection I felt.
    I’d like to say that this story has a fairytale ending. That I contacted “myblogger” and straightened out what apparently was a misunderstanding of my “wit”. But I never did. Probably too late for that now anyway, it happened several years ago and I don’t follow “myblogger” anymore anyway. Still hurt, I guess.

    oops, sorry, I apparently got carried away here. Seems like this turned this into some sort of therapy session.

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    1. BTW, I hope your day is a better one than yesterday. And I hope your life issues resolve in a positive way. :)

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    2. Lynda, actually your story is interesting and I have had similar blog encounters. Sometimes getting accepted into a blogging circle can be like joining some exclusive club and it's easy to take it personally when we are ignored or rejected. I'm usually curious about these types of circumstances but it's best to keep moving when someone doesn't want to have anything to do with you. There are millions of bloggers out there with many potential relationships to be formed. Rejections are a part of life--especially for a writer.

      Lee

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  7. OOOO, that angry penguin!

    I believe in being positive, especially if your marketing - unless you marketing a "how to be angry" book. I prefer to see positive comments on blogs, even ones that disagree with the post by which I mean they are adding to the discussion not blasting the blogger or his/her beliefs.

    Anger is bad juju, man. I am not immune though; it has been known to infect me. I try to crush it when I can.

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    1. I hope today is better for you too!

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    2. HR, there is such a thing as constructive criticism, disagreement,and even anger. We can learn more and establish helpful relationships when we approach life in a positive. The biggest problem with anger is that it can be contagious and if it gets out of had it can become very ugly and destructive.

      Lee

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  8. Sorry you're having difficulties, Lee. Hope you feel better soon! That author blogger sounds like a nasty character for sure and it's not wise of that person to alienate anyone when trying to promote something. That said, in my opinion, anger is an honest emotion and there's nothing wrong with it. To suppress it only causes more problems. It's how one expresses it that matters. Rude and obnoxious doesn't work.

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    1. Debbie, everyday offers the potential for difficulties, but the bad thing is when they all converge to create that perfect storm scenario. Agreed that we all get angry some times, but that anger needs to be channeled constructively and become an experience in learning and compassion. "Righteous anger" can be very appropriate when it is used and not abused. Mindlessly lashing out against others or joining in the mentality of mob rule typically causes more harm than good. Anger should be expressed once it's determined that the anger is rational, but we should think before we act--the old count to 10 rule.

      Lee

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  9. And I'm just sitting here thinking that I love that angry penguin cartoon. And I'm also wondering, with Wikipedia listed as the source, what Wikipedia page could possibly have an angry cartoon penguin...?

    It's true, people get so mad over nothing these days. That's why we have road rage shootings every day. I still have no idea what compels someone to get so angry that the first thing they think of is that I'm going to literally kill that person. Like you, I try to stay positive. It takes a lot to get me mad. Most everything I just laugh off or forget about. It's not worth harboring and stewing over.

    As for the blogger in question, he's just a nasty, miserable person. You're one of the nicest guys we both have the pleasure of knowing, and to lash out at you over just trying to get to know him seems so ludicrous to both of us. Kudos to you for taking the high road on this one, Lee. You don't need to name him or bash him. By acting like this in a public forum and attacking others needlessly he's already bashing himself plenty.

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    1. Beer guys (I'm never quite sure which one of you does the commenting), well, firstly let me thank you for your kind words for me. I'm marketing myself and building an author platform or something like that so I don't want to create a bunch of people who are against me.

      I think we've come to an age where everyone operates according to how they feel at the moment and don't rationalize themselves within the bigger picture of things. I don't think the "me generation" philosophy has ever really left us and like stubborn brats a lot of people kick and scream if things aren't their way. That doesn't turn out well. There's plenty that we can get upset about without adding in all the small stuff that means nothing the next day.

      When my time comes I want allies and not enemies.

      Lee

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  10. Oh, man, and I was going to lead with the angry penguin cartoon! I want one of those! Not the cartoon, an angry penguin.

    If you remember the series I did on personality types, there are anger types. Some people operate out of a place of anger or respond, first, to things in anger. It's how they approach the world. It's worse when that person feels like a failure at life. There are two choices, then, to direct the anger inward or outward.
    Anyway... I could go on about that, but that's probably enough for a general idea.

    The thing that most struck me was that he kept saying how the readers of the blog in question weren't seeking out the other side of the story but he attacked you anyway when you did that. I suppose there wasn't much to that other side of the story, after all.

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    1. Andrew, I tried to get the other side of the story and found out that it was not a pretty sight.. At least he can't say that I didn't try and I don't think I approached the matter in any uncivil way at all.

      Lee

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    2. You didn't. You were totally polite.

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  11. If that person was so quick to be mean to you, you probably aren't missing much by not befriending them. If anything, you're life might be better and filled with less anger.

    Hope your week picks up and things turn better for you personally too.

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    1. Patricia, I guess making friends with an unpredictably angry person would be kind of like having a pet rattlesnake.

      Today things are better and hopefully issues of yesterday will get smoothed over.

      Lee

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  12. The person who angers me has already taken more of my day than I want -- why should I ruin even more of my day by holding onto my anger? Most people only act according to their natures, so me getting mad at them for it is like getting mad at the sun for being hot.

    Life is too fleeting to fill it with unhealthy people or hurtful responses to them. The best revenge is to live well, right? Fine post.

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    1. Roland, I try not to hold on to angry though sometimes I do hold on to grudges which is similar. This is usually due to some unresolved issues where blame has placed on me for something where I was not necessarily wrong or my wrong was countered by a bigger wrong. When issues like that continue to exist and others hang onto them as well then a healing is needed among all parties.

      You're right about the anger though. Anger eats at our souls whereas a grudge is an unpleasant burden that we have to carry with us that will hopefully not turn into outright anger.

      Lee

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  13. Normally, people harbor anger for something in their past. My Irish temper flares up from time to time (and it aint pretty), but that's just a temper flare. Angry people, to me, are people who don't feel peaceful in their own skin, may have hidden struggles AND want those in their path to suffer. The Internet forum allows any person to be nasty with their words and not be identified. A curmudgeon's dream!

    I read back over your comments to the "mystery" blogger's posts just to see if I thought you ticked him/her off and you were super cordial. You're a good guy, Lee. :) Roland is right. Life is too short to give power over our lives to the angry person. (My interpretation.)

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    1. Teresa, a kind comment such as yours makes writing a post totally worth my time and angst. I agree with your assessment of anger and this is what I try to tell myself when I encounter such people. When someone gets irrationally angry with me I know that their journey of anger didn't start with me. I am merely one angry stop along their troubled way. I just have to be careful not to let my own feelings be affected to the extreme.

      Thank you for your words. You are the kind of blogger friend who is uplifting.

      Lee

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  14. I agree with what you are saying here. I don't understand getting irate at an individual you know nothing about. I don't see the point of getting angry about some sort of a non-issue. And people LOVE to get angry and irate over non-issues.

    You know I love a good rant. But ire and hatred for an individual you know little to nothing about makes about as much sense as the points on Who's Line is It Anyway? Yes, if you want to me sarcastic or trying to be facetious, then smilies do wonders to make people realize you are just joking. (I hate you so much!!!! :) ;) ) You know what I mean. If I really think I'm going to be misunderstood, a good oll El Oh El comes in handy.

    And then we have the people who get so upset with you, but leave you in the dark about it. Shouldn't we try to resolve conflicts if at all possible? I have a friend on FB who recently unfriended me, blocked me and refuses to answer any texts I send. What did I do to receive that? Your guess is as good as mine.

    Hang in there, hope things improve. See you around the blog-sphere.

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    1. Jeffrey, as much as I dislike emoticons and text speak they start to make more sense when you see the problems that joking around sometimes can cause. While you or I might have a sense of humor, that faceless blogger or other social media communicator might have no sense of humor and big misunderstandings can come about. Then there are cases where sense of what is funny or not is different. My joke might offend some people and I might not even understand the joke someone else is telling me. Communication can be a weird thing even with people presumably speaking the same language. Sometimes we can never understand where another person is coming from because they refuse to discuss it with us.

      Lee

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    2. I don't mind emoticons so much. It's the text speech that gets me. I h8 it. BRB, It's annoying. Well, GTG. L8R G8R

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    3. Jeffrey, I've come to appreciate the value and even creativity in some of them. The text speak gets to me as well. I'm not used to it yet since I don't text. Often I have to Google the abbreviations to figure out what they meant. I literally took me over a year before I understood what "LoL" meant. I thought it was supposed to be some kind of sound effect and felt so stupid that I never knew what that sound was.

      The other stuff is trying to decipher some of the vanity plates I see on cars. At least now I'm getting better at the game.

      Lee

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    4. When my Uncle died, my aunt texted everyone in the family. "Just so everyone knows. Paul died last night. LOL" I told her it was a morbid joke to tell people someone had died. She said it wasn't a joke. So I asked her why she put LOL. She said, it stood for Lots Of Love.

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    5. That's a gem, Jeffrey. A good example of how these types of things can be misconstrued.

      Lee

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  15. Lee-

    I think we mellow with age. I used to get bent out of shape about a lot of stuff that, in retrospect, was pretty silly to get bent out of shape about (traffic for example-there's more around the bend so why let it get to me).

    I think with blogging, people go on the attack because there are no repercussions. You never see the other party.

    I once left feedback for an eBay seller in Phoenix because it took him a month to send me the CD I purchased...from an address five miles away. He sent it from a restaurant where he worked.

    His response was insulting, and quite immature (so badly insulting). The restaurant where he worked happened to be near a record store I frequented, so one Saturday I stopped in for lunch and asked for him. He came out, and was a guy in his early twenties, I (calmly) told him I wanted to give him the opportunity to say all the crap he said in print to my face, and he folded like a cheap tent, stammered an apology, and ran back into the kitchen.

    So basically, he was full of spunk when everything was being typewritten into a comment form, but not so Steven-Segal-like when I was standing in front of him-and I was not being hostile (although I guess initiating the conversation certainly qualifies as confrontational).

    In most cases, the geography would not allow for a live encounter-besides Stephen T. McCarthy (who I knew before either of us blogged) you are the only other blogger I've met face to face. But I try to treat people with respect regardless of where they are -even if their opinion differs from mine.

    Sadly, not all bloggers do the same.

    The delete key is a powerful tool...

    Larry

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    1. Larry, like you I've mellowed a great deal. There is always something that can piss us off if we let it but why deal with that hassle.

      Your story and the outcome is a great example of the power of anonymity. Put us in the same room and we can become very different people. One danger of social media is that lies and misrepresentation of who we are easily perpetuated until they begin to get taken as fact.

      Lee

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    2. You see it with driving, too-everybody is Rambo when they are in their car, but when they park, they transform into Hello Kitty.

      The people who figure out most things are not worth getting bent out of shape over at a young age are the truly wealthy in this world.

      It took me far too long to get that message.

      But I agree with the Beer guys-if someone is giving you grief for simple reaching out, they have the problem.

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    3. I should have gotten the message when I was younger too. I did some stupid things because I thought I knew it all and didn't want to listen to others who knew better.

      Oh well, the lessons of life are often thought to be meant for someone else until we realized we missed the company memo that was giving us a promotion opportunity.

      Lee

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  16. I believe blaming is a self-defeating game that we play to deflect looking at ourselves. Recently my best-friend passed away and it opened my eyes up to realize these things, these dramas in our lives, really don't matter in the big picture of life. Using the words of Solomon, 'everything is meaningless under the sun.' My hope is to stay peaceful and sometimes that might mean extending an apology to someone who might be angry because they interpreted my actions as offensive. If they continue to be angry after my apology, I just have to toss it over my shoulder and be peaceful that I did the best I could, and my intention was never to be unkind.

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    1. Lynn, so true! If we've done our best to be kind to others and try to make amends when needed then we've done our part in that respect, but we can fix those who refuse to be part of the healing. If the energies put into a thousand little conflicts were instead directed to solve seriously big conflicts then the world would be a far better place.

      Lee

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  17. I enjoy blogging it is a rather relaxing and a chilled thing to do, I do not read much but do like writing even if I am not that good at it. I usually enjoy the A to Z, but like to be slightly rebellious and have a light-hearted moan at the end. . . Well its a lot of work to do it justice you know, all those late nights writing and drawing pictures. Your idea has ruined my last few Aprils.

    But we all get to choose which blogs we like or do not like, so when I come across a blog I dont like or disapprove of I simply dont follow or revisit. There is an argument that if someone is using their blog to preach extremes of some sort we should question it, but I dont have the power to change it, that is the responsibility of the bloggers host. Maybe some folk get a buzz out of being able to be aggressive and hostile on-line but I enjoy my blogging and once I no longer feel like that then I will stop and chase the cat with a pointy stick instead.

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    1. Rob, blogging should be relaxing and fun or at the very least civil. And it is an activity where no one is forced to keep reading what they don't want to read. Engagement is fine when it is kept to a decent level of rationality and respectfulness. I do think there are those who just like to argue and be mean and in reality I don't even think they like to do it, but have somehow fallen into a habitual behavior of doing so.

      I hope A to Z continues to hold its April spell on you as you are always a great help to me.

      Lee

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  18. There are a few instances where anger and vitriol will help your career (but very few) and the people who like you must feel like the venom is justified or you alienate them. So, even if it is part of an image, cultivating it must be done carefully.

    For the majority of us, attacking another blogger/reader/whatever is a bad career move. Retaliation FOR an attack is almost as harmful. You're supposed to move on without engaging and, if you must engage, you must do so with the respect and calm the other person didn't afford you.

    I end up crying when someone attacks me because I'm a hurt little weeny. But my blog isn't popular by any means so I'm somewhat safe.

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    1. Jennifer, even when anger "helps" your career or becomes somehow a part of it, that anger still must be controlled and intelligently pursued. Or like you indicate that "angry persona" must be carefully cultivated and kept in check.

      I can't think of an instance where being angry at potential readers might be a good marketing move, but I can see how portraying an image of anger or angrily representing ideas might be something could market.

      I tend to back down from attacks and understand where the attacker is coming from since after all that person might have a reasonable point. My blog is not the biggest blog in the internet world by any means, but I think the bigger you get the more you become like the "fastest gun in the West"--there's always some hothead that will come gunning for you. The instance I encountered was nothing like that though--it was just me being curious and peeking inside the bear's den.

      Lee

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  19. This has certainly produced some thoughtful discussion. Great reads from everyone.

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    1. Ann, I was hesitant about this post and then it went even farther than originally intended. I wasn't sure what kind of reaction I'd receive, but as usual the readers have amazed me and come through with some amazing responses. I feel so fortunate to have such a fine readership as I do.

      Lee

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  20. It always makes me distinctly uncomfortable when bloggers begin attacking one another on their blogs and in the comments of the blog of another. Heck, it makes me uncomfortable on all social media... not just blogger. I don't have all the information about the bloggers you mentioned in the previous post, but it sounds like just reading and commenting (in an attempt to see both sides of the issue) caused one of them to sound off on you. When someone sounds off on you, oftentimes the better part of valor is retreat, which is what I think you did.

    Hang in there, my friend.

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    1. Robin, I think I'd rather deal with the social media attacks than the in person ones where there is little time taken to think things through and events can turn really ugly and even dangerous. I've had some of those and I prefer never to have any more.

      In the case I've described I merely tried to understand a blogger who was doing strange things and try to establish a communicative relationship with that blogger. That blogger obviously wanted nothing to do with me so that was the end of our story, but it provided me with a blog topic that has generated some good discussion.

      Lee

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  21. In my whole history of blogging I've only had one angry comment feedback and this was not even on blogger. I'm very surprised it doesn't happen more often actually.

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    1. Karen, I can't imagine why anyone would want to engage in a mean way with you as I've never seen anything provocative on your blog. I'm glad angry exchanges don't happen often in blogging, but then again it's probably the nature of the blogs we read for the most part.

      There have been some blogs in communities that deal with great controversy where I've seen some very ugly exchanges. I've commented on a few controversial topic blogs and found myself under vicious attack. I quickly retreat from those exchanges.

      Thankfully we blog in a mostly passive rational thinking community of bloggers.

      Lee

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  22. Life is too doggone short to spend it angry. But some people enjoy a good drama. I used to write many more personal posts than I do now because I don't like the personal jabs at my private life. And sadly, it's usually the people who claim to have the most open minds who are the most judgmental.

    But I have to admit, those bloggers who have the gumption to put themselves out there? Those are the most interesting blogs. I am in awe of people who live comfortably in their own skins. Shame on people for not allowing the world to live and let live.

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    1. Elizabeth, so many people love a big overblown drama. In real life I guess I'd prefer a comedy and save my dramas for the movies I watch. You are so right about those so called open-minded people--their minds are only open when it comes to what they agree with otherwise everyone else is wrong and should shut up. Not enough people use the brains that were bestowed upon them.

      Lee

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  23. If a blogger was going for a Howard Stern type image, being mean or angry sounding might be beneficial. I know some people who pick and tease in a manner that sounds angry or even contains curse words. I myself have always tried not to respond to a blog post or a comment with anger. I really don't think I ever have. I do on occasion find a post sickening or disturbing from a Christian perspective. Half the time I leave without commenting. Half the time I leave a respectfully worded comment expressing why I can't agree with them. The only time I express anger is in person, most often in response to someone being angry at me and sometimes due to someone repetitively ignoring me, disrespecting me or what I do or my position. The old "straw that broke the camel's back" thing. And then I absolutely boil over and let them have it with both barrels. (How's that for a mixed metaphor?)

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    1. Barbara, you deal with things just as I do. I tend to avoid the angry ugly blogs, but now and then I do happen upon them.

      Lee

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  24. I think the 'distance' of social media gives some people license to be mean or rude in situations they would never be if speaking in person to another. It's a good place for cowards to act like bullies.
    When I taught health to high school students, I tried to teach them to understand that no one can 'make' you angry. Anger is a choice. We can always chose not to react with anger.

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    1. Susan, very true! Anger like any other feeling is a matter of choice. Unfortunately most people are often ruled by emotions and that's when the irrationality steps in to take control. Communicating on line is almost like imaginary interaction so people are often more likely to say any old thing without thinking too much about it.

      Lee

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  25. Goodness! Thankfully, I've never experienced a blogger beef (knock on wood) and I hope that I never do. I'd rather just walk away and keep my dignity intact. Stuff on the internet lives forever. And what you think you've deleted, people will screenshot. It's never worth it.

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    1. You're right, Quanie. I've said a few things in comments that I wish I hadn't. Not that they were negative things about bloggers, but they were just things I don't like the idea of them showing up in searches. I'm nice to bloggers but I don't mind defending myself with tact and reason if necessary. I try to be a professional as I can and that is something that becomes truer as time goes on.

      Lee

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  26. I have had a similar experience to the one lyndagrace related. You want to fit in, to be one of the cool kids. Then you say something, it gets misinterpreted, and suddenly you are dirt. A misunderstanding, to be sure, but the other person gets so bent on it the cyber-friendship is never the same. So you compromise, agree on things you might not fully agree on to keep the piece- and in the end, they take out whatever resentment the original comment sparked in them on you anyway. At least, that was the shade of it that happened to me. LG was probably just as well off to not make the effort.

    Now, the story you told, the first thing that went through my mind was, "Wow, a troll with a blog." Maybe they aren't a troll, but it sounds like the mindset of one. And it brings you to one conclusion- some times, you aren't meant to be with a particular group of "cool kids". God knows, I remember that well enough from high school. But, you know what? Years later I had contact with some of those "cool kids", and they were the same jerks they were in high school. If that's what it takes to be cool, you can have it. And I think the same thing applies to your blogger, my blogger, and lyndagrace's blogger. You wanna be a jerk, go ahead. Life has better things in store for me.

    Hope that you feel better about things soon. Hanging on to such frustrations ain't good for you.

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    1. I think you expressed this well, Chris. Not knowing that much about the blogger I guess he has some kind of issues from what others have said. I'm done with him unless he wants to communicate, but now I'd be wary of motives.

      I feel much better today. Got a decent sleep last night and getting this post off my mind helped a lot especially from the standpoint of the encouraging comments I've received so far.

      Thanks for yours.

      Lee

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  27. In the 8 years spent blogging, never have I attacked a fellow blogger directly. If a blogger upset with me for some unknown reason decides to get nasty (i.e. deleting comments from the moderation queue or rejecting comments that I made or basically ignoring me by not releasing my comments from the queue), I will vent indirectly about them in a post. I don't mention them personally by name, but I do what is SOP at work when I need to criticize a fellow employee about a payroll issue but don't want to single them out for personal attention: I send a general e-mail highlighting the issue and asking for everyone's cooperation in fixing it.

    Only with blogging, it's simply a general purpose vent/rant that doesn't actually name a particular blogger, only indirectly refers to them anonymously.

    Then I unfollow/unsubscribe their blog and move on with my life.

    As for acting nasty when you're trying to market a product, that's just simply self-inflicted stupidity masquerading a very public offing of one's self.

    Personally, I've lost about a half dozen FB friend for the simple reason of me being me. Since 99% of the time I'm unable to contact the person to ask why (including a writer who allowed me to use a blurb for re-release of my commercial debut, and another who raved about my book, but followed her husband's led when he unfriended me), that is the best reason I can come up with for losing friends on Facebook and for people who choose to act like toddlers on their blogs.

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    1. GB, if every unfriending had to be accompanied by an explanation it might satisfy a lot of our curiosity about things. There's no accounting for some peoples' actions and even if we were told it still might not make any sense. Sometimes people can get just plain weird about things and maybe it's best when we become disassociated from those people. Now if they start spreading dirt that becomes an entirely different matter. I've had that happen to me and ended up having to do some damage control, but in the end I don't think it mattered that much since the blogs where it happened didn't have much in the way of readership anyway.

      Lee

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  28. Hi Lee,

    Most assuredly, a thought-provoking post by your good self. I shall keep my comment rather brief.

    Although I'm sort of known for my tongue-in-cheek, somewhat cynical, somewhat satirical banter, I most certainly never go to the point of angry, personal exchanges. I believe that an exercise in futility.

    I have had folks leave some very rude, personal comments on my site. I do not react in such a way that just makes the situation worse. I usually reply in a polite, charming way that probably confuses them and diffuses them.

    Strangely enough, there are a few bloggers who I've been very supportive to who have thanked me by unfriending me on Facebook and unfollowing my site. Most bizarre but what the heck.

    Anyway, I'm you're buddy!

    Thanks, Lee.

    Gary

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    1. Gary, good to have you as a friend. I too try to be civil and appeal to reason when dealing with unruly behavior. Usually the conversation ends because I don't think they want to be reasonable.

      Lee

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  29. People can get set off by the smallest of things, and like you said, I think it is due to impatience, selfishness, and unwillingness to listen. Working in a pharmacy, I see this nasty side of people far too often. I know some of those people are really sick, but sadly, they are the ones that are usually more understanding. It's the regulars that give us the most grief. There have been times that people have blown up about a couple dollars price increase (which we have no control over), and even one man who started yelling at the cashier over 5 cents. Angry people are hard to comprehend and I don't think it reflects well on their character. I think it is much better to keep things on the positive side, especially if you are trying to market yourself. If people are negative toward me, I just try to let it go, but sometimes I overthink it and allow it to bother me. I have found, though, that letting go is the best form of relief and it can also help prevent me from becoming an angry person as well. On a positive note, there have been a few patients who have actually apologized for irrational behavior, so there is still hope out there even amongst the angry people.

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    1. Elizabeth, we can always hope. I don't think I'd want to deal with the general public. When I was in the wholesale business the clientele was usually pretty reasonable to work with, but we did have a few who could become extremely problematic. They were typically the smaller businesses that never amounted to much. The bigger guys were usually pretty cool.

      Lee

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  30. Life is too short to be angry. Sometimes it's just a matter of having the ability to cope with life stressors. They say that anger is depression turned outward. I feel sorry for angry people. They can't have much peace of mind. I used to be a reactive person, engaging in kind, but not anymore. I just let people be who they are and pick and choose who I hang with.
    So sorry that the blogger disappointed you. It's a disappointment in humanity when one encounters such an angry person, especially when unprovoked.
    Stick with the happy folks ! We be more fun anyway... :)
    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, it is sad to see people get irrationally angry and sadder still to see those who are almost always angry. Negativity can be very contagious and is not much fun.

      Lee

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  31. Hi Lee, amazing post and comments. There's such a lot of anger in the world and too many misdirect their anger instead of truly looking for its source and take it out on others, not knowing how else to deal with it. i don't know what to say really other that life is too short to worry about others' anger ...

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    1. Susan, I think if we are angry we need to look within ourselves rather than place blame for our anger elsewhere. We are responsible for ourselves and not other adults.

      Lee

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  32. I really don't understand angry people. Anger never makes anyone feel better. I think attacks via social media are often the worst kind. It's too easy to be "anonymous" and unaccountable. I've spent a long time ridding my life of negative people. When I come across them now I very rarely engage. I have better things to do! Kudos to you for trying to reach out to this angry person. You are clearly the bigger person.
    Brandy from Brandy's Bustlings

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    1. Brandy, thank you for saying so. I do get angry, but I think I've learned to control that anger and channel it into more constructive things. I've found that anger is usually countered with more anger which often leads to damage that can't be repaired easily.

      Lee

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  33. I thought I posted here:) I must have dreamt it. Can you imagine how this person is if one actually met him/her? They are negative people and we don't need that in our lives. If one is constructive in criticism about a boom one wrote then that is different but to openly be mean is not even worthy of any comment. In the end not worth your time or effort. I hope you are feeling a little better

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    1. Birgit, I'd be curious to meet this person face to face to see what kind of response I would get in that setting. Sometimes I think people acquire very different personas when they are behind the keyboard, but how can we really know in most cases.

      I'm feeling much better and the great responses I've received from my posts this week have helped.

      Lee

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Lee