Friday, February 19, 2010

Observations & Reactions

I've just finished reading the latest blog post of someone I happen to know as part of my larger social circle.  (Please note that she's an acquaintance & not a good friend of mine.)   Since I don't want to give away any clues as to the identity of this blogger, let's just call this person, "Person X" for lack of a better name.

This person's blog has a gigantic following (i.e., 200+ followers on Google Friend Connect & goodness knows how many through their Atom feed). For some reason, her gigantic following pisses me off. Not because of jealousy, but because she is a horribly selfish, petty person. It makes me angry that other people identify with what she has to say, because I want to believe in people's better natures. Maybe these people just want to be entertained, but nonetheless, it's a sad statement with regard to the mindsets of lots of people in modern society today. By following her blog, they are lending credence to what she has to say, & validating her viewpoints via their tacit agreement.

"Person X" blogs about a whole host of different topics in a very straight-forward manner. I would suspect that the reason "Person X" has such a large following is that she is extremely honest about her feelings, allows herself to appear flawed & vulnerable in the presence of others, & admits to thinking horrible thoughts that other people also think but wouldn't dare admit aloud. She basically thinks aloud on her blog.

She blogs in semi-anonymity, & so, says whatever she feels like, without impunity or a sense of responsibility to her readers. But that's not the full extent of it. She herself admits that her comments are often bitchy & mean, & frankly often says things that make my ears curl.

Honestly, the more I read this blog, the more I want to unsubscribe. But of course, there's a catch: I'm part of "Person X's" social circle, so if I unsubscribe, she will notice (i.e., I'm following her blog via Google Followers via another, non-anonymous identity), & this will cause an uncomfortable social situation, because the social circle to which I belong is a very tightly-knit one. Most of the people in the "circle" are nice, but she seems to be the sole exception to the rule. It seems there's always "rotten apple" who's intent on dragging other people down with them (to their level!)....

I think I will just stop reading her feed in my RSS reader.

I can't believe the kind of petty things this person admits to feeling. It makes "Person X" appear so very small. "Person X" is also highly competitive, caught up in the status & success game, & is extremely insecure about her image & self-esteem. She focuses way too much on external factors -- For example she's obsessed with her physical appearance & others' physical appearance to an unhealthy degree. She harshly judges both herself & others for their shortcomings, but doesn't even seem to be aware that the solution is to accept the flaws & make peace with them, instead of trying to push herself & others to unnatural states of being.

She's constantly chasing after one ambition or another, but is so caught up in the game that she doesn't know when enough becomes too much. In my estimation, she has a somewhat addictive personality, & enough never seems to be enough for her, in both her personal & professional lives. She's constantly hungering after the love & approval of others, which is almost always going to be a lose-lose proposition, as the love she really seeks can never be found externally; it is to be found within herself. She doesn't give herself the love she needs to start with, & that is really, profoundly sad.

At the same time that "Person X" decries the unsupportive manner in which many women treat each other, "Person X" also embodies the very qualities she despises. "Person X" is clearly trying to escape the traps she has set for herself by blogging about it. However, instead of escaping, she merely chases her own tail while putting down others for doing the same. She clearly cannot see herself as well as she sees others.

This person also uses speech which is not only unkind to others, but also unkind to herself. I'm not surprised, because she has been the victim of childhood abuse, & is always going on about how she doesn't want to be a victim & despises the "victim" mentality, etc., etc. It's clear that this great injustice done to her & the hurt it has caused her deserve empathy, & not reproach, & that her attempts to distance herself from the role of victim are a direct result of these experiences. However, she has thus far been unable to press the mental reset button.  In my opinion, she could greatly benefit from professional mental health counseling, to help her piece her life together & heal from the residual effects of her childhood trauma.  Her behavior is unfortunate: Instead of choosing a better path, she has taken the low road. In her flight to distance herself from her past, she has chosen hatred instead of healing:  She hasn't yet learned how to make peace with her past, & is still a gaping wound in need of mending.  She clearly despises herself, & despises the same qualities in others that she cannot abide in herself. And this manifests itself in mean, hateful declarations.

When faced with trials & tribulations, we all have a choice in our response.  Will we curl up into a ball & crumble, run away, or fight head-on the things that haunts us?  And if we choose to fight, will we be noble & dignified in our responses or continue to lash out?

"Grace under pressure," to borrow Ernest Hemingway's phrase, is rarely easy, but it is the more admirable path.

All of us are flawed, imperfect beings. However, we should not seek to judge others by a different standard than we judge ourselves. In fact, it would be healthier to suspend judgment & just move through the world with graceful acceptance of our shortcomings & move forward by working with the gifts we have been given.

From the outside, she promotes the image of herself as attractive & successful, & has many male admirers. However, inside I suspect that she is constantly feeling frantic & unbalanced. Her writing seems to support my theory.

I don't envy this person in the least. I actually feel pity for her, but at the same time, don't want to have anything to do with her.  She can keep her kind of "success," because I would rather have a balanced existence than lead the type of life she chooses to lead.

As you may have guessed, I am not a jealous person by nature & am actually fairly happy with my own intrinsic & extrinsic qualities. In other words, I clearly feel no hatred or jealously towards this person, & truly hope that, for her own sake, that this person can get their life together & align her insides with her outsides. I also hope that she will be able to see what a bottomless trap she's set for herself & will be able to dig herself out of it. However, I cannot be part of this person's universe anymore. It is corrosive & stifling to my very soul.

I choose my friends with great care, and am thankful that this person is not a good friend of mine. It's easier to pull away from someone or avoid them completely when they are an acquaintance with whom one doesn't often interact or even see with any regularity.

While I'm not perfect, I'm happy to say that the people I do choose to hold dear to me are people of much better character than this person will probably ever be. It's true that while even one's own good friends might disappoint from time to time, it's much easier to be forgiving when one knows that deep down inside, they are good people.

I guess that the real matter is that I just cannot abide pettiness & shallowness in others. These are two traits I find highly unbecoming.

I don't care what my friends look like as long as they have good character & are loyal, honest, & trustworthy. That's what matters most.

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