The past few weeks have been really, really tough. I’m about to tell you a cautionary tale of what happens when blogging friendships go bad.
Being in the blogging world can be pretty high pressured. If you’re reading this and you’re a blogger, chances are you’ve felt the unrelenting pressure to “do and say the right thing”. Put on top of that the fear of how you are seen as a person and the need to be successful (if you view blogging as a potential career) and you’ve got yourself a recipe for some serious blogging anxiety. In order to be a blogger, you have to have an ego – it’s a fact of this little micro-cosmos. You might have oodles of ego, or you might have a teeny tiny bit of it, but you need something to be able to put yourself out there and believe that the content you put out is something that other people are going to want to read. Come on now lads, be honest with yourselves – blogging is an egocentric act, even if you have non-egocentric aspirations.
Unfortunately, as I have learned, sometimes the act of being driven and focused on your own personal goal (which, contrary to popular belief is not a negative thing) can result in some people around you getting the wrong idea about you and formulating a skewed view of who you are. I’ve also learned that this is actually an inevitability – no matter what you do to try and combat it. Just as you want to get ahead, so do others and sometimes you will crash into each other.
I’m an honest and open person (no shit Sherlock, this is why this post is happening), I help people where I can, I do my utmost to support and advise, I’m an excellent friend (even if I do say so myself) and I’m fiercely loyal – but I’m also a bit of a go-getter and I’m very determined. The two sides of my personality can work very well hand in hand, but as I’ve found out recently, it’s possible for some people can miss the loyal friend part and focus on the determined go-getter part. This means that some people can misread me as only being out for myself, making friends to get ahead and selfish. I’m not oblivious to this – In fact I’m extremely sensitive to it – but generally I’ve learned to ignore it as people who actually know me and who I am will know that this isn’t the correct view of what I’m about.
So why am I telling you this, dear reader? Recently I’ve been struggling with a few things that centre around the way people perceive me.
I’d like you to imagine that you’re being labelled as a bully. I’d like you to imagine that by making fierce friendships – the kind where you speak every day about stuff they’re up to, who they’re seeing, what they’ve had to eat that day, who you meet for drinks and eat food with – you’re seen as “climbing social circles to get ahead” just because these people happen to be successful. I’d like you to imagine that you ask your friends for help when you hear about people viewing you in this way, and in that act alone of confiding in your most trusted friends, you’re immediately seen as creating a “bitchy clique” to bring someone down. I’d like you to imagine that in accomplishing some of your goals and celebrating them, you’re seen as egotistical and that you’re forgetting where you came from and trying to be bigger than you are. This has been what I’ve had to deal with for the best part of a month – it’s enough to test even the most strong willed of people and, if I’m honest with you, I’ve struggled immensely with it. Sure just like any other human being, I can be hot headed, oversensitive and sassy – but I’m not a horrible person, I am a human one. One who has flaws and recognises them, but also recognises their strengths.
I’m grateful that I have a network of friends, family and an incredible girlfriend who know and understand who I am and what I’m about. They know that I’m none of those things nor have I done any of those things and will remind me of that. They know that I constantly put others needs above my own, that I worry a lot about how others perceive me, and that I’m anxious whenever I am proud of something because I panic about people thinking that I’m big-headed. They know that I’ve given someone the last £20 in my account because they needed it more than I did, on more than one occasion. They know that I’ve not taken opportunities in the past because other people I know would be better suited to them – and I have actively put those people in contact with the PR’s offering the opportunity. They know that I consistently give a platform to people who don’t have one, using the privilege I have to raise others.
I realise that in listing the above, you’re probably thinking “shut up Lottie, stop bigging yourself up” but I’m trying to demonstrate that because blogging is an egocentric act, even doing things that you feel are selfless, others will still perceive you as egotistical because of the nature of the blogging world. We’re all striving to achieve the same things. This has been a really hard lesson for me – but one that I very much needed.
There is no shame in speaking to your friends for help in dealing with a situation that you don’t know how to deal with.
There is no shame in achieving your goals and celebrating them.
There is no shame in being perceived incorrectly by people who have not taken the time to understand you or recognise the things you do.
There is no shame in recognising your own ego and the things you do as a result of it.
We are all flawed human beings – not one of us is perfect and we are not built to all get along 100% of the time. Some people will love you for who you are and others will get you so very wrong – and unfortunately, those that do get you wrong could try to skew the views of those around you too. People talk, especially girls in blogging circles – paranoia will eat you alive if you let it and help to destroy friendships without you even realising. Well, I refuse to let paranoia and jealousy win. I pledge to celebrate the achievements of those around me, recognise where my place is, tell the truth to those who ask for it and allow myself to b-r-e-a-t-h-e.
I’ve learned that some people will be your down ass bitches. I’ve also learned that some people will appear to be your down ass bitches, but in actual fact they’re gunning for your downfall (even if they don’t realise it themselves). But in remaining true to who you are and to those who support and love you, you’ll refuse to let the bad stuff consume you – and by letting those who don’t support and love you continue to think what they think about you and rise above it, you’re growing as a human. It’s a tough lesson to learn, but one that will help you to be the best person you can be, not only to others, but to yourself. You owe it to your own mental health to not allow yourself to be consumed with the opinions of those who cannot or will not support you. As you rise, some people will come along for the journey, but some may fall by the wayside – just as some friends from school disappear once you go to college, and some friends from college disappear when you go to uni. Just because we are all bloggers, we don’t all have to get along.
I’m fully aware that there will be some that read this post and put 2 and 2 together and come up with “fuck you”, but there will also be some people who will read this and will understand the above. I’ve written this to help cleanse my brain, not to gather sympathy or to clear anything up – it’s not my prerogative to change the minds of those who have already decided how to view me.
Like I said, these past three weeks have been spectacularly tough for me. But, I’m finally making peace with the fact that there is a subsection of this blogging world that don’t like me. These people have got me completely wrong – and that’s okay. Until now, I’ve remained quiet about this and I’ll remain to do so. I’m not here to fuel rumour mills or stoke any fires, but I needed to get this out of my head so I can clear the way for something else.
I know I won’t be everyone’s favourite person, but who is? It is what it is, and it’ll be what it’ll be.