Recently, I’ve been talked about a lot. Not to my face, and not in a nice way. I wrote some very strong words about a certain brand that I and a lot of other people I care about had a bad experience with and their new publicity stunt. I’ve been quite vocal about this particular issue in the past on my social media channels so this is not a new thing for me to do and anyone that knows me outside of the blogosphere knows how opinionated I can be (aka loud mouthed Northerner).
Now, whenever I have an opinion, I express it on an open place – my Facebook is open, my Twitter account is open, this here blog is open – because I feel it’s important for people to be able to discuss what I’m saying and respond should they feel I’m wrong. I love a good old chin wag and debate about things, it helps us all learn things from each other and helps us become well rounded people (just like cakes helps me become well rounded – but that’s a different, much more delicious story). Unfortunately, someone I had on my friends list decided to screen shot my piece and move it to a forum to be discussed outside of my eye line. Thankfully, another one of my friends that was in this group told me all about it and I was able to see, take screenshots and respond making sure I said how gorgeous they all looked and that my upset was not with them, but with the brand, before I was booted from the group and the group was made closed. I also noted that the admins of the group were the brand that I had spoken about, and that a further 8 people from my friends list were in that group.
A couple of things initially hurt – why would my “friends” in that group that were silent not stick up for me? Why would they not tell me that I was being talked about? Perhaps they didn’t see the status aimed at me that many people in the group were actively posting on. Maybe they had their notifications for that group turned off. Who knows? It was interesting to see, however. I’m reading a book at the moment that is all about remembering how much of a badass you are in times where people try and dull your worth and one quote from that book really sticks out in my mind:
“Watching someone else totally go for it can be incredibly upsetting to the person who’s spent a lifetime building a solid case for why them themselves cannot.”
Now okay, that’s a very broad life-affirming quote but hear me out here – of course there will be people that attended the publicity stunt that will say bad things about the opinion I have. It’s one that is radically different to the one they have about the whole thing because they are emotionally invested in it. Each person would have got something different out of that day – some positive, some negative. Those that have attached positive thoughts to the process are not ready to see that there is a different side to the story. It’s also human nature to feel personally upset if someone points out that something you invested yourself in and gained from positively is actually not all that it seems. Unfortunately, that also leads to people saying personal, negative things back in retaliation which is what happened and continues to happen in this scenario.
The real trick is changing how you handle knowing about that information. Rewind a few years and I probably would have had a little bit of a cry and took to heart the negative things people are saying about me. That’s the wrong thing to do though – it’s very easy to get into a spiral of upset when you find out people are being mean about you behind your back – but life is not for being hurt by people who don’t know anything about you, nor your motives for your opinions being written so publicly. Being a blogger, I knew I would have to grow a thick skin if I wanted to make something of myself and put myself in a public arena and it’s something I’ve also applied to my everyday life. Sometimes, I will do something that some people will not agree with. But I do it because I won’t be the only person that feels that way, much like being a confident fat woman in a society that favours thinner women – I speak up because I don’t want anyone to feel alone or undervalued or unheard. I just accept the situation, remember that people have different ways of handling information, remember that not everyone will agree with that information, and then I move on.
I’m going through that process right now – the process of accepting the situation and moving on can be instant, or it can take a little while to happen. For every person who has said something negative, I’ve had at least two others that have come out in support of me. I’ve allowed people who felt the same as me to feel confident enough to tell their story about their day, and that is the main thing. I’d love for this particular scenario to end in a positive light, but who knows how it will end? Who knows if it even will end or just continue to evolve? But for all situations like this, just remember – everyone is different, it’s part of life’s rich tapestry. What matters is how you decide to process it. There might not ever be a definite resolution, but there will almost always be a lesson to learn – you just have to look for it. It’s okay to be radical and speak out and that’s the one thing to remember. Be a rule breaker, you little rebel!