Tuesday, March 26, 2013

In Defense of Negativity and How I Enjoyed High School

I once wrote a post defending intolerance, because at the time people really steamed my beans about the issue.  I have come across another one of those times.  Now I am going to defend negativity.

You cannot be a critical thinker without negativity.  Sorry, you just can't. 

Never will I understand those who run from negativity.  Don't get me wrong, no one likes a negative Nancy who just complains all the time.  I am not defending complainers.  I know how to tell the difference though.

A complainer always has a problem du jour.  It is usually the same poo, different day and doesn't change.  The problems are based normally in opinion (and a poor one of themselves) and they don't want to fix anything.  They just want to talk and talk about it like it is interesting.  Yes, these people will drain your energy, they will never take your advice to solve their problem.  Do I think you should write them off?  I can't say, it depends.  If you are their friend, you should be there for them if they are just down in the dumps because it is the right thing to do.  If this is just a personality trait of this person, then maybe reconsider who you surround yourself with.  Complainers are tough.  I'm not talking about them.

I am talking about people with opinions about things.  I blog to be part of a dialogue, and I am sorry that sometimes not everything is sunshine and rainbows.  Personally I can't stand stuff that is hunky dory all the time.  It is boring and seems so disconnected from reality.  I don't want to read the blog of a Stepford wife.  That story only gets good when it is uncovered that they are all robots.

Here is a wonderful post on the topic that I'd like to share

"When you’re 100% focused on being positive, you miss room for growth. You see, every important thing that’s ever been accomplished is because someone was pissed off or frustrated at something. They saw something that was wrong, or evil, or broken, or just annoying, and they found a way to fix it. Every person who’s every quit an awful job, every person who’s left an abusive relationship, and every person who’s ever blocked “Glee” on their Direct TV so their wife wouldn’t make them watch it were driven to do so because they were rightfully being negative. They didn’t discount the negative in the world. They acknowledged it and worked to do something about it."

The thing that really steams my beans is that the people who want to try and preach at you all day about how blogging is this supportive and uplifting thing, then turn on you the moment you disagree with them about something.  I think they take the disagreement as a personal attack, which goes to show how truly narcissistic and self important they think they are.  A wise person knows that a respectful dissenting opinion is one of the most useful things someone can give to you.  A wise person also knows how to read something negative and can think about it for what it is and not internalize it.  I like to think this little space is for those wise/smart people out there. 

We all know this hullabaloo is all about Blissdom weekend and some mean girls who were less than nice and accepting to all attendees.  I know who the upset people are, so I can only guess the mean ones are among the ones who had a fabulous time.  Holler for deductive reasoning.

I'll tell you what, if I were the Blissdom organizer I'd be mad/sad that people had a bad time and figure out how to improve.  If it were me, my personal action plan would be to improve my sessions, brainstorm some ideas/icebreakers to get people to talk to more than who they came with, and discourage those who want to have private invite only things.  I also think managing expectations needs to happen on behalf of the attendees, which is why I was so glad to read both good AND bad experiences to widen my own knowledge base.  But seriously, the way people were talking I thought Jesus himself was going to be showing up.  It is just a conference, people. 

Secondly, I don't think it is true that blogging is about being uplifting and supportive.  Who said that?  I don't think that it can't be those things, but them as a rule I disagree with.  I signed up for the 'blogger' label because I wanted to write.  I don't owe anyone anything and likewise goes for them.  If you feel uplifted by something I said or supported by a nice comment I left you, wonderful.  But I did those things because I wanted to and not because that is what blogging is.  All I expect is to be treated respectfully, and that is all I owe anyone else.  If I don't like what you have to say about something, why can't we talk about it?  Why do we have to just be nice? 

A lot of bloggers have been getting deep today about their aversion to the mean girls out there, and how poorly they were treated in highschool and they have no interest in being back there.  I hear them loud and clear.  But I kind of don't too.  Maybe my perspective can help them through their feelings about all this.

I had a great time in highschool.  If I hadn't had such an even awesomer time in college, this would definitely be the highlight of my 31 years of life.  Being a real adult is way stressful.  lol. 

So my high school days were fun.  According to every stereotype in existence I should have had a horrible time.  I was fat, I had crazy curly hair, glasses, good grades, bad sense of style, the nerdiest extracurricular activities available, socially awkward (still am!), and did I mention fat? (actually I still am all of these things!)

So while I was never accused of trying to steal anyone's boyfriend or anything(obviously.), I was prime for ridicule and being socially outcasted.  But I wasn't.  At least not to my knowledge.

Honest to blog, guys, I rarely if ever thought about the cool kids.  I was busy doing my own thing which was making me happy and getting me the friends that were a good fit for me.  I sure as heck wasn't chasing them around trying to get them to like me. 
So if the popular people wanted to say something about me behind my back, or think I was a gross dweeby nerd, it made no difference.  Because I give their opinions no consideration.  

That, my friends, is the root of almost 100% of girl drama, which is why I have so little of it in my life.
It is a human need per Maslow to feel accepted and loved.  Totally get that.  Find your people that will be that for you.  It isn't going to be everyone.  It may not be the people you want it to be - ie: Regina George ^.  But those are the people who you should consider.  If your legit friend thinks your coral skinny jeans are dumb, maybe think about that a bit.  If Regina George thinks your skinny jeans are dumb, who cares?  What is she gonna do about it? 
I feel torn a little between sides, though I am more on the side of the people who had a less than blissful time at Blissdom because at least it is honest and airing of their concerns.  And if you can't do that on your blog, what is the point?? Also because the people who want blogging to be uplifting and supportive and quick to diss you and your dissenting opinion. 
But too, it was you, sad blogger, who gave these mean girls the power to make you feel bad.  Which is a bummer considering the only draw to this expensive ordeal was to meet blog friends IRL. 
I may not be thin or fashionable or have a whole bunch of blog readers, but I know that I am in fact smart, and generous, and funny, and a handful of people think I am wonderful.  Those are the things that I personally find value in.  If you like me, thank you.  If you don't, that is okay too, but just so you know, you've hurt your chances of me liking you back.  It is perfectly fair.  If you come across people who are jerks to you, roll your eyes at them and move on.  I get it that you may feel a bit rejected after extending an olive branch of friendship, but they don't need or want your friendship, so go give it to someone who does.  And go unfollow those losers and maybe eventually they will see what their behavior yields.  (and that may be the only way to get through because they can't see their own fault when being called out and chalk it up only to people being mean to them)
But yeah 100% of people have opinions on everything under the sun.  I know I do.  I have had opinions of these mean girl bloggers before Blissdom rolled around too.  But I also know that no one cares.  Especially not the mean girls.  Did Regina ever give a damn that the whole school thought she was a b?  heck no.  But who lost sleep over her being a b?  Anyone who thought her opinion mattered.  So silence the mean girls in your life by having them cease to exist in your life.  They will always be there, but you can choose to not see them.  And if you are a Gretchen Weiners type, be leary of who you hitch your wagon to or you might be thought of as mean girl by association. 
Here is how I wish to operate though, and I think(hope) everyone who knows me would agree: 
What I wish that people could take away from this whole TLDR post is that you need to use your brain when you communicate. 
* Not everyone's opinion matters
* Negativity doesn't = bad 100% of the time
* Spend as little time with jerks as possible
* Take responsibility for your feelings and happiness
All my opinionated posts wind up like this...


Kimberly H said...

Amen, sister. (And I did read the whole thing!) :)

Jessyka said...

PERFECT post! I didn't attend Blissdom, but I have read all the drama, and I couldn't agree with you more!

Unknown said...

Love this! And I definitely wasn't one of the cool kids in high school, but I totally loved it too:)

Jana said...

I like how you explained that. :) Sometimes we give other people way to much power over our feelings. I love the way Will Smith puts it: " Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings, and emotions." Basically what you said. :)

Jana @ life could be a dream

a_mo said...

Right on, Natalie! And I think you're pretty wonderful.

I would much rather be home by myself with the Internet and TV than spending time with people who are negative.

Megan said...

I read it! I love that quote at the end! I'll also have you know that you had me searching one thing after the other to find out what this drama was all about and I've had your post open and half read for a while now as one thing led to another on other tabs. Drama can be quite time consuming. I don't think there's anything wrong with disagreeing with someone as long as it's done respectfully. Everyone has a right to their opinion.

Nichole Gaertner said...

Well said and a very good read. I loved high school too and I was a drama freak. :) And I am completel okay with that. I am sad that there was drama at a conference, but that said I probably would have been oblivious to all of it myself. lol! :)

Kristine -Heart Shaped Sweat said...

!! I'm taking away so much from this post! Funny because each time I caught a post on Blissdom I thought for sure I'd learn a great deal but instead seemed to only read of others disappointment in the event. Love how you capitalize on having control. We can decide to comment or not. Persue or walk away. Consider or disregard. We don't have to entertain every disagreement or stir every pot. We have the ability to create our own circle that enhances our experiences. This is such a great read! Thanks for being honest with your thoughts!!

ThistleAshD said...

due to the fact that i really don't give a poo about blissdom, i had no idea that there was drama. but your totally right. who cares. i understand having hurt feelings- mine probably would be too. but in the end, hope the hurt ladies can let it go. and maybe the meanies will see that and be self reflective. but ultimately, it's not worth it. and the old punk kid in me just says 'screw em' anyway ;)

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