Spam troubles.

spam

Until this week, I did not allow Akismet to automatically delete my spam, because occasionally a bona fide comment would show up in my spam folder.  Instead, I used to go through the folder every day and manually remove the spam after checking to make sure something wasn’t in there that didn’t belong.

But my amount of spam grew to a point where the job of manually deleting it every day grew too cumbersome.   So I had to make a decision.  Let Akismet automatically delete the spam or continue to slog through the spam folder every day?   I opted for the the auto-delete.

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For some reason, there are one or two people whose comments keep going into my spam folder. I have no idea why.   Their comments don’t include links or other spam indicators so I really have no idea why Akismet thinks they’re spam.   Fortunately, even though my spam is on auto-delete now,  there were still a few comments left in my spam folder (Akismet only auto-deletes the most “pervasive” spam, whatever that means) and one of the not-spam comments was in there.  I rescued the comment, approved it, and marked it “not spam.”  Akismet doesn’t seem to learn though.   It’s not the first time that I’ve had to save this particular person’s comments (for some reason I still have to approve their comments too), so I can’t guarantee their next comment won’t be auto-deleted.

I want to apologize in advance to anyone who may wonder why their comments never showed up.  Akismet’s accuracy rate is pretty good, which is why I am allowing auto-delete, but it certainly makes mistakes so don’t think that if your comment doesn’t show up it means I didn’t approve it or that I hate you.   Blame my spam-blocker.

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At what point do critical comments become bullying?

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As a person with Avoidant Personality Disorder, I’m not the type to readily confront others on their bad behavior, but at this point, I’ve gotten so fed up with one commenter I no longer care if what I say makes them mad. It appears that lately, this commenter has been criticizing every one of my posts, it seems, just to be able to criticize. This commenter and I have some serious disagreements about several issues related to the content of this blog and life in general, and that’s fine and dandy; I don’t expect or even want everyone to agree with me all the time. After all, my opinions are just opinions, and disagreements, if presented respectfully and in a way that doesn’t seem like spamming or bullying, can can lead to healthy debate.

But this commenter has reached a point where their snarkiness has become trollish and bordering on bullying. Not only that, but this commenter appears to ALWAYS be here, because they always seem to comment almost the minute I put up a new post and are usually one of the first to comment, if not THE first. Yet this person rarely if ever “Likes” anything I post (which is fine in itself, many people don’t use the Like button). But I don’t understand why, if this person dislikes what I have to say so much, they always seem to be here, watching and waiting. It’s creepy to be honest. I feel like I’m being stalked.

Not only is it creepy and hurtful, it’s also incredibly BORING and ANNOYING.

I have informed this person I am almost at the point of not approving any of their comments, because I’m just so damn sick of it. I HATE drama, including online drama, but this is just too much. I need to take action.

If you blog, how do you know if a commenter has crossed the line into trollishness?

The simple answer is: if you feel like your boundaries are being invaded. Here are some things to pay attention to:

1. Do you get a creepy, stalkerish feel from someone who frequents your blog?

2. Do they snark on or criticize almost every post?

3. If they run their own blog, do they post articles about your blog or about you that are excessive and/or critical?

4. Have other bloggers complained to you about that person or have they stopped coming to your blog because that person ran them off?

If any of these things are true for you they are red flags and you should listen to them. The same thing goes online as well as offline, and if someone is making your blogging life less fun and causing you undue stress, please listen to your instincts. There are basically two things you can do if this happens:

1. You can stop approving comments or block that person from commenting.

2. You can try to reason with the person and let them know why their behavior is bothersome to you.

First of all, try to determine if it’s just you overreacting. Sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re just reacting badly to someone disagreeing with you, but if others have complained, or they are leaving because of that person, or you just feel uncomfortable only with that one person, then it probably isn’t just you being over sensitive. If you’re like me and hate being harsh and like to give people the benefit of the doubt, you can try #2 first. But if the bad behavior continues and your warning seems to fall on deaf ears, then it’s time to take more drastic action. (I have already tried to reason with this person so that leaves me one choice).

At the end of the day, it’s YOUR blog, YOUR rules. If someone continually violates your rules or disrespects you or your other commenters, it’s time to enforce your rules.

No comment.

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Credit: I’m Still Here by Pechiv, Deviantart.

When I was new to blogging and still didn’t get many comments, I used to check my Reader every day and frequently commented on other people’s blogs. In my blogging articles, I’ve always stressed how important commenting is, because it helps you build a network of fellow bloggers who can share your posts or link to your blog. One of the nicest things about WordPress.com is the sense of community.

But lately I haven’t been following my own advice as much as I’d like and often fail to comment on other blogs, or even “Like” new posts. I may not need to “network” the way I used to since this blog is doing well on its own now, but I do miss the sense of community. The problem is time. After reading and replying to my own comments, it’s hard to find enough time to read other people’s posts (and there are so many good ones–how do you choose which ones to read?) and I don’t want to “Like” or comment on something I haven’t even read.

Sometimes I worry when someone who has been commenting a lot suddenly stops, even though I know they’re probably in the same boat as me and are just too busy and can’t find the time. So I just want to take a moment to say it’s nothing personal if I don’t “Like” or comment on your article. Also, please don’t take it personally if my replies to your comments aren’t very long.

The latest on the NPD* sufferer in “Another Narcissist Who Wants Help”

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I thought this may interest those of you who read my article from April 30, “Another Narcissist Who Wants Help.” It’s a followup email he sent me yesterday, describing some of the things he’d doing to attempt to heal himself from NPD or at least be able to control its symptoms better.

* I do have some doubt he actually has NPD though, due to what appears to be a normal level of empathy and a lot of self-awareness; I think he may be being too hard on himself and suffers instead from something like BPD. He also has no official diagnosis.

All that being said, what this young man is trying to do and has dedicated himself to doing –opening himself to being vulnerable and letting himself feel and share his honest emotions–is incredibly courageous, especially for someone as young as he is (he’s in his early-mid 20s). He’s also doing his homework–he seems to be doing a LOT of reading about NPD, if this email is any indication. He may not actually be a narcissist, but even so, it’s still a courageous thing he’s doing. Any of us who suffer from being too guarded–which is most of us–can benefit by giving ourselves permission to just feel life in its glorious spectrum of colors.

I can tell this young musician is sincere because he’s been watching all of Brene Brown’s videos . In fact he is the person who tweeted about Brown’s compassionate and sometimes humorous messages of being authentic and vulnerable in a world that hates and fears those things. If you take on the challenge of setting yourself free of whatever traps you– whether it’s a narcissistic mask or the fear that fuels so many other disorders — it takes a lot of strength and courage to do that. Which means becoming vulnerable isn’t becoming “weak” at all — it’s just becoming an authentic human being.

I have permission to repost the email I got, removing personal details like names.

Original email is in this post: https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/04/30/another-narcissist-who-wants-help/

Email received 6 weeks later (yesterday)

[…]It’s not really a bad thing to share how we are feeling – in fact NOT sharing how I feel is probably one of my biggest downfalls. So it is healthy to express your emotions to someone, wherever they’ve come from. If you’re feeling emotionally down, or wounded it’s worth remembering one of my favourite quotes by Iyanla Vanzant (you’d love her when she talks about relationships check out her appearances on Oprah’s Lifeclass she’s awesome) which is that ‘a wound needs a witness’ – meaning it is in our nature as humans to want to share our feelings. The worst part of narcissism is it leads the narcissist to detach from their true feelings, and results in the narcissist viewing emotions in others as weak. I could imagine that belief that emotions are weak can be contagious but we weren’t put on earth to suppress ourselves, but express ourselves! So remember your feelings are a huge part of who you are so I don’t think you should deny them, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing to express them (even if I have been trying to silence mine for years ha!)

I hope you’re doing well – I’ve been immersed in personal exploration lately. The book ‘The Drama of the Gifted Child’ has been fascinating for me and I’d thoroughly recommend it (or maybe it was you who recommended it to me?) if you want to better understand the origins of narcissism. Much of it resonated with me and it’s a very hopeful and forgiving text. I understand it’s one of the main books on the subject. I’m moving on now to a book called Disarming the Narcissist which is interesting because even though it’s from the point of view of someone living with a narcissist in their life it helps me see how I can better inter-relate with the people in my life.

I’ve kinda realised that the worst parts of narcissism don’t actually manifest themselves in my life at large: I have healthy and thriving friendships. I’m not going to lie and say I am not centre of attention a lot because I am, but I’m here for my friends when they need me and I’m working on being even more available emotionally and otherwise in the future. I don’t think I’m ‘cured’ but I am aware that the extremes of my difficult qualities tend to bubble up tot he surface only in relationships where consistent intimacy is expected. So basically romantic relationships. That’s not to say the work I’m doing on myself isn’t important across my life but it certainly is most relevant when I’m in love, because it is in those times my frequent emotional detachment becomes a problem. Detachment from my own feelings means I am longer able to experience the feelings of those around me, which in time results in me objectifying them and treating them less than well.

Interestingly music has been important for me too. I haven’t really lay down in bed with the lights down low on my own with a great album on in the background in so long. I think listening to music keeps me connected to my emotional experiences and helps draw out my true feelings. Maybe that’s what happened with you before you drafted that post? I think it’s a good thing. Music is, of course, the feelings of other people and we feel connected to the human experience by listening to and enjoying it.

Oh and Brene Brown! What a gem! I’ve downloaded her book Daring Greatly (think that’s its name) and can’t wait to get started. I feel that book is gunna be a proper uplifting read, and with the summer kicking in here now I’m looking forward to reading in the sun in Hyde Park with a gin and tonic and some olives! Yay!

A weird little comment I wrote that I don’t remember writing.

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Back on September 17, 2014, when this blog was only one week old, I made a comment on one of Opinionated Man’s posts (he found my blog and followed it early, God bless him). It’s weird and I don’t even remember writing it.

I hope my blog isn’t like the big unfenced field of weeds and broken glass no one wants to enter. I fear that. :/

WTF? But it’s a good analogy of what I didn’t want this blog to be, I suppose.

Worldly Annoyances: “Bloggers are Narcs”

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Here’s a reposting of a short article from Worldly Annoyances–in this case, a defense of my intentions for blogging about narcissism, after I posted my article, “Replying to My Haters.” WA’s owner was angered by one one of my haters who told me to “get a real job.”

This was the comment I got that raised her ire:

All Bloggers are Narcissists. Heres some advise. Get a job or a real hobby and stop writing about things you don’t know jackshit about as if your shit doesn’t stink. Thank you.

“Bloggers are narcs.” Comments like that only serve to send up a green flag – a big one 😉

Over at Lucky Otter’s blog, she just posted some comments from people who evidence harboring serious envy-issues. Lucky has a quality blog – uhm, it’s quite obvious, she puts alot of time and effort into it. And concerning the comment about getting a real job, the little donkey-wipe who excreted that one, obviously does not care to come to grips with the reality that some people are well-gifted to do both – hold down a job AND post articles (that people want to read). Perhaps, if Lucky’s detractors started / worked on their own blogs (instead of watching the boob-tube) they’d have a better attitude.

Yeah, i’m a bit cranked. Have heard similar sheite from people (in pre-internet days) who obviously can’t stand it when someone, of whom they look down on, actually is actively interested in things other than TV. It was covertly said to me that because i don’t possess a 300 iq, i’d no business reading books about our solar-system or what earth was like long ago.

Been no contact for two years. Need it take an iq of 85 to figure 😉 But seriously, the negativity spouting from people like that, does untold damage to immortal souls, everywhere.

I appreciate this blogger’s defense of me and my motives for doing this, but honestly, I’m not really all that upset by comments like these anymore. Framed in a different way, they can be funny or even serve as fodder for new blog posts!

It’s good to remember that if your blog is growing and doing well, some people–your haters–are probably pathologically envious of you. They are probably narcissists projecting their own narcissism onto the bloggers who make them feel envious. They want to bring you down a notch or ten–and rub their hands together with glee when they see your confidence and drive crumble under their envy-fueled vitriol.
I apologize if that sounds narcissistic of me, but it also happens to be the truth. OM (Opinionated Man) has a ton of haters–people are jealous of the fact his blog has over 50K followers (and is still growing fast) and is one of the most successful personal blogs on the Internet.

The bigger this blog gets, the more haters I have. It’s something I’ve come to accept. It’s an occupational hazard (and yes, this is a job–my REAL job–even if I only make about $20 a month from running ads on this site–which is better than the $13 I made last month!)

Anyone ever notice how troll comments and hater comments almost always have terrible spelling and grammar? Basement dwellers getting their jollies from writing illiterate hate comments on blogs they probably can’t even read properly would benefit from going back to third grade. Then they’ll have enough writing skills to start their own blog about how narcissistic they think all bloggers are!
Failing that, maybe they should go outside for awhile and take in some sun for a change.

I feel like an explanation is in order

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I’ve been thinking about (and feeling guilty about) the fact I follow so many blogs, but rarely comment on anyone’s blog posts anymore.

It makes me feel bad too, because I don’t want any of you to think I don’t care about what you write or am not reading your posts. I am (when I can).

When I first started blogging, I used to read a lot of other blogs and comment a lot on other people’s posts, but due to the sheer volume of comments I have been receiving lately (and still having to work for a living, run a household, take care of pets, maintain this blog, sort through spam, write new posts, etc.), I simply cannot find the time to comment as much as I’d like to, because I’m so busy replying to mine.

I try to read other blogs when I can, but to read everything I want to read and comment on posts too, I would not be able to get any sleep! When I do read, I may “like” your post, but will probably not comment, because there just isn’t any time anymore. I’ve received so much inspiration from so many of you, even when I don’t Like or comment on a post of yours.

This is the problem I dreamed of having when I started this blog in September. Please keep the comments coming! 🙂

Guys, I need some advice.

indecision

I need to make a decision.

Have any of you ever written a post you thought was amazing and longed, even ached–to publish it, but didn’t have the courage because you thought for whatever reason that it made you too vulnerable? That it revealed too many truths you wanted to keep private?

I have that problem right now. I just spent several hours working on what I think is my best written post ever, because my whole heart was poured into it while I wrote it. But it’s for that very reason I’m hesitant to let anyone see it. It’s not about anything controversial or shocking or illicit or illegal–I just think it shows me at my most vulnerable and that’s very, very scary.

Posting it for the world to see would be like going naked in public. Right now I’m just (figuratively!) naked in my own house–by keeping that post set to Private.
But I am longing to put it up. I feel like I must put it up even though I’m scared.

Have any of you bloggers ever experienced this, and what did you do about it? How did you resolve your indecision? If you decided to post it anyway, what happened?
What advice can you give me?

Replying to my haters.

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Not everyone likes this blog. I have a few haters. The following are not really troll comments (which I delete immediately or don’t approve) but criticisms of me and this blog. (A few do come close though).

It’s okay to have haters. All bloggers have them. All writers have them. I don’t expect everyone to agree with or understand my motives for having a blog like this. Having haters just means something you said pressed somebody’s buttons. It’s inevitable, especially when blogging about a controversial subject like narcissism instead of posting brownie recipes.

I decided rather than try to reply as these comments come along (which can disrupt the flow of a conversation), I would put them here in this one post. (I’ve been saving them to Wordpad). Obviously this blog isn’t for everyone. I am not identifying the handles of these commenters.

Fortunately, I have not received many of these type of comments. These are in fact the only ones I have received outside of 3-4 troll comments which I will not respond to at all because feeding the trolls is always a bad idea.

1. obviously this post is made to sympathize with you which of course I do and it may seem “callous” but you wrote this article to gain sympathy this article isn’t informative to anyone, what purpose does it have , im seventeen years old and I’ve had a turbulent life growing up to say the least , but come on woman your just giving your husband or ex the satisfaction ,he wanted you to crumble , he wanted you to feel empty , helpless , its the past , you also mentioned that you noticed several times that what he was doing was morally wrong but does that justify your actions stop making up excuses and take some responsibility ,why did you stay with him because the way you explain him makes him seem like he had nothing to offer .Also diagnosing everyone with a mental disorder I’ve noticed is quite common among America as a norm like “what a pyscho” I do not doubt that your husband was not a psychopath but labeling everyone a narcissist without actually being a psychologist is ridiculous , did you ever ask Helen why her son didn’t like her because he could have made up so many fabrications . There’s not much you can do but move on and try to improve yourself , writing articles like this just allows you to dwell in sadness and feel sorry for yourself . this article just sounds very narcissistic , honestly no matter how bad it was how could you leave your son or both children with someone who mentally fucked you up , I feel as though this post was immature and it makes me sound like a total bitch but you chose to stay with him you chose to have another child with him you chose to go out with someone who previously had alcoholism , im not blaming you for his behavior im just stating what everyone else ceases to notice , don’t reply with something about my age and how I would have no idea because that argument is invalid because I did not actively post my story over the internet , I bid you farewell and wish you the best in your future endeavors

You are seventeen and obviously too young to understand what I am trying to do here. I am not an expert or a mental health professional, and I never pretended to be. My disclaimer in the header explains all that. It’s not that I don’t “take responsibility.” I’ve been hearing that shit all my life by my abusers (my mother and ex, but others too) and have been badly damaged emotionally. I take responsibility where it is necessary to do so.

I blog about my experiences not to get yours or anyone’s pity (I hate being pitied) but as a form of self therapy. It helps me. It helps others too. Think of it as a public journal. I am not “wallowing in sadness” at all. Writing this blog in fact makes me happy. Being that I cannot afford therapy, writing this blog has helped me sort out all the things that happened to me and has made it so much easier to deal with all the toxic emotions we victims of narcissists had to deal with all our lives. There are plenty of other blogs like this one. I realize that a blog like this can seem narcissistic. I get that and I get why. But before you judge, why don’t you try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes instead of making snap judgments about things you obviously know nothing about.

2. This post seems like the pot calling the kettle black. Anyone who would write about such personal matters on a public website and then invite people to “comment” and “Like” your personal dirty laundry seems like a narcissist to me. I think all bloggers are narcissists but especially bloggers who air their dirty laundry all over the Internet.

I “air my dirty laundry all over the Internet” as a form of self therapy, not because I want attention and sympathy. It’s helped other people too. If you don’t like what you read here, you are certainly free to go somewhere else. As for the comments, I have that option because allowing comments builds a community. Sometimes that’s the only way we can talk to others who have gone through similar experiences. The option to “like” does not have to be checked. Most bloggers use a “like” feature. Sorry, there is no “dislike” function.

3. I don’t like the way you and all the other idiots with these sort of blogs make fun of people with NPD which is a real mental illness. You say you have empathy but then in the next breath you are calling people with NPD “Narcs” and N’s and other horrible names like devils or posessed by satan. I don’t have NPD but they arent devils they are human like everyone else. They deserve the same respect like everyone else. Not everyone is all bad, you know.

I have had this complaint a few times. I do not hate narcissists and “narc” is really just a shortcut term we ACONs use–maybe it has become a pejorative over time, but that’s not the reason I use it. I rarely use “N.” I have said many times that narcissists are not devils or monsters but they have a disorder which makes it impossible for them to feel empathy for others or even act like very nice people. Some of us were raised by narcissists or were married or in long term relationships with them, and it’s definitely no picnic.

Like you said, most narcissists probably have some good qualities. They might have a special talent or dress well or are good cooks, and some non-malignant narcissists can even sometimes be genuinely nice. But only sometimes. Malignant narcissists and psychopaths are something different and I do think those people are actually evil, even though they still may have a good quality or two. Hey, even Hitler loved dogs.

If you are offended by my joke page, its purpose is not really to make fun of people with NPD, but to make them seem less dangerous to people enmeshed or trying to escape a relationship with one. The jokes help make them seem less frightening. Sometimes it helps us to laugh.

4. What the hell is it with you and that idiot Sam Vankin? Why do you post so much of his shit and talk about him so much? That convicted criminal is a charlatan and faked his degree, Everyone knows that. You seem intelligent, but why would any smart person read his garbage is beyond me. He’s an idiot. I bet he must be paying you off to promote his shit here. He is also a horrible writer. JMO. Sorry I like your blog but it had to be said.

There is nothing with me and Sam Vaknin. He doesn’t “pay me off” LMAO!
For awhile I was writing a lot of articles about him because of my own fascination with him. You may not like his writing or his ideas, but he’s no idiot with an IQ of 180. He knows a lot about narcissism, probably more than some mental health professionals. That being said, he’s controversial and not everyone likes his ideas or agrees with him, and as a self professed malignant narcissist/psychopath, he’s not that nice a person either. There are a lot of smart people who read his stuff. I don’t agree with all his ideas, I just think he and his ideas are interesting. I don’t care about his criminal past or his degree status. It’s of no consequence to me. I think he’s as qualified as anyone else to write about narcissism because he has the disorder and can write about it from an “insider’s POV,” which someone who isn’t a narcissist cannot.

That being said, I am trying to focus on him less because of the fact he’s so controversial and there are many other people who have contributed as much to the field as he has.

I’m glad you like my blog though.

5. All Bloggers are Narcissists. Heres some advise. Get a job or a real hobby and stop writing about things you don’t know jackshit about as if your shit doesn’t stink. Thank you.

Excuse me, this IS my job (although it’s not paid) and my real hobby. It’s what I love to do more than anything else. No, I am not a mental health professional (which is stated in my disclaimer) but I do read a lot and I also think my experiences having been raised by and married to malignant narcissists makes me qualified to write a blog about this disorder. I write about a lot of other things too.
Also, learn how to spell or use Spellcheck. Your grammar could use some improvement too.

6. What gives you the right to act like your some sort of expert. Do you have a pyschology degree? If not then stfu and write about your kids school projects or something.

[This is the same person who write comment # 5.]
I never said I was an expert, but I do think I’m qualified to write about the things I write about. I do have a BA in psychology.

Sorry, but I will not “stfu” and I don’t want to write about my kids’ school projects. They’re 21 and 23 and are adults so they wouldn’t have any school projects anyway.

BTW, in your first sentence, you should have used “you’re,” not “your.” I hate grammar nazis but that drives me insane.

Spam troubles.

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I use Akismet, the spam blocker WordPress offers, and it’s an excellent tool. I get so much spam I don’t know what I’d do without it.

You have the option of setting it up to either automatically delete all spam so you do nothing, or to send it to a special “spam folder” for later review/deletion.

I opted for the second, because sometimes Akismet makes mistakes. I have had legitimate comments wind up in my spam folder, as well as spam that somehow never got flagged as spam and wound up in my regular comments folder waiting to be approved.

Legitimate comments that wind up as “spam” usually contain links–I think the limit is two. If your comment includes more than two links, Akismet thinks it’s spam and I have to manually unspam it. But for some reason, one lady’s comments always go to my spam folder even though they contain no links at all!

It’s a pain having to manually go through my spam messages every day because sometimes there are hundreds, but it would be worse to have legitimate comments automatically deleted so I’ll continue to manually review all spam before I send it to the Trash.