On being controversial.

I wanted to give this article I wrote on May 1 last year a second chance, so I’ve bumped it. I hope it inspires you to write honestly about what you really feel, trolls and critics be darned.

Lucky Otters Haven

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I don’t write to people-please. I did enough people-pleasing as a scared, awkward child and a codependent wife to a sociopath. Those days, for me, are numbered. I blog to be honest about myself and the way I see the world. Being completely honest isn’t always easy, and there have been many times I haven’t posted something I really wanted to because I was afraid of how people might react. But my track record is pretty good, and usually my desire to post an opinion or viewpoint that may not be “popular” overrides my fear of angering or upsetting someone. Even if I hesitate before posting an unpopular or controversial opinion, more often than not, I’ll eventually post it anyway and worry about the fallout (if any) later.

Most of the time, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I’ve had people actually thank me for posting a controversial or unpopular opinion, because…

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How to deal with haters and critics.

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I want to reblog this excellent article about how to deal with haters and critics.  Every blogger has them, especially if they write anything besides recipes or decorating ideas (and those bloggers probably have haters too).

I’m a people pleaser.  I hate being hated.   When I’m criticized, I clam up and shrink into the walls.  As a person who writes about sensitive topics,  I’ve occasionally had run ins with people who did not like what I had to say.   At one point I nearly stopped blogging because of my hurt feelings.  But why should I do that?  Why should I let one or two judgmental people intimidate me and silence me?  I’ve been silenced and intimidated all my life.  Writing about my feelings and making them public has been one of the most healing things I’ve ever done for myself.   How insane would I have to be to allow a few malcontents I’ve never met and know nothing about to silence me?  Pretty insane.  The only person who can silence me is me.

This quote in particular really stood out to me and from now on I’m going to think about this whenever I hesitate to post something I really want to post, just because someone out there might not like it:

Criticism and negativity from other people is like a wall. And if you focus on it, then you’ll run right into it. You’ll get blocked by negative emotions, anger, and self-doubt. Your mind will go where your attention is focused. Criticism and negativity don’t prevent you from reaching the finish line, but they can certainly distract you from it.

However, if you focus on the road in front of you and on moving forward, then you can safely speed past the walls and barriers that are nearby.

Haters and Critics: How to Deal with People Judging You and Your Work

By James Clear

It doesn’t matter how you choose to live your life — whether you build a business or work a corporate job; have children or choose not to have children; travel the world or live in the same town all of your life; go to the gym 5 times a week or sit on the couch every night — whatever you do, someone will judge you for it.

For one reason or another, someone will find a reason to project their insecurities, their negativity, and their fears onto you and your life, and you’ll have to deal with it.

With that in mind, let’s talk about being judged and criticized. And just for fun, I’ll share some of the most hateful comments I’ve received on my articles. And more importantly, the strategies I use to deal with them.

Here’s what I’ve learned about dealing with the people who judge you, your work, and your goals.

The Biggest Critic in Your Life

It’s easier to complain about the outside critics, but the biggest critic in your life usually lives between your own two ears. Working up the courage to move past your own vulnerability and uncertainty is often the greatest challenge you’ll face on the way to achieving your goals.

When I started my first business, it wasn’t the criticism from outsiders that held me back. It was my own mind worrying that people would think I was a loser because I skipped getting a “real job” to “start some website.” I didn’t tell most of my friends about what I was doing for almost a year because I was so worried about what they would think about it.

When I started writing, it wasn’t the hurtful comments from readers that prevented me from getting started. It was my own fears about what they would think if I wrote about the things I cared about. I wrote my ideas in a private document for a year before I worked up the courage to start sharing them publicly.

Those are just two examples of the types of internal fears and criticism that so often prevent us from getting started on our goals. It can take a lifetime to learn that just because people criticize you doesn’t mean they really care about your choice to do something different. Usually, the haters simply criticize and move on. And that means that you can safely ignore them and continue doing your thing.

But that is easier said than done because we all like to be validated. Some people like it more than others, but everyone wants to be respected and appreciated to some degree. I certainly do. I know that whenever I choose to take a risk and share my work with the world, I wonder about what my friends will think, what my family will think, and how the people around me will see me because of that choice. Will this help my reputation? Will this hurt my reputation? Should I even be worrying about my reputation?

Especially with writing, these questions created an internal struggle for me.

On one hand, I believed in myself and I knew that I wanted to contribute something to the world around me. But on the other hand, I was scared that people wouldn’t approve of my work and would criticize me when I started sharing the things I cared about or believed.

I’ve written previously about the challenge of putting yourself out there by saying, “You can either be judged because you created something or ignored because you left your greatness inside of you.”

Eventually, I decided that it was more important to contribute something to the world than it was to protect myself from criticism.

Read the rest of this article here.

So tired of always feeling on the defensive.

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Sigh.

Maybe I didn’t know what I was getting into when I started blogging publicly. Someone who used to be active here but disagreed with me about several points is calling me out on their blog again. This person is obviously still reading this blog, because if they weren’t they wouldn’t have known about my “psychopath” post the other day.

This person once again completely misunderstood what I was trying to say (which I ranted about earlier today and will not rehash again) and assumed things about me that are not true. Worse yet, this person has proven to be incredibly judgmental of me, and appears to be using me and this blog as target practice. If they hate this blog so much, why not simply ignore it? Just stop reading it! Wouldn’t that make their life–and mine–easier? But no, things just don’t work that way. People are so quick to judge someone else based on nothing. Some people just like to act like assholes.

But that isn’t really the problem. The problem is me. As a blogger, having critics and haters is inevitable. Even if I was writing about something as benign as cake decorating, someone would have a problem with it. Maybe someone is diabetic and can’t eat sugar, and my posting cake recipes that use sugar could be taken as discrimination against diabetics. If I wrote about flower arranging, someone might think it’s wrong to kill plants for ornamental purposes and attack me for it.

I write about narcissism. Narcissism by nature is a controversial topic. It’s not a pretty topic. It’s a topic that is very triggering to many people, and there are many different theories about it. It’s not an exact science either, so it can’t be backed up with “facts,” only theories. Nothing anyone ever said about narcissism is a fact. All of it is theory, conjecture, and opinion.

I have my own opinions and theories. Sometimes people agree with them and sometimes they don’t. Whenever you have a theory about something, people might misunderstand it or they might disagree with you. When I decided to blog about narcissism, I didn’t realize how emotionally strong I had to be. I didn’t think about the fact there would be those who would judge me based on an opinion, or project bad intentions onto me because they didn’t understand something I was trying to say.

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All my life I’ve tried too hard to people-please, due to the way I was raised. I wasn’t allowed to have my own thoughts and feelings or to speak up for myself. So when I’m unfairly attacked, I feel very hurt and go on the defensive. In a real life situation, when I’m attacked, I’m likely to clam up and say nothing (but I seethe inside). Online, I feel more comfortable speaking up for myself, but I try not to make waves or be confrontational. But why not? Why do I feel like I have to make peace with everyone? Why do I feel like everyone has to like me? That’s unrealistic and childish. Some people just cannot be pleased. Some people are not going to like you, and it’s pointless trying to get them to. Blogging means you are going to have haters and critics. It means some people will judge you unfairly and make unkind remarks. It takes a bold person to write a blog about dark and controversial subject matter and an even bolder one to not allow negative remarks or blog posts by others to ruin their day.

Being an HSP I take everything to heart. I let destructive criticism bother me too much. My skin is too thin and I brood when someone says something unkind about me or something I wrote. I hate being misunderstood and I hate being judged. Being judged unfairly is very triggering for me. But it happens. It will continue to happen, because that’s what happens when you have a public blog. I need to stop feeling like I’m on the defensive all the time and like I have to apologize for my existence. I am not a bad or stupid person just because someone else says (or implies) I am.

So from now on, as hard as it is for me to do this, I am going to stop reading destructive criticism on other sites. I know it’s out there but I’m just not going to look at it. Because when I do look at it, it inhibits me and turns me back into a fearful child terrified of my mother’s wagging disapproving finger. I know I have far more friends and supporters than enemies and detractors. Unfortunately I focus too much on the detractors. There isn’t much I can do about them. If they have decided to hate, they are going to find something to hate no matter what. So I need to simply ignore them because they don’t matter, and focus on my supporters instead.

It’s just a matter of seeing the glass a three-quarters full instead of one quarter empty. Focusing on and ruminating about the few haters I have is just stupid. Going to their sites to look when I know there are unkind remarks there is just going out of my way to be hurt and that’s incredibly stupid. Why is it so hard to resist doing it though?

I am not defending psychopaths.

Someone has accused me of defending psychopaths because of the question I posted the other day wondering if there might be any “good” psychopaths. In case there’s any question, I think I need to explain a couple of things because I don’t believe that at all.

1. It was simply a random thought that popped into my head. I do not, and never have, thought of ANY psychopaths as good people, and I have never known one.

2. It was a question, not a statement or even an opinion. I just wanted to know what other people thought.

I have strange thoughts at times. Sometimes they even border on crazy. You can take that or leave it. I don’t mind constructive criticism (in fact I welcome it), but I dislike being pigeonholed and blanket judgments being made about me based on one random post. I never once said or even implied that psychopathy is a good thing. I don’t think it is.
Some people really misunderstand my motives. I guess I shouldn’t let that get to me but it does. People are too quick to judge.